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):
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
  • Communications Director
  • Producers
  • Program Directors
  • Recruitment
  • Self-Enrichment Teachers
  • Training Coordination/Development
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
  • 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 and audition for shows.
  • Research VCU Theatre Faculty and Staff bios to see where they have and are currently working.
  • Attend visiting artists and guest lectures, and 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.
  • Take advantage of low cost ticket options at Virginia Repertory Theatre or major DC theaters.
  • Consider purchasing a $7 subscription to the National New Play Network’s New Play Exchange.
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
  • Research local theatre companies (like Virginia Rep, Richmond Triangle Players, SPARC, Firehouse Theatre, etc.) for future credited internships.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Work on monologues, seek out faculty coaching.
  • 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 between 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
  • Research professional organizations like AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LMDA, DGA, IATSE, and many more.
  • Become more involved in SALT and mainstage productions--offer to stage manage, design,assistant direct etc.
  • Consider attending SETC 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 for the Greece Study Abroad program, which will allow you to finish THEA 307 a semester early.
  • 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.
  • Audition every semester for Mainstage productions and Virginia Rep (on campus!). 
  • Continue to attend all visiting artist and guest lectures as applicable to your major.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Have two contrasting contemporary monologues, plus two contrasting classical monologues ready.. If you sing, have two short musical selections.
  • Consider who you would like 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 Audit
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Discuss auditioning for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival with your Acting teacher
  • Audition for visiting professional companies. While you won’t be able to intern until you graduate, it is good to audition as a junior.
  • Audition 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
  • You should be reading 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 to the work.
  • 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.
  • Audition for Showcase.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and career services about graduate school vs. work.
  • Polish your audition pieces and draft your resume and headshot.
  • Build your online brand. Ensure that your professional website and all of your social media reflect who you are as an artist.
  • 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
  • Establish a plan during THEA 415 of where you will go, what you will do, and who you will connect with after you graduate. Theatre VCU has alums all over.
  • Audition for visiting companies. Research each company BEFORE you audition--know their season, their artistic leadership, and their history.
  • Ask faculty for advice on auditioning for theater companies in New York or Chicago.
  • 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 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
  • 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 resume with theater/film work in the area.
  • 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):
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
  • 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 in your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile
  • Research local theatre companies (like Virginia Rep, Richmond Triangle Players, SPARC, Firehouse Theatre, etc.) for future credited internships.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
  • Work on monologues, seek out faculty coaching.
  • 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 Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to review differences between 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.
  • Research professional organizations like AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LMDA, DGA, IATSE, and many more.
  • Become more involved in SALT and mainstage productions--offer to stage manage, design,assistant direct etc.
  • Consider attending SETC 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 for the Greece Study Abroad program, which will allow you to finish THEA 307 a semester early.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Audition every semester for Mainstage productions and Virginia Rep (on campus!). 
  • Continue to attend all visiting artist and guest lectures as applicable to your major.
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Have two contrasting contemporary monologues, plus two contrasting classical monologues ready.. If you sing, have two short musical selections.
  • Consider who you would like serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
Year 3
  • Discuss auditioning for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival with your Acting teacher
  • Audition for visiting professional companies. While you won’t be able to intern until you graduate, it is good to audition as a junior.
  • Audition 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
  • You should be reading 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 to the work.
  • 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.
  • Audition for Showcase.
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and career services about graduate school vs. work.
  • Polish your audition pieces and draft your resume and headshot.
  • Build your online brand. Ensure that your professional website and all of your social media reflect who you are as an artist.
  • 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.
  • Consider becoming involved in SALT leadership
  • Establish a plan during THEA 415 of where you will go, what you will do, and who you will connect with after you graduate. Theatre VCU has alums all over.
  • Audition for visiting companies. Research each company BEFORE you audition--know their season, their artistic leadership, and their history.
  • Ask faculty for advice on auditioning for theater companies in New York or Chicago.
  • Consider applying for service opportunities such as AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year. 
  • 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! 
  • 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 resume with theater/film work in the area.
  • 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.