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Theatre Arts
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  • Careers & resources

    Careers in Theatre

    Skills Gained

    The study of theatre equips a student with a broad range of communication and organizational skills applicable to many careers, not solely those in the performing arts.  The theatre major's presentation skills, ability to perform in public, and control of the voice and body provide a solid basis for working effectively with others.

    Theatre also develops the ability to concentrate intensely, to listen introspectively, observe keenly, solve problems creatively, think critically, develop projects collaboratively, work independently, work under pressure, meet deadlines and maintain composure when faced with the unexpected.

    Communication
    Organizational & Project Development

     

    Supervising people
    Solving problems
    Conveying ideas
    Writing copy/proposals
    Interviewing/hiring staff
    Comparing/contrasting ideas
    Using critical analysis

     

    Establishing timelines
    Delegating assignments/authority
    Maintaining overview of project/program
    Motivating groups
    Assessing needs
    Developing cost analysis
    Budgeting for programs/services
    Organizing equipment
    Setting priorities
    Fundraising
    Reviewing new projects
    Artistic
    Technical
    Creating new approaches/concepts
    Designing scenery
    Giving visual/aural form to ideas
    Thinking creatively


    Operating visual/audio equipment
    Lighting
    Developing computer graphics

    Career Opportunities

    UW-L Theatre provides students with the theatrical knowledge, skills, collaborative teamwork, creative problem-solving, and professional connections needed for success after graduation.
    Careers in theatre include, but are not limited, to:

    Actor Artistic Director
    Box Office Manger Business Manger
    Choreographer Costume Designer
    Costume Shop Supervisor Drama Coach
    Dramaturge Director
    Fight Choreographer House Manager
    Lighting Designer Makeup Arts
    Master Carpenter Master Electrician
    Musical Director Playwright
    Producer Production Manager
    Pyrotechnician Recording Engineer
    Rigger Scenic Designer
    Scenic Painter Sound Designer
    Special Effects Designer Stage Crew
    Stage Manager Technical Director
    Technician Theatre Consultant
    Theatre Critic Theatre Educator
    Vocal Coach  


    Occupational Outlook

    Our blend of unlimited opportunities and close personal attention produces excellent results. Over 90% of our graduates find jobs or pursue graduate level degrees in theatre. Theatre study includes a comprehensive study in theater, practical experience in professional production, and a solid background in the liberal arts. Talent, commitment, energy, and discipline are key personal qualities required for successful theater careers. Most professional occupations today require a college educated individual who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, utilize technology, and work well with others on a team to solve creative challenges. A major in theatre arts prepares students well for an amazing variety of collaborative, creative, people-oriented careers. The theatre arts degree brings a unique background for success in any area where words, ideas and public contact are important including careers in:

    • Admissions Director
    • Advertising/Marketing Specialist
    • Amusement Park Entertainer
    • Art Director or Arts Administrator
    • Booking Manager
    • Broadcast Journalist
    • Business Manager
    • Communication Technology SpecialistCostume Shop sewing
    • Community Affairs Officer
    • Computer Design Specialist
    • Conflict Mediator
    • Copy Writer
    • Customer Service Manager
    • Development Officer/Fundraiser
    • Draftsman
    • Entertainment Producer
    • Equipment Operator
    • Facilities Manager
    • Exhibit/Display Designer
    • Human Relations Specialist
    • Interior or Fashion Designer
    • Lobbyist
    • Media Planner
    • Model
    • Movie Theater Manager
    • Personal or Program Assistant
    • Public Relations Specialist
    • Radio/TV Announcer
    • Recruitment Officer
    • Sales Representative
    • Special Events Coordinator
    • Student Affairs Specialist
    • Talent Manager/Scout
    • Theater Manager
    • Theatre News Correspondent
    • Ticket Sales Coordinator
    • Tour Guide
    • Tourism Program Director
    • Training & Development Specialist
    • Voice-Over Performer
    • Writer/Editor

    Capable theatre graduates are encouraged and aided by the department in seeking MFA degrees required for college level teaching or advance theatre careers. The department takes pride in noting the many graduates who have received full-ride scholarships to some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country including UCLA, Temple University, University of Florida, Purdue University, California State University-Irving and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

    UW-L theatre graduates also work at some of the nation’s most distinguished theatres including the Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Penumbra Theatre Company, Actors Studio Theatre in New York, the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. Our alumni can be found stage managing at First Stage Children’s Theatre and The Armory Dinner Theatre, designing lights at The New School (New York), performing in various television series and live theatre productions, directing for the Stoughton School District, teaching at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and serving as backstage floor manager for Carnival Cruise Line productions, just to name a few.

    Online Career Resources and Professional Organizations

    Actors' Equity Association
    The Actors' Equity Association is the labor union representing 40,000 American actors and stage managers working in professional theatre.  Equity's website contains information about the union and its various departments, programs and contracts, industry-related news and casting notices.

    Actor's Fund
    This resources offers a wealth of information for actors, dancers, musicians, producers, directors, carpenters, stage hands, singers and others in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

    American Alliance for Theatre Education (AATE)
    The mission of AATE is to promote standards of excellence in theatre and theatre education, connecting artists, educators, researchers, and scholars with each other.

