Is it possible to double major in Theatre Arts and something else?

Absolutely!  The Theatre Arts major has a requirement of 10 courses; most other majors require somewhere between 9 and 12 courses, so, with good planning, it is very easy to double major.  Some of our most popular double majors are English, History, Psychology, Spanish, Philosophy, and Management.  Other double majors in the recent past include: Japanese Studies, German, Women's Studies, Music, French, Classics, and Math.

I like theatre, but I want to do a Special Major. What are some options for Special Majors with a Theatre Arts Component?

As you may know, at Gettysburg College it's possible to create your own major.  These individualized majors can be created if the student designs an interdisciplinary group of courses focusing on particular problems or areas of investigation that are not adequately covered within a single department or discipline.  This major falls under the IDS or Individualized Study program on campus.  Recent graduates who have completed IDS Individual majors which included courses in the Theatre Arts include: Musical Theatre, Screenwriting, Storytelling, Expressive Arts Therapy, and Psychodrama.

Can I count off-campus courses or courses taken overseas towards my Theatre Arts major or minor?

Usually, yes.  We do not have a limit on how many courses taken overseas count towards a major or minor.  You would need to talk with your advisor and/or the Chair of the Theatre Arts Department to determine if a course should be valued as the equivalent of a Gettysburg College course.   We try to be as flexible as possible in making allowances that enable students to study abroad. Approximately 50% of our majors/minors study abroad.  Visit the Office of Off-Campus Studies.

I'm considering graduate school in Theatre Arts.  How do I prepare? 

First of all, be aware that there is a lot more financial aid for graduate study (in general) than for undergraduate study, and oftentimes undergraduate loans can be deferred if you continue your studies.  You also do not have to have an undergraduate degree in a given field in order to study it at the graduate level.  For example, you might major in Psychology as an undergraduate, and then go on to study Theatre in graduate school.  So, graduate school is always an option.

The three graduate degrees one could take in theatre are the M.A. (Masters), M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts), and the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy, or doctorate). 

  • An M.A. or Masters degree can be taken in various fields, including Theatre Education, Dramatic Literature or Arts Administration. This degree is NOT terminal; in other words, you could continue after a Masters degree to a Ph.D. program.
  • An M.F.A. can be taken in Design (Set, Lighting, Sound, Costume); Acting; Directing, Playwriting; Musical Theatre; or Dramaturgy. M.F.A.s are terminal degrees; in other words, they're as far as you can go (degree-wise) to study (though you can always take extra classes throughout your life).
  • A Ph.D. can be taken in Directing, Literature, Playwriting or Theatre History.

Often, people take a break between graduate and undergraduate study-just to rest a bit from school or, more importantly for theatre study, to gain some practical experience in the theatre through internships, working at professional or community theatres, and/or creating theatre on your own for more experience. 

As for specific graduate programs, please talk with the faculty.  All of us attended graduate school and generally keep up with which programs are the best in which fields of study, so please come talk with us if you're interested in graduate study.  And the best way to prepare?  Read a lot of plays, go to a lot of plays, and work on a lot of plays, in as many different capacities as possible!

What are some careers that one could pursue with a degree in Theatre Arts?

Our alumni most often go into theatre-related jobs, business, or education.  The skills learned here (effective communication, writing and critical thinking) are a bonus in any profession.  Most recently, our alums have worked in the following positions:  theatre producer, actor, director, teacher, scenic artist, professor, ballet teacher, librarian, lawyer, counselor, designer, consultant or worker for non-profits, director of College Life Student Activities, playwright, arts administrator, and theatre company manager.

Career Opportunities

Where's the best place to work in the theatre in the United States?

Some could argue that you MUST go to New York if you want to do theatre, but our faculty disagrees.  Sure, there's some great theatre in New York, but we've also all worked in wonderful theatre across the country: Minneapolis;  Chicago;  Seattle; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Cincinnati; St. Louis; Ashland, Oregon; Portland, Oregon; and Boston. 

We've also seen fantastic theatre in the following cities (and, therefore, we know it's being done!!): Philadelphia; Atlanta; Phoenix, AZ; Montgomery, AL; Little Rock, AR; Harrisburg, PA; Charleston, SC; Shepardstown, WV; Louisville, KY; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Providence, RI; and more.  We invite you to talk to the faculty if you'd like to know more!