Through exceptional opportunities to audition, perform and network, the Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens College prepares graduates to succeed in the highly competitive world of theatre, television and film.

Our faculty are accomplished Broadway performers and creatives who continue to work on national stages and Broadway tours. Our professional summer stock theatre in Okoboji, Iowa, has for the past 65 years provided our students an immersive and demanding opportunity to perform and work alongside professional actors and directors.

Back on campus, mainstage productions are complemented by a full season of performances in our student-run black box theatre. This intensive, year-round program allows students to earn Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in three years and to launch successful careers in the performing arts.

The Conservatory is a co-ed program, accepting both men and women. Auditions are required for admission.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees

Complete your degree in three years, including two summers of intensive workshops and professional theatre productions.

Musical Theatre

Graduate with the performance experience, resilience and work ethic to meet the challenges of the musical theatre profession. The Musical Theatre program emphasizes individualized student process and technique, and prepares graduates for career success.


Rigorous and immersive, the Acting program prepares students for their next role, whether it’s a position with a major national theatre company, a ranked MFA program, a competitive fellowship or an apprenticeship.

Costume Design

Significant production opportunities challenge and inspire while helping students build a body of work and prepare for career success.

Technical Theatre + Stage Management

Ideal for students interested in lighting design, scenic design, stage management or directing, the Technical Theatre program includes a varied, rigorous production schedule and has resulted in an outstanding placement record for its graduates.

Dream up at Stephens. Let's get started.

Stephens College Conservatory Features

Conservatory Mission Statement


The Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens College cultivates these guiding principles within a safe, collaborative, and supportive environment.

Okoboji Summer Theatre

Our professional summer stock theatre company in beautiful Spirit Lake, Iowa, Okoboji Summer Theatre provides immersive internships to undergraduate theatre students who work and perform alongside outstanding professionals from national companies and Broadway stages.

Faculty + Guest Artists

The performing arts faculty includes Broadway actors, ballet masters, regional theatre managers and artistic directors, New York City audition accompanists, professional lighting and design artists, and a regular rotation of working artists from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major markets.

Alumni Accomplishments

Alumni include television and film actor Stephanie Beatriz; television, film and Broadway actor Annie Potts; stage manager Karyn Meek; voice actress Ginny McSwain, TV actress Judith Chapman, the late Dawn Wells of Gilligan's Island fame, and many more.

Macklanburg Playhouse + Warehouse Theatre Company

Explore the campus theatres where you’ll perform, design, and run the show. Performances are open to the public.

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Conservatory for the Performing Arts

Kristy Simpson,
Admissions Navigator

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