Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2019-2020

Theatre

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Performance
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 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

Prepare two contrasting (one comedic and one dramatic) one-minute monologues from published play scripts. Choose something in an appropriate age range that does not contain a dialect. Secure assistance in the preparation of audition materials.

Be sure to bring a resume and headshot to the audition.Introduce the audition pieces by only the play’s author, title and the character’s name (background on the scene or plot is not necessary). Maintain a positive attitude, dress professionally yet comfortably and, most importantly – have fun!

We find that the following playwrights are generally overdone or are more difficult for high school seniors to deliver successfully: Mamet, O’Neill, Pinter, Shakespeare, Shepard and Williams.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Actor
  • Producers
  • Program Directors
  • Recruitment
  • Self-Enrichment Teachers
  • Training Coordination/Development
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Casting Director
  • Communications Director
  • Drama Therapist
  • Literary Advisor/Editor
Professional associations and resources
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.5
Department name:
Department of Theatre
Building/room location:
The W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Invalid campus
Phone:
(804) 828-1514
Email:
theatre@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Attend visiting artists & guest lectures to familiarize yourself with the department.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Research professional organizations like AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LMDA, DGA, IATSE, and many more.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Register for UNIV 200 to meet the prerequisite for THEA 307-308.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Apply to the Greece Study Abroad program to complete THEA 307 and upper-level electives.
  • Identify theaters you like in Richmond and D.C., and research how to get involved.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Consider attending SETC to interview for summer stock jobs.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Audition every semester for Mainstage productions and Virginia Rep (on campus!). 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Have 2 contrasting contemporary monologues and 2 contrasting classical monologues prepared. If you sing, have 2 short musical selections.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Discuss auditioning for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival with your Acting teacher.
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Read American Theatre and reviews in the Washington Post & New York Times.
  • See as much live theater as you can! Keep a journal noting your reactions to the work.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Polish your audition pieces and draft your resume and headshot. Ensure your website/social media reflects who you are as an artist.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Audition for visiting companies. Research each company BEFORE you audition--know their season, their artistic leadership, and their history.
  • Consider becoming involved in SALT leadership
  • Plan where you'll go, what you'll do, & who you'll connect with after you graduate in THEA 415. Theatre VCU has alums in theatre all over the country!
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Continue to build on your theater literacy. If you are thinking about Los Angeles or the west coast as a potential place to begin your career, begin reading the LA Times. Familiarize yourself with the Los Angeles area theater scene and consult faculty members who are familiar! 
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Look at Artsearch in the Fall semester. Internships are offered from October through April.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Build your professional resume with theater/film work.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Theatre

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Performance
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Attend visiting artists & guest lectures to familiarize yourself with the department.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Research professional organizations like AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LMDA, DGA, IATSE, and many more.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Register for UNIV 200 to meet the prerequisite for THEA 307-308.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Apply to the Greece Study Abroad program to complete THEA 307 and upper-level electives.
  • Identify theaters you like in Richmond and D.C., and research how to get involved.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Consider attending SETC to interview for summer stock jobs.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Audition every semester for Mainstage productions and Virginia Rep (on campus!). 
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Have 2 contrasting contemporary monologues and 2 contrasting classical monologues prepared. If you sing, have 2 short musical selections.
Year 3
  • Discuss auditioning for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival with your Acting teacher.
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Read American Theatre and reviews in the Washington Post & New York Times.
  • See as much live theater as you can! Keep a journal noting your reactions to the work.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Polish your audition pieces and draft your resume and headshot. Ensure your website/social media reflects who you are as an artist.
Excel Year 4
  • Audition for visiting companies. Research each company BEFORE you audition--know their season, their artistic leadership, and their history.
  • Consider becoming involved in SALT leadership
  • Plan where you'll go, what you'll do, & who you'll connect with after you graduate in THEA 415. Theatre VCU has alums in theatre all over the country!
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Continue to build on your theater literacy. If you are thinking about Los Angeles or the west coast as a potential place to begin your career, begin reading the LA Times. Familiarize yourself with the Los Angeles area theater scene and consult faculty members who are familiar! 
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Look at Artsearch in the Fall semester. Internships are offered from October through April.
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Build your professional resume with theater/film work.