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Theatre Arts

Humans are storytellers by nature. It’s how they tell the story that makes or breaks the masterpiece.

A degree in theatre arts will prepare you to deliver captivating performances and technical productions in live theatre, film, television and multimedia.

Overview
Experience theatre as an art form

As a theatre arts student, you’ll gain an understanding of the origins of the theatrical arts, theatre’s subsequent history of performance, the dramatic literature and dramatic theory upon which theatre is based, and the influence of theatre upon societies throughout the world.

Apply theory to real productions

Our program is designed to engage you in the art and craft of theatre by providing ample and varied opportunities for the study of related literature, history and dramatic theory — all while emphasizing practical applications through theatre production.

Hone your creative process

An understanding of aesthetic perception is crucial to your success. Your ability to communicate aesthetics through artistic expression will be honed through your extensive experience of bringing productions to life.

Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Scholarship
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Do you have superior skills in the areas of art, music, music production or theatre arts? Incoming first-year and transfer applicants for the fall semester can apply and audition for a scholarship that offers up to full tuition. Learn more


At a Glance

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Theatre and Dance

School/College

College of Arts and Science

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here's what you can do next:

The Curriculum

With challenging and relevant courses, outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and an emphasis on hands-on learning, the theatre arts program will position you to succeed in your chosen career.

Program Details

Find out what it takes to earn a degree in theatre arts and explore the courses.


Emphasis Areas

Customize this major to your interests by taking courses in an area of focus:

Performance

A Performance Emphasis is for students who are interested in a career as a professional actor in theater and other performance mediums.

See description
Technical Theatre

The areas of technical theater include scenery, lighting, properties, costuming, hair/makeup, and sound. Technical theater encompasses all that goes into making a staged production. All of these areas work together to establish the place, time period, and mood of the production.

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Highlighted Courses

Get familiar with some of the courses you might take in this major.

TA 331: Advanced Scene Study

Advanced study of acting approaches focusing on 19th and 20th century plays. Students will analyze characters and perform scenes from selected realistic plays.

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TA 334: Stage Speech

The class will focus on the principles of vocal production for the stage, including alignment, respiration, phonation, resonance, and articulation. In addition, students will become familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet, and utilize it for dialect work.

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TA 335: Movement for the Stage

The study of the theories, applications and practices of body awareness, direction and movement as applied by actors in a variety of theatrical styles.

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TA 342: History of Theatre and Drama

This course is the first half of a two semester historical survey sequence that provides students with a solid grounding in the development of theatre and drama from the ancient Greeks to the present.

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TA 367: Light/Sound Design for Stage and Media

The study of lighting and sound as art forms with an emphasis on design concepts. Practical explorations of theories of light, color, and sound; the technology of production and control as applied to designing for the stage and media.

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TA 369: Costume Design for Stage and Media

A practical study of costumes for the stage. The course examines the history of clothing design, color theory, rendering techniques and design process from concept to execution. Students also explore the concepts of theatrical makeup and design through lecture and practice.

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Recommended Minors

Want to add even more value to your degree? Consider one of these minors to gain a unique combination of skills and perspectives.


Learning Spaces

Check out the spaces and tools you'll have access to in this major. Explore the entire Cal Lutheran campus with our virtual tour

The Experience

We offer hands-on opportunities that give you the freedom to explore your passion through real-world work and prepare for a fulfilling career.

  • Plays and Productions

    Our students have brought home top regional awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Not only do Cal Lutheran students shine onstage, they’re also busy behind the scenes, taking positions of responsibility with publicity and sound, light, makeup, scene, and costume design.

  • Internships

    Cal Lutheran’s close proximity to Los Angeles provides an arena for you to explore a variety of screen, stage, television, and musical presentations and connections with industry professionals. During the summer, take advantage of student internship opportunities in Camp Shakespeare and the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival, a professional theatre company that performs on campus.

  • Student Clubs

    Join the Improv Troupe to provide humor and joy to the Cal Lutheran student body, all while honing your improvisational skills.

Student photo

I believe that I benefited the most from classes that weren’t highly advertised within the department, such as the Costume and Scene and Acting for Shakespeare classes. You can become part of the industry in other ways and continue to develop your acting skills, all while continuing your career path.

Libby Baumgartner '18

Career Paths

Many of our graduates have achieved careers in the competitive world of professional theatre, film, and television, while others have utilized the transferable skills in performance, management, and communication to pursue additional career directions. For those seeking to study the craft at a higher level, several of our students have also been accepted into graduate programs for theatre arts.


Potential Careers

Producers and Directors

Produce or direct stage, television, radio, video, or film productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Responsible for creative decisions, such as interpretation of script, choice of actors or guests, set design, sound, special effects, and choreography.

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Talent Directors

Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, radio, or motion picture productions.

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Media Technical Directors/Managers

Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, engineering, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

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Audio and Video Technicians

Set up, maintain, and dismantle audio and video equipment, such as microphones, sound speakers, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, video cameras, video monitors and servers, and related electronic equipment for live or recorded events, such as concerts, meetings, conventions, presentations, podcasts, news conferences, and sporting events.

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Lighting Technicians

Set up, maintain, and dismantle light fixtures, lighting control devices, and the associated lighting electrical and rigging equipment used for photography, television, film, video, and live productions. May focus or operate light fixtures, or attach color filters or other lighting accessories.

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Set and Exhibit Designers

Design special exhibits and sets for film, video, television, and theater productions. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

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Actors

Play parts in stage, television, radio, video, or film productions, or other settings for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.

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Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes

Represent and promote artists, performers, and athletes in dealings with current or prospective employers. May handle contract negotiation and other business matters for clients.

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Looking for more career paths? Search these related areas to discover more options.

Employers

Graduates from this major have gone to work at:

  • Arizona Broadway Theatre
  • Cabrillo Music Theater
  • Disney Studios
  • Kingsmen Shakespeare Company
  • NBCUniversal
  • Oracle Films
  • UCLA
  • Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Graduate Schools

Our alumni have pursued advanced degrees at:

  • Bard College
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Neighborhood Playhouse NYC
  • New York University
  • San Diego State University
  • UC, San Diego
  • Yale

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. Some occupations listed above may require a related graduate degree.

How We Prepare You for Success

We have 20,000+ employer contacts for jobs and internships, with over 200 listings posted each week.

Our excellent career counselors in the Career Services center will get in touch with you during your very first term on campus. They offer over 50 workshops each year on resume writing, interviewing, salary negotiations, applying to graduate schools, and other critical skills to help you begin your career successfully.

After you graduate from Cal Lutheran, you receive free access to Career Services for life, as a valued member of our alumni family.

Learn more about career outcomes

of Cal Lutheran graduates find a job or enroll in graduate school within nine months

Cost & Financial Aid

We work with students and families to make sure everyone who is admitted to Cal Lutheran can afford it.


Tuition & Fees

You and your family might have questions about how you’ll cover the costs of college. We can tell you this — it costs less than you think.

Read our financial aid guide

Scholarships & Grants

We offer a range of awards based on academic merit and financial need. This is money that does not need to be repaid.

View scholarships and grants

Financial Aid

If you're new to the financial aid process, you probably have a lot of questions. But don't worry — we're here to help guide you all the way.

Learn about financial aid

I'm Interested!

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