Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts

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Curriculum | Why SHU? | Internships | Admission | Careers | Facilities

What will I study?

The 36-credit Theatre Arts major with concentrations in musical theatre and acting prepares students to enter the theatre industry by gaining the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to pursue the most competitive jobs and career paths in theatre-related performing arts. Through a curriculum that combines theory and practice, Theatre Arts majors will acquire leadership skills through collaborative learning that focuses on artistic integrity, intellectual inquiry and development of the professional values and skills that lend themselves to a successful career after college. 

Through the additional opportunity to take interdisciplinary course electives, students are also given the option to acquire additional specializations in the areas like film, television, new media or directing, and encouraged to participate in a wide variety of workshops and productions that combine theory and practice. Campus theater productions funded by the Division of Student Affairs are integrated into the curriculum and into students’ individualized academic advising plans, which gives theatre arts majors the flexibility to double major in the following 36-credit disciplines: Criminal Justice, Digital Communication, English, Global Studies, History, Mathematics, Media Arts, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Theology and Religious Studies, Sociology or Spanish. 

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Why choose Theatre Arts at SHU?

Sacred Heart continues to expand its arts curricula in part as a response to the unprecedented growth of the Theatre Arts program by the Student Life Department. The program produces six full-scale productions each year – two main stage shows in the Edgerton Center and four Little Theatre shows. The musicals and plays range in style: past shows include Rent, Chicago, Dogfight, Spring Awakening, Little Shop of Horrors, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Boeing Boeing, Playboy of the Western World and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Courses are taught by professionals from the theatre industry, providing students with valuable networking opportunities. Students explore all elements of theatre preparing them for a successful career in a variety of fields, including theatre (acting, directing, producing, writing, stage management), television, film, education (kindergarten - higher education), media companies and art therapy to name a few.

Will I have internship opportunities?

Yes, internships can be taken as electives pending approval by an academic advisor and program director through Sacred Heart’s academic internship application process. 

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Are there special admission requirements?

In addition to the standard University admission requirements, an audition or interview based assessment is necessary to quality for the Performing Arts grant. Singers should prepare a song and bring sheet music to be played by a pianist (at least sixteen bars). Actors should prepare a brief monologue to recite from memory (five minutes or less). Those interested in technical work, should be prepared to speak about their prior experience and goals within the program. Through this pre-assessment, students should demonstrate entry-level technical ability with potential for growth and show adequate strength, artistry and expression in a chosen genre. A rudimentary understanding or awareness of body in space and the ability to sequence movements together are also desired. No audition is required to be a Theatre Arts major.

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What are my career options with a Theatre Arts degree?

The Theatre Arts major allows students to develop the skills that will prepare them for numerous production, performance and other industry opportunities. The Theatre Arts curriculum will give students a broad range of communication, organizational and problem-solving skills that are applicable to a wide range of jobs, including a career in the performing arts as an actor, director, producer, playwright, stage manager or educator.

Specific examples of potential employers of Theatre Arts majors include:

  • Production companies
  • Television, radio, and film 
  • Community organizations 
  • Casting agencies  
  • Arts councils  
  • Libraries  
  • Theater management
  • Touring companies
  • Educational/cultural institution         
  • Universities and K-12 schools
  • Performing arts organizations
  • Public relations agencies

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What facilities and resources are available to students?

The 60-seat black box style Little Theatre is a space designated for theatre arts faculty and students. Sacred Heart University’s Fairfield campus is also home to the 776-seat Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts where many student productions are performed each year. The Theatre Arts major will have access to the new facilities in the Martire Business and Communications Center, including a sound stage for film and television production and performance/motion capture animation studio.