Theatre

Program Requirements and Courses

  • Theatre (B.A. | Minor | Teacher Licensure)

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Additional Program Information

Why study theatre?

Theatre teaches collaboration and innovation. It combines the talents of actors, designers, stage managers, carpenters, painters, costumers, directors and more. What better way to understand classic and contemporary texts than immersing yourself in the task of bringing them to life? Students learn to analyze texts and collaborate with peers on challenging projects. Theatre combines the theoretical with the practical. Study of theatre requires in-depth understanding of characters and themes while encouraging new and exciting interpretations that are relevant to our own experiences. Theatre also teaches organization, time management, discipline and the use of tools — from a paintbrush to programming a light board. It teaches creativity, and mental and physical discipline. Theatre students enjoy being part of a team that presents its work to the public.

Why study theatre at Sweet Briar?

Set DesignHere, you will study the entire range of theatre history, from the ancient Greeks to the present day. We perform works from all genres, including musicals, Shakespeare and contemporary plays. Murchison Lane Auditorium is a fine proscenium theater for large musicals and productions, while our Studio Theatre is perfect for small, intimate performances. Sweet Briar students hold a variety of leadership positions, including stage managers and crew heads. Upper-level students may direct, design or write their own plays. Male roles are played by experienced actors from the community, so that students are part of a network by the time they graduate. We also take students to conferences and auditions where they may be offered entry-level acting or technical positions in summer theaters.

Sweet Briar’s close connection to the nearby Virginia Center for the Creative Arts brings in working artists who interact with students. Sweet Briar also hosts professional theatre and dance shows from around the country. Many companies hold workshops with our students and give them opportunities to work backstage. Sweet Briar often collaborates with Lynchburg’s Endstation Theatre Company and Wolfbane Productions.

What can you do with a theatre major?

Almost anything. Many of our majors follow the traditional path to the entertainment industry (including the first female president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences), but others have gone into stage management, children’s theatre or teaching. We have also trained leaders of arts organizations, and some majors have landed in banking or law. The lessons learned from theatre — collaboration, teamwork, leadership and confidence — are in high demand across many different fields.