Program Type: Major
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
THE PERFECT FIT for someone who wishes to develop a broad-based liberal arts experience here at UMD. A degree offering a foundation for endless possibilities.
UMD’s Bachelor of Arts in Theatre allows students to explore practical training in various aspects of the performing arts while defining their own path towards a career within or beyond the professional theatre.
The Theatre BA is ideal preparation for careers in directing, playwriting, theatre criticism/history, arts administration, theatre management, or dramaturgy, as well as performance or technology/design. The potential is truly unlimited!
Theater students at UMD connect with faculty on a level that is unprecedented in higher education. Not having to compete with graduate students for production opportunities, our graduates leave UMD with portfolios and resumes far more extensive than the average undergraduate student. We are dedicated to the training of excellent theater artists and productions that are acclaimed nationally and internationally.
The UMD Department of Theatre is actively involved in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Since 1985, five UMD productions (two of those written by UMD students) have been chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of KCACTF, making UMD one of the most successful theatre departments in the nation. In seven of the last fifteen years, UMD actors have won the regional Irene Ryan acting scholarship and have gone on to perform in Washington, DC. In addition, KCACTF has also recognized a number of UMD student playwrights and designers for their artistic achievements with invitations to participate in the national festival.
At UMD, you will:
- explore practical training in various aspects of the performing arts while defining your own path towards a career within or beyond the professional theatre
- have the flexibility to take advanced academic courses across the university, to pursue interdisciplinary projects, and to explore study abroad opportunities
- enjoy a rich liberal arts approach to theatre as a fine art and cultural expression, as well as a business, which will prepare you for innumerable careers as well as graduate work in programs like arts management, dramaturgy, playwriting, directing, and education
Along with the courses required within the major, Theatre BA students must select a minor or second major appropriate to their academic goals.
Unique to a Theatre degree, students develop a vast variety of skills including:
- Critical thinking
- Public speaking
- Improving with feedback
- Project management
You can do ANYTHING with a Theatre B.A.! An education in Theatre in shows employers you have creativity, communication skills, self-awareness, confidence, discipline, teamwork, experience, a cultivation of empathy -- skills that make you a strong candidate in ANY field!
Theatre students go on to careers as varied as Actor, Arts Administrator, Author, Director, Dance Teacher, Entrepreneur, Exhibit Designer, Fashion Designer, Lighting Designer, Producer, Scenic Designer, Stage Manager, and Sound Editor, just to name a few!
Admissions and Scholarships
Admission to Theatre programs is based upon standard UMD admission guidelines, with an audition required only for those seeking to pursue the BFA program (see details below in Requirements).
Theatre majors can compete for talent-based scholarships at the time of their initial audition, and several other scholarships are awarded each spring for continuing students.
As a subsidiary of UMD’s Department of Theatre, Stage 2 Theatre Company works exclusively with UMD faculty, staff, and students to produce its own student-run theatrical season every academic year. Students comprise the Stage 2 Board of Directors and manage every aspect of production. Stage 2 is an excellent supplemental source of involvement particularly for non-Theatre majors and Theatre BA students.
USITT United States Institute for Theatre Technology student chapter works to promote learning among peers and to support theatre design and technology on campus. USITT at UMD frequently supports students’ attendance to the USITT national conference, where students are exposed to new design elements, technologies and theories.
Attitudes Dance Association is currently one of the biggest student organizations on campus, with more than 100 members. It is a student-run group that welcomes anyone who is a student at UMD, College of St. Scholastica, or Lake Superior College; anyone who wants to dance! ADA gives dancers the opportunity to both perform and choreograph in an annual spring performance.
Students pursuing the Theatre BA need not audition for the program. To be accepted as a UMD Theatre B.A., you need only be accepted into the University of Minnesota Duluth itself. Along with the courses required within the Theatre major, Theatre B.A. students must complete a minor or second major appropriate for their academic goals.
All UMD Theatre majors are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop as specified on the College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences page for Technology Requirements.