I recently made the decision to declare a double major in Theatre. To some, this would have come to no surprise, especially if you’ve been following my life for the last year. To others, it definitely was a shocking decision. Theatre is always categorized as one of the most pointless majors. I think people often see majoring in theatre and being a starving actor as synonymous when in reality, that is far from the truth.
Theatre is not much different than any other terminal degree- especially at a liberal arts university, where we are required to be well-versed in all kinds of subjects upon graduation. This is obviously not me saying that someone who majored in Theatre should be applying to medical schools, but with that being said, I know someone who majored in Theatre and Pre-Law and is a successful lawyer.
Theatre teaches a variety of life skills. It teaches time management because of how demanding working on shows usually is. You have to be able to manage other classes and obligations well to be able to be successful in and out of theatre as a college student. It also teaches collaboration skills because nothing in theatre is a one-person effort. It takes teams of people to get things done successfully and smoothly. You also have to be able to be a quick thinker because things go wrong all the time. Lines are dropped and need to be picked up by your screen partner, unforeseen technical errors occur, etc. It’s important to plan and prepare as much as possible, but theatre is a very unpredictable field that requires you to be constantly alert and quick on your feet.
All of these things are just a few of the many reasons employers would be lucky to have someone with a background in theatre as an employee. Now I, personally, am not solely a theatre major. Not because it’s looked down upon not to have another major, but because I genuinely love and have a passion for my other major, which is Communications and Digital Studies. There are actually a lot of parallels between the two- public speaking being the most obvious one.
Not everyone is going to love the fact that I have a major in theatre, but that’s okay. In the last year since I took my first Intro to Theatre class, I have made so many friends, learned so much about acting, stage management, etc. and have been the happiest I’ve been in a long time. Theatre constantly brings me so much joy and I’m so lucky to now officially be a part of the community here at my university. My advice to anyone considering a major that isn’t what society considers “safe” or “practical” is to just go for it. Your passion for something will often be what makes you stand out and be successful. If you’re really worried and have another major in mind that you truly love, and isn’t just because it’s safe, then double major. It’s a lot of work but it’s the right choice for me and a lot of other people, too.