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Theatre Department

To keep in line with Doane University’s mission to prepare students for lives rooted in intellectual inquiry, ethical values, and responsible citizenship - the theatre department guides students into a general knowledge of theatrical skills required to understand, appreciate and create artistic works.

Our department is hands-on and in-depth. Our students build sets and props, make costumes, manage productions and our cast is never chosen based on favoritism or class standing. Doane University offers a safe environment to experiment with any, and every form of theatre or art that you can imagine. Students are immersed in collaboration and are mentored by industry professionals whose credentials include the prestigious Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and 37 Broadway Productions.

Performing Arts Scholarship Audition

2023-2024 Theatre Handbook

Theatre Buildings and Auditoriums 

Whitcomb Lee Conservatory

Constructed in 1906/1907; then renovated in 203/2004 is a national landmark that houses Doane University’s Theatre Department. This intimate performance venue won the 2005 American Institute of Architects’ Nebraska Design Award features state of the art lighting and sound equipment, making it an ideal location for the majority of our department’s performances.

Heckman Auditorium

A proscenium-style stage that seats 500 audience members.

Cassel Theatre

Seating up to 1,000, this open-air theatre takes full advantage of Doane’s gorgeous scenic campus.

Major Awards


KCACTF Region V Festival 52

Meritorious Awards

Ubu the King

  • Rob McKercher - Outstanding Directing
  • Rob McKercher - Outstanding Adaption of a Play
  • Patrick Sedivy - Outstanding Sound Design

Much Ado About Nothing

  • Jack Wagner - Outstanding Scenic Design
  • Festival 52 Invited Scene Showcase Nomination
  • Festival 52 Costume Parade Nomination

Good for Otto

  • Outstanding Acting Ensemble

Regional Irene Ryan Acting Competition Finals

Jimmy Nguyen - Winner


KCACTF Region V Festival 51
Design Awards

Best in the Barbizon Award for Scenic Design - Alex Hollmann (The Snow Queen)
Promising Designer: Las Vegas Design and Technology Award - Sheila Murphy


KCACTF Region V Festival 50

Meritorious Awards
Stupid Fucking Bird

  • Outstanding Directing - Dayna Svoboda '15
  • Outstanding Ensemble Performance - Cast
  • Nomination-Invited Scene Showcase

The Robber Bridegroom

  • Outstanding Music Direction - Darius Makaitis
  • Outstanding Direction - Robin McKercher
  • Nomination - Invited Scene Showcase

Peter and the Starcatcher 

  • Outstanding Scenic Design - Alex Hollmann
  • Ensemble Performance Movement Creativity - Robin McKercher
  • Winner - Festival 50 Invited Scene Showcase 
Notable Alumni

Samantha Marie Ware - Actor

  • The Book of Mormon (Broadway)
  • Glee (TV Series)
  • Margot vs. Lily (TV Mini-Series)
  • Barry (2016 Movie)
  • Bull (TV Series)
  • NCIS: New Orleans (TV Series)
  • What/If (TV Series)
  • God Friended Me (TV Series)
  • The Lion King (Las Vegas)

Bex Marsh - Actor

  • Clemency (2019 Movie)
  • Outmatched (TV Series)
  • Teachers (TV Series)
  • American Housewife (TV Series)
  • For the People (TV Series)
  • Full Out (TV Mini-Series)
  • Former member of improv group Second City

Leif Gantvoort - Actor

  • The 60 Yard Line (2017 Movie) - Director and actor
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015 Movie)
  • The Amazing Spider Man (2012 Movie)
  • General Hospital (TV Series)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (TV Series)
  • S.W.A.T. (TV Series)

Christine Bolles - Scenic Artist

  • Empire (TV Show) - Twentieth Century Fox (Chicago, IL)
  • Chicago Shakespeare Festival (Chicago, IL)
  • Northlight Theatre Company (Skokie, IL)
  • Peninsula Players Theatre (Fish Creek, WI)

Chet Miller - Projection Engineer and Sound Designer

  • Manhattan Theatre Club (New York, NY)
  • Kennedy Center (Washington DC)
  • Disney World (Orlando, FL)
  • Papermill Playhouse (Millburn, NJ)
  • American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge, MA)