Theatre is an artistic expression in which actors and actresses perform in front of a live audience. But Theatre majors do more than just act on stage-your college experience will involve productions, of course, but your role in those productions will vary widely. Theatre majors get experience in stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design, and script writing. As actors and actresses, you’ll study movement, voice, and dance. And as with any art form, you’ll learn how we got where we are today by exploring the history and theory of Theatre, and a great deal of literature. At most schools, in the course of four years you’ll be asked to choose a concentration. Choices usually include musical theatre, production, stage management, and scriptwriting, but concentrations vary by school-be sure your area of interest is offered. It’s important to realize that a Theatre major is not an automatic ticket to Broadway. Theatre is a competitive field-the image of the actor/waiter is both a cliché and a reality. Only a very few people will end up supporting themselves from Theatre alone, and many choose to work at jobs such as waiting tables or temping while they wait for auditions and opportunities. However, those with a true passion for Theatre are willing to make these sacrifices.
If you’re considering a Theatre major, by all means get involved with your high school drama club. Usually, high school productions are managed mainly by students, giving you the opportunity to explore various musical and dramatic productions both on stage and off. Music and English courses will be useful. And read as much as you can. Get to know Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller, for example, to name just a few of the great writers for the stage.