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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

Theater Degree Facts

theater degree
May 25th, 2014

A Theater degree can teach you more than just acting skills. From punctuality to work ethics, obtaining a theater degree requires a mastery of excellent self-presentation, creative intellect, and the ability to engage in selfless teamwork. A theater degree helps develop critical thinking, analysis, oral and written communication, research, problem solving, and presentation. Most individuals who pursue theater degrees do so because of the desire to perform on stage, in film, radio or television.
Opportunities outside those kinds of employment abound for theater degree holders in educational institutions, nonprofits, business, and government agencies. Theater is, after all, a business; professional theater is meticulously planned and coordinated. There is marketing, public relations, production and costume design, and advertising, among other facets of theater; simply put, a theater degree prepares the individual to engage in the business of performing art as seen and heard.
What Can You Do with a Theater Degree?
The theater degree can prepare the individual for some other career choices. Skills which are gained from a theater degree are applicable to other “non-theater” jobs such as community educators, marketing and sales executives, politicians, management consultants, and even lawyers. Theater degree holders sometime pursue a master’s degree or go into the directorial field.
It has to be understood by those who are contemplating on obtaining a theater degree that theater not only entertains but educates. Theater is not “just acting” because it actually takes a lot of effort and a lot of time to perfect. Admittedly, theater, unlike a painting, for instance, is ephemeral, running for an hour or two. Its power, however, is invaluable to the viewer on whom it created impact.
There is no required formal training to become an actor but the individual who has “expanded” skills – such as doing impersonations like Robin Williams or accents like Meryl Streep – find better opportunities in various acting-related fields such as sketch comedy, dubbing for TV commercials, musical theater, impromptu acting, and voiceover projects.
These expanded skills are gained through attendance of a theater school where diction, voice, stagecraft, stage management, and acting theory, principles, and exercises are all part of the coursework. The mastery of these skills is helpful to the individual when he or she auditions for a role, performs in theme parks or clubs, or gets a project in a road show tour.
The Best Schools to Get a Theater Degree
Here are three of the most excellent educational institutions offering the best theater degree programs:

  1. The Julliard School. The program is conservatory-style that encourages students to develop their own personal acting methods. Admittance to Julliard requires excellence in audition; only 20 out of more than a thousand applicants yearly are accepted to this prestigious institution. Some of the notable alumni include Robin Williams, Kevin Spacey, Debra Messing, and Kelsey Grammer.
  2. Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. The first conservatory program was developed here. This highly-regarded institution, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a curriculum which includes development of mind, voice, and body skills; Shakespeare; verbally complex and contemporary stage techniques; various acting styles; working with stage directors and playwrights; numerous live performances; and opportunities for performance in theaters abroad. James Cromwell, Ted Danson, Cote de Pablo, and Blair Underwood are notable alumni.
  3. New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. The tuition is astronomical but well worth it. A student auditions and upon acceptance is taught several acting methods in studios such as the Strasberg, Meisner, Atlantic, Adler, and Experimental varieties. Unlike other theater schools, Tisch emphasizes the maintenance of a good academic record for its students and requires them to attend liberal arts/humanities classes. Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Alec Baldwin and James Franco are some noteworthy alumni.

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