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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

Theatre

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Costume Design/Technical Production, Lighting Design/Technical Production, Performance, Performance/Musical Theatre, Scene Design/Technical Production, Stage Management/Technical Production
Program description

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts that may be entered into during the third year. All freshman and transfer students entering the Department of Theatre are initially classified as Theatre Foundation students. 


The BA is designed for students who want a program with a strong emphasis in theatre combined with a strong liberal arts component, and a minor (or other course of directed study) in an area other than theatre.


The BFA is designed to educate and train students as theatre professionals in performance, costume design/technical production, lighting design/technical production, scenic design/technical production, or stage management. Student participation in both credit- and noncredit-bearing department activities is required. Students matriculating in School of the Arts degree programs are bound by the policies and procedures stipulated in this bulletin and in any other current handbook or policy document adopted by the individual programs. Students may choose from a variety of BFA concentrations to further specialize their studies.


Because of the environment that exists in the Department of Theatre, all aspects of theatre as art, craft, business, and education are experienced together. The curriculum immerses students in the practicalities of theatre. Throughout the curriculum, students work with voice, body and imagination; this practical application, combined with a strong liberal arts component and a minor (or course of directed study), offers a wide field of academic and human experience. After successfully completing the first two years of core theatre courses in their foundation areas of emphasis, students apply for admission into a specific degree program (BFA or BA) in theatre.

Career opportunities

For more than 67 years, Theatre VCU has prepared students for careers in professional and academic theatre.  Hundreds of alumni scattered across the United States and Canada now successfully practice what they began as students at VCU. With 25 faculty and staff and a combined graduate and undergraduate student population averaging 280, Theatre VCU is one of the largest theatre training programs in the southeastern United States.


The faculty of Theatre VCU are first and foremost educators who provide first-rate mentoring and instruction. They also serve as role models, practicing their craft as artists locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. They work on the stage, TV and in films, author books in their disciplines, and hold elected offices in some of the nation’s most prestigious organizations. Collectively, the faculty and staff pride themselves on their ability to help bridge the gap between life as a student and life as a professional beyond VCU.


VCUarts celebrates the accomplishments of theatre alumni online and welcomes your viewership.

Change of major requirements

Completion of the Art Foundation Program is a prerequisite for entry into all fine art and design departments.

Students are required to submit their application and required portfolio here.


Typical application deadlines are November 1 (for spring applicants) and April 1 (for fall applicants).


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Assistant Art Director
  • Lighting Designer
  • Master Electrician
  • Museum Technicians and Conservators
  • Production Designer (Film, TV)
  • Production Sound Technician (TV, Film)
  • Scenic Artists and Propmakers
  • Set and Exhibit Designers
  • Sound Designer
  • Stage Technician
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Professional Designer
  • Scene/Costume Shop Manager
  • Theatre Administrator
  • High School/College Teacher
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
Department name:
Department of Theatre
Building/room location:
The W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1514
Email:
theatre@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Register for UNIV 200 to meet the prerequisite for THEA 307-308.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Identify theaters you like in Richmond and DC and research how to get involved there.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Continue to attend all visiting artist and guest lectures as applicable to your concentration every semester.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • See as much live theater as you possibly can! Keep a journal noting your reactions.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Draft your professional resume
  • Build your online brand and ensure that your professional website and all of your social media reflect who you are.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss the possibility of graduate work.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Continue to build on your theater literacy and, if you are thinking about relocating to a new region as a potential place to begin your career, begin reading the local newspaper, familiarize yourself with the region’s area theater scene, and consult faculty members who are familiar.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Look for Artsearch internships during the fall semester: their internships usually run from October through April.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Build your professional resume with theater and film work.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Theatre

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Costume Design/Technical Production, Lighting Design/Technical Production, Performance, Performance/Musical Theatre, Scene Design/Technical Production, Stage Management/Technical Production
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Register for UNIV 200 to meet the prerequisite for THEA 307-308.
  • Identify theaters you like in Richmond and DC and research how to get involved there.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Continue to attend all visiting artist and guest lectures as applicable to your concentration every semester.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • See as much live theater as you possibly can! Keep a journal noting your reactions.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Draft your professional resume
  • Build your online brand and ensure that your professional website and all of your social media reflect who you are.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss the possibility of graduate work.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Continue to build on your theater literacy and, if you are thinking about relocating to a new region as a potential place to begin your career, begin reading the local newspaper, familiarize yourself with the region’s area theater scene, and consult faculty members who are familiar.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Look for Artsearch internships during the fall semester: their internships usually run from October through April.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Build your professional resume with theater and film work.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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