University Theatre


Under the auspices of the Theatre & Comedy faculty of the Communication Department, University Theatre at William Paterson University presents a varied and ongoing selection of plays, musicals, and live comedy. The program offers students from all disciplines the opportunity to participate in and observe the joys of theatre and comedy, and to integrate these art forms into their academic and life experience.

"Antigone", Fall 2010     
      2007 Comedy Festival
Comedy Festival Contestants, Spring 2011

Since 2005 the program has presented Pulitzer Prize-winning plays and other works from some of the most prolific playwrights and musical theatre teams of the past and present. The list includes Proof, Metamorphoses, Art, The Shape of Things, Rabbit Hole, The Baltimore Waltz, The Clean House, Almost Maine, Defying Gravity, What I Did Last Summer, Talking With, Roosters, Quilters, The Rimers of Eldritch, A…My Name is Alice, And the World Goes ‘Round, Antigone, A Thurber Carnival, Topdog-Underdog, Joined at the Head, Reckless, Speaking in Tongues, Tartuffe, and The Dining Room.

For the past few years, our March production has contributed to the College of Arts and Communication Cross-Cultural Arts Festival, which celebrates diverse cultures in a variety of events throughout campus. Some of those plays have included Crumbs from the Table of Joy by Lynn Nottage, Living Out by Lisa Loomer, and this past spring, A Thousand Cranes by Kathryn Schultz Miller, in tribute to northeast Asia. 

WPU Theatre Production of the play "Clean House"                           "Poof", Spring 2010                        

WPU Theatre Production of the play "Gravity"
"Crumbs from the Table of Joy", Spring 2011

Each semester our Comedy area presents an evening of Sketch Comedy, featuring skits and videos developed in a true Saturday Night Live process. In our Comedy Improvisation show, students compete in teams as they vie to attain the highest score from judges for their audience-suggested improvisational comedy. Our Collegiate Stand-Up Comedy Competition began in 2006. Open to all university students, comics from NJ, NY, CT, and PA have participated in the stand-up competition. The Funniest Female and Male Students have received awards and starring spots at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC. 

"A Thurber Carnival", Spring 2011  

"Trifles", Spring 2010

In the fall 2013, University Theatre will present The Heidi Chronicles by late playwright Wendy Wasserstein, a witty and sensitive play about women’s changing status in the second half of the twentieth century, and a revival of the farce Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti, Beverly Cross and Francis Evans. We will end our semester with our popular student one-act play readings, acting scenes, and comedy shows. So join us in the learning and laughter!

The University Theatre program is built on a foundation of inclusiveness and seeks to serve and involve the entire William Paterson campus and neighboring communities. We encourage all contributions from those with any related skills who wish to join our dynamic theatre & comedy program, and experience the thrill and satisfaction of live performance at its best.

For further information, contact Professor Elizabeth Stroppel at