Theatre Minor

The theatre minor at Shippensburg University enables you to gain a general knowledge of acting and theatre history as well as performance and/or production experience. The collaborative nature of theatrical work provides you with important life skills applicable to all careers. The dynamics of working within a group, the importance of commitment and dedication to a task, and the discipline and rewards of hard work are lessons the theatre teaches in a very practical way.

Why Study Theatre at Ship?

Theatre production on campus is both academic and extracurricular. The Music and Theatre Arts Department produces the Little Princess Playhouse. This children's theatre troupe, organized by Dr. Paul Leitner, produces several shows every semester and is an excellent working opportunity for education students interested in theatre for young audiences. Special Topics and Theatre Practicum classes also provide opportunities for you to engage in university theatre production under faculty guidance. You may also participate in national collegiate institutions such as the American College Theatre Festival.

The theatre minor at Ship permits you to pursue further training in the theatre while allowing for other career interests. In fact, it can expand your career opportunities. The training available within a theatre curriculum enriches careers in elementary education, communication, and English. Students interested in business, marketing, or management may consider using the theatre minor to enter the field of arts management. The theatre minor can also become a primary or auxiliary area of concentration within the interdisciplinary arts degree, a unique program offered by Shippensburg University.

Shippensburg University graduates have been accepted into graduate theatre programs at Long Island University, Villanova University, and Oklahoma State University. Some have gone into successful academic theatre careers at schools like Husson University and the University of South Carolina.

A 3-credit internship is designed to apply classroom/studio training to production and is coordinated through faculty advisors. Internships may be extended outside the university. Recent internships include Lost Colony in North Carolina and the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival.

Career Opportunities

Shippensburg University theatre graduates have found professional employment in troupes such as:

  • Alabama Shakespeare Festival
  • Blue Man Group
  • Marin Shakespeare Company
  • Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Walnut Street Theatre

Summer theatres such as the Lost Colony in North Carolina, the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival, and Totem Pole Playhouse offer our graduates and current students employment opportunities and practical experience.

Former Shippensburg University art major and theatre minor alum Tom Reing, is the founder and artistic director of the Philadelphia-based theatre company, INIS NUA, a company devoted to producing cutting edge, contemporary Irish, English, and Scottish drama.

Minor Requirements

Our theatre students come from a variety of disciplines including:

  • English
  • Interdisciplinary Arts
  • Communication/Journalism
  • Art
  • Education
  • Business
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science

Courses in the theatre minor provide exposure to a variety of performance and production skills [Acting and Costume Design], an understanding of theatre and dramatic history [Theatre History and Opera & Musical Theatre] and opportunities to apply that knowledge in a practical, performance-based setting [Theatre Practicum and Creating Children's Theatre]. The theatre minor is 18 credits and organized into four, distinct categories of knowledge:

  • PRAXIS - Practical Application [3-6 credits]
  • HISTORY, THEORY and LITERATURE [6-9 credits]
  • DESIGN, MANAGEMENT and TECHNICAL THEATRE [3-6 credits]
  • PERFORMANCE [3-6 credits]

For a complete list of requirements, see the undergraduate catalog.

Student Groups

Act V and Game-On Improv are two student-run theatre troupes. Open to everyone, students in these troupes meet to hone their theatre skills. The troupes also conduct workshops and put on shows to highlight their talent.

Contact the Music and Theatre Arts Department

Music and Theatre Arts Department
H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center 220, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1638
music@ship.edu
ship.edu/music_theater