Performing Arts Initiative: Theatre and Dance

Otterbein’s Department of Theatre and Dance is one of only seven private universities in America offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. There are over 1,000 schools offering bachelor’s degrees in Theatre, and only 172 are accredited by NAST. The reputation of the department’s impressive design and technology offerings also continues to grow. With over 16,000 theatre patrons attending productions annually, Otterbein creates a rich educational environment for students while also nurturing the cultural and creative environment of our campus and extended community. 

Innovative creative space is vital to the program. The Fritsche Theatre stage is home to some of our students’ most transformative learning. The STAND Campaign supports improvements to the existing infrastructure and will ensure a firm foundation for the education of these exceptionally talented students. 

Otterbein’s Theatre and Dance faculty encounter some of the world’s brightest and most skilled young artists on the recruiting trail. Designated scholarships will ensure talented students have access to the excellence and opportunity afforded by an Otterbein education while enriching a commitment to a culture that recognizes, respects, embraces, and values differences in the broadest sense.

Otterbein is great because it gave me invaluable tools for work and life. My time at Otterbein allowed me to explore and engage in many different aspects of theatre. The wealth of opportunities, knowledge and the caring guidance provided by the outstanding faculty allowed me to discover my potential. I will be forever grateful for my time at Otterbein because it opened worlds to me that I never even dreamed I wanted to know.

Randy Adams, BA ’76
Tony-award winning Producer and founding partner of Junkyard Dog Productions,a theatrical producing company dedicated to the development and production of new musical theatre.

It is because of my experiences at Otterbein, the professors, the opportunities I was given, that I am here today. Join me in helping Otterbein and other students achieve what they want to do.

Cory Michael Smith, BFA ’09
currently playing the Riddler on the Fox hit show, “Gotham”. Cory has also appeared in HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge”; “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on Broadway; and the Oscar-nominated film, “Carol,” featuring Cate Blanchett.

STAND with Otterbein's Performing Arts Initiative

Supporting these critical priorities will make an immediate impact for the Theatre and Dance Department.

New Works

Introducing new works creates a rich educational environment for students while also promoting a meaningful creative conversation for central Ohio audiences. 

Options for supporting this endeavor include:

Production Support $25,000
Guest Artists $25,000
Residencies $25,000
Chair's Discretionary Fund Starting at $500

Technical Support

Providing innovative space is critical. Upgrades and repairs provide students and staff with a safe environment and ensure the caliber of Otterbein’s productions are maintained:

Rigging $350,000
Stage Floor $50,000
Stage Management Wireless Communication System $20,000
Radio System (front of house) $3,275
Costume Support Starting at $500


Ensuring that the most promising student talent in the country and select parts of the world have the opportunity to benefit from the transformative power of an Otterbein education, endowed scholarships can be established for a minimum gift of $25,000 in the following areas:

Endowed Talent Scholarships
BA and Design Tech Scholarships
Diversity Scholarships
Scholarships that offer access to International Students
Scholarships with preference for Male Students

My gift is about helping maintain and further the quality of our theatre program, which is already one of the best in the country.

Nevalyn Fritsche Nevil, ’71
Performing Arts Campaign Committee Chair

To learn more about the Performing Arts Initiative as part of Where We STAND Matters: The Campaign for Otterbein's Future please contact Candace Brady via email at

Giving to Otterbein

Gifts of all sizes bolster the collective strength of the STAND initiative.  Through your contribution, you join other donors in making a significant, immediate and lasting difference in the Otterbein community.


Otterbein volunteers have always played a critical role for the University. Your role as a campaign volunteer is to cultivate and develop and shape the Institution's future by helping to raise Otterbein's profile, advocating for support, and securing resources for specific initiatives. 


The Office of Development is located in Hancock House at 111 West Park Street.

Office Hours
M-F: 8:30am - 5:00pm

Contact Development
Candace Brady, Executive Director of Development for Individual Giving
p/ 614.823.1953

Kathleen Bonte, Executive Director of Development for Organizational and Special Giving
p/ 614.823.2707