Why Major in Theatre?


Why major in theatre?  You won't be the last person to be laughed at, or told, "Theatre is not a real job."

It's plainly obvious theatre majors can "do" theatre, but what is often underappreciated and overlooked is that they also develop a wide array of invaluable skills that make them ideal employees for any job. We recommend that you recognize the unique advantages you will internalize as a theatre major.

Beside the specialized skills that they learn onstage and backstage, theatre graduates enter the job market with the omni-expansive vision that all liberal arts students are expected to acquire in college, and theatre's special hands-on, learn-by-doing environment gives them the training, experience and skills which prove tremendously beneficial in any number of careers.

The measure of a theatre degree's value in finding work outside of theatre is equally important both for 1) students who are committed to theatre as a career, and 2) those who are only considering a theatre major among a number of other options.

For 1), it is highly likely that at some point in their lives they'll have to seek non-theatre employment, either permanently or as a means of supporting themselves while they pursue a theatre career. For 2), the practicality of the aspects and intangibles of a theatre major being considered are valid, sensible issues. The prevalent misconception of a theatre degree being useless is a persistent one, powerful in its influence over whether 2) decides to major in theatre (usually not). Some employers may think that all an actor knows is just memorization and the ability to walk on stage without bumping into furniture, and tech people know only how to put up flats and hammer nails.

The "two types of jobs" (according to John Munschauer's Jobs for English Majors and Other Smart People) are identified as:

             "professional work" which require specialized training;

             "trait-oriented work," for which employers seek workers with special traits (such as communications skills, critical thinking, imagination, reasoning ability, et cetera).

Not only can and is theatre training specialized, it ultimately proves to be invaluable preparation for a broad scope of "trait-oriented" careers. We want to bring to awareness the many skills learned as a theatre major, transforming our graduates into highly-competitive candidates for employment than would be assumed.