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Courtney Vinson

Courtney Vinson
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
Penn State Berks

"I am one of the first graduates of the Bachelor of Arts Theatre major at the Berks Campus. This fact means more to me than a degree because I was an active member of the program before the major was official at our campus; it’s a feeling of pride and love because I was part of its development."

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Course Descriptions

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Degree Overview

Theatre in higher education creates not only strong theatre artists and articulate theatre educators, but also effective public leaders and compassionate visionaries in all professions. Theatre in higher education encourages students to understand the unique history, theory and practice of theatre and performance through intellectual and experiential investigation. It challenges students to investigate cultural performances onstage and off, and to imagine new avenues for the creative spirit. You may choose careers as teachers, actors, directors, playwrights, critics, dramaturgs, designers, administrators, and managers. These careers can be pursued within universities, performing arts organizations, related nonprofits organizations and the media.

The B.A. in Theatre at Penn State Berks is identical to the degree provided at University Park. Due to our small size and frequency of productions and classes we can offer students hands on opportunities to focus in their area of emphasis while completing the major requirements that are required of all B.A. in Theatre majors. In addition, our small size ensures that regardless of your emphasis students will graduate with multiple productions worth of experience, leadership/internship opportunities, and employable skills.

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Possible Emphases Include:

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Playwriting
  • Design Tech
  • Theatre Management
  • General

An education in Theatre will provide you with crucial life skills that can be used in a wide range of professions and in your day-to-day relationships with others. Learn to think precisely in the moment, to speak confidently, to write with clarity and intelligence, and work productively with others. These skills open you to a host of other professions including business, government, law, journalism, the natural and social sciences, economics, languages and literature, the fine arts, industry, and related disciplines.

Because Theatre is a collaborative art, students acquire skills in interpersonal communication and group problem-solving. Because performance is an interdisciplinary pursuit, students learn to coalesce research and insights from a rich variety of sources. Theatre answers today’s market demand for skills in creative, critical, and collaborative thinking.

Since the curriculum and training are developed through a four-year sequence of course work, students are encouraged to begin their training, if at all possible, in their freshman year at Penn State Berks. Students entering beyond the sophomore year may find it necessary to spend semesters in residence beyond the typical eight in order to complete the required course work. All prospective majors must meet University entrance requirements and successfully complete a faculty review.

Our Mission

The theatre is a natural place to integrate intellectual, creative, and communicative arts, and provide an outlet for students to engage in interdisciplinary critical and creative work in their coursework and with their peers and the larger community. Penn State Berks offers many opportunities for students to be involved in theatre, and because of our small size, students get to work closely with faculty and other students in all aspects of theatre study and production. Theatre is a creative, imaginative, and critical art that can be studied most productively in an interdisciplinary liberal arts environment. At Penn State Berks, the study of theatre provides students curricular and co-curricular opportunities to develop their critical and creative abilities in an environment that stresses self-knowledge and self-awareness, and necessitates cooperation, communication, and collaboration with the world around them.

Request Information:

For more information, please email James N. Brown (jnb20@psu.edu), Program Coordinator, or call 610-396-6419.