Theatre Arts

Independence Community College offers our Theatre Arts students a unique educational experience, which affords them direct contact with more professional guest artists than any other College or University in Kansas. Our students join an ensemble in which they learn, work, and grow together through a specialized system of training, as they earn a transferable Associate of Arts Degree in Theatre. 

The Theatre Department, located in the Fine Arts Building, is home to the renowned and publicly acclaimed William Inge Theatre Festival, which is the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas. Named for William Inge, the Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning writer and alumnus of ICC, this annual festival honors the craft of playwriting and theatre and offers students the opportunity to work with professionals in the fields of acting, directing, playwriting, and technical theatre. 

The Associate of Arts Degree in Theatre is a two-year curriculum designed to transfer to theatre programs in four-year colleges and universities. A degree in Theatre Arts opens a world of opportunity for careers that include: Actor, Director, Playwright, Producer, Casting Director, Talent Agent, Literary Manager, Stage Manager, Technical Director, Company Manager, Project Manager, or an Artistic Director just to name a few.

2 actors on set of ART


If you would like more information about the Theatre Arts Program at Independence Community College, please contact:

ICC Theatre Department

ICC offers a variety of scholarships. All scholarships are awarded by the Department/Activity in which the student participates.

Director of Theatre Performance
& Associate Professor of Theatre

PAUL MOLNAR grew up in Michigan but spent the last 20 years in NYC working as an actor, director, movement consultant, fight choreographer and producer.  Paul was a founding member and Producing Artistic Director of South Brooklyn Shakespeare, a Not-For-Profit company devoted to bringing FREE Shakespeare and other Classic Works of Literature to the residents of South Brooklyn for 6 seasons.  Directing credits include: Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet (SBS), Macbeth -a witch's tale, Hiker/Driver, The Gospel of Cyrus according to Cyrus (Asolo Late Night Series).  As an actor: New York credits include the Off-Broadway premier of Hot Mess, multiple shows with KEEN Company, Epiphany, Adobe, Tangent and Fifth Street Theatre.  Regional credits: Premier Stages, Asolo Rep, Vermont Stage, Lost Nation, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, New American Theatre and 12 Miles West Theatre.  TV/ Film credits include: Law & Order, Law & Order SVU and Person of Interest. As a Fight Director: Off-Broadway credits include Party Face (Directed by Amanda Bearse & Staring Hayley Mills), Roulette, Tape, Ghoul, work with DiCapo Opera, EST, 47th Street Theatre.  Other New York credits include Fordham University, Queens College, MITF, and Keen Company where he was the Resident Company Fight Director.  Regional credits: Buck's County Playhouse, Premiere Stages, Two River Theatre, Shakespeare on the Sound, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Second City (Detroit) & Asolo Rep.  Paul got his BFA from The University of Michigan and holds an MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. 

Associate Professor of Theatre
Director of Theatre Performance

Paul Molnar
(620) 332-5419

Director of Technical Theatre Production
& Associate Professor of Theatre
Joel Williams
(620) 332-5461

Director of Technical Theatre Production
& Associate Professor of Theatre

JOEL WILLIAMS, a native of Kansas, has spent the last 7 years in Atlanta, GA as the Technical Director, and Instructor of Technical Theatre at Woodward Academy. Prior to that, Joel served as the Technical Director, Instructor, and Theatrical Designer at Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS. Joel’s specialties are in scenic design and construction, and Sound design and mixing. He has worked professionally as a Technical Director, Scenic, Sound, Projection, or Lighting Designer with Aris’ theatre in Atlanta, Central Missouri Repertory in Warrensburg, Imago Dei in Kansas City, and The Helen Hocker theatre in Topeka.  Among his favorite productions are Desdemona; a play about a handkerchief, Les Misérables, Radium Girls, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Playing for Time, Into The Woods, and Chicago. Joel holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Ottawa University, and a Master of Theatre Studies from Southern Oregon University.  

Associate of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts 

The Associate of Arts degree program in Theatre, offers students the core training for Acting, Voice, Movement, as well as an introduction to Technical Theatre, Directing and Playwriting. Students take core theatre requirements and general education courses. This degree will transfer to four-year colleges for students interested in studying theatre and moving on to receive their BA or BFA. 

Graduates are able to: 
  • understand the role of a theatre artist 
  • apply fundamentals and conceptual skills in the creation of character, performance, and design 
  • identify major playwrights and theatre movements in an historic, cultural and social perspective 
  • demonstrate basic technical and artistic development through a collection classroom, studio, and public performances that will challenge and stretch each student 
  • transfer into Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts programs 
Theatre Program Outcomes
Students who graduate from the theatre program at ICC will be able to:
1.      Demonstrate a systematic approach to creating a theatrical production.
2.      Engage productively in the collaborative process.
3.      Build intellectual and aesthetic understanding of the craft and technique of theatre arts.
4.      Explore the diversity of theatre and its intersection with community, culture and society.

Theatre Arts: Suggested Four-Semester Plan

William Inge Center for the Arts

Dee Molnar

Director of the William Inge Center for the Arts
Dee Byrd-Molnar

William Inge Center for the Arts

DEE BYRD-MOLNAR is the William Inge Center for the Arts program director. Though a native of the Midwest, Dee Byrd-Molnar lived and worked as a theatre artist in New York for 23 years. She has dedicated her work as a theatre producer, director, and performer in the development of new, classical, and contemporary plays over the past thirty years to making theatre and art available to everyone. Dee was the Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of South Brooklyn Shakespeare, a 501(c)(3) company. The company brought free Shakespeare to the streets and parks of Brooklyn for 6 seasons. They spearheaded an outreach program of Shakespeare in Schools- The program was developed for the purpose of taking Shakespeare into neighborhood schools in Brooklyn. The pilot program was at Sunset Park Prep, where they worked with 180 students for three months on text, movement, design, acting, and voice. The culmination was 3 fully designed and realized productions of Macbeth performed by the students for the school, teachers, and parents. Dee has been a successful business owner in New York, a manager at a multi-million dollar company and a Montessori Teacher. Dee joined the William Inge Center in 2020 as a coordinator for the William Inge Theatre Festival. From 2020-22, Dee was a coordinator and liaison to the Playwrights in Residence in Independence, Kansas. In 2022, she was the events manager for the William Inge Theatre Festival. Dee’s education and training includes a BA from the University of Houston where she worked as a performer in new play development with Mr. Edward Albee; A certified Montessori Teacher where she trained in the love of learning and the support of the creator. Dee is an advocate for the artist, a producer, and an artist.

If you would like more information about the William Inge Center for the Arts at Independence Community College, please visit or contact: Inge Center Director, Dee Byrd-Molnar at

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