Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Theatre

School of the Arts

 
Program description

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre that may be entered into during the third year. All freshman and transfer students entering the Department of Theatre are initially classified as Theatre Foundation students. After successfully completing the first two years of core theatre courses in their foundation areas of emphasis, students apply for admission into a specific degree program (B.F.A. or B.A.) in theatre. The B.A. is designed for students who want a program with a strong emphasis in theatre combined with a strong liberal arts component, and a minor (or other course of directed study) in an area other than theatre.

Student participation in both credit- and noncredit-bearing department activities will be required. Students matriculating in School of the Arts degree programs are bound by the policies and procedures stipulated in this bulletin and in any other current handbook or policy document adopted by the individual programs.

Because of the environment that exists in the Department of Theatre, all aspects of theatre as art, craft, business and education are experienced together. The curriculum immerses students in the practicalities of theatre. Throughout the four years, students work with voice, body and imagination; this practical application, combined with a strong liberal arts component and a minor (or course of directed study), offers a wide field of academic and human experience.

Career opportunities

For more than sixty-seven years, Theatre VCU has prepared students for careers in professional and academic theatre.  Hundreds of alumni scattered across the United States and Canada now successfully practice what they began as students at VCU. With 25 faculty and staff and a combined graduate and undergraduate student population averaging 280, Theatre VCU is one of the largest theatre training programs in the southeastern United States. 

The faculty of Theatre VCU are first and foremost educators who provide first-rate mentoring and instruction. They also serve as role models, practicing their craft as artists locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. They work on the stage, TV and in films, author books in their disciplines, and hold elected offices in some of the nation’s most prestigious organizations. Collectively, the faculty and staff pride themselves on their ability to help bridge the gap between life as a student and life as a professional beyond VCU.

VCUarts celebrates the accomplishments of theatre alumni  online at http://arts.vcu.edu/theatre/who-we-are/alumni/.

Change of major requirements

Student must submit application to VCUarts Admissions.

http://arts.vcu.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/current-vcu-student/



Bachelor-level job titles
  • Actors
  • Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes
  • Dramaturgs
  • Literary Managers
  • Playwrights
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
  • Speech-Language Pathology Assistants
  • Teachers
  • Training and Development Managers
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.5 for Performance, 2.8 for Design/Tech
Department name:
Department of Theatre
Building/room location:
The W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1514
Email:
theatre@vcu.edu

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Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Join the Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theatre (SALT) Facebook group and audition for shows at the Shafer Street Playhouse.
  • Research VCU Theatre Faculty and Staff bios to see where they have and are currently working.
  • Attend Brown Bag lunches (held three times each semester) to familiarize yourself with issues in the department.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
  • Consider a $7 subscription to the New Play Exchange through the National New Play Network. It gives you the ability to read brand new published scripts and search for specific roles/play content.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” and The Vault to learn about opportunities in your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
  • Research local theatre companies (like Virginia Rep, Richmond Triangle Players, SPARC, Firehouse Theatre, etc.) for future credited internships.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.     

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to review the BA and BFA degree differences.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests and strategies for success.
  • Register for UNIV 200 to meet the prerequisite for THEA 307-308.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Research professional organizations like AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LMDA, DGA, IATSE, and many more.
  • Consider becoming more involved in SALT and mainstage productions--offer to stage manage, design,assistant direct etc. so that you are stepping outside of your comfort zone.
  • Attend SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference) to audition/interview for summer stock jobs.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA). 
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Apply to the Greece Study Abroad program, which allows you to complete THEA 307 a semester early - with upper-level Theatre electives.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know the Richmond theater scene. Attend productions and go to the Virginia Rep with low cost tickets. Whenever opportunities arise to attend productions in the DC area, take advantage of them!
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Have a draft of your resume reviewed by your faculty and at VCU Career Services.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and events throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • Attend general interest workshops held by any of the visiting theater companies to learn about internship opportunities.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Actors should have 2 contemporary and 2 classical monologues, plus a song (if you sing), prepared for auditions. Seek faculty advice and help!

