Theatre Arts at RIT

Setting the Stage

Whether you are under the lights on stage or you’d rather be working the lights as a force behind the scenes, getting involved in theatre at RIT is easy. With for-credit and extracurricular offerings, you’ll be sure to find classes, productions, workshops and other programs that allow you to incorporate theatre experiences into your time at RIT. Expert faculty and instructors will help you grow in your understanding of theatre, and joint theatre seasons between RIT and NTID provide opportunities to perform in unique and inclusive ways.

Theatre Minor and Immersion

As part of their bachelor’s degree requirements, RIT students must complete an immersion—a concentration of three courses in a particular area. Undergraduate students also have the option of completing a minor, which can complement their major or enable them to pursue an area of personal interest.

Theatre Arts Minor
Theatre Arts Immersion

Performing Arts Certificate

NTID Department of Performing Arts offers a special certificate in performing arts that documents the academic training students receive while actively participating in Performance or Technical Theatre activities.

NTID Performing Arts Certificate

Theatre Courses

There’s nothing like the thrill of a live performance. Whether you’re a participant in the planning, a key player in the execution, or an enthralled member of the audience, you’re a part of something special. At RIT, all aspects of what goes into planning and executing a performance are covered, ensuring that when it’s time for the show to go on, you’ll be ready.

Theatre Courses


A collage of the posters for various productions of the performing groups at RIT.

Current Season

Coming Up

Please check back later in the spring for our 23-24 season announcement!

Past Seasons


November 19-21, 2021 (in-person performances)
January 28-30, 2022 (online performances)

Angels in America
by Tony Kushner
directed by Andy Head

It’s the 1980s. President Reagan sits in the White House while the AIDS crisis rages on. ​Caught in the middle are a Valium-addicted Mormon, her closeted lawyer husband, and two men ripped apart by an AIDS diagnosis. This is a story about fighting for survival, love, politics and God. In 1993, Angels in America, written by Tony Kushner, won the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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Ignite: NTID Dance Performance
directed by Marc Holland

Ignite, presented by NTID Department of Performing Arts, features the newly formed RIT DanceCore, an ensemble of talented student dancers with choreography by DanceCore director, Marc Ellis Holland and RIT director of dance, Thomas Warfield. More than exploring different ways to make a shape or learning a series of steps to music, this dance performance presents ways of moving that use the body as an instrument of expression and communication. The performance will also include collaborations with live music, theatre students and projection design. ​​

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Deaf Play Creators Festival
directed by Aaron Kelstone

NTID Performing Arts will spotlight 4 emerging Deaf playwrights chosen from the eighteen 10-minute plays presented in 2021 at the Chicago, Illinois/Columbia College MAP-Deaf Theatre Festival. Each of the four Deaf playwright’s 10-minute plays were produced by Deaf Spotlight, Deaf Austin Theater, New York Deaf Theatre, and Northern Lights Collective (Canada). The eighteen ten-minute plays will be judged and the top four plays representing each of the four producing groups will be expanded into 1-act or longer length by the NTID Theatre Department. Working with a dedicated team of actors, directors, dramaturgs, and other theatre professionals each of the 10-minute plays will be developed through the remainder of 2021. These four plays created by Deaf playwrights will be showcased during the 2022 Deaf Theatre Festival hosted by the NTID Performing Arts Department in February 25-27,2022.

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Men On Boats
by Jaclyn Backhaus
directed by Alexa Scott-Flaherty

Friday March 25 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 26 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday March 27 at 2:00pm

Webb Auditorium, James E. Booth Hall
Rochester Institute of Technology

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men On Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. In this very modern take on a very old American adventure story, audiences and performers alike get a chance to question American history and who gets to tell the story of our shared past. Be prepared for a rollicking and rousing adventure story looking at a historical moment through a different lens.

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Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed by Luane Davis Haggerty

IN THE HEIGHTS tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood-a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. IN THE HEIGHTS is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.

