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Theatre Major

The Theatre major will educate, train, and prepare you to be a theatre artist of character and competence who will engage the culture and change the world through thoughtful and faithful use of your creative gifts. Majoring in Theatre provides you with opportunities to explore your personal values, develop your skills, and acquire the knowledge and techniques you need to thrive in the world of theatre — whether you are interested in performing, producing, or teaching theatre.

About the Theatre Major

Majoring in Theatre will expose you to a sizable body of dramatic literature, theory, and historical study — leading you to develop an informed perspective of the role of theatre as a social, spiritual, and artistic institution. The experience will allow you to explore and develop yourself both as an individual and as an artist.

Many of the courses you take will focus on skills associated with performance, playwriting, directing, designing, and technical theatre crafts. In addition to your classroom experience, you will engage with an extensive production and performance program. The performance schedule is divided among mainstage, studio, and laboratory, and reflects a wide range of dramatic forms and styles. Special emphasis is given to plays that deal with positive values and the relationship between theatre and Christian faith.

As a Theatre major, you can focus on general theatre studies, with the approval of your Theatre major advisor, or you can choose from three areas of emphasis:

Benefits

The Theatre major is designed both to prepare you for graduate studies and to serve as groundwork for your placement as a committed Christian in the culture-shaping world of professional theatre. Your career opportunities extend beyond acting into other specialties — including setting, lighting and costume design, stage management, promotion and publicity, playwriting, and directing.

Additionally, the skills you will hone as a Theatre major — self-knowledge, communicative social interaction, presentation of self, personal discipline, risk-taking, cooperative group effort, sensitivity to others — are important to many career applications other than those connected specifically with theatre, especially careers that involve working with the public.

Career Opportunities

  • Actor
  • Artistic Director
  • Box Office Manager
  • Choreographer
  • College Professor
  • Costume Designer
  • Director
  • Dramaturg
  • General Manager
  • Grip (Stagehand)
  • Lighting Designer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Playwright
  • Private Acting Coach
  • Scenic Designer
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Sound Designer
  • Stage Manager
  • Technical Director
  • Theatre Critic
  • Wardrobe Supervisor
  • Wig/Hair Stylist

Major Courses and Degree Requirements

Each emphasis within the Theatre major has its own degree requirements. Check the Undergraduate Catalog for more information.

All Theatre majors are required to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Earn a minimum of 79 credits in Theatre studies and applications, with a minimum of 30 upper-division credits.
  • Demonstrate a growing ability in theatrical criticism, artistic awareness, and personal theatrical skills.
  • Successfully complete a Senior Project in acting, directing, design, technical direction, or playwriting. This project must include both an approved prospectus and some form of public demonstration made during the student’s senior year.

View Theatre general core courses and Theatre electives.

Admission to the Major

Formal admission to the Theatre major happens at the end of the first quarter of your sophomore year. If you are a transfer student beyond the sophomore level, admission occurs in your second quarter of residence. You will need to complete and submit the Major or Minor Application Form (PDF).

To qualify for admission as a major in the Theatre program, you are required to have completed 12 credits of work with a 2.5 GPA in Theatre, which must include TRE 1720 “Stagecraft,” and TRE 1310 “Actor’s Art” or TRE 1340 “Acting I.” You must complete the major requirements that are in effect when you are admitted to the major.

Faculty Contact

Andrew Ryder

Professor of Theatre; Theatre Department Chair

Email: aryder@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2008
Office: McKinley 101

Why Study Theatre?

Why Study Theatre?

Studying theatre, performing theatre, and otherwise engaging in the world and work of theatre will enrich your life and offer you many career and life opportunities.

Scholarships

Theatre Scholarships

The Theatre Department awards 10 or more Theatre scholarships each year ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. You do not need to major in Theatre to receive these scholarships.

“The actor’s art, for the Christian artist, is incarnationally based, making the words of the script ‘flesh.’ The actor is to be the servant of all humanity, whose task is making more clear the very nature of existence.”
James Chapman
1937–2002, SPU Theatre Department Founder
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