Appalachian State University’s Theatre Arts (BA) - General Theatre degree is designed for students who want flexibility and diversity in pursuing their interests within the theatre arts. You will take a broad base of courses in preparation for multiple career paths, including work in acting, technical theatre, theatre history, management and directing. You may then customize your program of study to pursue any area in greater depth or explore interests in other areas of theatre such as playwriting, screenwriting, theatre research, acting for the camera, performance studies and more.
In this program, you will explore theatre within a holistic context of the liberal arts, with an emphasis on developing the whole person rather than a narrow set of skills. This degree equips you with a broad range of collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving skills that are desirable in many careers. This major combines well with other programs of study for a double major – such as Art, Business, Communication, Dance, Creative Writing, Foreign Languages, Secondary Education, History, Psychology and other disciplines.
The program’s faculty and staff in the Department of Theatre and Dance are active theatre professionals who work as directors, playwrights, actors, designers, technicians, producers and consultants at professional theatres and in film. They actively mentor students in all areas of theatre, both inside of and outside of the classroom.
Employment: Most students start jobs immediately following graduation. Employing companies or organizations include:
- Burning Coal Theatre
- Temple Theatre
- Walt Disney World
- Horn in the West Theatre Company
- Love Creek Productions
- Tweetsie Railroad
- SOUTH Carolina Film Institute
- South Carolina Shakespeare Company
- The Barter Theatre
- Deep Dish Theatre Company
- Flat Rock Playhouse
- Ensemble Stage
- Virginia Stage Company
- Utah Festival Opera Company
- Texas Shakespeare Festival
- PCPA Theatrefest
- North Carolina Museum of Art
- North Carolina Theatre
- 1075 KZL
- Cortino Creative
- American Hebrew Academy
- Goodman Theatre
- Harpo Studios
- The Public Theatre
- Atlanta Shakespeare Company
- The Fern
- Out of Box Theatre
- Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre
- Court Square Theatre
Graduate School: Some students choose to pursue graduate school and have enrolled at:
- Tisch School of the Arts
- City University London
- University of Central Florida
- Indiana University
- Mary Baldwin College
Core courses include:
- Page and Stage
- The Stage Environment
- Production Running Crew
- Acting I Beginning Scene Study
- Voice and Movement for the Stage
- Early Theatre History & Literature
- Modern Theatre History & Literature
- Theatrical Costume & Makeup
- Scenery & Properties
- Lighting & Sound
- Arts Management & Promotion
- Theatre Directing
- Theatre Capstone
A minor is required. Students are encouraged to pursue a minor that dovetails with their personal interests or professional goals.
Examples: students interested in Playwriting have often pursued a minor in English, while students with interests in broadcasting have often pursued minors in Communications.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
A variety of clubs in the department include technical theatre, musical theatre, and dance. These clubs are active in producing works and performances.
An active theatre production season each year features student actors, designers, technicians, and more.
Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT) performs for young people and in 2012 celebrated 40 years of touring shows to schools and other venues in North Carolina.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers three study abroad programs:
- Theatre in Europe Past and Present
- Rhythm and Revolution: Exploring Music and Dance in Cuba
- Dance Studies in Europe
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
- Appalachian has no graduate program in theatre, so students learn alongside their peers, competing on an even playing field in programs designed for undergraduates.
- Because the Department of Theatre and Dance houses two arts areas, students have freedom to explore performance and production from multiple vantage points.
- Faculty, staff and students are actively engaged in North Carolina Theatre Conference, Southeastern Theatre Conference, U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology, The American Society for Theatre Research, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and other professional organizations.
- Appalachian maintains a residence in New York City, known as “The Loft.” Theatre majors use the facility regularly tosee productions and meet with professionals who are active in the New York theatre scene.
- There are no audition or portfolio requirements.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
Some of these jobs may require education beyond a bachelor’s degree.
- College Teacher
- Creative Director
- Director, Arts Council
- Director, Nonprofit Arts Organization
- Set designer
- Stage Manager
- Talent Scout
- Theater Camp Director
- Theater Teacher