College of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Letters

Fine and Performing Arts Center, Room 207


About the Program

A bachelor’s degree in Theatre will prepare students for a variety of careers within the entertainment industry and beyond. The Theatre program’s combined performance, design and technical curriculum develops a breadth of knowledge and practical skills necessary to enter the profession or graduate school.


Students receive training in all aspects of theatre. As they discover and develop their unique talents, students will work closely with faculty advisers to develop their strengths as an actor, designer, director, stage manager or theatre technician.


Theatre is also a business, and all of our students are introduced to the unique entrepreneurial aspects of creative enterprises. These skills can also be applied to many dynamic careers such as television and film, teaching, management, advertising, law, journalism and politics.

Why Major in Theatre?

  • Earn a living doing what you love
  • Theatre leads to jobs
  • Theatre offers many careers
  • Theatre is more than all of that
  • Theatre is an art, a vibrant field, a vocation
  • Don’t spend the rest of your life saying, “I wish I had”... because you can!

Choose Theatre at ESU

  • Professionally experienced faculty
  • Excellent facilities
  • Academic preparation combined with practical application
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Creative collaboration in a nurturing environment 
  • Multiple performance opportunities
  • Leadership development
  • Study abroad programs
  • Acquire key skills sought after by employers in any field
  • Participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
  • Direct exposure to professional theatre in nearby New York City and Philadelphia.

Performance Opportunities:

Students of any major are welcome to audition for theatre productions and are invited to participate behind the scenes in design and technical theatre. Auditions are posted on the large bulletin board in the Fine Arts building lobby and announced at Stage II and in Theatre classes. Auditions for the first Fall production often take place as early as the first week of school.

Students may audition beginning in their freshman year for roles in Theatre Department mainstage productions and Stage II one act plays. A number of classes also provide performance opportunities through showcases and recitals with no auditions required: Stage and Comic Technique, Children’s Theatre, Directing, Advanced Acting (class entry by audition), Collaborative Theatre Workshop, and Acting for Musical Theatre.

Theatre productions encompass a range of genres including:

  • Classical Theatre,
  • Musical Theatre
  • Contemporary Theatre
  • Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Stage II Student produced and directed One Acts

More information is available from the department faculty.

What Programs are offered?

  • B.A. Theatre- Acting for Theatre, Television and Film
  • B.A. Theatre- Musical Theatre
  • B.A. Theatre- Design/Technical Theatre
  • B.A. Theatre- Directing
  • Minor in Theatre

After appropriate preparation through classes and entry-level experiences, students are invited to take on leadership positions in ESU theatre productions that bolster their resumes and often lead to internships, employment and graduate school opportunities.

Internship Program

Students are encouraged to complete professional internships. After students have some basic training and experience, faculty help students identify professional opportunities that align with their area of interest. ESU theatre majors have interned at some impressive performing arts organizations including Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, People’s Light and Theatre, Metropolitan Opera, and L.A. Theatre Works.

Student Theatre Clubs

ESU students develop strong social ties, and a home base within the larger university, through intensive production work and two student theatre clubs: Stage II and Musical Theatre Organization (MTO). Stage II produces a student directed, acted and designed one act play festival annually. MTO produces musical theatre cabarets and performs at a variety of campus and community functions.

Careers in Theatre

Entertainment is one of the biggest exports in the United States. Theatre is one of the biggest industries in nearby New York City. Theatre department alumni are working in arts and entertainment in the United States and internationally, have gone on to excellent graduate programs, and have transferred their skills to related fields.


  • Director
  • Actor (Theatre or Film/TV)
  • Artistic Director
  • Scenic Designer/Scenic Artist (Film)
  • Costume Designer/Fashion Designer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Sound Designer
  • Make-up Artist
  • Multimedia Designer


  • Theatre Professor
  • Acting Teacher
  • High School Drama Teacher
  • Education Director


  • Technical Director
  • Stage Manager
  • Costume Shop Manager
  • Scenic Carpenter
  • Scene Painter
  • Master Electrician/Gaffer (Film)
  • Properties Master


  • Executive Director
  • Producer
  • Production Manager
  • Publicity Director
  • Casting Director
  • Agent
  • Events Manager

Related Careers

“(Performing arts) producers (and directors) share many responsibilities with those who work as top executives.”

U.S. Department of Labor Statistics

Skills shared by top executives and those trained in theatre leadership:

  • Highly developed interpersonal skills
  • An analytical mind
  • Quick assessment of large amounts of information and data
  • Evaluation of the relationships between numerous factors
  • Clear and persuasive communication
  • Ability to meet deadlines under pressure
  • Flexibility to adapt to unexpected obstacles
  • Leadership, self-confidence, motivation, decisiveness, flexibility, sound judgment, and determination

U.S. Government Occupation Outlook Handbook 2008-9