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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Academic Programs

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Master of the House
Les Misérables, October 2013

Incoming Student Auditions—BFA in Theatre, Freshman Talent Grants

Welcome to the undergraduate programs offered at the Department of Theatre & Dance at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Thanks for checking us out ... we hope you find what you're looking for.

We are a production-oriented program that supports those experiences with top-notch, constantly evolving academic programs for everyone from the Theatre Generalist to the student seeking the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting, Musical Theatre or Design/Technology. In addition, we offer the Dance major/minor and graduate programs at both the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts levels (more on those elsewhere).

Twice a year we have BFA application auditions (or interviews for Design/Tech applicants): For fall admission, auditions are held either the last Saturday of February or first Saturday of March, depending on the calendar. Paperwork for those auditions is required AT LEAST 10 days before so we may set and confirm a schedule. Please note: These auditions can also double for Freshman/Transfer Talent Grants, so please be sure to check when submitting the BFA application. You may apply online here. This is the quickest and most efficient way to apply. We will let you know that we have received your electronic application and tell you when to expect more information.

In the fall, we offer Theatre Freshman Talent grants to incoming first-year students of $1,100. Prospective students may complete the Talent Grant application and provide the audition materials via DVD or link to a YouTube video. To get scheduled for an audition, you MUST complete the application and submit it to us in advance. The forms you download will go through in detail what will be expected of you in the audition and/or what you should bring with you, especially when applying to the Design/Technology program; there is no audition, but a personal interview is expected. In addition, this audition can be used when applying to join one of the BFA programs. (Once you are a student in the program, you will be eligible to apply for the more than 25 annual scholarships the department offers!  The process takes place in February for the upcoming year.)

Anyone interested in discovering more about the Minnesota State Mankato undergraduate programs in Theatre should do the following:

Getting Started

• Apply to the university through the Department of University Admissions. This will help guarantee that you have completed all of the paperwork that will allow you to eventually apply to be a Theatre & Dance major. Through Admissions, you will be connected with the Department of Theatre & Dance to meet with the Chair, Dr. Paul J. Hustoles, during a scheduled orientation day, when possible. When you do wish to declare as a Theatre & Dance major, send us a message (noting specifically what you want to do) or stop by the main office, Earley Center for Performing Arts, Room 201, to set up an appointment with Dr. Hustoles through Beth Weisbecker, department office manager.

• Explore the different offerings our program has so, when we meet with you, we can get you started on the right path for you. You can download information about each program area: BA/BS Generalist (broken link); BFA Musical Theatre; BFA Acting; BFA Design/Tech.

• Dr. Hustoles is eager to answer your questions so you shouldn't feel unprepared when you join the department. For example, because we have auditions for the first THREE productions of the fall on the first day of class, he will tell you this and help you prepared. In addition to being chair of the department, he is Artistic Director for our professional summer stock, Highland Summer Theatre, so he is here much of the summer as well. You may e-mail him here.

• Find out about the people who will be teaching you.

• We have an extensive online listing of every show we've done at Minnesota State Mankato, with photos illustrating our work on those since 2002 ... with more coming soon. Take a look by season or by show title here.

Program Options


  • Want to find out which program you should pursue–BA/BS Generalist, BFA in Acting, BFA in Musical Theatre or BFA in Theatre Design/Technology? Check out the different focuses by downloading the Program Offerings document (broken link) (28KB PDF).
  • To apply for either the BFA admission or Theatre Freshman Talent Grant, visit our Applications page. Find out more about Theatre Talent Grants.
  • If you have questions when completing the applications, simply drop us a message using the Contact Us button on this page. Unless we're on break, we will respond within 24 hours. If mailing in forms or information, you may send them to: Minnesota State University, Mankato, Department of Theatre & Dance, 201 Earley Center for Performing Arts, Mankato, MN 56001. Phone number for the Department office is: 507-389-2118. Visit Directions page for information on getting to us.