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Theatre, BA

Theatre Bachelor of Arts

Are you fascinated by all aspects of theatre? With a bachelor’s in Theatre from the University of Central Missouri, you’ll gain a holistic mastery of every part of theatre. From performance and directing to costume design and lighting, our theatre classes offer you the knowledge and skills to stand out in the diverse world of theatre.

Join one of the oldest cultural traditions in the world to entertain and enlighten others while following your passion.

A degree in Theatre that sets you up for success

As one of the most respected colleges for theatre in the region, UCM graduates students who are sought-after not only in the theatre world but also in professional settings. The liberal arts focus of our undergraduate program provides you with tools and techniques that apply to every industry.

For example, as you earn your bachelor’s degree in Theatre, you’ll master the arts of writing, speaking and management — skills that will help you stand out from the crowd, whether you’re applying to graduate programs or pursuing a career outside of theatre.

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Among the top colleges for theatre

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Well-rounded Theatre program

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35–40 theatrical productions each year

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Strong network of theatre professionals

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Professional theatre organizations

What you will study

Theatre classes at UCM cover all aspects of performance — both on the stage and behind the scenes. Our undergraduate program is especially designed for Theatre students who want to do it all. 

As you earn your bachelor’s in Theatre, you’ll also choose from a variety of electives to home in on your specific interests in theatre and related fields. In addition, you’ll learn basic foreign language skills, which can help set you apart from the competition both in theatre and the professional world.

Core courses for our bachelor’s degree in Theatre program include:

  • Studio Theatre I: Direct and design a one-act play.
  • Acting: Learn the latest acting theories and techniques from professional actors.
  • Design Fundamentals: Survey concepts, applications and techniques of theatrical design in lighting, costume, scenic, make-up, hair, sound and properties. 
  • Oral Interpretation GE: Master skills for conveying the intellectual, emotional and aesthetic values of literature to an audience.


Excellence in Theatre

  • Top 15%: Most Popular Colleges for Visual & Performing Arts (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in theatre

The University of Central Missouri remains among the best colleges for theatre in the region for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s our commitment to hands-on experience or the remarkable network of associations and organizations we maintain, UCM’s bachelor’s degree in Theatre program provides an exceptional learning environment to prepare you for a meaningful career after graduation: 

  • Opportunities: In addition to the practice you’ll get in your theatre classes, you’ll also get many opportunities to perform or work backstage in multiple festivals throughout the year. These include the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and our own Central Missouri Repertory, during which you can get paid to manage, direct, design or star in our touring children’s production.
  • Organizations: As you earn your degree in Theatre at UCM, you’ll have access to a wide variety of organizations dedicated to theatre that will help you network while practicing your craft alongside professionals in the field.
  • Performances: Throughout the year, we put on between 35–40 productions in either our 442-seat James L. Highlander Theatre or our 100-seat Nickerson Black Box Theater. This means that every year you’ll get plenty of opportunities to act in, direct, design and manage both big and small productions that will challenge and reward you.


What can you do with a degree in Theatre from UCM?

The bachelor’s in Theatre from UCM is a versatile degree that can open doors to careers in a huge variety of industries and fields. You can work in theatre as a writer, director, set designer, stage manager or costume designer. This is just the start of your career options.

The liberal arts foundation of our undergraduate program means you can also find careers in public relations, human resources, management, teaching, design, business law and so much more. With a degree in Theatre from UCM, your career opportunities are limited only by your imagination. Our dedication to preparing you for a career with real-world experience is what helps us rank among the best colleges for theatre.

More about careers with a bachelor’s in Theatre

Explore even more possibilities for future jobs in the world of theatre and related fields using the interactive tool below. You can gain insights on potential salaries, job outlooks and more.




Financial assistance options for your bachelor’s in Theatre

We take great pride in being one of the most affordable colleges for theatre and one of LendEDU’s top-ranked universities for low student debt. In addition to scholarships and financial resources available through the university, we offer many scholarships and grants for students earning their degree in Theatre, including:

  • William Martin Scully IV Creativity Scholarship
  • The Richard Herman Black Box Theater Scholarship
  • Theatre and Dance Ambassador Scholarship

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.



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Take your degree further.

With a versatile bachelor’s in Theatre from UCM, you’ll be well-prepared to stand out among applicants for a wide range of graduate programs:

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Make yourself more marketable.

We offer many minors that can help you specialize in a related field or explore a new facet of theatre, including:

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Explore programs related to theatre.

If you’re considering a degree in Theatre, you may also be interested in learning about these similar programs at UCM:

Professional Organizations and Student Groups

● Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

● American College Dance Association

● Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri


● Southeast Theatre Conference

● U/RTA Auditions and Portfolio Reviews

●Theta Alpha Phi 

● UCM Dance Club 

● Film Makers And Actors' Coalition

Theatre Learning Community

The Theatre Learning Community located in Nickerson Hall is designed for students minoring in or majoring in theatre. This reserved living space provides close proximity to the department’s Black Box Theatre, a lounge to rehearse lines and blocking, a fully equipped dance studio and access to dining facilities.

Performance Opportunities

● KCACTF Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions

● KCACTF Professional Auditions

● KCACTF MTI Auditions

● Midwest Theatre Auditions

● UCM Main Stage Production Program

● Studio Theatre One-Act Series

● Richard Herman Black Box Theatre Program

● Film Makers And Actors' Coalition

● Highlander and Kansas City Senior Showcase


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