Actors in the theatre production of Puffs


Welcome to the Barton Theatre Department! 

Barton Student Theatre ProductionYou are in for exciting times on the Barton stage, both in front of the lights and behind the scenes. Barton Theatre is committed to the development of new and re-imagined theatrical works. Advance in a broad and rich knowledge of the theatre by studying acting, directing, dramatic literature, history, technology and design. 

About the Barton Program

Barton Theatre specializes in working with students of diverse backgrounds and helps them hone their talents. Students at Barton can receive the cross training (Theatre, Technical Theatre, Vocal Coaching, Dance Instruction, and even Instrumental Work) needed to build a successful career in the Performing Arts!

Barton Theatre produces at least two Main Stage productions each year and two (or more) productions within the community. Students from ALL degree programs a chance to practice their craft and get real world experience at the Freshman and Sophomore level learning from seasoned professionals!

There are generous scholarship and work study opportunities in Barton Theatre. The student theatre troupe, Barton Bards, is open to all students regardless of major. In addition, students have the opportunity for stage management and directing experience.

Barton has two associate degrees and a certificate program within Theatre. Completion of either Associate of Arts degree will allow a student to transfer with all of their general education coursework completed along with freshman/sophomore level classes for theatre preparation. The Technical Theatre certificate program is designed to prepare the student to enter the technical theatre professions after one year at Barton. The coursework is designed to teach and prepare the student to pass the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) eSet exams. With the USITT certifications, a person can get a job working in theatre technology. You can view the degree maps below.

Degree Maps
Degree Maps

Associate in Art

Associate in Art
Technical Theatre 

View the full list of Curriculum Guides (applicable for students admitted prior to Fall 2024) and Degree Maps (applicable for students admitted Fall 2024 and after).

Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty

Dan WilliamsMeet the Faculty

Dan Williams
Director of Theatre Activities

Dan Williams B.F.A. Tarkio College M.F.A. Southern Illinois University has had a 33-year career teaching Theatre at Southern Illinois University, Wichita State University, Southwestern College, Pittsburg State University, Missouri Southern University, Oral Roberts University, Stagecraft Institute Las Vegas, and Newman University. His work has been seen on stage at Music Theatre Wichita, The Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, Wichita Center for the Arts, Stage One, The Forum Theatre, The William Inge Center, Heartland Opera Theatre, Theatre Tulsa, The Shanghai Performing Arts Center, and Southwest Michigan Opera Theatre. He has received 6 Meritorious Achievement Awards from the American College Theatre Festival, 2 Jester Awards from Music Theatre Wichita, and a Mary Jane Teall Theatre Award. Dan and his Designer /Technical Director wife Denise Williams have 6 children who all enjoy theatre.


Denise Williams 
Instructor, Communications/Theatre

Denise Williams (B.A. Southwestern College, M.A. Pittsburg State University) has been working professionally in theatre for 31 years.  She has worked with several educational institutions including Pittsburg High School, Jenks Public Schools, Viterbo University, Southwest Michigan College, Garden City Community College, and Independence Community College.  In addition, she has been involved with the William Inge Festival in Independence, Kansas honoring playwrights.  Denise has played various roles throughout her career.  Favorites include: Sarah from “Guys and Dolls”, Marty in “Grease”, Interplanet Janet and Albert Andreas Armadillo in “Schoolhouse Rock Live”, and Nora in “A Doll’s House”.  In addition to her performance work, she is an accomplished lighting designer, having worked at venues across the Midwest. 

Benefits and Careers
Benefits and Careers

Theatre is beneficial for everyone. While not everyone who studies theatre desires to dedicate their lives to art, the skills acquired while studying theatre can be advantageous to many areas of your personal and professional life.

  • Oral Communication Skills - Acting onstage teaches you how to be comfortable speaking in front of large audiences. Working as part of a technical crew enhances your ability to communicate your ideas effectively to the team.
  • Creative Problem-Solving Abilities - Acting, directing, and technical theatre work are excellent ways to learn how to think on your feet, identify problems, evaluate a range of possible solutions, and problem solve using the tools available.
  • Time-Management Skills - Theatre teaches you to use your time effectively. Juggling classes, rehearsal time and independent work forces the theatre student to organize her/his time in order to maximize productivity.

People who become actors, producers, and directors follow many paths to employment. The most important qualities employers look for are creative instincts and the intellectual capacity to perform. The best way to prepare for a career as an actor, especially in the theatre, is through formal dramatic training. Some options for practice in the field are as follows:

  • Actor
  • Announcer
  • Broadcasting (television and/or radio)
  • Camera Operator
  • Hair/Make-up
  • Instructor of Performing Arts
  • Lighting Technician
  • Costume Technician
  • Audio/Visual Technician or Grip
  • Producing
  • Touring Technician
  • Carpentry/Painting
  • Set Construction
  • Directing
  • Stage Management
  • Technical Direction
  • Wardrobe/Dresser