BA in Theatre

Immerse yourself in the art of theatre -– its techniques, history and criticism -– with an emphasis on learning by doing

Our Bachelor of Arts in Theatre provides an education that focuses on all aspects of the field. From classical acting, to design, to management, your coursework will help you understand each part of a successful production. Theatre students also partner with other programs across the university, creating an expansive creative foundation to pair with in-depth studio training.

Our award-winning faculty, our home in one of the busiest theater capitals in the country, and our strong interdisciplinary approach gives our students incredible opportunities to become experts in the craft. With courses in theatre design, acting, directing, theory, history and production, you’ll understand both the theory and practice required to create this art. Our degree programs also make it easy for students to double major or double minor, producing well-rounded graduates ready to take on their goals.

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The curriculum focuses on the doing of theatre design, acting, playwriting, directing, and production work along with the study of aesthetic theory, theatre history, and other conceptual and theoretical topics. It is designed to give students a firm grounding in all aspects of theatre, while giving each student the opportunity to focus on a particular aspect of study (e.g. acting, design, dramaturgy), by the end of one’s senior year. Study Abroad opportunities are encouraged, as is the opportunity to do a Senior Honors Thesis, which can have a performance, creative, or scholarly focus.

Our 39-credit major program includes required courses that provide a deep understanding of the discipline, technical courses and additional electives.

Theatre Major Course Requirements

To minor in theatre a student must meet these requirements:

  • The General Education Requirements of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

  • 12 credit hours of theatre courses

  • TRDA 3245-6: History Of Theatre

In addition to meeting the general requirements stated under University Regulations, candidates for graduation with Special Honors in Theatre must have a grade-point average of 3.4 in the major and complete TRDA 4599: Honors Thesis with a grade of A. They must consult with a faculty advisor at the beginning of the second semester of the junior year to determine eligibility, area of study, and the director of the research or creative project. Honors Thesis applications are due April 15 for the next academic year.

Application Process

To apply for a Theatre program you must complete GW’s online application and submit all required materials.

Apply to the Theatre Program

Financial Aid

There are many opportunities for students in the program to find financial aid, including scholarships and Federal Work Study awards, determined through the Office of Financial Aid.

Theatre & Dance offers competitive tuition scholarships, as part of the Corcoran Scholars program. Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate first-year applicants.

Within our program area, scholarships are awarded in the areas of dance, acting and design/technical production, based upon information on the application, support materials and the audition/interview process held on the university campus.

Recipients must demonstrate talent and determination with intentions of pursuing further training and experience while at the university in dance, theatre or theatrical design to be considered for one of these highly competitive scholarships.

Scholarships are renewable for up to ten consecutive semesters, assuming continuous full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress. Recipients are not required to re-audition for the scholarship each year, but must either major or minor in their area of expertise within the program and are required to register each semester for course work in the area for which the scholarship is awarded. Recipients participate each semester in dance, acting, or design technical production activities sponsored or sanctioned by the program. Corcoran Scholars in acting and dance are required to audition each semester for all program productions. 

For complete scholarship requirements and information on how to apply and audition, please visit our Corcoran Scholars website.

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally-funded work program for students to earn wages during college while working for nonprofits, educational institutions, government and community service employers.

At GW, FWS is administered by the Career Center and the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). Students must meet eligibility requirements, and apply and accept their financial aid package - including the FWS Award - each year through the OSFA.

GW FWS students can apply and interview for these positions in the Program of Theatre & Dance:

  • Costume Shop Assistant: Duties include, but are not limited to, costume construction and alteration, as well as maintenance of the Theatre & Dance costume stock. Knowledge of basic sewing skills is preferred, but on-the-job training will be provided.
  • Main Office Assistant: General office work. Duties include, but are not limited to: updating files, copying, faxing, typing, answering phones, responding to emails, etc. Students will need to learn basic information about the academic program and related productions in order to answer questions from prospective students, etc. The candidate should have good communication skills, be computer literate, organized, punctual, and friendly!
  • Promotions Office Assistant: Duties include, but are not limited to postering and publicizing MainStage shows, returning phone calls and emails, and working in the box-office during MainStage productions. The candidate should have good communication skills, the ability to work unsupervised, and be computer literate. Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop is a plus, but not required. The student must be available to work evenings of MainStage performances.
  • Scene Shop Assistant: Duties include, but are not limited to, scenic construction, painting, props construction, and installation and setup of scenery. Some experience with carpentry and set construction preferred. The work is physical in nature, and the applicant must be willing to get dirty.

These positions are available in the Fall, and last through the academic year. FWS students are considered student temporary employees and are required to present appropriate identification and paperwork prior to commencing employment. Once hired, students receive an hourly wage and biweekly paychecks.


Maggie Contreras

Maggie Contreras

B.A., Theatre '06

"It was my first time on a working tv set and I still remember the sounds, smells, being proud of our work…"


Read more about Maggie's Career

Program Contacts

Building XX
814 20th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-8072 | Fax: 202-994-9403 
[email protected]


Full Time Faculty

For a full list of Theatre Faculty, including adjunct professors, see the Faculty page.