Skip to main content Skip to main content

Theatre is “Equipment for Living.” That’s the philosophy behind the MSU Denver Theatre program.

A bachelor of arts degree in Theatre will not only prepare you to tell powerful, transformative stories, it will also impart the ability to work in teams, communicate artfully, plan large projects and think analytically — skills employers crave. 

As a Theatre major, you will study the academic side of Theatre as well as receive opportunities to perform and work in campus productions, serve as a production dramaturge, become part of an MSU Denver touring company, intern at local theatres and participate in regional and national theatre competitions.

MSU Denver’s Theatre program is one of only two in Colorado accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. The program will not only prepare you for further graduate studies, but also will provide the training necessary for careers in voice, film and theatre and other media. Many Theatre majors also translate their Theatre degrees into careers such as teaching, sales, law, business, communications and more.

Program Options

MSU Denver’s Theatre Department offers both a bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts in Theatre degrees. Select the B.A. in Theatre degree if you want a broad degree program that also offers strong theatrical training. Choose to apply to one of the B.F.A. degree program concentrations if you want extensive artistic and pre-professional preparation.

MSU Denver’s Theatre Department offers these programs:

B.A. in Theatre

B.F.A. in Music Theatre

B.F.A. in Applied Theatre Technology and Design

Minor in Theatre

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

MSU Denver’s B.A. in Theatre degree program will help you grow professionally and creatively through internships, campus productions, student activities and the following:

  • Kaiser Permanente Touring Theatre Company
  • Student dramaturgy opportunities
  • Senior Experience consisting of a Readers Theatre performance or completion of the class, Theatre Career Development II.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images, hand cutting out out metal for a set prop, Hair production photo, Bluebird theatre photo from the street, auditorium seats

Theatre skills translate to many different careers in addition to those in the entertainment industry. Some of our graduates have gone on to work in fields such as hospitality management, information technology, photography, education as well as having become working actors, directors, theatre administrators and technicians.

Hear from our students:

“MSU Denver Theatre Department has taught me the true meaning of ensemble. We all get our own moment in the spotlight, but it is the support we get from our fellow actors that makes us all shine.”

—Sam Nicoletti, MSU Denver 2014


  • Marilyn Hetzel, chair of the MSU Denver Theatre department, was recognized with a Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award in 2016.
  • Alliance for Colorado Theatre named MSU Denver faculty member Scott Lubinski, the Higher Education Theatre Educator of the Year in 2012.
  • MSU Denver Theatre faculty and alumni have received Marlowe, Henry, Denver Post Ovation and Broadway World awards.


Marilyn Cookie A Hetzel_TheatreMarilyn “Cookie” A. Hetzel

Professor and Chair Marilyn “Cookie” A. Hetzel has worked with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and is a theatre director, choreographer, performer and consultant. She has traveled all over the world as a teacher and theatre ambassador and is the recipient of a Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award.



Scott Lubinski_TheatreScott Lubinski 

Associate Professor Scott Lubinski coordinates the Music Theatre program, directs both on-campus and off and received the Higher Education Theatre Educator Award from the Alliance for Colorado Theatre in 2012.




Jacob Welch_TheatreJacob Welch

Professor Jacob Welch teaches lighting and is an award-winning freelance lighting designer who works all over the country.





Jeffrey Parker_TheatreJeffrey Parker

Assistant Professor Jeffrey Parker is an experienced actor and director who specializes in Fitzmaurice Voicework, Knight-Thompson Speechwork, dialects, improvisation, musical theatre and acting. 




Laura Love_TheatreLaura Love

Associate Professor Laura Love teaches technical Theatre courses and has designed scenery and costumes for more than 90 productions throughout Colorado and Utah. She is an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.




Brian Kelley_TheatreBrian Kelley

Associate Professor Brian Kelley coordinates the B.F.A. Applied Theatre Technology and Design program and advises B.A. in Theatre majors and minors. He teaches courses in stagecraft and theatre career development.




Learn more about MSU Denver Theatre faculty.

Featured Alumni

Steve Root, MSU Denver ’05, has a master’s degree in theatre studies from Southern Oregon University and is the technical director at Kent Denver School.

Lindsay Goranson, MSU Denver ’04, is an AEA/SAG-AFTRA actor and founder of N&XT, an experimental theatre incubator in Nashville. 

Amanda Fresquez, MSU Denver ’15, is a teaching artist for Mirror Image Arts, a Denver-based organization that uses theatre to prevent bullying and address issues of social concern. She also works for Hand Surgery Associates.

Alumni at Work

These are companies and organizations that have hired MSU Denver Theatre graduates:

  • 2014 Winter Olympic Games
  • “How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular”
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Blue Man Group
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Phamaly
  • Colorado Shakespeare Festival
  • Rosco
  • Denver Children’s Museum
  • Kaiser Permanente

MSU Denver Theatre alumni have also attended graduate programs at the following schools: 

  • University of Exeter
  • King’s College London
  • University of Washington
  • Ohio University

Sample Classes

students in acting class

Here are some classes you can choose from as a Theatre program student:

Theatre Career Development
Theatre History, Criticism and Theory
Theatre Improvisation Techniques
Stage Directing
Scene Painting
Stage Combat
Theatrical Make-up
Theatre Practicum I

Facilities and Resources

Work and perform in the King Center performing arts complex, one of the most accessible and adaptive performance facilities in the nation.

The MSU Denver campus is also situated walking distance from the city’s many cultural and entertainment attractions such as the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex, Denver Art Museum and the History Colorado Center.

MSU Denver’s Theatre program also offers membership in the Stage Combat Club, the Theatre Tech Club, Rowdy Town — an improvisational theatre group and the Alpha Gamma Beta chapter of the Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society.

Program Accreditation

MSU Denver’s Theatre programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. MSU Denver is one of only two universities in Colorado to have this distinction.

Edit this page