Careers in Theatre

Skills Gained

The study of theatre equips a student with a broad range of communication and organizational skills applicable to many careers, not solely those in the performing arts.  The theatre major's presentation skills, ability to perform in public, and control of the voice and body provide a solid basis for working effectively with others.

Theatre also develops the ability to concentrate intensely, to listen introspectively, observe keenly, solve problems creatively, think critically, develop projects collaboratively, work independently, work under pressure, meet deadlines and maintain composure when faced with the unexpected.

Communication Organizational & Project Development
Supervising people
Solving problems
Conveying ideas
Writing copy/proposals
Interviewing/hiring staff
Comparing/contrasting ideas
Using critical analysis
Establishing timelines
Delegating assignments/authority
Maintaining overview of project/program
Motivating groups
Assessing needs
Developing cost analysis
Budgeting for programs/services
Organizing equipment
Setting priorities
Reviewing new projects
Artistic Technical
Creating new approaches/concepts
Designing scenery
Giving visual/aural form to ideas
Thinking creatively

Operating visual/audio equipment
Developing computer graphics

Career Opportunities

UW-L Theatre provides students with the theatrical knowledge, skills, collaborative teamwork, creative problem-solving, and professional connections needed for success after graduation.
Careers in theatre include, but are not limited, to:

Actor Artistic Director
Box Office Manger Business Manger
Choreographer Costume Designer
Costume Shop Supervisor Drama Coach
Dramaturge Director
Fight Choreographer House Manager
Lighting Designer Makeup Arts
Master Carpenter Master Electrician
Musical Director Playwright
Producer Production Manager
Pyrotechnician Recording Engineer
Rigger Scenic Designer
Scenic Painter Sound Designer
Special Effects Designer Stage Crew
Stage Manager Technical Director
Technician Theatre Consultant
Theatre Critic Theatre Educator
Vocal Coach

Occupational Outlook

Our blend of unlimited opportunities and close personal attention produces excellent results. Over 90% of our graduates find jobs or pursue graduate level degrees in theatre. Theatre study includes a comprehensive study in theater, practical experience in professional production, and a solid background in the liberal arts. Talent, commitment, energy, and discipline are key personal qualities required for successful theater careers. Most professional occupations today require a college educated individual who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, utilize technology, and work well with others on a team to solve creative challenges. A major in theatre arts prepares students well for an amazing variety of collaborative, creative, people-oriented careers. The theatre arts degree brings a unique background for success in any area where words, ideas and public contact are important including careers in:

  • Costume ShopAdmissions Director
  • Advertising/Marketing Specialist
  • Amusement Park Entertainer
  • Art Director or Arts Administrator
  • Booking Manager
  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Business Manager
  • Communication Technology Specialist
  • Community Affairs Officer
  • Computer Design Specialist
  • Conflict Mediator
  • Copy Writer
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Development Officer/Fundraiser
  • Draftsman
  • Entertainment Producer
  • Equipment Operator
  • Facilities Manager
  • Exhibit/Display Designer
  • Human Relations Specialist
  • Interior or Fashion Designer
  • Lobbyist
  • Media Planner
  • Model
  • Movie Theater Manager
  • Personal or Program Assistant
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Radio/TV Announcer
  • Recruitment Officer
  • Sales Representative
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Student Affairs Specialist
  • Talent Manager/Scout
  • Theater Manager
  • Theatre News Correspondent
  • Ticket Sales Coordinator
  • Tour Guide
  • Tourism Program Director
  • Training & Development Specialist
  • Voice-Over Performer
  • Writer/Editor

Capable theatre graduates are encouraged and aided by the department in seeking MFA degrees required for college level teaching or advance theatre careers. The department takes pride in noting the many graduates who have received full-ride scholarships to some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country including UCLA, Temple University, University of Florida, Purdue University, California State University-Irving and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

UW-L theatre graduates also work at some of the nation’s most distinguished theatres including the Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Penumbra Theatre Company, Actors Studio Theatre in New York, the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. Our alumni can be found stage managing at First Stage Children’s Theatre and The Armory Dinner Theatre, designing lights at The New School (New York), performing in various television series and live theatre productions, directing for the Stoughton School District, teaching at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and serving as backstage floor manager for Carnival Cruise Line productions, just to name a few.