What Can You Do With A Theater Degree?

Earning a degree in theater or performing arts can pave the way to a wide array of careers, both onstage and off. At California University of Pennsylvania, our theater degree program gives you the balanced mix of professional training, technical theater skills, and liberal arts knowledge that will prepare you for success — whether you dream of the spotlight, or you want to be the one who’s designing the lighting.

With degree courses that span everything from stagecraft to voice training to directing, Cal U theater majors graduate ready to excel. You can also specialize your degree by pursuing a concentration in musical theater or design and entertainment technology.

Read on to learn about some of the dynamic opportunitiesthat you can pursue with a theater degree. Many Cal U theater majors have landed top jobs in these fields!

Wardrobe Supervisor: Coordinate the day-to-day running and use of costumes on the set of a film or theater or TV production. In this exciting role, you’ll organize and manage dressers, collaborate with costume designers, and be an essential resource for every member of the cast. A Cal U theater degree can give you the well-rounded skill set that is invaluable for this role. Just ask alumna Michelle Sesco '98, who has worked in wardrobe on 11Broadway productions and over 30 off-Broadway shows in New York City. 

Dance/Movement Therapist: Use movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of clients. Theater majors interested in becoming dance or movement therapists will gain a solid foundation with a Cal U theater bachelor’s degree. Maria Gismondi '02 is one example: She completed Cal U’s program and went on to earn a master’s degree in dance/movement therapy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Actor: Becoming an actor is perhaps the first answer that pops into people’s minds when they ask “What you can do with a theater degree?” Actors depict characters in movies, television shows, commercials, theater productions and even at theme parks and clubs. At Cal U, you’ll learn top acting skills from passionate theater arts professionals. You also will learn how to prepare for auditions — and you’ll have performance opportunities both on campus and throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

Theater Company Manager: A broad understanding of all the elements of a theater production, and a keen ability to problem solve, are essential traits in a theater manager. This is why a well-rounded performing arts degree, like Cal U’s theater program, can be a major asset in this role. Theater company managers support the director, take care of actors’ contracts, organize production rehearsals, and help in blocking and stage direction, among other tasks. As Cal U alumna Christina Bordini ’11, who is the company manager at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will tell you: this role is demanding, but it’s fulfilling, too.

Drama Teacher: Job vacancies for drama and theater teachers have increased by more that 36% since 2004. This in-demand career is also exceptionally rewarding, as you’ll spend your time teaching various acting methods, styles and techniques. You’ll also impart knowledge about various plays and the history of performing arts, while empowering students to develop poise and confidence, project their voices, and embody characters fully on stage.

Theater Technician: Theater technicians set up and ensure the smooth and safe operation of sets, lighting, sound and all other technical aspects of a theater production. This exciting role involves working with directors, set designers and cast members to help bring their ideas to life.  Cal U theater majors who pursue the design and entertainment technology concentration graduate exceptionally well prepared for this role. For example, alumnus Mark Rockage ’10 has travelled the world as a lounge technician for Norwegian Cruise Lines, and now works as a technician for Walt Disney World in Florida. 

Singer:Launch a career as a recording artist or musical performer. Cal U offers all theater majors courses in voice, as well as Estill Voice Training, a method for exploring and mastering the full range of vocal expression without damaging your vocal health. For students interested in musical theater, we also offer a musical theater concentration  and many opportunities to perform in on-campus musical productions.

The above list gives just a small sampling of the many amazing careers that you can pursue with a performing arts degree.

Enter this dynamic job market with a competitive edge by earning your theater degree at Cal U. We’re one of the only colleges in Pennsylvania to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Don’t delay your dreams Apply now!   

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