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5 Tips to Start a Career in Theatre

A student in a cap and gown standing in front of the Theatre Wesleyan building

Theatre is an awesome major that is all it is cracked up to be. You’ll get great hands-on skills and launch yourself into a world full of experiences like no other. And with Texas Wesleyan’s small classes with engaging professors, you’ll have plenty of help getting a leg up in your career. Ready to get started? Check out our 5 tips to prepare for a theatre career.  

1. Find your talents 

You’ll quickly get a feel for the skill areas that speak to you most – like writing, managing technology, directing or performing. Vary your courses, participate in productions and get to know what the world of theatre looks like. You may like a little bit of everything. That’s good! But keep exploring. You likely have hidden (or not-so hidden) gifts.  

2. Have a rough idea of your career goals 

Search schools that line up with your end goal – some schools are strong in specific types of performance. Some are large, major institutions with a wide range of offerings, while others are smaller and more focused on you and your personal growth. Compare and contrast what your experiences might look like at the different universities. Your right program may not be someone else’s – and vice versa! 

3. Gain experience 

Reading, studying and researching the theatre are great ways to get started, but gaining hands-on experience in a theater is what will truly prepare you for your career. Find ways to practice your strengths, like participating in university productions, getting involved outside of class and getting internships.  

The DFW metroplex is saturated with theatres and is one of the largest markets in the country. You could gain experience at places like Circle Theatre, Fort Worth Opera, Casa Manana, Shakespeare Dallas, Uptown Players, Dallas Theatre Center and more.  

4. Network 

Getting to know fellow theatre artists is a great way to hear about new opportunities, make connections and get career tips. One of the best organizations to join is the Theatre Network of Texas. College students can join for just $20 — and it’s totally worth it. You’ll get access to scripts in their Lending Library, events, job bank and scholarships.   

You can also check out the Dramatists Guild. It’s a national trade association of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists. They offer a 50% student discount to join, and membership includes free resources, business advice, discounts to their national conference, events and more.  

Another great way to network is to talk to your professors. They usually know quite a few fellow thespians! Ask your professors about ways to get connected locally and nationally and start making a name for yourself before you step foot on the graduation stage.   

5. Share your ideas 

Networking is a great way to get to know different people and organizations — and helps when you have big ideas to share! Many local communities host Fringe Theatres and Festivals that allow you to present your talents — and the Theatre Network of Texas is one of them.  

You can also enter local and collegiate competitions. In fact, Texas Wesleyan theatre majors often compete (and win) in regional competitions. Awards can range from costume and puppet design to stage management and sound design.  

If you’re ready to break into a career in theatre, check out Texas Wesleyan’s theatre arts degrees. Our small classes with hands-on experiences will help you spotlight your skills and prepare for a successful career. 

Campus clock tower with red flowers
There is no shortage of what you can learn at the School of Arts and Sciences. With more than 20 majors ranging from biochemistry to theatre and many in between you have plenty of possibilities to explore.