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Theatre degree prepares students

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The new bachelor of arts degree in Theatre at Penn State Berks provides students with crucial life skills that can be used in a wide range of professions. In addition to providing a solid foundation for not only strong theatre artists and articulate theatre educators, the degree program also allows students to become effective public leaders and visionaries in all professions.

Students will to think precisely in the moment, to speak confidently, to write with clarity and intelligence, and work productively with others. These skills are essential to a wide variety of professions in business, government, journalism, literature, the fine arts, and related disciplines.

The bachelor of arts in Theatre at Penn State Berks is the same degree program offered by Penn State University Park. Students at Berks will benefit from the small class size and frequency of productions, allowing them to gain hands-on experience, to focus in their area of emphasis while completing the major requirements, to participate in multiple productions, and to experience leadership opportunities.

Students majoring in Theatre at Penn State Berks will gain hands-on experience, participating in every aspect of theatre production, including acting, design, directing, stage management, and technical production. Whether on the stage, behind the scenes, in the box office, or working with the public, there are many opportunities for students to engage in real-world situations.

In the classroom, coursework provides a solid foundation in theatre history, theory, aesthetics, and technique. Students can expect to engage three complementary processes: the individual creative process, the collaborative process, and the critical/analytical process. All three processes receive equal attention. The course of study culminates in the senior project, which demonstrates students' knowledge of theatre, integrates formerly compartmentalized areas of study, and poses new questions and challenges.

The Penn State Berks Theatre program provides a solid foundation for those wishing to pursue graduate level work in theatre, professional theatre apprenticeships, or any environment where creative problem solving, collaboration, and research/analysis skills are valued. The program is enhanced by internships with professional theatre companies.

Depending on their area of emphasis, graduates may choose careers as actors, directors, producers, playwrights, dramatic coaches, critics, dramaturges, designers, educators, administrators, and managers. These careers can be pursued within universities, performing arts organizations, related nonprofit organizations, and the media.

For more information on the Penn State Berks Theatre degree program, contact Cleo House, Assistant Professor of Theatre, at 610-396-6419 or via e-mail at czh11@psu.edu.

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