Degree: Bachelor of Arts
If you are looking for a small, rigorous, production-oriented theater program, explore the theater major at Union.
Here you’ll encounter conservatory-trained and professionally active faculty members who teach a worldview of theater by presenting work from across genres and cultures. From the classroom to rehearsal hall to live productions, you’ll enjoy opportunities on and off stage to participate in devised and scripted productions, both classical and contemporary.
The Theater and Dance Department is based in the Yulman Theater, a modern complex that features several performance and classroom spaces, and state-of-the-art scene and costume shops. A spacious new dance pavilion overlooking Jackson’s Garden is connected to the theater.
Our faculty are dedicated to inspiring and training all students – majors, double majors, minors and enthusiasts alike. We are committed to theater that is socially active, community involved, culturally sensitive and inclusive.
You will explore what it means to be an artist and develop your craft through courses that encompass theater literature and history, technical production and performance skills. Working in a creative and close-knit learning environment, you will be immersed in projects that challenge your imagination. The curriculum includes opportunities to pursue research, independent projects and interdisciplinary studies.
It's easy to get involved in theater at Union, which sets us apart from other colleges, where competition for stage time or performances can be highly competitive. Amid a robust calendar of theater and dance offerings throughout the academic year, major campus productions have included Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty, J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan, Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa, Sara Ruhl’s In the Next Room and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Many students are involved in Mountebanks, a drama club founded in 1912, considered the nation’s oldest student-run theater group.
Students may pursue a specific area of interest through a one-term internship with a professional theater or dance company. While individual projects vary, they may encompass production, performance or management responsibilities. Many students get involved in shows at Proctors, a major historic theater located in downtown Schenectady near campus, through its internship partnership with the College.
An intensive three-week winter break mini-term in London features attendance at nine or more theatrical productions and other performances. Backstage tours and professional workshops explore the world of a production from the perspectives of audiences, performers, directors, choreographers and designers. The Union winter mini-term on the Indonesian island of Bali is an intensive study of the performing arts.
Graduates of our program have secured jobs in the field as performers, directors, stage managers, writers and educators. Many have tapped into their theater arts and communications skills in other fields, including business, healthcare, marketing and the law.
What some of our graduates are doing:
- Actor and director of learning and education, Arizona Theatre Company
- Actor, director, writer, producer, New York City
- Analyst, Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group
- Analyst, Goldman Sachs
- Assistant director, Arizona Theatre Company
- Casting agent, New York City
- Director and writer, Hollywood
- Director of communications and marketing, Jewish Arts
- M.F.A. candidate in stage management, University of California, Irvine
- Postdoctoral Fellow in psychology, Albany Medical Center
- Stage manager, Saratoga Shakespeare Company