dream up. Stephens College


A legacy in performing arts 

Stephens College offers a variety of performances, concerts, film screenings and other events during the school year that allows our students to gain professional experience while entertaining Columbia audiences. 

We have a long history of excellence in performing arts dating back to the 1930s when Broadway legend Maude Adams—the first female to play Peter Pan—was recruited to head the drama department. In the 1940s, Hollywood choreographer and dancer Harriette Ann Gray joined the faculty to build onto the dance program, solidifying Stephens' reputation as one of the country's top performing arts schools.

In the 1950s, Stephens purchased property in Spirit Lake, Iowa, to build an off-campus stock theatre company, Okoboji Summer Theatre, where upperclass theatre majors could gain additional professional experience.

Stephens continues that rich legacy today, bringing in professional directors, actors, choreographers and dancers to work directly with our students.

Stephens—which is ranked #12 in the nation for theatre by The Princeton Review—offers B.F.A. programs in DanceDigital FilmmakingTheatre Arts, Theatre Management and Theatrical Costume Design. In addition, our Professional Training Conservatory, open to both men and women, allows students to earn a certificate in theatre in two years, two summers.