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Theatre Careers

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What can I do with this degree?
(Adapted from "A Philosophy for Concordia Theatre Folk" by Jim Cermak, Concordia College-Moorhead, MN)

FSU's Theatre program, grounded in an approach that seeks to provide students with a variety of experiences in and around the theatre - both in the classroom and in production settings - equips students to be better members of the workforce, more marketable, more inclined to leadership, and better citizens.

Does study in Theatre involve only those skills needed for a job in the theatre or in a theatre building?

NO.

Theatre at FSU is a program that seeks to develop life skills for majors and non-majors alike. FSU Theatre approaches work in the classroom and in our co-curricular activities as challenges that can be valuable in every vocation or avocation a person chooses: teaching, music, educational administration, preaching, management, leadership, service, law, business, church administration, marketing, mass media, public speaking, politics, as well as more traditional roles in the fine and performing arts.

How can study in Theatre Arts help you in YOUR vocation (even if you don’t know what your vocation will be)?

Often considered to be a “first” cooperative learning, service learning, or community-building project, theatre productions teach many ideas and skills and provide many opportunities for students to be life-long learners. How?

Students learn to manage creatively limited and valuable resources of time, money, people, building space, equipment, supplies, ideas, and texts. For example, majors and minors in Business, Religion, Communications, Education, Wellness, etc. have found theatre courses to be valuable learning opportunities for preparation in THEIR respective fields.

Students develop writing skills through script analysis, playwriting, dramaturgy, reviews, resumes, and journaling.

Students engage in practical application of time management, budgeting, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, design, learning and leadership styles in theatre classes like Scene Technology, Costuming, Design, Directing, Production Seminar, etc.

Students undertake “creative problem solving” within the context of theatre production.

Students experience hands-on work with tools and materials such as wood, plastic, paper, metal, foam, hot melt glue, sewing machines, PVC and metal pipe, table saw, radial arm saw, chop saw, miter box, band saw, power drills, electric tools, hammers, wrenches, electrical lighting and sound, paint, etc.

Students explore human nature, human experience, and truth in each production. They engage in exploration of intercultural understanding, personal tragedy, love, laughter, hope, sharing, fear, social acceptance, etc.

FSU graduates involved in the theatre (majors and non-majors alike) move on to great work across many disciplines.

Careers

With drive, focus, initiative, and ability, a degree in Theatre prepares you for a number of career choices and possibilities.  Practical skills in the areas of performance, communication, education, management, design, and production prepare you for careers in:

  • Professional Theatre
  • Arts Administration
  • Non-profit Management
  • Design
  • Education
  • General Business
  • Communication
  • Media
  • Psychology and Counseling
  • Law
  • Therapy
  • Music
  • Community & Organizational Leadership

Not everyone wants to go on stage - and that's okay. Theatre is an excellent major for developing job-related skills, and employers seeks skills you develop in theatre classes and productions.

20 Special Advantages the Theatre Major Has (and may not even know!)

Here is a list of twenty skills, traits, and qualities of personality that are well-developed in individuals who complete four years of undergraduate theatre study.  Consider how many of these are unique to theatre majors -- and that you have far more advantages than majors in most other disciplines.

  • Oral communication skills
  • Creative problem solving abilities
  • More than a "get it done" mentality
  • Motivation and commitment
  • Initiative
  • Willingness to work cooperatively but independently
  • Time-budgeting skills and respect for deadlines
  • Ability to learn quickly - AND correctly
  • Respect for colleagues and authority
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • A healthy self-image
  • Acceptance of disappointment - and a built-in ability to bounce back
  • Self-discipline
  • A goal-oriented approach to work
  • Concentration and focus
  • Dedication
  • Leadership skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Creative engagement with the world
What about a JOB?

Contrary to the popular misconception, theatre is a highly valued degree that provides skills for a wide-variety of employment, both in the field and in other fields.

Theatre Job Areas
  • Direction
  • Design
  • Technical Theatre & Production
  • Management
  • Acting
  • Education & Instruction
  • Theatre History
  • Theatre/Film Criticism
  • Writing
Related Job Areas
  • Talent Representation (i.e., agents)
  • Labor Relations
  • Producing
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Radio/TV
  • Voice Work
  • Training & Development
  • Public Affairs
  • Box Office
  • Public Relations
Sample Careers in Theatre
  • Actor
  • Stand-in (film work)
  • Theme Park Entertainment
  • Comedian/Impersonator
  • Stunt Coordinator
  • Technical Director
  • Scenic Painter
  • Costumer/Draper/Dresser
  • Sound Board Operator
  • Properties Coordinator
  • Stage Hand
  • Light Board Operator
  • Show Control Operator
  • Playwright
  • Theatre/Film Critic
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Entertainment writer/editor
  • Screenwriter
  • Comedy writer
  • Artistic Director
  • Company Manager
  • Theatre Manager
  • Box Office Manager
  • House Manager
  • Production Manager
  • Event Coordinator
  • Acting/Script Coach
  • Arts & Education Coordinator
  • Theatre Historian
  • High School Drama Teacher
  • College Professor (advanced degree required)
  • Author
  • Scenic Designer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Sound Designer
  • Costume Designer
  • Themed Entertainment Designer
  • Makeup Designer
  • Director
  • Casting Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Musical Director
  • Stage Manager
  • Choreographer
Sample jobs in related areas
  • Radio/TV announcer
  • Tourism Director/Guide
  • Ticket Sales Coordination
  • Media Salesperson
  • Art Director
  • Mediator
  • Sales Representative
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Affairs Officer
  • Student Affairs Specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Development Officer
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Wedding Planner
  • Admissions Director
  • Labor Relations
  • Human Resource Specialist
  • Training & Development Specialist
  • Fashion Designer
  • Architecture (advanced training required)
  • Engineer (advanced training required)
  • Lawyer
  • Counselor/Therapist
  • Politician

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