Determining What You Want in a Theatre Arts Program

Godspell Production PhotoThe process of selecting a place to study theatre is a two-way street. The school wants to know if you’re the kind of student who will do well in its program, and it seeks to find out by asking you to fill out an application, supply your grade point average and SAT/ACT scores, audition, and/or interview. Similarly, you need to find out everything you can about the education and training you will receive at a school you’re considering.

Your first questions should be ones that you ask of yourself to help you understand what you are looking for in a college theatre program such as:

  • What do I want to get out of college theatre training?
  • Do I want to learn more to see if it’s an area I might want to pursue professionally or do I already know this is what I’m going to do and want the best training I can get in professional skills?
  • What do I want to be doing when I finish school?
  • Am I more interested in film and television or in live theatre?
  • Do I want to teach theatre in schools?
  • Do I want to study in a liberal arts or a conservatory setting?
  • What size program do I prefer?
  • What kind of environment suits me? Urban setting? Small town? Large state university? Private college? How far from home?
  • How big of a gap between the total annual cost and the financial package can I afford?
  • How do I learn best? Hands-on experience or classroom setting?