Discover the power of your story.
At the University of Mary Washington, we believe the strongest path to learning theatre is by creating plays and musicals to share with an audience. Work alongside faculty, staff, and other students to build your skills, get exceptional production experience, and build a bridge from UMW to your professional career.
Students majoring in theatre who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in performing arts.
What courses will I take?
UMW offers courses in all aspects of theatre, including acting, scene design, lighting design, costume design, technical production, dramatic literature, voice and body movement, dance, stage makeup, costume construction, stage management, arts administration, scene painting, fashion history, playwriting, musical theatre performance, directing, musical theatre, and stage combat.
What can I do with a performing arts degree in theatre?
Graduates can enter the professional theatre in any of the related specialties—acting, directing, design, or administration. They may pursue an extended internship or fellowship to strengthen skills and enhance their experiences. Some graduates leverage the theatre degree into related careers in education, public administration, recreation, and nonprofit management.
For a look at how Mary Washington theatre majors are pursuing their careers, check out our alumni page.
How can I learn outside of class?
First and foremost, you can become a part of UMW Theatre and work onstage, backstage, or front of house in our production program. You can learn something new, do something you already love, and build from one experience to the next by working with us. Beyond campus, UMW students have served internships and been hired by a variety of arts organizations across the country, including Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, Wolf Trap, The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, and many other organizations. UMW Theatre has a significant student employment program where students get professional experience working in the department’s scene shop, costume shop, box office, and management office.
“UMW Theatre has provided me so many incredible opportunities to create and experience theatre. Almost immediately, I found my home among the theatre students, faculty, and staff as I began to participate in amazing activities in and out of class. I am a part of something that makes me proud.”
The theatre major requires 41 credits including core courses and electives. All theatre majors must enroll in theatre practicum each semester except during the semester of the senior project. Eight practicum credits may count toward graduation.
Twenty-four credits are required for the musical theatre minor.
The Department of Theatre & Dance offers many awards to continuing students who are active in the production program. These merit-based scholarships vary in size and award criteria.