Theatre and Dance


Office Address

Department of Theatre and Dance
101 Browne Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455
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Phone: (309) 298-1543
Fax: (309) 298-2695

Theatre and Dance Department Chairperson

Tammy Killian
Office Phone: (309) 298-1543
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Western's Department of Theatre and Dance has numerous classrooms, offices and studios, three theatres and a dance studio on the Macomb campus. These facilities offer all students a variety of space configurations with which to work.

The current performing spaces are:

  • Andrew and Jessie Hainline Theatre
  • Horrabin Hall Theatre
  • Simpkins Theatre
  • Brophy Dance Studio

Classroom instruction and theatre production support is provided by:

  • Scene and Costume Studios
  • CAD (Computer Assisted Design) Lab
  • Acting and Performance Studios
  • Green Room and Dressing Rooms

Design and bid documents for a new Center for Performing Arts are complete. The CPA will be located adjacent to the Hainline Scenic Studio and attached to the southern end of Browne Hall.  The CPA will have a 1400 seat theatre, 250 seat thrust theatre and 150 seat flexible space theatre, plus 2 dance and 2 acting studios, as well as a rehearsal room for the Jazz Studio Orchestra.

Learn more about the new CPA.

Andrew and Jessie Hainline Theatre

hainline theatre

The Hainline Theatre is a part of Browne Hall, which houses the department offices, along with the College of Fine Arts and Communication and School of Music. Four Mainstage productions and two dance concerts are presented in this theatre each year. This proscenium theatre seats 387.

The theatre is equipped with two ETC Sensor racks with the capacity of 96 dimmers each. The lighting inventory includes nearly 500 conventional instruments and 13 robotic and semi-robotic fixtures. Control is provided by an ETC Obsession II board. The theatre contains complete audio and video monitor systems. Sound reinforcement and playback and multi-channel output interface feed a 24/8 Mackie mixer. Laptop computer control uses Logic Pro and Audacity software. There are 39 T-track fly lines. Dressing rooms are located directly behind the stage.

Horrabin Hall Theatre

Horrabin Hall Theatre is located in Horrabin Hall, the College of Education and Human Services building.

The theatre is a 161-seat thrust stage theatre that offers a more intimate performance space. One or two mainstage shows a semester are produced here. Remodeled in 1995 from a larger proscenium theatre, the original stage is located behind the thrust and doubles as a rehearsal hall.

The theatre is equipped with 96 ETC Sensor dimmers, an ETC control console, and has a variety of sound playback options.





Simpkins Theatre

Simpkins Theatre is located in Simpkins Hall, the English Department building, and is the workhorse theatre of our department. Minimally, ten to twelve Studio productions are presented each year in this theatre.

Converted from a 1930's proscenium theatre, Simpkins Theatre is an intimate and flexible space that changes from proscenium to thrust to arena. Seating capacity varies accordingly but ranges from 100 to 138 seats. The theatre is equipped with 96 ETC Sensor dimmers and ETC control.




Brophy Dance Studio


The facilities for WIU’s dance program in Brophy Hall are among the finest of any sizeable dance program. The large, state-of-the-art studio, which is used for classes and rehearsal, also accommodates 150 audience members for concerts. Adjoining the main studio are the Pilates Studio and a rehearsal room equipped with mirrors, make-up areas, dance barres, and dressing spaces. Mirrors and ballet barres cover one wall of the studio.

The floor is covered with marley over a Rosco, sprung sub-floor. A sky drop hangs at the back of the studio, and masking flats at the sides are available for performances as well as classes. The studio ceiling is engineered with a stage lighting and sound system, allowing this generous classroom space to easily transform into a black box for performances, complete with essential theatrical illusion.

Brophy houses the Department of Kinesiology, which provides access to various amenities conducive to the maintenance of healthy dance bodies. Some of the other facilities in Brophy are therapeutic treatment rooms, a swimming pool, gymnasium, and an athletic training complex complete with emergency first aid supplies and access to conditioning equipment.

The Scenic and Costume Studios

The Scenic Studio  is located adjacent to the Hainline Theatre in Browne Hall. Access to the theatre is through 20' high roll doors. Separate paint and hardware/tool rooms and shop office are located within the studio. The studio, with 3410 square feet of total workspace, contains

  • Sawstop 12" table saw
  • Delta X 12" radial arm saw
  • Delta Model 20 band saw
  • Makita 12" power mitre saw
  • DeWalt 12" power mitre saw 
  • Delta 70-200 drill press
  • Evolution Rage 3 power metal mitre saw
  • DeWalt 12" metal saw
  • 2 Lincoln mig welders
  • various hand tools, portable
  • grinders, lathe, jig saw
  • Senco pneumatic nailers and staplers
  • pneumatic system available in shop and on stage




Scenic construction on the Hainline stage.


The Light Cage and furniture/props storage are located in the basement of the Hainline Theatre with access to storage, costume shop and stage by elevator.

The Costume Studio is located above the dressing rooms in Browne Hall. The shop, approximately 1500 square feet, contains

  • a full laundry facility
  • 25-gallon industrial dye vat
  • 12 Janome Magnolia domestic sewing machines
  • 1 Bernina Virtuosa domestic sewing machine
  • 1 Bernina 1090S domestic sewing machine
  • 2 Bernina 1150 MDA overlock sergers
  • 4 White Superlock domestic sergers
  • 1 Singer overlock serger
  • 3 industrial steam irons, 1 on a table
  • 3 large cutting/work tables
  • anti-fatigue mats
  • a “walk-along” industrial sewing machine
  • an industrial blind-hemming machine
  • 16 body forms (Wolf and Superior)
  • full non-institutional climate control
  • mirrored fitting area and dressing rooms
  • a separate fabric storage room




Costume, hat, and shoe storage are located in Simpkins Hall and contains a collection of over 10,000 pieces.


The department's CAD lab is a dedicated lab for theatre design and technology students. There are 10 iMacs and printing hardware includes a Hewlett Packard HP Designjet 510. The room has its own network interface/router. Current software includes VectorWorks 14, SpotLight 14, Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop and Adobe CS 6, and Poser 5. In addition to the electronic components of the lab there are also six full-sized drafting tables for stud

Acting and Performing Studio

The primary acting and performances studios for theatre are located in Simpkins Hall. All spaces are used for acting, voice, and directing classes.

Simpkins 241 is located immediately behind the Simpkins Theatre, which is also used for an occasional teaching studio. Simpkins 002 is primarily the combat classroom. Simpkins 001 is used for a variety of classes, from directing to voice to musical theatre.


Green Dressing Room greenroom

Green Room

The Hainline Theatre Green Room is located immediately offstage left. During the day, it serves as a production meeting room, small seminar room, and student lounge. During production, the Green Room is used by actors and technicians.     The room is connected to the stage audio and video monitor system.

Dressing Rooms

Two dressing rooms and barbershop are on the first floor behind Hainline Theatre. Each dressing room contains 13 personal make-up stations and full shower facilities. The dressing rooms are also connected to the monitor system. In addition, there is an offstage right room that serves as an additional dressing room when needed or as a prop storage room during production.