Theatre

What Is It?:

Theatre is a form of human expression, taking place in the present, but connecting us to other times and places. Through characterization, design, and technology, theatre artists provide a window into the human condition. Theatre is both visual and aural, a shared experience between audience and performers. It embraces a broad range of skills including acting, directing, design, and construction, as well as references to history, politics, and psychology. Theatre is a dynamic art form, constantly changing to include current issues and new media. It is the imitation and representation of life performed for other people, the performance of dramatic literature, the milieu of actors and playwrights, and the setting for dramatic performances.

For more information, please visit the Department of Theatre.

Concentrations:

  • Acting
  • Costume Design & Technology
  • Lighting Design
  • Scenic Design
  • Scenic Technology
  • Sound Design & Technology
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Studies

Students are initially accepted as theatre majors and then formally admitted to one of these concentrations after an evaluation by the faculty during the student's first or second year. The concentrations in acting, design, technology, and management are intended for students who, in the judgment of the faculty, are ready to concentrate in these specialties in an intensive undergraduate professional training curriculum. The theatre studies concentration is intended for students who plan to pursue advanced training and/or careers in directing, dramaturgy, playwriting, theatre management, theatre for social change, and theatre history and criticism.

Before acceptance into theatre, applicants must participate in auditions or interviews, which take place at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts five or more weekends each year. In these auditions, applicants for acting should present a three-minute audition, comprising two contrasting works from dramatic literature. Applicants for design, technology, and management concentrations should present a portfolio of previous theatre work. Applicants for theatre studies should bring evidence of their previous theatre work and a 500-word essay addressing which aspects interest them most and the rationale for pursuing related study.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • THEA 102—Text to Stage
  • THEA 170—Fundamentals of Acting I

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Acting Coach
  • Actor/Actress
  • Agent
  • Amusement Park Entertainer
  • Announcer
  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Casting Director
  • Copy Writer
  • Costume Designer
  • Costumer
  • Critic
  • Director
  • Drama Coach
  • Equipment Operator
  • Impersonator
  • Instructor, Theater Arts
  • Lighting Designer
  • Lighting Operator
  • Lobbyist
  • Magician
  • Make-up Artist
  • Mediator
  • Narrator
  • Playwright
  • Producer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Radio/TV Announcer
  • Rigger
  • Script Coach
  • Set Designer
  • Sound Designer
  • Stage Manager
  • Stand-In
  • Stunt Coordinator
  • Stunt-person
  • Talent Scout
  • Teacher
  • Theater Manager

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Announcer
  • Artistic Director
  • Arts Administrator/Manager
  • Booking Agent
  • Campaign Director
  • Casting Agent
  • Comedian
  • Communication Consultant
  • Copyright Expert
  • Costume Designer
  • Director
  • Entertainment Manager
  • Equipment Technologist
  • Events Coordinator
  • Film Editor
  • Fundraising & Development
  • Journalist
  • Lighting Designer
  • Make-up Artist
  • Motion Picture Photographer
  • Narrator
  • Newspaper Critic
  • Playwright
  • Producer
  • Professor
  • Prop Manager
  • Public Relations Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Script Writer
  • Set Designer
  • Special Effects Artist
  • Stage Manager

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • New Revels Players: renaissance through modern drama.
    • Penny Dreadful Players: provides all majors with an opportunity to participate in every aspect of live theatre.
    • Krannert Center Student Association: promotes and celebrates the arts by providing volunteer opportunities and activities that unite those who appreciate the arts throughout the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Illinois, and larger communities.

Related Skills:

  • Ability to accept public scrutiny and criticism
  • Ability to analyze and interpret emotions
  • Ability to captivate audiences
  • Ability to communicate emotions/ideas
  • Ability to maintain composure under pressure
  • Good ability to concentrate/practice
  • Imagination/Creativity
  • Proficiency in memorizing
  • Public speaking skills

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Theatre, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Theatre.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Theatre.  These organizations include American Society of Theatre Consultants and American Association of Community Theatre.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Theatre, visit Undergraduate Programs.