Often, as students consider what major to pursue, their thoughts turn to what practical use a degree can be after graduation. When these types of considerations arise, theatre sometimes seems like a risky proposition. Of course, performance is a highly competitive field, and there are no guarantees that a degree in theatre will book you a role. However, studying theatre can give a student invaluable skills that are sought after by employers from many different fields.
For example, the ability to work with a team (nothing is more collaborative than putting together a theatrical production), empathy for others, the ability to grasp both the big picture and the small detailed tasks needed to fulfill that vision, discipline, dependability, loyalty, and leadership skills.
Also, students who study theatre at NGU are given training in a wide variety of theatre related skills, many of which are invaluable to securing work in this field. In addition to solid technique in acting, voice, and movement, students are trained in directing and stage management. These skills can lead to onstage performance jobs, as well as work “on the other side of the casting table.”
Stagecraft, practicum and design courses such as lighting, costume and scenic painting give student skills necessary for working in a scene shop or backstage as run crew for productions. Courses in theatre history and theory and criticism could lead students into advanced graduate work, or careers in dramaturgy, theatre criticism or teaching. Courses in applied theatre and drama ministry can help students pursue careers as drama therapists, counselors, or social workers.
As part of the required curriculum for a theatre degree, NGU students are required to complete two internships with professional theatre companies or organizations. Just in the Greenville area, students have interned with Warehouse Theatre, Centre Stage, Greenville Little Theatre, Misfit Theatre Company, Upstate Shakespeare, and Flat Rock Playhouse. Many students also complete internships in other areas of the country.
These internships lead to networking opportunities with professionals in the field, as well as important job skills such as resume building, interview skills, and on the job training. Student also have the opportunity to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), where they can network and interview with hundreds of professional theatres from around the country.