The NTID Performing Arts department has a commitment to partnering with the larger Rochester community in order to give our students the benefit of connections that can grow into embracing the community as a whole. To that end, we are using IN THE HEIGHTS to bring in members of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company as Cultural consultants, actors, and designers. Our choreographer, Jayme Bermudez, the Educations Coordinator at Ibero American Action League is also associated with Borinquen Dance Theatre, members of the company will also be making an appearance in the show.

To compliment these community connections, we will also be offering the RIT/NTID community workshops and panels to discuss Latino culture, history, and language as they relate to and appear in the production of IN THE HEIGHTS.

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Conceived and Directed by Guest-Director Omen Sade
October 30, 2020
Virtual Event


SOMNIUM is an interactive digital-theatre experience where YOU are the hero! Journey through the collective dream-space of humanity in this first-person adventure inspired by classic Science Fiction. What dreams lurk beneath the surface of your waking mind? Find out, in SOMNIUM!​

Access Information
To be Announced

For More Information

Curated, compiled, and inspired by the poetic Anthology of the same title by Edgar Lee Masters
Directed by Luane Davis Haggerty
November 13-15, 2020
Virtual Event


Spoon River Anthology is a collection of verse epitaphs, created by Edgar Lee Masters of a 1918 (a parallel era of pandemic) small-town graveyard in Illinois, its panoramic scope--allows for individual stories to create a sense of what it takes and who it takes to create a community.

For this production curator, adapter-director Luane Davis Haggerty, Ph.D. highlights Masters's inclusiveness, drawing not only on the 1918 original but adding in modern original creations written in the style of Masters. The production gives a sense of past and present coming together through the magic of theater. In under two hours we're introduced to Deaf and hearing, diverse and inclusive characters whose lives reflect the spectrum of human experience.

November 13-14, 2020 - 7:30pm
November 14-15, 2020 - 2:00pm

Written by Deaf playwright, Raymond Luczak
Directed by Fred Beam
February 26-28, 2021
Virtual Event


THIS is an elegy to the one person who made a star our of a nobody. Curtis Higgs, a talented dancer cursed with low self-esteem, meets Dwight, a charismatic and funny hard-of-hearing dancer who is incredible onstage and yet exploitative of his friends offstage. It is through the hunger of wanting to be an unmistakable star like Dwight, that Curtis learns the true value of friendship and gains faith in himself. This exciting play was originally presented by Invisible Hands, Inc. at the Gallaudet University Ely Auditorium in 2003.

February 26-28, 2021

Directed by Andy Head
April 2021
Virtual Event

A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games! In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres and pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all. She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge.​


October 25 - 27, 2019
1510 Lab Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Director: Andy Head
Play by Lauren Gunderson
One afternoon, Anthony arrives unexpectedly at classmate Caroline's door bearing a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, an urgent assignment from their English teacher. Homebound due to illness, Caroline hasn't been to school in months, but she is as quick and sardonic as Anthony is athletic, sensitive, and popular. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, this seemingly mundane poetry project unlocks a much deeper mystery that has brought them together. I and You is an ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness.

Friday, October 25, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

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November 15 - 17, 2019
Robert F. Panara Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Directors: Patti Durr and Karen Christi
The show is a unique work showcasing slices of Deaf lives-both contemporary and historical. Created collaboratively by the cast members, audiences will be treated to various genres of ASL performance art—poetry, narrative personal experiences, creative storytelling, reenactment of historical events, as well as dramatic monologues and dialogues. Woven into the action on stage will be film clips and live painting. Bookending the play will be a contemporary encounter with a well-known historical Deaf figure who still has much to teach us.

