Theatre Arts

Earlham sees theatre as an essential part of the human experience; stories brought to life through imagination and shared in community can transport and transform us. The Department of Theatre Arts teaches you to create theatre that elicits empathy, challenges the intellect and encourages intentional decision-making. The faculty strive to develop interdisciplinary anti-racist theatre artists with a personal sense of responsibility to the communities in which they will live and work.

We also provide individualized training with a focus on the collaborative, analytical and expressive skills essential in all working environments. Play selection and workshop programming is customized to your needs and interests. Guest artists interact with you in production, workshop, coaching and mentoring situations.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Earlham College Theatre Department will be returning to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe festival in August to perform The Further Misadventures of Martin Hathaway: Shipwrecked off Heramathea’s Cove.

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of theatre arts majors from the classes of 2017-2019 were working or in grad school within six months of graduation.
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Theatre grads have moved into paid internships and graduate programs in the theatre arts and related fields.

Top job industries for theatre arts graduates include performing and fine arts and education.

Personalized training for today’s theatre artist

If you take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the theatre arts program, you will emerge as a theatre artist who impacts society through the kinds of theatre you create, the way you work, the stories you bring to light and the audiences you choose to serve.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships and awards available to theatre students include the Rariden Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student entering Earlham who is interested in pursuing an area within the visual and performing arts; the Janica Zuck Richards Memorial Playwriting Award; and Earlham’s theatre arts scholarships.

Learn more

Career preparation

As a theatre arts major, you’ll have the opportunity to get practical career preparation through experiences like the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, networking with regional professionals through field trips and guest artist participation in Earlham productions, student leadership opportunities, summer fringe festivals and more.

Our faculty

Theatre Arts faculty are multi-disciplinary professional theatre artists who empower students to create art that is impactful to the society in which they live. They foster an environment of exploration, creativity and leadership.

Program information

Between our flexible 125-seat black box theatre and 350-seat proscenium theatre, we guarantee a total of six to ten annual departmental, senior project and student theatre company productions. These provide opportunities to perform, design, stage-manage, devise, direct, produce and take on other leadership roles throughout the year. As you gain practical experience in the wide range of theatre arts disciplines, you will also gain confidence in how to create new work and interpret existing scripts in service of the communities in which you live and work.

Follow our recent and upcoming events and learn more about our policies and practices on our theatre productions webpage and on Facebook and Instagram.

As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which you will cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects you to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.

As part of your general education, you will complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, you will meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.

Learn more about general education at Earlham.

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements:

  • THEA 250 Introduction to Theatre: Script Analysis
  • THEA 260 Foundations of Acting
  • THEA 270 Theatrecraft
  • THEA 350 Trends in Western Theatre
  • THEA 422 Production Leadership
  • THEA 481 Internship or Immersive Experience
  • THEA 388 Junior Seminar
  • THEA 488 Senior Capstone & Career Preparation

In addition, you must complete:

  • One of the following Genre Studies courses:
    • THEA/ENG 359 Shakespeare
    • THEA/ANCS 358 Greek and Roman Drama
    • THEA/ENG 380 Theatre: Multicultural Theatre
    • THEA 387 Theatre for Social Change
  • One of the following courses:
    • THEA 370 Directing
    • THEA 386 Devised Theatre
  • One of the following courses:
    • THEA 122 Production Practicum
    • THEA 230 Applied Acting

Finally, you must also complete one of the following tracks:

Performance Track

  • THEA 360 Acting Styles
  • THEA 362 Audition Portfolio
  • THEA 386 Devised Theatre
  • Music Ensemble or Music Lesson
  • One from the following courses:
    • THEA 261 Voice & Movement for the Stage
    • THEA 239 Intro to Theatrical Makeup
    • THEA 470 Directing II

Design & Technology Track

  • THEA 371 Design 1: Costumes, Sets and Lights
    (You may take this course more than once.)
  • THEA 372 Design 2: Drawing and Rendering
  • THEA 373 Design 3: Portfolio
  • One from the following courses:
    • ART 202 Cloth Art
    • ART 205 Drawing I
    • ART 220 Introduction to Metals & 3D Fabrication
    • ART 225 Painting I
    • ART 235 Photography I
    • MUS 372 Making Music with Computers
    • MUS 171 Music Theory I

Management Track

  • THEA 422 Production Leadership (Must take 4 semesters)
  • MGMT 240 Leadership Skills
  • MGMT 342 Leadership & Dealing with Differences
  • THEA 345 Introduction to Stage Management

View a full list of theatre arts courses and their descriptions.

Yes! To earn a minor in theatre arts, you must complete the following courses:

  • THEA 250 Introduction to Theatre: Collaboration, Analysis and Expression
  • THEA 350 Trends in Western Theatre History
  • One of the following:
    • THEA 260 Acting I
    • THEA 270 Theatrecraft
  • Complete the following requirement:
    • One three-credit, upper-level Theatre Arts course and at least three credits from the following:
      • THEA 122 Theatre Production Practicum
      • THEA 230 Applied Theatre Acting
      • THEA 422 Advanced Theatre Production Practicum

– OR –

    • Two three-credit, upper-level theatre arts courses and one credit from the following:
      • THEA 122 Theatre Production Practicum
      • THEA 230 Applied Theatre Acting
      • THEA 422 Advanced Theatre Production Practicum

View a full list of theatre arts courses and their descriptions.

Yes! Applied minors can help you make direct connections between your academic interests and possible career paths. These programs are comprised of 4-6 courses as well as related extracurricular activities.

Yes! We strongly encourage our majors to consider off-campus study. Great options for theatre arts majors include London, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., among others.

Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.

Theatre arts majors are passionate about telling stories through theatre. Whether your interests lie in performance, design and technology, or management, the theatre arts program will provide you with the experiences and skills you need to become an effective and compassionate storyteller. We encourage prospective students who are curious about our program to request a meeting with the faculty and current theatre students for more information.

Next steps

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.