Why settle for being the star of the month, when you can actually make a lifetime career out of performing? Make no mistake about it—the actors with longevity, the ones who made lifetime careers out of their name and changed the face of American culture, all come from a strong theatrical background. Entertaining is not all about faces, nor is it all about writing, directing or even “acting.” It is the combination of all these factors, and this is best explained in theater. The University of Maryland at College Park’s bachelor degree program in theatre is among the most competitive and sought-after degrees in the United States.
About UMD’s Theatre Curriculum
This small college program, consisting of about 170 students, offers an intimate setting, lots of exciting workshops, and interactive events with established theatre professionals. This liberal arts degree is not merely about acting, but about all aspects of the stage—where entertainment begins and ends. Despite America’s obsession with movies, everything we see on the big screen begins on a stage, and involves multiple aspects of production, design, writing, directing, and acting interpretation. Students who take this program will learn the history of theatre, the literature and even theory of what makes the stage as lively as it is. Not only is American theatre considered, but cultural diversity is also taken into account.
This program requires 55 credit hours of course work and 28 of those hours must be at the 300-400 level. An average of C- must be maintained for graduation. Multiple aspects of theatre will be taught during this time, from technical production details to design and production practicum. Then, you proceed onto the foundations of acting and live performance, in Western civilization and beyond. Later, history, communication and presentation will be discussed, not to mention logistical subjects like movement, voice, character development and directing. There are even subjects like voice archetypes, language, musical theatre, and graphics for theatre. Complex studies including the Alexander Technique, Greek tragedies, Shakespeare and renaissance era drama will be reviewed, as well as technical aspects of sound, costuming, makeup, hair and scenic design.
Special Features with UMD’s Theatre Degree
The UMD offers much in the way of extras, from scholarships to associations. One of the most exciting scholarships is the Smith Family Excellence in Theatre Awards, as well as the school’s own Theatre Scholarship Award Funds. The UMD also offers academic internships, giving students the chance to learn in an interactive, real world environment. Students will often time work with prestigious entities like the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Studio Theatre, or the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Associations of merit include the Undergraduate Theatre Artists Society, Erasable Inc., and Sketchup. Lastly, there is a travel abroad feature called the Maryland in London program, which will allow promising students to get an international theatre experience.
If you love not only acting, but also the entire production of the stage and want to learn how to break into this thrilling career field, educate yourself. You may find great opportunities within the University of Maryland at College Park!