Stage Management

Ball State’s directing and stage management option in the bachelor of arts/bachelor of science (BA/BS) in theatre is an undergraduate-only, pre-professional training program within a liberal arts education. The program is rooted in experiential learning allowing you numerous opportunities to get hands-on experience throughout our dynamic and diverse production season from the moment you arrive on campus. You will be exposed to diverse concepts and worldviews while honing your collaborative, artistic, and managerial skills on a variety of plays, musicals, dance pieces, and new works. If you want to pursue a professional career in directing or stage management, this program is for you.


Whether you are a director or stage manager, your four-year program will be tailored to your particular interests and allow you to explore a broad range of classes. Through the comprehensive and hands-on coursework, students will develop their own unique artistic voice and be provided with the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective communicator, facilitator, and collaborator. The production option requires 62 credits, along with the additional 33 credits of core courses and two general electives that are part of the University Core Curriculum.


  • Through coursework and practical application, you will learn how to analyze text, develop essential communication and leadership skills, and solve problems with resourcefulness, creativity, and flexibility.
  • Learning to collaborate from a position of creative leadership in an ensemble setting is a major focus and an important way to prepare you for the professional world.
  • You will have numerous opportunities to assist faculty and professional guest directors, and participate in exciting immersive learning opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines and get involved in projects with real-world impact. 
  • As an upperclassman, you will direct a short play and two full-length productions.
  • We are an active, award-winning participant in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).

Stage Management

  • In addition to your stage management classes, you will have a comprehensive and exciting educational experience that includes design and technology, directing, theatre history, and theatre management. 
  • The stage management sequence requires that you have a minimum of six stage management assignments before you graduate, including a final capstone project.
  • Your practical experiences at Ball State will include working as a production assistant, assistant stage manager, and stage manager, applying what you are learning in the classroom to actual challenges you will face in the classroom to actual challenges you will face in the professional world. 
  • We are an active, award-winning participant in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).

View Catalog


Our directing and stage management faculty are dedicated to helping you develop your individual skills and providing you with a rigorous and diverse educational experience to prepare you to begin working professionally immediately upon graduation.

  • Our low student-to-faculty ratio encourages the individuality of each director and stage manager.
  • You will receive personalized, hands-on advising and mentoring from a faculty of working professionals who bring unique perspectives and real-world experience into the classroom.
  • Throughout your four years of study, you will also work with professional guest artists whom we invite to campus each year.

Get to Know Our Faculty

Our dedicated, caring faculty will immediately welcome you into our community and guide you throughout your entire experience at Ball State. Our production option professors have worked professionally in New York, Chicago, and regional theatre.


Work Opportunities

You will always have opportunities to work—both in and out of the classroom—to get you ready for the real world of professional theatre.

  • With 20 or more theatre and dance performances each year in our mainstage, studio, and workshop spaces, you will have access to numerous production opportunities.
  • Ball State is within driving distance of major theatres in Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Louisville.
  • Faculty members can assist you in finding internships, regional and summer work, and top graduate programs if you are interested in continued study.
  • Ball State student stage managers and directors have had phenomenal success at the American College Theatre Festival, frequently advancing to the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.


Ball State theatre alumni are often ready to work in the professional world of theatre as soon as they graduate, and they love nothing more than helping each other and future graduates of the program.

  • Alumni are working all over the country—in New York, Chicago, on national tours, and in regional theatre.
  • Ball State has active and supportive alumni networks in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other major cities.

Alumni Achievements

Allyson Beheler - headshot Theatre and Dance AlumniRecent alumni credits include: The Goodman Theatre in Chicago; Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA; Theatre in the Square in Atlanta, GA; Actors Theatre of Indiana; and Dallas Theatre Center.


Guest Artists

In addition to faculty who are working dance professionals, we bring in distinguished guest artists on a regular basis to work with you—in classes, workshops, and the production season. These seasoned practitioners will enrich your educational experience immeasurably, while also allowing for professional networking opportunities.


Paying for Your Education

Departmental Scholarships

On top of the many forms of financial aid Ball State offers, the Department of Theatre and Dance offers a wide variety of merit and need-based scholarships to our own students at all levels and in all areas. We provide tens of thousands of dollars in support to make the college experience more affordable.


Apply to the Program

Are you interested in the directing and stage management option of our BA/BS in theatre? An interview is not required for BA/BS admittance but is strongly recommended for scholarship consideration. You must apply for admission to the university prior to scheduling your interview.

Interview requests are made by filling out the supplemental theatre application that is part of the online application to the university.

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