Accessibility Information
November 8th - ASL and Voice Interpreted  (open to the public as part of the ARTiculating Deaf Experiences Conference)
November 15th - ASL only performance
November 16th at 2pm - ASL only performance
November 16th at 7:30pm - ASL and Voice Interpreted
November 17th - ASL and Voice Interpreted

For other accommodations please contact Patti Durr at

Friday, November 8, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

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February 28 - March 1, 2020
1510 Lab Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Director: Luane Davis-Haggerty
Written by Frederick Knott
Tony Wendice has married his wife, Margot, for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason. He arranges the perfect murder. He blackmails a scoundrel he used to know into strangling her for a fee of one thousand pounds, and arranges a brilliant alibi for himself. Unfortunately…the murderer gets murdered and the victim survives. But this doesn't baffle the husband: He sees his hireling's death as an opportunity to have his wife convicted for the murder of the man who tried to murder her, and that is what almost happens. Luckily, the police inspector from Scotland Yard and a young man who is in love with the wife discover the truth, and in a scene of almost unbearable suspense they trap the husband into revealing his guilt, thus freeing Margot.

Friday, February 28, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

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March 27 - 29, 2020
Booth Black Box, Booth Hall A428

Director: Matthew Nicosia
Written by Martin Sherman
In 1934 Berlin on the eve of the Nazi incursion, Max and his lover Rudy are recovering from a night of debauchery with an SA trooper. Two soldiers burst into their apartment, thus beginning a nightmare odyssey through Nazi Germany. Eventually taken to a death camp at Dachau, Max is branded with the "pink triangle" but clings to his hope for survival.

Friday, March 27, 2020 - time tba
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - time tba
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - time tba

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April 17 - 19, 2020
Robert F. Panara Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Director: Thomas Warfield
Conceived by Thomas Warfield
“Dance: The Rhythm of Motion and Light” is multi-arts, multi-experiential dance performance utilizing innovative collaborations with technology and live music. The performance utilizes Augmented Reality and the choreography is created from the technology itself. This will be a true spectacle of color, light, movement and music.

Friday, April 17, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

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April 2019
MAGIC Spell Studios, Sound Stage West

By David Munnell
Directed by Patricia Lewis Browne

A new sci-fi thriller inspired by Oedipus Rex.

Free admission. Limited seating.
*Not appropriate for children under 12.*

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November-December 2018
Panara Theatre, NTID

Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Director: Andy Head

Willkommen to the Kit Kat Klub! In this secret haven of a club, the music is loud, the dances are flashy, and the party rages on. The club's newest headliner, Sally Bowles, meets American writer Cliff Bradshaw and their lives become entwined. But as the power of the Nazi Party spreads, and Germany grows more unstable, how will the club and its patrons fare? "Cabaret" is the well-loved musical sensation that opened on Broadway in 1966 and won 8 Tony Awards that year. So leave your troubles outside, because life is beautiful at the cabaret. Not appropriate for children under 12.

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March 2018
University Gallery

By Aaron Posner
Director: Andy Head

An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother's generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood start for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be in this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov's "The Seagull", Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all.

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November 2017
CLA's Pop-Up Black Box Theatre Tent, Pocket Park by James E. Gleason Hall

By Katherine Royal
Director: David Munnell

Michelle and Jason, two undergraduates, must determine whether a sexual encounter they shared at a party can and should be considered a sexual assault. Uneasy and hungover the following day, Michelle puts it to the both of them to independently decide the nature of their experience over the course of the final week of school before she graduates. We follow Jason and Michelle throughout this process amidst flashbacks to the night in the question. Girls Can Tell seeks to shed light on the problematic nature of school policies regarding sexual assault and the dehumanization that can occur when submitting oneself to these systems.

This production contains adult themes of a sexual nature including simulated sexual activity. Not recommended for children under 17 years of age. Trigger Warning: The topic of this play concerns a non-consensual sexual encounter.

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April 2017
Panara Theatre, NTID

By Hillary DePiano
Director: Melanie Blood

The Love of Three Oranges is based on a commedia dell’arte scenario by Carlo Gozzi in the eighteenth century Italy. However, that history is misleading unless you know something about commedia; the actors improvised all lines based on a given plot and their stock characters, making up dialogue that incorporated local references and topical humor along with slapstick, verbal gags and audience interaction. Our adaptation takes Hillary DePiano’s script and localizes it to RIT today, including local and topical references and performing in a local coffee shop created on the Panara stage. We hope you enjoy the sheer silliness of our presentation, but also find the power of communal laughter to distract and heal.

