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Theatre, B.A.

Whitworth Theatre is a collaborative training ground for storytellers, performers and theatre-makers. Through rigorous personalized study, you will learn theory, develop performance skills, and make meaningful connections between your worldview and the art you create.

We are a vibrant, collaborative learning community that welcomes all students to explore and enhance their creativity through main-stage productions, touring theatre performances, our Festival of Short Plays and more. We focus on providing individualized experiences to encourage your artistic voice, whether you’re acting onstage or working backstage. On a typical day, you'll experience rehearsing an acting scene, painting a set, choreographing an original student-led piece, or just enjoying being together as a theatre family.

Why major in theatre at Whitworth?

  • Gain practical experience and build your résumé and portfolio through abundant production and performance opportunities.
  • Benefit from individual attention from professors, who provide meaningful interaction both in the classroom and in productions.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills that are widely applicable and that integrate well with other academic disciplines. You can easily double major in theatre and another academic area.
  • Learn from faculty who regularly work in theatre outside of the university and integrate up-to-date knowledge of the field into their classes.
  • Create shows collaboratively from the ground up, and develop and articulate your artistic vision.
  • Enjoy life- and career-defining experiences off campus through internships, performance opportunities and study programs.
  • Design and pitch a Senior Capstone project that you will carry out from creative conception to finished product.
  • Participate in any production. You may not always get the role you hope for, but there is always a role for you to play. 
  • Have fun! Making a play is a joyful act, and setting a positive and upbeat tone is a part of the culture of our department. 
  • In our senior seminar on faith and art, explore the integration of your beliefs with your artistic actions
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our theatre grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Our theatre degree opens up to you a wide range of jobs in creative fields, including acting; writing, editing and publishing; directing in professional and educational sectors; technical production and management; scenic, costume, lighting and sound design; marketing, box office and house management; research and dramaturgy; arts education and advocacy; ministry and community outreach; movement, vocal and performance/presentation coaching; and professional and social dance. Professional theatres love working with our graduates because they know how to get the job done with skill and integrity.

Our graduates also work outside of the arts in positions such as financial analysts, human resource specialists, attorneys and business owners.

Recent job placements include:

  • Reid Tennis, production electrician, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver
  • Court Alfrey, theatrical dresser, The Lion King and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical on Broadway, New York City
  • Ben Bonnema, musical theatre composer and lyricist, musical associate for Marc Shaiman, a composer and lyricist for films, television and theatre, New York City
  • Shawna Nordman, curator and storyteller for Ruby Receptionists, and actor, producer and writer, Portland, Ore.
  • Anne Hitt, stage manager, multiple theatres, Seattle and Los Angeles
  • Alivia Bierschbach, creative arts director at YMCA of the North Shore, Salem, Mass.

Our recent theatre grads further their studies in top graduate programs at institutions including:

  • New York University
  • London Business School
  • Gonzaga University School of Law
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Emerson College

Opportunities outside the classroom

Whitworth offers many activities for theatre majors, including internship and performance opportunities with professional theatres, both locally and nationally.

Our innovative Culture and Development Theatre Program engages with the Spokane and the greater Northwest communities to share stories and stimulate creativity. The program prepares you to promote social action and to cultivate dialogue around social-justice issues in your community through playwriting and devised theatre techniques.

Pack your bags!

In The New York City Arts Experience, you can explore culture, history and the arts from the artist’s point of view. This faculty-led program will expose you to a variety of art forms, including music, visual art, film, dance and theatre. It also includes a skills-building experience in which you will work with NYC arts professionals to learn performance skills.

Experience English theatre and British culture in London, where you will visit museums, art galleries, cathedrals, universities and other places of historical and cultural significance, and will attend multiple theatre and music events.

Tracks

Choose one of three tracks, based on your interests and career goals:

  • Acting and Performance
  • Culture and Development
  • Design and Production

We also offer minors in theatre and dance.

Ask our faculty

Ask Our Faculty - Aaron Dyszelski

Ask Aaron

Associate Professor Aaron Dyszelski's expertise includes a range of theatrical design and production areas.

Ask Our Faculty - Naphtali Fields

Ask Naphtali

Visiting Assistant Professor Naphtali Fields' expertise includes acting, directing, playwriting and devised theatre.

Ask Our Faculty - Maria Sorce

Ask Maria

Theatre Technical Director Maria Sorce's expertise includes technical direction and production management.

Ask Our Faculty - Karla Parbon

Ask Karla

Lecturer Karla Parbon's expertise includes professional dance and nonprofit arts management.

What related majors can I explore?