Theatre and Dance

Welcome to the Department of Theatre and Dance

WIU MFA Grad Lands Prestigious Kennedy Center Acting Positions


MACOMB, IL – A recent Western Illinois University alumnus, who was a finalist for the Kennedy Center's Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, has been hired to write and act in nine new Kennedy Center plays and perform in two Shakespearean productions through March 2018.

Jeff Young, who received his master of fine arts (MFA) degree from Western this month, and his fellow MFA graduate and acting partner Brett Olson, took part in the Kennedy Center competition in April.

During the event, Young was awarded the College of Fellows Jane Alexander Acting Award, as well as the Shakespeare Theatre Company Fellowship. The Jane Alexander award, named for the film, television and stage actress who also previously served as chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, provided $2,500 to Young to write and act in nine new plays at the Kennedy Center, July 22-31.

"I will be doing this with the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Wooly Mammoth Theatre and others," said Young.
Read More

WIU Theatre and Dance faculty and students earned numerous honors at the Region III Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival in Milwaukee. As part of the festival, the cast from the Fall 2015 production of SHE KILLS MONSTERS directed by Professor DC Wright, was chosen from 48 productions to represent the state of Illinois. This documentary, by Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting & Journalism senior Jose A. Gonzalez, shows the behind-the-scenes work that went into the phenomenal production.