Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General

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About the Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts Major

If you've ever acted in a play, you know how much work it takes to put a production together. A theater major is your ticket to every corner of the theater world.

Whether you specialize in acting or design, you'll learn in class, backstage, and onstage. You'll read, discuss, and write about all kinds of theatrical works. You'll also get your hands dirty applying what you learn in class as you build sets, design costumes, direct, or act in department productions.

Drama and theatre arts focuses on the general study of dramatic works and their performance. This includes instruction in major works of dramatic literature, dramatic styles and types, and the principles of organizing and producing full live or filmed productions. It also provides useful skills for graduate school or professional training and work in a theatre arts specialization.

The drama and theatre arts major provides a balanced mix of study and practice, understanding and process, thinking and doing. It demands a great deal in the development of creativity, teamwork, adaptability, and critical thinking. Drama and theater arts majors study plays and other dramatic works and their production. Classes cover such topics as theater history, playwriting, acting, and directing, as well as lighting, scenery, and costume design.

Working in such an unpredictable profession, often involving long periods of "rest" for actors, means the ability to network is essential. Careers involving performance as an actor or dancer are often based on short-term or freelance contracts, with the necessity of having to move from place to place to secure work. These may be in the TV, radio or film/video industries where contacts and networks are extremely valuable. Besides acting, individuals with drama and theatre arts degrees go on to direct, teach, and scout future talent. Vocational courses are an option for those who want to use their degree for specific careers, for example arts administration.

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