About Us

NMU Forest Roberts Theatre academic logo


Students Performing in the Forest Roberts TheatreWelcome to the the theatre and dance department at Northern Michigan University in beautiful Marquette, MI!

Our mainstage theater, the Forest Roberts Theatre, is one of the finest university theaters in the country. It accommodates 515 people in a continental seating arrangement and has its own scene and electrics shops, as well as state of the art costume facilities and dressing rooms.

NMU’s Theatre and Dance program offers extensive onstage, offstage, and behind the curtain training. The range of experiences to which students are exposed is vast, creating the kind of well-rounded theatre and dance artist that is necessary in today’s field. Opportunities for participation in these programs begin in the freshman year. The department presents six mainstage productions each season in two different theaters, which often feature student designs in set, costumes, lighting, and sound. Students have the chance to work in both the proscenium Forest Roberts Theatre and the intimate James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre. NMU Theatre and Dance also hosts a bi-annual playwriting contest, the Mildred and Albert Panowski Playwriting Award, and is home to the North Coast Theatre and Dance Festival, our summer stock theatre and dance company.

Theatre and dance majors and non-majors alike, along with NMU faculty and staff and Marquette area community members, have graced the Forest Roberts Theatre stage over the decades. The NMU theatre and dance faculty and staff take great pride in the success of the many alumni who have gone on to perform and design professionally on stage and in television and broadcasting.

Great opportunities for students of all ages are available at NMU Theatre and Dance, and we're excited to see what we can create together!