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 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 cities in the country, and our strong interdisciplinary approach gives our students incredible opportunities to become experts in the art of theatre. With courses in theatre design, acting, directing, theory, dramaturgy, history and production, you’ll understand both the theory and practice required to create theatre. 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.
The curriculum of our 39 credit major and 12 credit minor focuses on 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 providing opportunities to focus on a particular aspect of study (e.g. acting, design, directing), by the end of senior year. Study Abroad opportunities are encouraged, as is the opportunity to do a Senior Honors Thesis, which can have a performance, design, creative or scholarly focus.
Over the course of the program you’ll discover yourself as an artist and creator. Many of our students enter and exit the program as actors, while others learn that they are more passionate in other aspects of the craft such as costuming, lighting or directing. Through experiences in and out of class, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge to succeed anywhere in the field you choose to go.
Our alumni have gone on to a range of successful careers including working actors and actresses, to stage managers, production designers, producers, writers and more.
NEXT is the Corcoran’s annual year-end celebration of art, performance, and scholarship. In 2021, Theatre B.A. students like Hannah Sturgis explored how their creations in theatre can make a societal impact. Hannah created and starred in a one-woman play, “Blood Real Red,” that addressed the mistreatment of Black women by the U.S. medical industry. “I began writing plays at a young age and performing them as well because I had a need to tell stories,” Hannah says, “My work is meant to engage with ideas and experiences that are often left out of the social and political mainstream and specifically that which affects my own identities as an artist.”
Art shown: “Blood Real Red” poster by Hannah Sturgis
GW alumnus Joe Altenau (BA '08) details his experience as vice president of event operations and guest experience at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. The theatre major illustrates how his time at GW, working behind the scenes in productions of theatre and dance, helped prepare him for this role and his career at large. Read more about Joe Altenau and his time at GW.
Hannah Sessler (B.A. ‘20) knew she wanted to be an actress since the age of four years old when she got a standing ovation for her first role as Ursula the Sea Witch. She has always been inspired by how acting encourages people to consider life from different perspectives. Hannah hopes to use theatre as a tool to spur social change and shine a light on stories that need to be told. Jeremy Pinson (B.A. ‘20) is an actor who believes that all theatre is produced within a sociohistorical moment and that all aspects of production ㄧ from writing to casting to staging to performing ㄧ should point to exigent issues of the time. Although he came to GW as an actor, he hopes to broaden his theatrical horizons by getting into directing and writing after he graduates.
Their joint thesis Shutterbug was part of the 2020 NEXT Exhibition. View more here.
MINOR IN THEATRE REQUIREMENTS
These requirements must be fulfilled: 18 credits, including a 3-credit required course and 15 credits in elective courses.