What are the Different Types of Theater Degrees?

Aspiring thespians looking to enter this highly competitive field should earn one of the different types of theater degrees. However, according to Backstage, it is important to note that accomplishing this impressive feat also prepares you for other aspects of life as you earn skills that translate into any field: punctuality, solid work ethic, the ability to contribute to and improve the quality of a team and the skill set necessary to sell, the business side of theater.


Of the different types of theater degrees, this is the one that many gravitate towards. Those earning this degree learn how to communicate vocally and physically, speak in a variety of dialects and accents, analyze a script to determine how a character should be played and improvise. After graduating, these individuals oftentimes focus on jobs on the stage or in front of the camera. Conversely, many of them also use these valued skills in a number of other ways.


This concentration, which is also referred to as technical theater, offers another great way for you to express your creativity as this degree prepares you to design things such as costumes, lighting, scenes and sound. Analyzing the script to determine how these should be presented to audiences is just one of many skills learned by those focusing on this aspect of theater. Learning how to think on your feet in the days leading up to and during a production, coming up with effective solutions, can also be applied to a number of other fields.


While all of the different types of theater degrees are of value, this is one of the better ones for learning how to lead others and organize a group of people towards a common goal. A director of a movie, show or play is oftentimes compared to an orchestra’s conductor, ensuring that every aspect of the production works well with each other. Most students will direct at least one production while earning their degree. Of course, these skills also translate well into a variety of fields.


Playwriting is the act of putting pen to paper – or fingers to a keyboard – and creating an entertaining play or other production. Students will often read plays, learn from other playwrights and create a number of scripts themselves, one or more of which may end up on stage on your college campus or in your local community. Those who earn playwriting degrees oftentimes write for television shows in addition to productions for the stage. These skills also translate into other writing ventures.

Stage Management

Stage managers are responsible for overseeing the entire theatrical production, usually focusing on supporting the various aspects of it, including the artistic and technical sides, and helping smooth the communication lines between them. Oftentimes, this person will make blocking and other notes after the director has told the actors where they need to be when. Other logistical and scheduling tasks are amongst this individual’s duties as well. These planning and organizational skills can also be applied to running a business and other undertakings.

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A theater degree is invaluable as it helps people looking to work in this profession valuable experience and it allows those who direct their post-college efforts elsewhere a well-rounded skill set that allows them to more easily adjust to a variety of environments than many of their competitors. Some also use one of these types of theater degrees to work as a theater educator, a drama therapist or in arts management.