Center for Theatre and Dance

Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois

There’s a hidden gem nestled within Millikin University’s campus: School of Theatre and Dance. Recognized by American Theatre, OnStage, and College Magazine as one of the best theatre programs in the country, it’s turning out successful names in film, TV, national tours and cruises, themed entertainment, and international touring companies. Program enrollment is also on the rise: a 42% increase over the past five years, with more growth expected.

  • A 260-seat flexible theatre (complete with orchestra pit, balcony, control booth, tech gallery, and dressing rooms)
  • Lighting, Design, and Sound Labs
  • Costume, Wig, Dye, Storage and Craft Spaces
  • Offices and Collaboration Spaces
  • Four Acting Studios
  • Two Dance Studios
  • Two Design Classrooms and Practice rooms
  • CADD and Design Studios
The Challenge

How do we bring students, staff, and faculty from the Center for Theatre and Dance together in one cohesive and prominent performance space? 

The Solution

By creating a multi-functional theatre that provides a flexible stage allowing for a traditional proscenium, in-the-round, tennis court layouts (an actor and all stage workers can experience the nuances and differences); plus sound, lighting, and costume labs that provide a more hands-on, student-centric experience.

Mary Black, Director​, School of Theatre and Dance

"The building allows us to take our program to the next level in terms of quality and recruiting and retaining talented students, faculty, and staff. In terms of career prep, we’re now able to offer the opportunity to work with new rigging, new lighting, new sound and costume technology, new dye spaces, and new makeup techniques. This is going to help them prepare for professional success."

Bringing a school together

Instead of moving from building to building, Millikin’s 60,300-square-foot Center for Theatre and Dance lets students, faculty, and staff move from floor to floor as they create their showstopping magic. ​The Center for Theatre & Dance is an attraction for others in the profession. A tool to help students become world-class performers, technicians, artists, designers, producers, and managers. A teaching environment where faculty and staff bring hands-on lessons to life. A living room for Millikin’s 1,800 undergrads. And an entertainment destination for the Central Illinois community.

Designed For Students

The facility supports all dance and theatre students, with plenty of space for classes, group work, and rehearsals.

Designed for Faculty

Spaces are designed for faculty, with state-of-the-art technology and the ability to turn almost any space or situation into a learning opportunity.

Designed for Community

The space is designed for all Millikin students who travel through the building every day and community members who attend and support the program.

What Part Do Your Theatre and Dance Spaces Play?