Theatre, B.A.

Our theatre program equips you with the skills and experience to turn your passion for theatre into professional success.

In Oakland University’s theatre program, you’ll build a strong career foundation while you develop your creativity. Widely recognized as one of the Midwest’s best college theatre programs, Oakland provides you with the professional training and industry connections you need for a theatre career. At the same time, you’ll cultivate marketable skills that are in high demand in every industry. With a 90% job-placement rate, graduates from our theatre school have launched careers on stage, behind the scenes, in the business suite, and in related industries such as marketing, fundraising, and education. Our theatre degree combines hands-on theatrical training with a broad, versatile liberal education, making Oakland one of the best college theatre programs you can find.

In Oakland University’s theatre program, you’ll build a strong career foundation while you develop your creativity. Widely recognized as one of the Midwest’s best college theatre programs, Oakland provides you with the professional training and industry connections you need for a theatre career. At the same time, you’ll cultivate marketable skills that are in high demand in every industry. With a 90% job-placement rate, graduates from our theatre school have launched careers on stage, behind the scenes, in the business suite, and in related industries such as marketing, fundraising, and education. Our theatre degree combines hands-on theatrical training with a broad, versatile liberal education, making Oakland one of the best college theatre programs you can find.

Theatre Degree: The Oakland University Advantage

Oakland has Michigan’s largest professional equity theatre company (Meadow Brook Theatre) on campus, an educational resource you won’t find at any other college theatre program in the state. In addition, Oakland is one of three Michigan universities that’s accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Our theatre degree enables you to:

  • Learn from exceptional faculty.  Oakland’s theatre program is led by seasoned professionals with years of industry experience. They’ll provide you with high-caliber training in theatrical performance and design, along with practical, career-oriented mentoring and guidance.
  • Build supportive, face-to-face relationships. With small classes and committed faculty, our theatre program emphasizes personalized, one-on-one education. You can work with your professors to tailor the theatre degree so it supports your specific talents and career objectives. 
  • Showcase your creativity. As a small theatre program with a varied and diverse calendar of shows, Oakland provides ample opportunities to perform, write, and work behind the scenes. You’ll have the opportunity to audition for meaningful roles from your first semester on, working in first-class venues with professional-grade technology.
  • Start building a professional network. Because our theatre program’s faculty and alumni are so active professionally, scouts and agents look to Oakland for new talent. You’ll have opportunities to connect with theatre pros in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Philadelphia, and other performance hubs. 
  • Cultivate well-rounded skills. In addition to building specialized expertise in the theatrical arts, you’ll develop skills that are universally marketable. Graduates of our theatre program excel at interpersonal communication, teamwork, project management, multitasking, and collaboration, all of which are in high demand by employers in almost every field.

What Can You Do With a Theatre Degree?

Oakland’s theatre program achieved a 90% job placement rate in the last hiring cycle before COVID. Our alumni have established successful theatre careers in all aspects of the industry, including:

  • Acting
  • Playwriting
  • Directing
  • Technical theatre
  • Theatre design
  • Stage management
  • Organizational leadership

For graduates who choose to seek careers outside the theatre industry, our bachelor’s degree in theatre has proven to be highly marketable. That makes it a perfect option for students who have a passion for theatre but want to keep other career options open.

Top Courses in the Theatre Program

Admission to Oakland University’s undergraduate theatre program involves a two-tiered audition process: an initial audition upon entry, and a major-standing audition to continue in the program.

The theatre degree includes 44 credits of required coursework in theatre. You’ll take classes in subjects such as:

  • Theatre foundations
  • Theatre history
  • Acting
  • Stagecraft
  • Stage management
  • Elements of design

The theatre program also includes 13 elective credits. You’ll complete the degree in theatre with one or more capstone courses in any of the following subjects: 

  • Directing
  • Performance
  • Design and technology
  • Classical theatre study abroad in Greece
  • Theatre company management internship

Theatre Program Resources


Programs Related to the Theatre Program

Not sure if the theatre program is right for you? Check out these other undergraduate programs at Oakland, and contact our admissions team to discuss your options.

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