About the Conservatory

The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University is a professional training program with a threefold mission:

  1. Advanced Technique / Academic Training,
  2. Professional Quality Productions, and
  3. Career Preparation

Our goal is to provide students with training, experiences, knowledge, and connections to launch a rewarding career in the performing arts, and our outstanding alums are testament to the success of our program.

Southeast Missouri State University is ranked as "Best in the Midwest" by US News & World Report as one the top liberal arts educations at an affordable price, and The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance is one of the preeminent programs in the Earl and Margie Holland College of Arts and Media and its world-class River Campus facilities, Missouri's only separate campus solely devoted to the arts.

Southeast Missouri State University is a proud member of the esteemed National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), and The Conservatory offers the following degree programs:


  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Dance


  • BFA in Acting
  • BFA in Design/Technology
  • BFA in Musical Theatre
  • BA in Theatre


  • Dance
  • Fine Arts Entrepreneurship
  • Theatre: Acting
  • Theatre: General
  • Theatre: Technical

The Conservatory has 18 full-time professional faculty & staff and approximately 200 majors. Each year, the Conservatory produces 6 major, faculty-directed/choreographed productions, 4 second stage productions, numerous cabarets and showcases, student-directed one-acts and staged readings, and student choreographed dance concerts. The Conservatory also co-produces the annual Fault Line Film Festival. Emphasizing career preparation through teaching Arts Entrepreneurship and the Business of the Arts as part of most technique classes, the Conservatory provides an abundance of additional experiential learning opportunities through:

  • River Campus Summer Arts Festival, the Holland School’s professional summer stock company
  • OutsideProfessional Employment
  • Competitive Internships
  • Visiting Guest Artist Master Classes
  • Professional Residencies
  • Conventions and Festivals
  • Annual New York City and Los Angeles Showcases for select graduating seniors

Please browse our website, and we encourage perspective students and their families to schedule an appointment with our faculty, staff, and students, to participate in classes for a day, and to see a production. We are always delighted to talk about the Conservatory and to discuss our generous scholarship opportunities.

If you have any questions about Southeast Missouri State University, the Holland School, or The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance, please contact me at 573-651-2149 or kstilson@semo.edu.

In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to click on the Prospective Student link and register for Auditions/Interviews for the admission into one of the BFA programs and Scholarships for both the BFA and BA programs.


My very best,

Ken Stilson Signature

Dr. Kenneth Stilson, Chair

The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri


Tamara Howell
River Campus Seminary 454
Conservatory of Theatre and Dance
One University Plaza, MS 7850
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701