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Theatre & Dance

Careers & Graduate Information

Skills and abilities gained with this major

The skills that are experienced through this major are applicable to an endless array of career options. An undergraduate liberal arts education is essential to virtually all career options. An undergraduate college education is not just about developing specific detailed job skills but it is about becoming an educated person that allows you to bring a broader human perspective to whatever job you may eventually work in. However, a Theatre education will not only allow you to develop in that fashion but you will absolutely develop professional skills that are applicable in the widest variety of careers.

RESULTS - Although students select a specific emphasis with the Theatre major, in an effort to broaden the Theatre education, students will learn from all aspects of the program. The end result is a student who has a certain specialization in Theatre, but also has a diverse knowledge of the whole field. Furthermore, students also broaden their perspective and education in the field by learning about the history of Theatre.

SKILLS YOU NEED - Students gain excellent communication skills, both oral and written in the Theatre program. Communication skills are the most important and sought after skill that employers look for in candidates!

UNDERSTANDING - In an effort to enhance the experience of both the performers and the audience, students in the Performance emphasis gain an understanding of human behavior and psychology. To better understand the environmental, cultural, and societal perspectives in both design and performance emphases, the careful selection of general education courses with your theatre advisor is integral to the depth and breadth of your theatre education.

ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS - Theatre helps develop the confidence that's essential to speaking clearly, lucidly, and thoughtfully. Acting prepares you to speak effectively in public. Collaborative crew experiences offer opportunities in developing clear, precise, and well-organized oral communication skills. These skills are highly sought after by many employers.

CREATIVE THINKING & PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS - Creative thinking and advanced problem solving techniques are used as a foundation of Theatre training and practice in virtually every aspect of theatre.

QUALITY & CARRY THROUGH - Theatre is a field based on “Deadlines” and live performance before a paying public helps assure concern for quality control in all areas. All production tasks must be completed in a professional and timely manner. There is no option to delay completion as opening night never goes away.

MOTIVATION & COMMITMENT - Theatre productions and classes demand commitment and motivation. Theatre teaches students that success comes to those who are highly committed to the task at hand and who are willing to work together. These are highly sought after and transferable qualities useful in all careers.

COLLABORATION & TEAMWORK - Theatre by its very nature demands that a anyone working on a project is an integral member of the production team. The final product could never be successfully completed without every member working toward the same quality goal.

INDEPENDENT THINKERS - During the construction process in all aspects of production individuals must bring their individual skills to bear on an entire production and each individual aspect must be worked in as a cohesive part of the whole.

TIME-MANAGEMENT SKILLS - Theatre Students must balance full course loads like their peers in other programs and they must also participate fully outside of class time on a myriad of production responsibilities both back stage and on stage. Time management skills are enormously important to employers.

INITIATIVE - All careers demand a great deal of initiative of personnel. No Theatre production can be completed without this quality be ing shared and practiced by all team members.

PROMPTNESS & RESPECT FOR DEADLINES - Essentially in Theatre you are on time if you arrive five minutes early. Every aspect of theatre demands preparation and efficient use of time. It also demands a respect for the time and active involvement of all others on the project as well. It is understood by all that one arrives on time and one must honor deadlines

RECOGNITION & RESPECT FOR RULES & GUIDELINES - Due to the nature of theatre production and recognition of the seriousness of Theatre Safety it is imperative that all company members recognize ad follow all company and support space rules and guidelines to work together in a mutually supportive and safe environment.

ABILITY TO LISTEN & LEARN QUICKLY & APPLY SKILLS - Work in university theatre teaches and demands the ability to grasp complex matters in a short period of time, which is a highly-valued trait to all employers. The ability to listen effectively and carefully to specific and important instruction is an essential skill required for a successful production.

RESPECT FOR COLLEAGUES AND AUTHORITY - Team members and collaborators can only be successful if they share a mutual respect for each other. Additionally each area of theatre production has an ultimate leader or authority figure and respect for that chain of command is essential to a good working relationship.

ADAPTABILITY & FLEXIBILITY - To be successful Theatre students must be willing to try new ideas, accept new challenges, and have the ability to adapt to constantly changing situations and conditions. Not only in the study of multiple areas of specialty but due to the nature of live performance one must be ready for anything that might require an immediate reaction ad solution.

THE ABILITY TO WORK UNDER PRESSURE - The long hours and production deadlines create an environment that can be stressful and demanding and one of the most important outcomes of a theatre education is developing the ability to successfully cope with those pressures while developing a quality product.

A SENSE OF PERSONAL DISCIPLINE - Theatre demands additional time and responsibility that a great many students on college campuses are not forced to handle on a regular basis. Theatre students learn how to accept responsibility and to complete their tasks and that it does not come easy.

GOAL-ORIENTED APPROACH TO WORK - Many aspects of theatre involve setting and achieving specific goals. In employer's terms, you've learned to be task-oriented and capable of finding practical ways to achieve goals.

DEDICATION - Quite possibly the single most important aspect of working in the Theatre. Theatre students discover that committing oneself to a given task is deeply rewarding. Employers respect workers who have learned the value of dedication.

LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND A WILLINGNESS & ABILITY TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY - Theatre students often have opportunities seldom given to students in other disciplines--the chance to take on sole responsibility for a special project. Being a production a crew head...stage manager...a designer...a director. Students with other majors seldom experience anything even close to this level of responsibility. Cab you think of other academic programs that expect and give an opportunity for students to put professional skills to work for a large number of community and university audience members who have paid to see the results of their work. Leadership training like this can open the possibility for comparable opportunities in any company that hires you. Can you think of any other major that offers this opportunity?

SELF-CONFIDENCE - Theatre training allows you and teaches you to develop confidence in yourself. Your accomplishments in theatre show you that you can handle a variety of jobs, pressures, difficulties and responsibilities. You will develop a "Yes, I can!" attitude. Any employer in any field will treasure that personality trait.

ENJOYMENT - THIS IS FUN! - Most of us who have developed our professional careers working in Theatre have at one time or another determined that if we are going to work incredibly hard at our profession it is going to have to bring us many personal rewards. Not the least of which is the sheer enjoyment of the theatrical process - The joy of watching an audience react to the work you have completed - the joy of working in a collaborative artistic environment with other professionals also focused ion the success of the whole. Most importantly the work that we complete together in Theatre at its core is founded on the concept of making this world a better place. We are bringing joy and meaning to people's lives and prompting them to think about the human condition.

CAREER - Theatre Majors also are prepared for a professional career in theatre. Theatre students learn to use their voices and bodies and minds and hearts to bring stories to life on stage. Students will not typically follow such a demanding four-year course of theatre study because it will make them good candidates for employment in other fields. But it will allow all students to develop those kind of highly regarded professional and relatable job skills. Far more than any other major, theatre is excellent training for virtually any job.