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Theatre Arts Minor

The Parkside Theatre Arts Department is a small and special, award-winning program. Recognized by the Wisconsin Board of Regents in 2009 with the Award for Teaching Excellence, we continue to accrue accolades and honors, season after season.

Our high-quality productions rival those of professional theatres. In 2012 we expanded our production labs and added a beautiful new, state-of-the-art “black box” theatre. From classical to contemporary musicals, comedies and dramas, our audiences and students are treated to a rich range of experiences.

The basic objective of the theatre arts minor is to provide a foundation for further study, vocational or avocational, for all interested students. Students get a taste of theatre appreciation by immersing themselves in fundamental courses while gaining a broad knowledge of the art of theatre.

Learn more about the Theatre Arts Department at Parkside.

A University of Wisconsin Parkside Signature Program
Drama Club 
Drama Club promotes the importance of theatre arts within our surrounding communities. Learn more about Student Organizations.

Mentor Program 
We partner successful returning theatre company members with new theatre majors, both traditional freshmen and transfer students, in order to help them have a smooth transition into Parkside, the Theatre Arts Department, and the many academic, artistic, and company expectations of the university and the professional theatre training company.

Professional Theatre Internships 
Many of our students intern, apprentice, or are employed in the professional theatre prior to graduation. We have established invaluable professional theatre partnerships with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theater, American Players Theatre, the Fireside Theatre, and many other theatres across the nation. Each year professional companies come to Parkside to hold auditions and interviews because of our reputation. 

Professional Theatre Exposure
Each semester we take all of our students to see professional theatre productions in Milwaukee or Chicago and integrate those productions into our courses.

Professional Experience While at Parkside 
Students at Parkside are given a direct connection to employment at the Fireside Dinner Theatre in Fort Atkinson, WI.

Professional Talent Reviews 
Once a year, Parkside theatre students go through a process called talent reviews. Professional actors, directors, designers, stage managers, and casting directors come to Parkside to conduct a mock interview and give feedback to each student.

Regents' Award
Parkside's Theatre Arts Department was awarded the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents' "Teaching Excellence Award for Outstanding Academic Program." We are the only fine arts department in the state to ever win this award.

Regional Awards of Merit
In the area of artistic quality, our theatrical productions have received over 100 "Regional Awards of Merit" from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

We are active members of the United Stated Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Our faculty serve as regional and national board members, respondents, and presenters.

Learn more about the awards garnered by our program.

See what our students have to say.


Misti Bradford | bradford@uwp.edu

Faculty Highlights

  • Misti Bradford
    Associate Professor

    Misti is thrilled to be a part of the UW-Parkside Theatre Arts Company as a professional artist/educator. Misti is a member of the United Scenic Artist, Local 829 out of NYC and has extensive professional design and academic theatre experience, and has recently taught courses in costume design and construction, make up and wig/hair design, theatre crafts and properties, and theatre appreciation. Her professional design credits include Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, PCPA Theaterfest, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, The Pacific Repertory Opera, Summer Repretory Theatre, and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre to name a few. Misti has also been a costume crafts artisan for regional theaters such as American Players Theatre, PCPA Theaterfest, and Summer Rep Theatre (Santa Rosa, CA) She has also received a number of national and regional design awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has also been nominated for the Stella Gray Teaching award here at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

  • Brian Gill
    Assistant Professor and Head of Acting

    Brian J. Gill is a member of the Theatre Arts Faculty serving as an Assistant Professor of Performance and Head of Acting. He has been a professional stage actor for over 20 years, appearing at such theaters as Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Renaissance Theaterworks, First Stage Children’s Theatre, goats & monkeys (co-founder and company member) and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Chicago credits include: Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Victory Gardens, Shakespeare Project of Chicago, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Provision Theater, Apple Tree Theatre and Famous Door; Regionally Brian has performed at Theatre at the Center, the Illinois and Texas Shakespeare Festivals, Allenberry Playhouse, and the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. He is also the narrator of over three-dozen audio books. Brian trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London as a member of the First International Artistic Fellowship, training and performing with Mike Alfreds and Mark Rylance. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. Parkside Theatre directing credits include Book of Days, Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire and Don Juan. He a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

  • Jennifer Sassaman
    Assistant Professor

    Since graduating with an honors BA in Performing Arts Jennifer has directed and choreographed approximately fifty productions; performed in just over half that; recorded vocal tracks for various albums, written several plays and musicals; and taught hundreds of teenagers and college students how to be stronger performers. From 1997-2002 Jennifer was the artistic director of the Philadelphia based theater company The New Mermaid. In May of 2009, she graduated from the Florida State University School of Theatre with an MFA in Directing. After graduating she served on the Board of Directors for The Actor's Center in Washington DC. She then spent two years as as Guest Artist Teacher at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Now, in addition to her work at Parkside, Jennifer is also the co-artistic director of the Vermont-based summer theater company the Moxie Theater Project.

  • Jody Sekas
    Associate Professor

    Jody Sekas is the Associate Professor of Scenic/Lighting Design & Technology at UW-Parkside. He came to Parkside from Humboldt State University, CA where he taught courses in scenic design, scene painting, technical production, properties design, theatre history, and CAD and computer rendering. Prior to Humboldt, Sekas was Assistant Professor and Scenic & Lighting Designer for the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and for four seasons was the resident scenic and lighting designer for the Sioux Falls Community Playhouse in South Dakota. In addition to his resident design and collegial experience, Sekas has worked as a freelance designer and technician for such venues as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Children's Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Dell’Arte International, Omaha Theatre Company for Young People, Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild, Eau Claire Children's Theatre, Ferndale Repertory Theatre, The Western Stage, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and on several recent independent films. Sekas received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Theatre from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Scenic Design and Technical Direction from Humboldt State University.

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