Department of Music, Theatre and Dance

Why Choose Theatre at Chico State

The Chico State BA in Theatre Arts is a well-rounded degree that allows students to choose their areas of focus and create their own path within theatre.  Students can concentrate on one area of interest, or study multiple areas to become their own unique artist. 

Chico State currently offers one of the only non-audition Musical Theatre BFAs in the country; not because we do not have high standards, but because of our commitment to Equity and Inclusion.  We are excited to welcome you into our community regardless of how many years of private lessons you’ve had and your ability to hire an audition coach.  We are also excited to prepare you for accomplishing own individual Musical Theatre goals.

Incoming Students

Audition Instructions

Graduates of the BFA in Musical Theatre and BA in Theatre have gone on to a variety of jobs in major cities and smaller regional markets.  Chico State Theatre alumni work as actors, technicians, stage managers, teachers, directors, and playwrights on Broadway, at regional theatre, in educational theatre, and beyond.  Other alumni have found the tools studied in theatre are applicable to professions outside of theatre such as sales, education, business, customer relations and many others.

One of the best parts of the Chico State Theatre experience is our beautiful Northern California campus.  Consider taking a virtual tour of our BEAUTIFUL campus on the university website.  Our four mainstage productions (two plays and two musicals) are performed in three incredible theaters each year.  Learn more about our Department Theatre venues(opens in new window)

  • Curriculum

    The BA in Theatre is a well-balanced degree. After completing the common core classes, students select a mix of lower and upper division electives in performance, technical theatre/design, and dramatic literature/history.

    The BFA in Musical Theatre is a prescribed degree. After completing the common core classes, students focus their studies specifically on musical theatre performance in the areas of acting, singing, and dancing.

    The Theatre Arts Minor and Dance Minor provide courses and production opportunities for students in other majors who wish to add intellectual and practical understanding of theatre and dance to their college experience.

  • Performances and Productions

    The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance offers a wide variety of performance opportunities for students.

    Chico State Theatre has hosted a number of recent master classes from exciting theatre professions including:

    Master Class

    Guests Speakers include:

    headshot of Noah J Ricketts Noah J Ricketts


    “Disney’s Frozen” 

    “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”

    headshot of Grey Henson Grey Henson


    "Mean Girls" *Tony Nomination*

    "The Book of Mormon"

    headshot of Krystina Alabado Krystina Alabado


    "Mean Girls"

    "American Psycho"

    "American Idiot"

    headshot of Ezra Menas Ezra Menas


    "Jagged Little Pill"


    "West Side Story"


  • Scholarships

    The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance offers over $50,000 in scholarships to students in its majors, including general music, theatre, music industry and technology, musical theatre, and recording arts. Some scholarships are awarded to non-majors with successful auditions/interviews. Scholarship recipients must be significantly involved in departmental concerts and productions during both semesters of the academic year for which they receive their award. Incoming freshman and transfers are encouraged to audition and apply for the scholarship opportunities.

  • Auditions for Plays

    Auditions normally occur just before the beginning of the semester.

Student Opportunities

Areas of Interest

Students in our degree programs have the opportunity to study and participate in:

  • Acting
  • Choreography & Dance
  • Costuming
  • Directing
  • Recording Arts
  • Set Design


  • Theatre: National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)

We are also active in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and offer many opportunities to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Equity & Inclusion

Chico State Theatre is committed to diversity, inclusivity, and anti-racism.  As such, we pledge to continue to reimagine new approaches to both contemporary and classical works, as well as increase the representation of BIPOC, LGBTQ, and women theatre practitioners, along with members of other marginalized and/or minoritized groups in our main stage season.  No less than 50% of our season will have relevant themes and/or creators from these communities.