Theatre | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of Music & Theatre

Theatre

Costumed cast with arms raised in the grand finale of a musical number
Department of Music & Theatre

Theatre


  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

Sharpen your skills in a comprehensive theatre program with coursework in acting, directing, design, history, stage management, playwriting, dance, musical theatre, improv, and more! Build your résumé for a lifetime in the arts.

Why study theatre at Northwestern?

We have a tradition of integrating the arts into a Christian worldview. You have the opportunity to explore and experience every aspect of theatre productions, from the intimate space of our Black Box Theatre to the main stage at Knight Performance Hall. You will be encouraged to incorporate theatre into your cultural experience, develop your artistic vision, and to see artistic expression as a form of worship.

We provide numerous opportunities for involvement in campus productions, both on stage as well as backstage. Check out our productions for the current school year. Entrance auditions are required if you wish to pursue a degree in theatre. You must be admitted to both Northwestern and the Department of Music & Theatre in order to major in theatre.

With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving theatre industries.

If you like to sing and dance, enjoy performing arts, and are interested in a career working in the theatre industry, this might be the right degree for you.

What degree concentrations are offered in Theatre?

90%

of seniors grew in their relationship with God during their time at Northwestern

2nd

most theater seats per capita nationwide

95%

of seniors received relevant and appropriate preparation for their field

Careers in theatre

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in theatre.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Performance
  • Direction/technical direction
  • Casting
  • Set/stage/lighting/property design
  • Stage or house management
  • Sound design
  • Wardrobe, hair and makeup design
  • Prop Management
  • Script writing, screenwriting, playwriting
  • Publicity and promotions
  • Agent/talent management
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Fundraising and development
  • Arts administration
  • Box office sales or management
  • Promotion

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Theaters
  • Arts councils and arts organizations
  • Broadway and road company productions
  • Regional, community and summer stock theatres
  • Children’s theater or dinner theatre companies
  • Video production companies
  • Summer stock theaters
  • University theater groups
  • Amusement and theme parks
  • Television/film/ radio
  • Cruise lines
  • Acting conservatories
  • Public or community education
  • Theme parks
View Career Guide

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • Gain as much experience as possible, join professional groups and expand your network to find out about jobs and opportunities.
  • Read newspapers and periodicals related to the theater to keep up with new developments.
  • Get your foot in the door and get involved with productions any way you can. Be prepared to do various tasks assigned by stage managers or producers.
  • Volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts.
  • Be aware of scams. Check out the legitimacy of agencies and companies before paying any fees.
  • Theater helps students develop verbal and written communication, public speaking, and teamwork skills. These transferable skills are valued by many types of employers. In particular, positions in sales, marketing, management, and public relations may be open to students with theater degrees.

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