The Department of

Theatre & Dance

We provide a broad, liberal arts education and train students in the fields of dance, theatre, and design & technology for performance

The Department of Theatre and Dance cultivates critical thinking and analysis, and helps students develop tools for creative expression.

For emerging artists and specialists, we provide tools to build careers in their chosen field and networks to the professional world, both nationally and internationally. We serve the community through high quality performance events that showcase student and faculty artistic work and serve as a laboratory for applying skills learned in the classroom and studio.


Watch the UNM Department of Theatre & Dance Student
Choreography Spring 2021 Concert
Artistic Directors: Brianna Figueroa and Amy Schofield

Theatre & Dance

Watch a show from T&D

Theatre & Dance

Theatre & Dance

The Bat – By Shannon Flynn
Directed by Erik Ehn

Watch an alumni show

Battery Dance Festival Jon Ole Olstad

Choreographer: Jon Ole Olstad
Dancer: Leslie Paige Plummer
Music: Alaskan Tapes
Battery Dance Festival 2019

STILL from SoluqDance on Vimeo.

Choreography : The Dancers of Soluq
Dancers: Sarah Bauer, Tamara Leigh, Francesca Dominguez, and Monica Steffey
Music: Kolm Kurvameelset: Neidude Kurbus

SOLO at KoDaFe from SoluqDance on Vimeo.

Dancers: Nikki Theroux, Sarah Bauer, Tamara McCloskey


The vision of the program is to provide the most current, experimental, and sophisticated choreography curriculum and productions in the southwest, and to explore and value the rich tradition of dance history as a living legacy for the contemporary artist/scholar
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The Theatre program at UNM integrates a dynamic liberal arts education with rigorous practical training. Theatre is seen as an extension of the humanities, a mode of critical inquiry and creative expression. The program emphasizes interdisciplinarity, collaborative creation, and community engagement
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Design For Performance

Prepares students for advanced study or professional careers in design and technical production across the spectrum of the performing arts, leading to career paths in Theater, Dance, Opera, Film, Television, Gaming and Interactive Environments
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Dramatic Writing

An MFA environment where students prepare scripts for submission to our annual festival, submit material for production to the local theatre community, or for the season of plays selected by students that is presented in our black-box, Theatre X
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We are proud to host the Visiting Professor in Flamenco

This visiting line brings the most current and established Flamenco artists and scholars to teach classes. The vibrancy and vitality of this artist residency in Flamenco is unique in the world and provides a springboard for these visiting artists and scholars to engage in the global dialogue surrounding Flamenco history, performance, and creative process.

International Collaboration

Live Performance takes the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland as its classroom. The course immerses students in the most cutting-edge alternative theatre being created today

International Collaboration

Every other spring term our dance program sponsors students to travel to Soelden, Austria, to perform in the largest contemporary theater piece in the world, Hannibal

International Collaboration

International Exchange with the Asian Theatre Education Centre

The Department of Theatre and Dance participates in the Asian Theatre Education Centre-ATEC, bringing students to perform a theater work from the department production season at the festival every other year. The Department of Theatre and Dance at UNM is the only member school from the United States invited to perform in this prestigious festival, where multiple and varied institutions throughout the Asian arena present works for the stage, and students also engage in dialogue on international perspectives in theater. For more information on the ATEC

We are proud of our Partnerships

Yjastros in Residence at UNM 

Founded in 1999, Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company is a project of the National Institute of Flamenco under the artistic direction of Joaquin Encinias and is a unique performance entity that joins the repertory format of large dance companies and choreography with the authentic idiom of Flamenco. Currently, in residence in the dance program at UNM, Yjastros has had the opportunity to access choreography created through the Visiting Professor Line in Flamenco, enhancing their archive of choreographic masterworks. Yjastros respectfully acknowledges work of the past and believes that the creation of new repertory works allows Flamenco culture to proliferate in the contemporary postmodern era. 

©Photo by Pat Berrett

The Revolutions International Theatre Festival

The Department of Theatre and Dance has a partnership with The Revolutions International Theatre Festival, a global performing arts festival founded in 2001. The festival focuses on theatrical work not routinely produced in the United States, work from underrepresented voices, and productions from countries and cultures stigmatized by misinformation or lack of contact and context. The University of New Mexico and the Revolutions Festival partner each year to bring workshops, gatherings, collaborations, and performances to the department and the community. Students have direct access to international artists with opportunities for training and knowledge sharing as well as performance and designing roles. With a wide range of performance approaches such as political theatre from Russia, circus and street theatre from Colombia, and Indigenous dance from Uganda, Revolutions is a unique and inviting way for students to expand their knowledge of performance and create global connections.

Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque

The Department of Theatre and Dance has been a partner of the non-profit National Institute of Flamenco for decades. In its role as co-presenter of Festival Flamenco Alburquerque, the Department has been pivotal to the success of this arts and culture event since the Festival’s beginning. Established in 1987 by Professor Eva Encinias, the first edition of the Festival celebrated the 50th anniversary of the College of Fine Arts. Since then, the Festival has grown to be one of the largest and most respected flamenco events outside of Spain. Festival Flamenco Alburquerque features over 50 prominent flamenco artists from Spain, presenting performances, workshops, youth programming, and a biennial conference in flamenco history and research. Students, aficionados, and patrons of the arts are given an unparalleled experience during this invaluable cultural and educational event. The Festival would not be possible without the important partnership between the University of New Mexico and the National Institute of Flamenco.

Theatre & Dance Events

We produce a mainstage series of five events: three plays, a faculty-choreographed dance concert and the Linnell Festival of New Plays at UNM. In addition to the mainstage series, we support the Theatre X series of student produced plays as well as student dance showcases and outreach tours.

From the Chair

As the Chair of this vibrant academic and artistic department, I am proud to be a colleague of the nationally and internationally renowned faculty and a professor working with diverse, talented, and multifaceted students. Throughout each academic year our production season creates sophisticated and ambitious performances that challenge students in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs; design, dance, theater, and dramatic writing.

Collaboration provides a platform for students to see beyond their artistic discipline and delve into deeper realms of experimentation in creating and performing works for the stage. Resident and guest faculty bring diverse approaches to creative and academic practice, inspiring students toward refined academic research that builds a solid platform for academic and professional growth and career placement in the field.

Browse through our website for photos and video of our production season and detailed descriptions of our academic degrees, designed for students developing their artistic voice. Contact our department for a guided tour of the facilities and meet the faculty and students that engage in the creative and scholarly arena on a daily basis. We are excited to be a part of the artistic community of Albuquerque and New Mexico.

—Professor Donna Jewell, Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance


“As someone who specifically focuses on regional dramatic voice, UNM held a unique position in its ability to teach me both about the world of theatre and about how it relates to the distinct culture at home. In the program I was allowed to learn and explore my own voice as a playwright and theatre maker, write plays that were actually produced, and continue to learn about different theatrical skills. The amount of support that came from the faculty and staff of UNM was incredible.”

Leonard Madrid

MFA in Dramatic Writing


“Working towards a Master of Arts in Theatre and Dance with a Concentration in Dance History and Criticism at the University of New Mexico was a life-changing experience. I exited the program with more confidence, broader exposure to contemporary scholarship, and hands-on experience that has been applicable daily throughout my professional career. The curriculum and extraordinary faculty pushed me to grow in ways that I didn’t know I needed to grow upon application. The coursework was challenging and gave me the tools needed for the completion of my own original research project.”

Sarah Williams

MA in Theatre & Dance


“My time in UNM’s Design for Performance Program consisted of several amazing years of learning, and exploration of my own creative voice. As a Design student I was given the opportunity to design costumes for theatre productions and dance pieces that pushed my imagination, but also taught me how to do a script breakdown and create a budget. After graduating I went on to work at the Santa Fe Opera, in the film industry as a wardrobe stylist, and ultimately pursue a career in Los Angeles as a Special Effects Makeup Artist. What I learned at UNM continues to be of value to me on a daily basis.”

Sarah Wyman

BA in Design for Performance

Contact the College of Fine Arts

Robert Hartung building
2414 Central Ave SE
(505) 277-4332
How to Apply

• All students must be admitted to the University, whether as an incoming freshman, transfer student, or non-degree student. Apply online through the Admissions Department at UNM

•After meeting all CFA admission requirements, students must apply to become a declared major.

Academic Advisement

The College of Fine Arts Student Success & Advisement Center is committed to serve the UNM community with compassion, guidance, and respect as we promote academic excellence.

To speak with a CFA advisor, please call (505) 277-4817.

The University of New Mexico is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.