This major is your ticket to the theatre world and beyond! You’ll learn by immersion: in class, backstage and onstage. You’ll encounter an amazing range of musicals and classic and contemporary plays—and you’ll get hands-on, collaborative experience in actual mainstage productions
All the world’s a stage—get ready for it!
As a theatre arts major, you’ll work side-by-side with talented and experienced faculty. In small classes, you’ll develop a strong practical and theoretical understanding of theatre performance, practice and technique. Through a curriculum deeply rooted in the liberal arts, you’ll expand your capacity for critical thinking, problem solving and compelling oral and written communication—the skills most in demand by today’s employers. This intense and captivating major will enable you to enter the theatre world—and the larger workforce—as a well-rounded professional, practiced in creative collaboration and ready for a wide range of artistic and professional pursuits.
Outstanding professional experience and connections
Practical experience is built into the theatre arts curriculum. Starting on your first day in class, our faculty will encourage you to audition for major parts and backstage roles in the mainstage productions of our Theatre Arts Lab Series (TALS). It produces a minimum of three mainstage shows each year: a musical, a contemporary play and a classical play. TALS follows industry practices and maintains high standards; as a cast or crew member, you’ll sign a contract, follow a strict rehearsal schedule, and work side-by-side with guest artists who are active directors, actors, technicians, musicians, designers and other experienced professionals. You’ll develop sharp front-line skills, make great connections, and start professional life with a built-in support network.
Dominican University Graduate
“I looked at large theatre programs and was shocked to learn that I wouldn’t even be allowed to audition for parts until junior year. When I heard that Dominican allows everyone to audition, including freshmen, I knew I had found the right school. I became a working actor as a direct result of my Dominican experiences.”
Amazing opportunities and resources
Our campus is a theatre student’s natural habitat. The Dominican University Performing Arts Center (DUPAC) includes the 1,100-seat Lund Auditorium and the intimate Martin Recital Hall. Throughout the school year, DUPAC brings to campus renowned artists, performers and companies, such as Renee Fleming, Audra McDonald, Matthew Morrison, the River North Dance Company and many others. Students can apply for paid positions with DUPAC’s scene shop, costume shop and box office. You also can work DUPAC events as artist liaisons, marketing specialists, stagehands and much more.
You’ll enjoy plenty of opportunities to perform with the choir, dance team and other campus groups. The Black Box Experiment is a small-scale, student-directed theatre production. Noise from the Basement—our incredible improv team—is coached by a professional artist and appears regularly in Chicago. Our program benefits enormously from its proximity to the city’s world-class theatre scene. We make our connections your connections—so you can test-drive your dream job in the real world.
To gain a global perspective, you can choose from study abroad programs on four continents. Our Semester in London program allows you to complete an eight-hour tutorial on any aspect of the legendary British theatre. Our students have worked alongside professionals at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the BBC and elsewhere in London.
Prepare for peak performance in professional life
A survey of U.S. employers by Hart Research Associates found that 93% of bosses say that “a job candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems” is the most important factor in hiring decisions. That is the essential skill set of our theatre arts graduates. Our curriculum prepares you for lifelong intellectual and professional competence. In the workplace, our graduates know what they’re doing. They’re comfortable in front of audiences, skilled at time management, able to work independently, take direction (or both), and ready to adapt and thrive through long and meaningful careers. They have earned their way into leadership positions in professions of their choice.
Dominican University Graduate
“Dominican is like a big family. Your professors want to see you succeed and they’ll do anything they can to help you along the way. I was actually cast in a lead in a musical while I was still a freshman, which was an amazing experience. I definitely recommend Dominican to the younger people I meet.”