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to do your Junior Audit
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Propose to direct an established production or a new show you have written in SALT.
  • Propose yourself as a dramaturg or assistant director for a mainstage production.  
  • Start looking for professional conferences you can attend in your field.
  • Audition for an improv company in town. Write sketch comedy and perform it, and consider going to Chicago for a summer improv workshop at one of the major companies.
  • Create a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative session
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Meet with your advisor to plan your study-abroad classes and how they will fit into the BA curriculum.
  • Subscribe to American Theatre and Artsearch. Familiarize yourself with trends around the country.
  • See as much theater as you can. If you like the work of a particular company, research how you might begin to work for that company.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office    
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Apply for summer stock jobs with an accredited theatre company (VCU has numerous affiliations with companies up and down the east coast.)
  • Apply for internships for the summer between your junior and senior year.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about graduate school and job options for after graduation.
  • Update your professional resume, and, if acting is an interest, get a professional headshot.
  • Request professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation. 
  • Update your “Gap Analysis” with your advisor

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss the possibility of graduate work.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Join the SALT leadership team.
  • Establish a plan during the Business of Theatre class (THEA 415) of where you will go, what you will do, and who you will connect with after you graduate. Remember that Theatre VCU has a number of alums in theatre all over the country.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Work as a dramaturg, assistant director, actor with one of the local professional companies.
  • Consider spending time in New York, Chicago, or another major city during breaks to build on your cultural competence.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Apply for more advanced positions at your previous summer stock company (or reach out to a more prestigious company).
  • Use the contacts/networks you have established at your previous companies and through Theatre VCU to leverage potential leads. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Research employers and create your job/graduate school strategy 8 months before graduation.
  • Interview with the professional theater companies that visit, and consider traveling to other theater companies of interest to apply for jobs.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Theatre

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” and The Vault to learn about opportunities in your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
  • Research local theatre companies (like Virginia Rep, Richmond Triangle Players, SPARC, Firehouse Theatre, etc.) for future credited internships.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.     
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to review the BA and BFA degree differences.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests and strategies for success.
  • Register for UNIV 200 to meet the prerequisite for THEA 307-308.
  • Research professional organizations like AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LMDA, DGA, IATSE, and many more.
  • Consider becoming more involved in SALT and mainstage productions--offer to stage manage, design,assistant direct etc. so that you are stepping outside of your comfort zone.
  • Attend SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference) to audition/interview for summer stock jobs.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA). 
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break
  • Apply to the Greece Study Abroad program, which allows you to complete THEA 307 a semester early - with upper-level Theatre electives.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know the Richmond theater scene. Attend productions and go to the Virginia Rep with low cost tickets. Whenever opportunities arise to attend productions in the DC area, take advantage of them!
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Actors should have 2 contemporary and 2 classical monologues, plus a song (if you sing), prepared for auditions. Seek faculty advice and help!
Year 3
  • Propose to direct an established production or a new show you have written in SALT.
  • Propose yourself as a dramaturg or assistant director for a mainstage production.  
  • Start looking for professional conferences you can attend in your field.
  • Audition for an improv company in town. Write sketch comedy and perform it, and consider going to Chicago for a summer improv workshop at one of the major companies.
  • Create a community-engaged research project
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative session
  • Meet with your advisor to plan your study-abroad classes and how they will fit into the BA curriculum.
  • Subscribe to American Theatre and Artsearch. Familiarize yourself with trends around the country.
  • See as much theater as you can. If you like the work of a particular company, research how you might begin to work for that company.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office    
  • Apply for summer stock jobs with an accredited theatre company (VCU has numerous affiliations with companies up and down the east coast.)
  • Apply for internships for the summer between your junior and senior year.
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about graduate school and job options for after graduation.
  • Update your professional resume, and, if acting is an interest, get a professional headshot.
  • Request professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation. 
  • Update your “Gap Analysis” with your advisor
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss the possibility of graduate work.
  • Join the SALT leadership team.
  • Establish a plan during the Business of Theatre class (THEA 415) of where you will go, what you will do, and who you will connect with after you graduate. Remember that Theatre VCU has a number of alums in theatre all over the country.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year
  • Work as a dramaturg, assistant director, actor with one of the local professional companies.
  • Consider spending time in New York, Chicago, or another major city during breaks to build on your cultural competence.
  • Apply for more advanced positions at your previous summer stock company (or reach out to a more prestigious company).
  • Use the contacts/networks you have established at your previous companies and through Theatre VCU to leverage potential leads. 
  • Research employers and create your job/graduate school strategy 8 months before graduation.
  • Interview with the professional theater companies that visit, and consider traveling to other theater companies of interest to apply for jobs.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.