performing arts

Compose and produce original music and dance works. Explore the work of established playwrights, composers, and choreographers. Perform in music, theater, and dance productions. Design sets, costumes, lighting, and sound for shows you present to audiences on campus and off.


Theater Intensive production of Machinal by Sophie Tredwell.

Studying the performing arts at Evergreen enables you to combine your passion for your discipline with the discovery and articulation of your desires. You'll learn about the larger social world the arts inhabit and reach out to explore and create the possible but not yet existing realities that the arts can reveal.

Bodies and Music in Motion

The students of Bodies and Music in Motion host an end-of-quarter performance in the Communications Building dance studio. The performance included music, singing, dance, and poetry.

Our performing arts students have done wonderful work in experimental and traditional spheres. They’ve directed plays by Shakespeare, Brecht, and others. They've written and performed in avante-garde operas with self-built and designed musical instruments. And they've and created and danced in productions for the campus and larger community. At Evergreen, students learn about the technologies of theater and musical sound synthesis and they participate in music, theater, and dance performances under faculty direction. In our multidisciplinary classes, you’ll have the opportunity to work in groups that combine all the facets of performing arts to produce rewarding work.

Join us in an education that doesn’t just change your life — it gives you the tools to change the world.

Bodies and Music in Motion

The performing arts curriculum is supported by a wide range of specialized facilities for students to explore a variety of expressive styles.

At Evergreen, students learn about the technologies of theater and musical sound synthesis and they participate in music, theater, and dance performances under faculty direction.

Sample Program

Making a Living and a Life

Offered at Fall 2017–Spring 2018

This program is for students who want to make a sustainable living through a creative practice, products, or services. This includes students in the arts, entertainment, communications, business, social change, food production, and other fields. Our aim is to help you become a social entrepreneur equipped for a career in either for-profit or nonprofit organizations.

We will look closely at the history and theory of work, particularly in the areas of organizational management and change. Workplaces are changing, becoming more diverse, varied, and globalized. Keeping this in mind, we will also look closely at the internal infrastructure of organizations and learn about planning and development, writing business plans, doing organizational and marketing research, analyzing data using statistics, and creating budgets using spreadsheet programs. Small-group projects will bring students together to create commentaries on our texts and themes via visual arts, creative writing, and performance. In-program salons will offer opportunities for artists to share their work-in-progress and for artisans, crafters, food producers, and social entrepreneurs to share their prototypes.

View this program in the catalog.

Beggar’s Opera

Eric Jacobs at a fitting for The Beggar’s Opera in the Costume Shop. Jacobs plays Macheath in a production staged by the program Musical Theater in Cultural Context.

You’ll learn about the larger social world the arts inhabit and reach out to explore and create the possible but not yet existing realities that the arts can reveal.

After Graduation

Our graduates have gone on to graduate studies in drama, music composition, ethnomusicology, and more. They’ve found work with dance companies and theater groups in New York and beyond. Many have gone on to professional work in their chosen fields. Our interdisciplinary outlook allows students to follow their passions while broadening their horizons.

The Vagina Monologues

Backstage at the 2013 performance of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler at the Evergreen State College. The show, now it's 11th year at the college, is presented by the Evergreen Womyn’s Resource Center.

Facilities & Resources

Labs for Film, Animation, Music Technology, & Design

Created for use by students of the performing and media arts, the Design Lab boasts 50 workstations and a variety of equipment including light tables, drafting tables, tables with cutting mats, and animation stations suitable for 2-D and 3-D creation. This space is also equipped with full audio and video playback equipment and art critique or presentation area.

Performance Spaces

The Experimental Theater is a fully equipped black box theater with flexible seating and staging. The theater can seat up to 200. There is a counterweight system to accommodate flown scenery, lighting and soft goods. It is equipped with new dimmers and lighting console, as well as full sound and video support.

The Recital Hall is a space acoustically designed for music recitals. It is also used for drama, dance, film and lecture presentations. It seats 200, has a state of the art lighting system, and 7.1 surround sound. The room has a large projection screen, playback system, and audio recording facility.

The newly remodeled Dance Studio has a world-class sprung wood floor and ample wall-mounted mirrors that can easily accommodate up to 75 dancers. It has a fixed lighting grid and features a full audio and video playback system. The space can be configured for performance, and can hold an audience of up to 50 people.

The newly added and exceptionally flexible Performance Studio was designed as a mini black box style space with fixed lighting grid and wall-mounted mirrors. It is ideal for small student-run productions and can seat up to 60 audience members.

Production Spaces

The Performance and Production Studio is a multi-use space, seating up to 150 students. It features exceptional acoustics and has an adjacent audio control room, a moderate stage space, and three shallow stepped risers accommodating lectures, rehearsals, audio recording and performance.

Located next to our cutting-edge Multitrack Studio the Music Performance and Rehearsal space allows for advanced audio recording and post-production. Variable sound dampening makes this room ideal for a variety of musical styles in addition to other types of presentations to a live audience of up to 50. This room features full audio and video playback.

The Scene Shop is equipped with wood, metal and paint departments and staffed by students whose work supports academic productions through a variety of disciplines, including stage management, design, carpentry, lighting, painting and costuming. The costume shop is equipped with several standard and industrial sewing machines, sergers, and a dye and laundry facility. The shop also houses the college’s stock of set pieces, props and costumes for student check out.

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.