    American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
    Website for the major union dealing with television and radio artists.

    American Theatre Wing's Guide to Careers in the Theatre
    Created in partnership with the Lincoln Center Library, this vast site consists of printed and video interviews with theatre professionals in over 30 different aspects of the art form.  Helpful theatre articles and related website links.

    American Theatre Works
    A non-profit organization that publishes a variety of theatre directories.

    Art Job
    Comprehensive, up-to-date national listings of jobs, internships, fellowships and other employment opportunities in the arts.  Subscription/registration required.

    ArtSearch
    The publication from the Theatre Communication Group for full-time, part-time, seasonal, year-round and internship opportunities in the performing arts.  Theatre students may contact the department for username and password for online version.

    Artslynx
    With a neat and well organized series connecting icons, Artslynx has master folders dealing with Dance, Visual Arts, Writing, Film, Arts Administration, Music, Arts of Social Responsibility, Education and Arts Advocacy.

    Arts Net
    Artsnet is a clearinghouse of arts management resources available on the internet.

    Association for Theatre in Higher Education
    ATHE is an organization of individuals and institutions that provides vision and leadership for the profession and promotes excellence in theatre education.

    Association of Performing Arts Presenters
    Excellent site for those interested in the arts administration positions in the performing arts.  Includes a job bank.

    Backstage.com
    Features performance news, audition announcements, technical opportunities, and career support services for both New York and Los Angeles.

    Backstage Jobs
    Free job listing service for all behind-the-scenes jobs in the live entertainment industry.

    Current Jobs in Performing Arts
    A national employment bulletin for jobs in the performing arts.  Subscription/registration required.

    Entertainment Careers
    Jobs, internships, and career information in the entertainment industry.

    Entertainment Employment Journal
    An online, interactive database of jobs and internships focusing exclusively on careers in the creative, professional, production and technical areas of the entertainment industry.

    eperformer.com
    Online site to connect with others in the performing arts.

    Hollywood Actors Network
    Jobs for actors, singers and dancers posted for a variety of locales.  Useful in examining what the performing arts scene looks like.

    Lincoln Center Directors Lab
    THE LCT Directors Lab is a developmental program for nurturing stage directors from around the country and the world.

    Literary Manager and Dramaturgs of America
    LTMD is the most up-to-date way of conversing with dramaturgs, theatre artists and administrators, our colleagues in other art forms, government officials, educators and ethnologists, historians, and many others.

    Mandy.com
    Film and TV production resources.

    Musical Theatre Audition
    Music theatre resource including audition information, advice and extensive descriptions of musicals and audition pieces that work for a wide variety of actors, singers and dancers.

    NYFA Interactive
    Free national information resources for artists in all disciplines and for everyone who supports them in any way.

    National Performance Network
    NPN brings to national attention some of the most exciting and stimulating new work in dance, theatre, music and multidisciplinary art being created in the United States through both direct and indirect support to touring artists.

    New Dramatists
    New Dramatists is a unique resource for the American Theatre.  The company is dedicated to the playwright and serves as an artistic home, theatre research and development center, and writers colony for the national theatre just a few steps from Broadway.  The company finds and nurtures new talent through a competitive, membership selection process and a seven-year playwright development program.

    Playbill Online
    This site claims to be "the source on the web for Broadway Theatre information."  Provides a wealth of information for both theatre goers and professionals.  Check out their "Casting and Jobs" section.

    The Playwrights Center
    An incubator of new work for the stage and the nation's most powerful resource for playwrights.

    Screen Actors Guild
    The primary role of the Screen Actors Guild concerns the members' wages and working conditions, on their jobs.  However, the website has a terrific links page.

    Second City Training Center
    Chicago's famed improvisational theatre training program offering weekly improvisational classes and performance opportunities.

    Showbiz Jobs
    Search engine for all types of jobs in the entertainment industry.

    Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD)
    A website dedicated to fight directors and choreographers including information about training, workshops and certification.

    Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC)
    Major union of stage directors and choreographers.

    Southeastern Theatre Conference, Inc. Job Contact Service
    Search for full-time and/or summer employment in theatre, including technical, academic positions and administration/management.

    StrawHat Auditions
    StrawHat is an organization that supports the careers of non-equity actors and technical artists looking to start and continue their professional careers in the theatre. Its main activity is to produce the StrawHat Auditions, which are held in New York every spring.

    Theatre Communications Group
    The national organization for the American theatre with over 440 member theatres offers a wide array of services.

    Theatre Crafts
    The aim of theatrecrafts.com is to eventually be the best resource for practical information and advice about technical theatre techniques for theatre folk at any level.

    Theatre Jobs
    TheatreJobs.com is a source for employment in the entertainment industry.  Online database includes 100's of ads in all fields of theatre.  Subscription/registration required.

    United Scenic Artists (USA)
    Represents designers and scenic artists nationwide.

    University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA)
    URTA is the country's oldest and largest consortium of professional theatre training graduate programs and associated professional theatre companies.

    United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT)
    Association of design, production and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry.

    Working Actor's Guide (Los Angeles)

    This website is the online version of the 14th edition of The Working Actor's Guide to Los Angeles, a resource for performers and other entertainment industry professionals.