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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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B.A. in Theatre

A Liberal Arts Degree
In Theory and Practice

The B.A. in Theatre asks students to consider the theatrical past; to reflect on their own reasons for doing theatre now; and to imagine what theatre can be in the future.

Curriculum
Students take a broad range of courses in theatre theory and practice, beginning with Theatre History, Performance Theory, and Play Analysis. Students gain experience in the Penn State Centre Stage and OffStage seasons as assistant directors, as dramaturgs, and on production crews. Many direct, design, and perform through Penn State’s numerous student theatre groups. Some of our program’s most exciting work results from residencies with internationally renowned guest artists.

Opportunities
The BA offers breadth of experience and depth of inquiry:

Our students may pair Theatre with a second major; our current BAs double major in a range of degrees like Comparative Literature, Public Relations, Hospitality Services, and Business.

The Theatre B.A. is Penn State’s home for the study of Dance. An Area of Focus in Dance provides opportunities to take technique, history, and theory courses.

Students can also focus on Directing, Playwriting, or Dramaturgy. The BA is a strong choice for students who want to prepare for an MFA degree in one of these areas.

The Theatre B.A. prepares students who wish to pursue an MA/PhD program in Theatre History or Performance Studies.

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Is the B.A. in Theatre right for you?

The Theatre B.A. degree program consistently produces well-rounded graduates ready to take the next step. Often that step is to pursue a master’s degree in theatre studies, with some choosing to work toward a Ph.D.

But regardless of your career path, Penn State provides Theatre B.A. students with an impactful education supported by numerous student theatre groups.

The theatre production experience you’ll receive at Penn State will enrich your education and, paired with the resources offered by a world-class university, you will be fully equipped to take charge of your future.

Student performance outside of the Palmer Museum of Art.

Considering the B.A. in Theatre? Consider this.

You’ll get a broad liberal education that prepares you for a range of careers in theatre and beyond.

  • Opportunities for study abroad.

  • This is an ideal theatre degree if you want a double major.

  • Small class sizes mean individualized attention.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State embraced my vision for a cross-disciplinary education that combined electrical engineering with theatre and stage lighting.
Penn State alumnus Andrew Giffin

Alumni Spotlight

Andrew Giffin

Inter-College Bachelor of Philosophy, 2005

Andrew Giffin – a Schreyer Scholar who earned a inter-college Bachelor of Philosophy incorporating studies in Theatre Design and Technology plus Electrical Engineering – is the associate lighting designer for the rock band, Phish, and is widely considered as the top lighting programmer in the industry. Andrew has designed and programmed light shows for musicians such as Pearl Jam, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber in addition to his work on music award shows, theatre productions and sporting events.

News from A&A

Theatre alum is first person of color to lead American Shakespeare Center

Penn State Theatre alumnus Brandon Carter (’14 M.F.A.) is the first person of color to lead American Shakespeare Center (ASC).

Penn State Theatre alumnus Brandon Carter (’14 M.F.A.) has been named the artistic director of American Shakespeare Center (ASC). A resident actor with ASC since 2018, he is the first


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A&A students use SEN grants to support their educational and career goals

Eleven College of Arts and Architecture students received Student Engagement Network grants this fall to fund a range of projects including a play, a film, travel, and more.
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Alumni Spotlight: Mike Hyman ('96 MFA Theatre)

Mike Hyman's career as a lighting designer has taken him from the Atlanta Olympics and regional theatres in Seattle to national tours and Broadway.
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