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November 10-13, 2016
1510 Lab Theatre, NTID

Director: Andy Head

Seven plays inspired by seven Shakespearean sonnets

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Each semester, the RIT Theatre Arts Program offers a variety of theatrical events including guest artist workshops and informal play readings. We believe that students truly benefit from multiple artistic perspectives, so we invest in bringing working theatre professionals to campus for workshops that are both engaging and educational.

Take charge of the space in which you perform! Working with objects and boundaries, participants will gain a grounded understanding of movement principles and the laws that govern a live theatre space. Omen Sade is an actor and physical theatre creator based in New York City. He has studied classical theatre in London, commedia dell'arte in Italy and Holland, and completed graduate level physical theatre training at the celebrated École Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Friday, 2 /21
A120/ 130, SAU

Saturday, 2 /22
A120/ 130, SAU

In the Fall of 2020, Omen will be returning to RIT/NTID to direct a new, devised play called "SOMNIUM". After the Saturday workshop, the first round of auditions will be held for this production.

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop. This is a free workshop! Space is limited. Email to reserve your spot. Please note: this is a two-day workshop.

Improv Workshop
 with Megan Mack

Sponsored by the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

In this workshop, you will learn the fundamentals of improvisation, including "yes, and", teamwork, and making character and scenic choices in the moment. You will play theatre games and perform short scenes, while learning how to "get out of your head" and trust your instincts. Not only is improv fun, but it is a tool for life: it can make you a better listener, public speaker, and creative thinker. Megan Mack is an improviser, sketch comedy writer, and television and radio producer. She is a graduate of the Conservatory and Writing Programs at The Second City Training Centre in Toronto. She performs with two sketch comedy and improv troupes—Thank You Kiss and Canary in a Coal Mine.

Saturday, 2/8
11am - 1pm

Dance Lab (LBJ-1831) NTID

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop.
 This a FREE workshop!
 Space is limited.
Email to reserve your spot.

Hip Hop Dance Workshop
Sponsored by the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Sunday, 9/22
Panara Theatre, NTID

This a free workshop!

International performer and teacher James "Cricket" Colter

“Cricket” teaches at dance festivals worldwide including: the famous Bates Dance Festival in Maine, and the international SDK (Street Dance Kamp) in Europe; he has performed as a featured dancer in tv commercials, the successful Disney movie “Step Up 2 the Streets,” and music videos for recording artists such as Boyz II Men, KRS-1, Will Smith, Eve, Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, Chris Brown; and was host of MTV Japan’s “Dreamers” television show.

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop.

PUSH Physical Theatre Workshop
Sponsored by the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Wednesday, 10/2
Panara Theatre, NTID

This a free workshop!

Intense athleticism, gravity-defying acrobatics, and soulful artistry are the trademarks of award-winning, genre-defining PUSH Physical Theatre. Founded in Rochester, NY in 2000 by husband-and-wife team, Darren and Heather Stevenson, out of a desire to “push” the boundaries of conventional theatre, PUSH has since earned an international reputation as one of the U.S.’s leading physical theatre companies.

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop.

COLA Off-Stage Readings

For those who want to participate in a low-commitment theatre project, there is College of Liberal Arts OFF-Stage, an informal play reading series that provides RIT/NTID students, faculty, and staff opportunities to easily participate in or watch a one-night "performance" of popular pieces. The reading series is open to anyone and no prior experience is necessary. Contact Andy Head at for additional information.

Theatre Groups

RIT Players

RIT Players is a student-run theatre group. From the acting, directing, and choreography to the set construction, lighting, and sound, RIT students are the driving force behind our productions.

Learn more about RIT Players

Sunshine 2.0

Sunshine 2.0 is a professional traveling theatre troupe based at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The troupe provides performances and activities for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults that highlight the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), as well as educational topics pertaining to the Deaf experience.

Learn more about Sunshine 2.0