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

Theatre

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Concentrations in Costume design / technical production, Lighting design / technical production, Scene design / technical production, Stage management / technical production
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.

The mission of the BFA in Theatre is to educate and train students as theatre professionals in performance, costume design/technical production, lighting design/technical production, scenic design/technical production, or stage management.

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
  • Art Director
  • Assistant Art Director
  • Lighting Designer
  • Master Electrician
  • Museum Technicians and Conservators
  • Production Designer (Film, TV)
  • Production Sound Technician (TV, Film)
  • Scenic Artists and Propmakers
  • Set and Exhibit Designers
  • Sound Designer
  • Stage Technician
  • Stagehand
  • Storyboard Artist (Film, TV)
  • Technical Producer
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 141
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.8
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
Website:

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Attend all Freshman Seminars, and take notes!
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Join the Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theatre (SALT) Facebook group
  • Research VCU Theatre Faculty and Staff bios
  • Attend visiting artists and guest lectures to familiarize yourself with the department.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals
  • 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 abrooptionsad 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.
  • Take advantage of low cost ticket options at Virginia Repertory Theatre or major DC theaters.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” and The Vault to learn about opportunities.
  • 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 internships.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic advisor

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to review differences of the BA and BFA degrees.
  • 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
  • Consider attending SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference) to 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 for the Greece Study Abroad program.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Identify theaters you like in Richmond and D.C., and research how to get involved.
  • Subscribe to American Theatre Magazine. It contains new plays and articles about top theater professionals throughout the country.
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.
  • Continue to attend all visiting artist and guest lectures as applicable to your major offered every semester.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • 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 academic advisor to do your Junior Audi.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Interview for visiting professional companies. While you won’t be able to intern until you graduate, it is good to audition as a junior.
  • Interview for productions at Virginia Rep, other local theaters, Theatre VCU and SALT productions. If you don’t get cast, volunteer for other production roles. 
  • Create a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read American Theatre and reviews in the Washington Post and the New York Times.
  • See as much live theater as you possibly can! Keep a journal noting your reactions.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Consult with the faculty, TCG’s Artsearch for internships, and career services to find opportunities that can build your resume and skills. The summer between 3rd and 4th year is ideal for internships..
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and career services about graduate school vs. job
  • Draft your professional resume
  • Build your online brand. Ensure that your professional website and all of your social media reflect who you are.
  • Update your “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic 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
  • Consider becoming involved in SALT leadership
  • Consider applying for service opportunities such as AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Continue to build on your theater literacy. If you are thinking about relocating to a new region as a potential place to begin your career, begin reading the local newspaper. Familiarize yourself with the region’s area theater scene and consult faculty members who are familiar!
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Make sure you are looking at Artsearch beginning in the Fall semester. Internships are offered from October through April.
  • 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 a job or graduate school search strategy 8 months before graduation.
  • Build your professional resume with theater/film work
  • Link your social media accounts to your website. 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):
Concentrations in Costume design / technical production, Lighting design / technical production, Scene design / technical production, Stage management / technical production
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 all Freshman Seminars, and take notes!
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” and The Vault to learn about opportunities.
  • 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 internships.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to review differences of the BA and BFA degrees.
  • 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.
  • Apply for the Greece Study Abroad program.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Identify theaters you like in Richmond and D.C., and research how to get involved.
  • Subscribe to American Theatre Magazine. It contains new plays and articles about top theater professionals throughout the country.
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • Interview for visiting professional companies. While you won’t be able to intern until you graduate, it is good to audition as a junior.
  • Interview for productions at Virginia Rep, other local theaters, Theatre VCU and SALT productions. If you don’t get cast, volunteer for other production roles. 
  • Create a community-engaged research project
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions
  • Read American Theatre and reviews in the Washington Post and the New York Times.
  • See as much live theater as you possibly can! Keep a journal noting your reactions.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
  • Consult with the faculty, TCG’s Artsearch for internships, and career services to find opportunities that can build your resume and skills. The summer between 3rd and 4th year is ideal for internships..
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty.
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and career services about graduate school vs. job
  • Draft your professional resume
  • Build your online brand. Ensure that your professional website and all of your social media reflect who you are.
  • Update your “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic 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.
  • Continue to build on your theater literacy. If you are thinking about relocating to a new region as a potential place to begin your career, begin reading the local newspaper. Familiarize yourself with the region’s area theater scene and consult faculty members who are familiar!
  • Make sure you are looking at Artsearch beginning in the Fall semester. Internships are offered from October through April.
  • Use the contacts/networks you have established at your previous companies and through Theatre VCU to leverage potential leads.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy 8 months before graduation.
  • Build your professional resume with theater/film work
  • Link your social media accounts to your website. Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services