Theatre Careers

Students who join our NWU Theatre Academic Program will receive a well-rounded education no matter their major. With small classroom sizes every student will have the opportunity to have one-on-one experiences with their professors. WTC (Wesleyan Theatre Company) offers plenty of opportunities to allow students to try their hand a multitude of different talents within theatre from acting, directing, tech work, and more.

Table of Contents:

How Can An Acting Fegree From NWU Prepare Me For A Career?

This degree will prepare you for a career on stage, radio, motion pictures, in television as well as business or teaching. The student will:

  • apply classroom training in the extensive production schedule at NWU 
  • explore theatrical literature from classics to contemporary
  • learn, practice, and use diffrerent dialects
  • experience how a theatre works in its entirety including directing and technical work
  • prepare for professional careers through auditioning and knowledge of the industry
  • work with professional guest artists that represent a wide variety of professional careers

Graduate Studies

Acting degrees prepare students for graduate work in theatre or professional studies in preparation for law, ministry, or teaching.

Job Opportunities

Acting often requires actors to move from place to place for short-term or freelance contracts. Live theatre, television, radio, or film/video industry jobs are some of the main avenues for actors in today’s world. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods in mobile and online entertainment, leading to more work for actors in the future. An individual with an acting degree could choose from many career opportunies including:

  • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
  • Film Actor/Extra
  • Off/Off-Off Broadway, Children's, Dinner Theatre Actor
  • Night Club Performer
  • Cruise Line Performer
  • Summer Stock Performer
  • Impromptu Comedy Sketch Performer
  • Comedian
  • Voice over work
  • Drama Therapist
  • Radio/TV/Event Announcer

How Can A Directing Degree From NWU Prepare Me For A Career?

Directors head the creation of motion pictures, television shows, live theater and other performing arts productions. At NWU, you will:

  • hone your directing skills through multiple and progressive directing opportunities

  • apply classroom training through practice with opportunities in more than 50 productions each year

  • explore dramatic literature from the classics to the contemporary

  • gain a historical foundation for the art of theatre

  • appreciate Shakespeare and learn through his works

  • experience and work in all aspects of theatre, including acting and technical work

  • prepare you for professional careers through auditioning and other skills and knowledge for the industry

  • work with professional guest artists from across the country

Graduate Studies

A directing degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about Directing Degree career opportunities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook can be found here: Producers and Directors.

Directing jobs may be in television, radio or film/video industries, as well as the theater. Employment of self-employed directors is expected to grow 16 percent faster than the motion picture industry. An individual with an directing degree could choose one of the following careers or many others:

  • Cruise Line Performance Director
  • Summer Stock Director
  • Little/Broadway, Dinner, Children's Theatre Director
  • TV/Radio Director (Commercials, Dramas, News, Talk Shows, etc.)
  • Film Director
  • Animated Feature Director
  • TV/Film Documentary Director
  • Industrial Video Director

What Can I Do with a Musical Theatre Degree?

Musical performances can include orchestra, opera and rock concerts in addition to musicals. Musicians and singers with exceptional musical talent will find some of the best opportunities here at NWU. 

Graduate Studies

A musical theatre degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about musical theatre career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Musicians and Singers, Actors, and Music Directors and Composers.

Musicians play in bands, orchestras, small groups and orchestras. Bands are often commissioned to play at weddings, private parties, clubs or bars while they try to build enough fans to get a recording contract or representation by an agent. Some musicians and singers write their own music to record and perform. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for performers. An individual with an musical theatre degree could choose from many career opportunies including:

    • Cruise Line Performer
    • Summer Stock Performer
    • Actor in Musical Theater
    • Choral Director
    • Church Musician
    • Composer/Arranger
    • Conductor
    • Film Music Editor
    • Night Club Performer
    • Voiceover work

    What Can I Do with a Theatre Arts Degree?

    Theatre majors attain a broad understanding of acting, stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design and script writing. 

    Graduate Studies

    A theatre arts degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

    Job Opportunities

    For detailed information about Theatre Arts degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Actors, Announcers, Set and Exhibit Designers, and Producers and Directors.

    Jobs may be found in television, radio, film/video, live theater and more. Employment of self-employed directors is expected to grow 16 percent, faster than the motion picture industry, as the number of independent films grows. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for theatre professionals in the future. An individual with an theatre arts degree could choose from many career opportunies including:

      • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
      • Film Actor/Extra
      • Animated Feature Voice
      • Industrial Video On-screen Talent, Voiceover
      • Audio Book Voiceover
      • TV/Film Documentary On-screen Talent, Voiceover
      • Amusement/Theme Park Performance Director
      • Cruise Line Performance Director

      What Can I Do with a Theatre Arts Education Degree?

      The Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in theatre arts education prepares students for teaching theatre arts in middle and secondary schools. Students will attain a broad understanding of acting, stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design and script writing—as well as instructional technology, teaching methods and human development and learning.

      Graduate Studies

      A theatre arts education degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

      Job Opportunities

      For detailed information about Theatre Arts Education Degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, Actors, Announcers, Set and Exhibit Designers, and Producers and Directors.

      The NWU theatre arts education degree is designed specifically to prepare students to teach theatre arts in middle and secondary schools. However, there are a number of other opportunities available should a student wish not to work in a public or private school environment include, but not limited to:

      • Public/Private School Theatre Arts Teacher
      • Public/Private School Drama Teacher/Coach
      • Public/Private School Speech Teacher
      • Drama Teacher/Coach (summer camps, private practice, community programs)
      • Theatre Arts Community Workshop Teacher
      • School Performing Arts Director
      • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
      • Film Actor/Extra

      What Can I Do with a Theatre Design and Technology Degree?

      Theatre design and technology professionals design sets, paint scenes, and make costumes that bring a theatrical production to life. Using computers, students will also learn to design and manage sound and light. Some costume, set and exhibit designers, as well as sound and lighting professionals, are employed permanently by theater, dance and opera companies that produce shows year round. Or, some companies may prefer to contract self-employed or freelancers on a show-by-show basis. 

      Graduate Studies

      A degree in theatre design and techology prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

      Job Opportunities

      Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for costume, stage/set design and technology professionals in the future. Students will have career opportunities in an array of areas such as:

      • Costume Design
      • Theatrical/Stage/Concert Lighting Designer
      • Scenic/Set Designer/Artist
      • Engineer (theatre, meetings, concerts, sports events, conventions, broadcast)

      What Can I Do with a Theatre Studies Degree?

      Theatre studies degree majors will attain a broad understanding of acting, stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design and script writing. 

      Graduate Studies

      A degree in theatre studies prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

      Job Opportunities

      Careers in television, radio, film/video, live threatre, festivals, industrial shows, community organizations, nonprofit organizations, dinner and children’s theatre, cruise ships, performing art centers and touring companies are just the tip of the iceber of what students can do with a theatre studies degree. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for theatre professionals in the future. An individual with an theatre studies degree could choose from many career opportunies including:

      • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
      • Film Actor/Extra
      • Animated Feature Voice
      • Industrial Video On-screen Talent, Voiceover
      • Audio Book Voiceover
      • TV/Film Documentary On-screen Talent, Voiceover
      • Agent
      • Booking Manager

      Contact or visit us

      Elder Memorial Theatre Center
      (McDonald and Miller Theatres)
      51st and Huntington Ave.
      Lincoln, NE 68504-2794
      (402) 465-2395
      theatre [at] nebrwesleyan.edu