Performing Arts

Department Chair: Justina Mattos, Ph.D.

Websites: and

Professor Emeritus:

Associate Professor:


Lecturers and Staff:

The Performing Arts department is centered on applied learning, supported by and integrated with theory across the disciplines of dance, drama, and music. The remarkable national and local success of our students resides in their ability to compete and thrive in their professional and personal lives. Performing Arts is, for many of our students, a calling, as it is for the artists who make up our faculty, all of whom are active and high achieving practitioners in their art form. The BA in Performing Arts begins with a unified core that provides foundations in performance and a selection of courses exploring the performing arts unique to Hawai’i and the Pacific. Following this, students select an area of concentration with electives, and then complete their major with a creative capstone project. The Performing Arts major has 29 credits in the core and capstone. Students then complete 15 credit hours in their chosen area of concentration, for a total of 44 credit hours for the major.

The PARTS B.A. degree requires completion of UH Hilo General Electives plus the Performing Arts Major (44 credits), for a total of 120 credit hours.


Ma ka hana, ka ʻike. By doing, one learns.
The Performing Arts Department is guided by a three-fold mission:

  1. To serve the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo with general education and service courses.
  2. To provide an academic major in the Performing Arts, with four individual specialty concentrations in dance, drama performance, music, and technical theatre.
  3. To contribute to the cultural life of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Island through artistic performances and offerings in music, drama, and dance, through public lectures, and through related professional activities.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation with a credential from this Department, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate key skills in their major field of study (i.e. dance, music, drama)
  2. Demonstrate an ability to work in group settings
  3. Successfully lead a performance in their chosen area of expertise
  4. Critically analyze “text” and make creative judgments on the performance of that “text”—whether it be dance, a musical score, or a play
  5. Incorporate a multicultural perspective into their work