The Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Oregon is committed to a liberal arts approach to theatre education, maintaining high standards both in academic and creative practices. We pursue study of theatre’s histories and literature as cultural formations that can inform or reform artistic practice as cultural intervention, and we maintain active commitment to investigating how such formations and interventions can illuminate potential pathways to personal growth. Our faculty maintain a long-standing tradition of commitment to excellence and innovation in our classroom teaching and various mentoring relationships with undergraduate and graduate students.
A degree in theatre arts can lead to a variety of careers, most often in academic or professional theatre. But the basic skills of theatre are also highly important to many other career paths. Our students gain vital dexterity in interpersonal communications, how to work as a team, the necessity of careful goal-design and commitment to deadlines, flexibility in creative problem-solving.
Many of our students go on to become teachers or professors. Preparation for an elementary or secondary teaching career usually begins with a bachelor’s degree and continues with a specific program of graduate study leading to a teaching certificate. Preparation for a college or university teaching career usually culminates in earning a graduate degree in the field of specialty.
Professional and semi-professional theatre companies do not require specific degrees; however they do look for training and experience in those who wish to work for them. Such companies fill many positions outside of the areas of acting, directing, or design. Students may want to investigate courses outside the department that could help them establish careers in box office, marketing, grant writing, dramaturgy, educational outreach, stage management, etc.
A liberal arts college degree in any field offers many advantages, only one of which is to support focus and opportunity for employment. A more important benefit is the process of self-development in mind and heart. Perhaps the most important benefit from studies and practices in theatre to a student’s personal growth is in the expansion of compassion for differences, for the wide variation in human potential limited only by cultural context and individual imagination!