For those who totally misinterpret Robert Frost’s famous poem, becoming a theater major may appear to be like taking “the road not taken”. It might seem like a way to rebel against your parents or a method to find your “true self”. However, for those who are interested in theater and want to be more successful in it than Tobias Funke, or for those who are just curious what the major is all about, this article is for you.

What is a Theater Major?
Defined by Berkeley’s Theater & Performance Studies website, theater majors develop the ability to synthesize an argument from textual or other evidence and express it in various forms, learn the fundamental skills of stagecraft and production skills as well as knowledge in design, craft, stage management, etc., and basic acting technique. In addition to developing these specific skills, theater majors will develop literacy and familiarity with foundational dramatic texts, concepts of performance theory, and history of theater practices. The term “theater” can actually be used as a larger and broader term for other majors revolving around theater such as Musical Theater, Acting, Drama, Production, etc. If offered at the college or universities, each of those sub-majors offer a deeper look into skill building in those areas.

What can you do with a Theater Major?
Let’s face it – theater majors (along with English and dance majors) probably get the most criticism on how their major is the most unemployable. Like many other majors, theater majors have marketable skills that can prepare you for a lot of career fields. While some of the skills can be learned from a myriad of other majors and life experiences, a theater major blogger wrote down “10 Ways Being a Theatre Major Prepared Me for Success” that lists interesting and very practical skills that can be developed. Here is a list of career paths most directly relating to your major:

  • Professional Actor/Actress
  • Playwright
  • Director
  • Stage Manager
  • Dramaturg/Literary Manager
  • Theater Educator
  • Drama Therapist

What are some good theater programs?
While there are very valid arguments that there is not “best undergraduate theater program,” here is a list of colleges and universities that are know to offer very good programs.

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  1. Tom Vander Well on August 21, 2013

    Thanks for the link-love! Well written and well balanced take.

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