The Theatre concentration in the Performing Arts program is focused on creating theatre artists—actors, designers, directors, stage managers, and technicians—who are prepared to enter the professional world of theatre or to pursue advanced study in theatre. The Theatre concentration is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), a distinction currently held by fewer than 200 Theatre training programs across the nation. With the program meeting the rigorous standards of NAST, you can be assured of receiving a high-quality foundation for a successful post-graduate career in the arts while still enjoying a personalized training experience.
Immersion Right from the Start
From the very first semester of your time in the Theatre concentration, you will be immersed in the world of the stage. Unlike other academic programs where you may have to wait a year or two to begin the real core of your major training, in Theatre, you get started right away.
Each semester, you will take hands-on courses in a variety of areas, including performance, technology, and design. Through this structure, you will be given an opportunity to explore the full range of creative possibilities in Theatre before choosing advanced courses in your area of specialization, whether that’s performing, designing or directing. These studio courses will be paired with courses in script analysis and Theatre History to ensure that you have the intellectual tools you need to create insightful and thought-provoking work.
Learn by Doing
In addition to the coursework in the Theatre concentration, you will be required to audition for all of the main Theatre productions, plus work in design and technology positions. This gives you the chance to put the training from the studio into practice through work on a wide range of pieces, from classic works of the theatre like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Electra and The Cherry Orchard, to contemporary award-winners like Metamorphoses, Art, and Clybourne Park.
So, whether you are on stage or off, you will have the opportunity to experience the joys of bringing a theatrical piece from page to stage each semester, while earning valuable practical experience. In a single semester, you might find yourself acting in a show, building sets and costumes, and operating the light and sound controls for a performance. Just as with coursework, there’s no waiting period for you to start this kind of active learning—it’s not unusual for first year students to be cast in a performance role or to take on key production responsibilities. And that means more practical experience to build a well-rounded resume even before you graduate.
Not Your Average Student
Theatre students must have passion, discipline and dedication to the work, because they will spend many hours each week in the performance studio and design workshops. While pursuing a degree in Theatre is fun and exciting, it’s not easy. After classes end for the day, rehearsals and production duties begin, so time management and focus are key to your success. And because theatre production is a team effort, your contribution is vital to the success of the whole production, so dependability is also an important trait.
The small size of our program means that you will be able to develop close working relationships with your peers and the Theatre faculty right from the start. This close connection will give you the opportunity to discuss your personal goals with faculty, choose elective courses that will best help you achieve those goals, and find new and interesting outlets for your creativity.