Theater Arts Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Theater Arts Degree

A theater arts degree is a great educational basis for artistic and creative individuals to gain the knowledge, skills, and ability to qualify for a variety of careers in the performing arts and entertainment industry. Professionals in the field of theater arts must possess talent paired with education and skill to gain employment within the field. Students interested in theater arts degree programs gain knowledge from a variety of courses based in the liberal arts and specialized courses related to the history of theater, design, technology, theory, performance skills, and dramatic literature. Students also may concentrate studies based performance, dance, music, design, acting, and other related fields.

Many colleges and universities have developed innovative online programs to extend instruction to student managing work and family responsibilities in addition to educational obligations. Most online programs feature virtually the same educational experiences as traditional, on campus programs. Online programs also offer the added benefits of increased flexibility in course scheduling and 24 hour access to course materials and instruction. Many students find online programs offer a more personalized educational experience, providing one on one interactions with other classmates and instructors via Internet chats. Online degree programs are generally one of the most affordable and convenient means of increasing knowledge necessary to advance personal, educational, and professional goals.

What Students Learn Within A Theater Arts Degree Program

Theater arts degree programs provide students with the information necessary to strengthen skills and expand education in the field. Theater arts courses provide instruction regarding the history of theater as well as the theories, techniques, and means of production required to perform as a valuable team members in the performing arts and entertainment industry. Most theater arts professionals are required to complete a minimum of an associate degree to qualify for employment.

Courses within an associate degree program include: college Algebra, English composition, introduction to theater, introduction to biology, introduction to psychology, contemporary and modern dance, theater arts, theater survey, contemporary dramatic literature, script analysis, theater production and performance, Western civilization, selected studies in theater, stagecraft, theatrical make up, introduction to stage design, acting, directing, voice and articulation, directing, introduction to computer design, drawing concepts, costume construction, principles of management, music and audio technology, and an internship. Graduates who complete associate degree programs may advance to employment or continue studies within higher degree programs.

A bachelor degree in theater arts offers students an expanded understanding of the field as well as the ability to specialize studies through the participation of a number of liberal arts electives. Courses include: introduction to theater, acting, English composition, college Algebra, theater history, introduction to design, theater management, critical thinking, stage management, world performance theater, directing, foreign language, introduction to biology, development of drama, theater makeup, costume, stage design, application theory in dramatic literature, application theory in communication possibilities, development of drama, black dramatic literature, pioneers of modern theater, playwriting, American society and institutions, introduction to psychology, introduction to philosophy, the business of acting, and an internship. Bachelor degree graduates may gain employment or continue studies within master’s degree programs.

Master’s degree programs offer students the ability to gain specialized knowledge and training to advance to employment as highly skilled professionals in the field of theater arts. Courses include: technical theater productions, acting, script analysis, scene design, lighting design, introduction to costume design, directing, introduction to theater research, development of dramatic art, modern theater, theater history: periods/topics, theater history: figures, advanced movement, engaging community narratives, embodied poetics theater and therapy for cultural fieldwork, theater games for cultural fieldwork, liberation arts and community engagement theory, staging community based theatre, popular theater for education and development, writing culture liberation arts and community engagement, participatory action research for community based theater, and an international internship. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs may advance to employment or continue studies within a doctoral degree program.

A doctoral degree offers students the ability to be considered experts in the field of theater arts. Courses include: critical traditions in theater and performance, contemporary theory and performance, modernism and theater, theater and performance in cultural context, interdisciplinary performance theory, research and publication in theater and performance studies, directing and staging theory, staging image and text, theater and film, performance studies, theater/performance pedagogy, critical traditions, theater/performance cultural context, interdisciplinary theory, modernism and theater, performance studies, foreign language, research and publication, dissertation, and a clinical experience. Graduates who complete doctoral degree studies advance to employment as experts in the field.

Prospective Jobs For Theater Arts Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete degrees in theater arts gain a solid liberal arts education necessary for a variety of careers within the theater and entertainment industry. Employment in the field of theater arts is based upon factors like level of education, area/s of specialty, work experience, and geographic location. Most employers prefer graduates with bachelor degrees to gain employment in the field of theater arts though many also hire graduates with associate degrees combined with work experience. Graduates who complete associate degrees often advance to employment as public relations assistants, playwrights, actors, communication or marketing representatives, set designers, light designers, costumers, make up artists, or prop designers. Bachelor degree graduates often gain employment as choreographers, costumers, dramatic coaches, dancers, actors, announcers, public relations specialists, playwrights, communication or marketing specialists, set designers, stage managers, light designers, prop designers, producers, videographers, or photographers. Graduates with master’s degrees generally advance to upper level positions as: actors, executive directors, costume directors, film or sound editors, stage directors, marketing or public relations directors, or instructors within high school or vocational schools. Doctoral degree graduates often advance to executive positions within film, theater, or music organizations, college or university instructor positions, or independent consultants in self owned businesses. Graduates often find the best employment prospects within large cities, particularly New York and Los Angeles.

Salary Range For Graduates With Theater Arts Degrees

Graduates with theater arts degrees gain the educational foundation necessary to establish lucrative careers. Earnings for most theater arts graduates is based upon several factors including: education level, experience, area of speciality, and creative talent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for theater arts graduates employed producers, directors, and actors ranges from $ 41,890 to $105,070 annually. Associate degree graduates who gain employment as make up artists generally earn $22,200 to $74,160 annually. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs and advance to jobs as playwrights have salaries of $38,150 to $75,060 annually. Master’s degree graduates employed as stage or production managers earn $64,390 to $108,710 annually. Doctoral degree graduates who work as college or university instructors generally have salaries ranging from $45,010 to $85,330 annually.

Career Outlook And Advancement Opportunities For Theater Arts Degree Graduates

Graduates with theater arts degrees have the knowledge and ability to work as professionals within the growing field of entertainment and performing arts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports job growth for actors, producers, and directors will increase by 11 percent through 2018 at an average rate in comparison to other occupations. Graduates will find heavy competition for employment due to the number of candidates in relation to the number of available jobs. Candidates who complete advanced degrees, continue education, specialize skills, gain work experience and establish their reputation often have an increased employability over candidates with less education, skill, and experience. The best employment options will be centered in urban areas and larger cities, like Los Angeles and New York, as well as within live entertainment venues, repertory theaters, touring productions, theme parks, and resorts. Employment options for theater arts graduates are greatly affected by the economy and may be decreased during economic downturns.

Most graduates with associate or bachelor degrees gain entry level employment and gradually advance upon continuing education and gaining experience to projects within larger organizations offering greater responsibilities and higher salaries. Master’s and doctoral degree graduates often begin employment within entry level managerial or administrative positions and advance to teaching positions within vocational schools, colleges, or universities upon gaining relevant training, experience, and any additional education or licensure. Some graduates may establish independent consulting organizations upon gaining experience and securing adequate funding.

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