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A future in Theatre
By Jennifer Bailey
Do you spell “theatre” with a “re,”not an “er?" If you are truly interested in this field, than the spelling with a "re" is important.
This is a program that focuses on the general study of dramatic works and performing. Your studies include instruction in important works of dramatic literature as well as dramatic styles and types, and the principles of organizing and producing full live or filmed productions.
As you know, theatre is an art. In order to be successful in this major, you will need to have a love for drama, acting, and the production of theatre in general. You don’t necessarily need to be drawn toward acting specifically as there are many other aspects of theatre in which to specialize such as lighting, staging and writing. Regardless, you will learn about every aspect of the theatre industry as well as specific aspects of it such as what goes on behind the scenes, how actors become proficient in their craft and, generally speaking, about how all of it works together to make a quality theatrical production.
Besides the fact that you will learn how to "do" theatre, you will also learn a lot of highly valuable skills that will help you become a valuable employee for any job or career field you ultimately go into. It is important for you to recognize the special advantages as a theatre major you bring to future employers. You will find that there are more advantages you will gain by obtaining a theatre degree than almost all other liberal art degrees out there.
These advantageous qualities include discipline, dependability, loyalty, leadership, becoming a good team player as theatre students learn because they must to be effective members of a production team. You will also find that employers find theatre majors quite valuable because they are energetic, enthusiastic and able to work under pressure. They also generally have very good communications and human relations skills and have a can-do confidence based on their experience of successfully meeting difficult challenges.
The required and elective courses you would take as a theatre major will vary depending on the school. Some you are likely to take regardless of the institution would include; acting, art, choreography, dance, design, directing, history of the theater, management, oral interpretation, physical expression including voice and movement, speech, stagecraft, survey of dramatic literature, survey of film history and voice.
John Munschauer writes in Jobs for English Majors and Other Smart People that there are just two types of jobs: "professional work" that requires special training in law school, medical school, architecture school, and so forth, and "trait-oriented work," for which employers seek workers with special traits, such as communications skills, imagination, reasoning ability, and sound judgement.
That being said, theatre training can be valuable preparation for many of the innumerable careers that fall in the category of "trait-oriented work".
So, if your long range goal is to become a working actor, then this degree of course, would prepare you for just that; however, after what you have just read, you may love theatre or acting now, and may still choose to use this degree for a career in any number of fields with the skills you learn during your schooling. Keep in mind, far more than any other major, theatre is excellent training for virtually any job and it will be up to you to recognize the advantages you have and to then be sure that you educate any prospective employer regarding those!