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Prepare for performing arts careers and beyond with a high-quality, well-rounded theatre program that emphasizes performance, directing, design/technical theatre, history and the cinematic arts at Radford University. As a theatre major, you’ll also become a critical thinker, versatile problem solver and excellent communicator — all of which are valued no matter where your professional life takes you

student standing beside stage lights

Choose between a B.A. Theatre or a B.S. Theatre

In the Radford theatre program, you’ll choose between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in theatre. Either degree provides you with a rich, diverse and cross-disciplinary experience that prepares you for career and life success — and to make a positive impact on our campus and local communities.

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

The B.A. in theatre is a liberal arts degree that includes foreign language study and is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of theatre. You’ll have the opportunity to perform in a variety of productions, from classical to contemporary and musicals to youth theatre.  

Bachelor of Science in Theatre

The B.S. in theatre emphasizes performance (acting and directing) or design/technical theatre. You’ll choose electives in subjects such as sound design and scene painting. Unlike the B.A. theatre, the B.S. theatre does not have a foreign language requirement.

Why Study Theatre at Radford?

  • Radford believes you learn best by doing. That’s why, as a theatre major at Radford, you’ll have plenty of career-driven, hands-on experiences, such as:
  • Productions where you can act, direct and/or design shows, providing you with resume-building onstage and backstage experience right on the Radford campus.

  • Internships with recognized and respected professional organizations such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Disney World and the Barter Theatre. 

  • Practical opportunities to build your resume by developing your self-confidence and soft skills like communication, leadership and teamwork that are applicable to any profession.

State-of-the-art theatre facilities

Your Radford experience is enhanced by facilities akin to professional theatres. You’ll have access to various performance spaces, from proscenium to black box, and a design lab with CAD software and more. And great news: Our state-of-the-art Artis Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity opens in fall 2024.  

Led by theatre professionals

You’ll learn from an active and engaged faculty of professional theatre and cinema artists who bring real-world experience to you. You’ll feel part of the Radford family in a close-knit community cultivated by your professors through small class sizes where you get to know them — and they get to know you.  

An accredited theatre program

The Radford theatre degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), which means our program meets the highest standards and is committed to ongoing improvement. Graduating from an NAST-accredited program can help open up career opportunities for you.  

A theatre program that leads to jobs

When you earn a bachelor’s degree in theatre at Radford, you’re setting yourself up for career success. In fact, the job placement rate for Radford theatre graduates is 95%. You’ll also gain public speaking, management, collaboration and leadership skills that are valued in any professional role in any industry.

Theatre Minors

Cinema and Screen Studies Interdisciplinary Minor

This minor is offered by the Department of Theatre and Cinema and the School of Communication, the interdisciplinary minor in Cinematic Arts consists of 18 semester hours. You’ll get to choose from classes like Cinema History to Sound/Set Design, Media Production, and more.

Theatre Minor

This minor consists of completing 20 credit hours in required courses and electives. You’ll study topics of your choice such as acting, makeup, stagecraft, and more.

Theatre Performance Minor 

If you have a specific interest in performance (acting and directing), but cannot commit to a second major, then pursuing a minor in Theatre Performance might be for you. This minor satisfies the E component of the REAL program and allows students to take a variety of theatre courses focused on acting and directing after satisfying the basic requirements of the minor.

Theatre Production Minor 

If you have a specific interest in theatre production (design and/or technical theatre), but cannot commit to a second major, then consider pursuing a minor in theatre with a concentration in production. This minor also satisfies the L component of the REAL program and allows students to take a variety of theatre courses focused on scenic, costume, lighting, sound, stage management, and other areas of technical theatre after satisfying the basic requirements of the minor.

B.A. Theatre and B.S. Theatre Courses

The Radford theatre program features courses that will deeply engage you in all aspects of theatre, from onstage to backstage. Your courses will include:

  • Theatre Aesthetics
  • Acting 1
  • Stagecraft

What can you do with a Theatre Degree?

The theatre program at Radford will prepare you for a wide range of onstage and backstage roles in the performing arts including:

  • Performer (acting, singing, dancing, etc.)
  • Director
  • Designer (scene, costume, lighting, sound, makeup, etc.)
  • Stage manager
  • Technical director
  • Production manager
  • Stage/production carpenter
  • Stage/production electrician
  • Stagecrew/stagehand
  • Video/film professional (gaffer, camera operator, art director, cinematographer, etc.)

Wondering what else you can do with a theatre degree? If you want to become a drama teacher, our theatre program will help you make significant progress toward a teaching certificate. You’ll also build a solid foundation to continue your studies at the graduate level. Additionally, you’ll develop critical thinking, management, collaboration, communication, leadership and other skills valued in careers beyond theatre. 

Theatre Degree FAQ

Is a theatre degree worth it?

Yes, being a theatre major is absolutely worth it because it will teach you a variety of skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork and leadership, to name a few. That makes it a versatile degree that gives you what you need to be successful in many different fields.  

Through your theatre degree program at Radford, you’ll also network with peers and industry professionals, making connections that can lead to any number of opportunities in the future. But ultimately, only you can decide if a theatre degree is worth it — it all depends on your situation, interests and goals.  

What can you do with a theatre degree?

As a theatre major, you’ll be prepared for a variety of roles in the theatre industry — from creative to production and administrative to customer service. You’ll also be equipped with a wide range of skills that are highly valued in other fields and industries, from education to business. The career possibilities truly are endless, particularly if you earn a B.A. theatre or B.S. theatre from Radford University.  

Do I have to audition/interview for Radford’s theatre program?

Unlike other theatre degree programs, you do not audition for a spot in our program. Instead, you participate in an informal audition/interview process so we can gain insight into your passions, strengths, goals and aspirations. You can make arrangements for your audition/interview with the chair when you visit Radford, combine your interview as part of the scholarship audition process or complete it during your first week of school.  

Can I declare a second major in addition to my theatre major?  

Yes you can, but you want to make sure you can stay on track to graduate. Popular second majors include dance, music, education and psychology.  

How do I audition for shows?

Auditions are open to the entire Radford community, not just students in our theatre department. Keep an eye out for callboards where we’ll announce auditions and other relevant information. 

Radford Scholarships and Financial Aid

Radford is committed to being among the most affordable theatre degree programs. We demonstrate that commitment by helping you secure the financial aid you qualify for and providing you with paid work-study opportunities in our shops and production areas. We also demonstrate it by offering scholarships for first-year theatre students, which are renewable. Learn more about theatre scholarships

Admission Information

We’re excited about your interest in Radford’s theatre program, and we’re here to walk you through our admissions process. Learn more about applying to Radford.

Radford Theatre Faculty

Richard Dunham, chair/artistic director of the Radford Department of Theatre and Cinema, was the lead scenic/lighting designer and head of design for the University of Georgia for 19 years before coming to Radford in 2019. He holds an MFA in theatrical design with a dual emphasis in lighting and scenic from The Ohio State University. Learn more.

Meet our faculty.

  • Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre

  • 95% job placement rate (2023)

  • 6 productions put on each year

  • 12:1 student to faculty ratio

Our program focuses on giving students practical, resume-building opportunities. A theatre degree develops life skills that can be applied to many occupations beyond traditional stage and entertainment industry professions. Examples of our alumni include teachers, attorneys, managers, sales professionals, and trainers.

student performing on stage

“I started theatre in high school and absolutely fell in love with the tech aspect of it. So, it made sense to me to choose theatre as my major and learn more about it. This program is so well-rounded.“

Annie Bolte

student smiling

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.