The 5 Most Underrated Theatre Colleges for 2018 - Midwest

Here at OnStage Blog, we spend months compiling, researching and comparing college theatre programs to come up with what we feel are the very best colleges in the country. While names like Tisch, Juilliard, Emerson and Baldwin Wallace get plenty of attention, there are a ton of schools out there with incredible programs that deserve more.

So we wanted to highlight some of these underrated programs. Whether they are programs that have amazing facilities and curriculum or have a ton of value when it comes to their cost, these are schools that are doing tremendous things in theatre that might not be known on a national level. 

Remember, we're talking about schools we feel are underrated. If you don't see certain programs here, it's more than likely that they're already getting a ton of credit.

Because this list is so massive, we're going to break it down region by region using this map. So, no particular order, here are our picks for the five most underrated theatre colleges for 2018. 

Yesterday we covered the Northeast and Southeast. Today we're moving onto the Midwest. We'll be using this map to divide the regions. 


Lindenwood University - St. Charles, MO


Fast Facts: Program boasts excellent facilities including the Lindenwood Theatre. This traditional proscenium space boasts a 1,200-seat auditorium and a 110-by-66-foot stage with a 72-foot grid and 68 line sets. Elegant and intimate in its design, the theater has one of the largest and most sophisticated stages in the region. The Lindenwood main stage readily accommodates Lindenwood University productions and large scale national and Broadway tours, as well as concerts, world renowned dance, and celebrity appearances. This fall, the school will offer a class in Box Office Management as well. 

Minnesota State University, Mankato - Mankato, MN


Fast Facts: Enjoying a fabulous run of success lately. This past year, five of the 16 finalists at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region V competition in Des Moines last week were students of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Theatre and Dance. That is the most finalists for the department in about 20 years.

Denison University - Granville, OH


Fast Facts: While having a storied history in performing arts, there might not have been a better time to attend Denison than right now. The school is set to complete construction on a brand new performing arts facility in 2019. The building, to be named the Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts, will incorporate into its design the existing Burke Hall of Music and Art and will house the Theatre, Music and Dance departments. With all three departments under one roof, faculty and students anticipate enhanced collaboration across the fine-arts disciplines. Alumni include Hal Holbrook, Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and SNL's Alex Moffat. 

Grinnell College - Grinnell, IA


Fast Facts: Program offers some unique performance opportunities such as the Neverland Players. They are a student theatre troupe who create performances based on stories written by local children. Their performances combine the written stories, devised work, improv, and music. They hold auditions each semester and perform twice a year.

University of Evansville - Evansville, IN


Fast Facts: Theatre students are highly encouraged and/or required to pursue summer and/or semester-long internships to obtain professional experience and develop career contacts. UE theatre students regularly secure internships at these prestigious institutions: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Santa Fe Opera, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Juilliard School, The Glimmerglass Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Signature Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and California Shakespeare Theater.