Theatre Arts explores the creative power inherent in conjuring a world on stage.
CRACK US UP
That’s the delicious assignment for students in our course Enter Laughing: Women, Men and Comedy. Learning and doing go hand in hand in this course that emphasizes producing great performances as well as understanding the theatre tradition.
No matter what your goal—acting, writing, technical production—you’ll be ready to collaborate because we immerse you in all aspects of theatre. Writers must understand acting. To direct you need to understand the person at the sound board, the light board. It helps artistically and on your résumé.
There’s a revolving door between London and our department. We had half our department recently on Drew’s London Semester. Students come back bursting with enthusiasm. Then they grab their friends and go to New York, Philly and Boston to see London-based shows. It enriches everybody’s work.
Our top priority is to let you pursue your own initiatives. Majors have written, cast and directed original shows with the support of seasoned professionals.
Theatre is social by nature. It’s based on relationships. You’re spending six nights a week for months working right next to each other. We know how to resolve problems and work together well. These are great life skills, not just for those in the arts.
Careers Made easy
We encourage you to wear as many hats as possible while you’re with us. You’ll graduate with skills in areas such as lighting, sound, stage design, writing—as well as performance. This flexibility can help you get those first opportunities.
Our majors take advantage of enriching internships near and far. Local opportunities include the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, a top professional company located right on our campus. Majors also intern in New York, Boston, Chicago, sometimes with fellowship assistance to help pay the way.
Our networking event, The Big Schmooze, is a chance for prominent graduates to come back and talk about life after Drew. There’s some noshing, some schmoozing, people exchange cards and phone numbers—lots of great connections. Even well-established alumni 10 to 15 years out are eager to help current students.
I know much more now about what it means to be a theatre artist, not just an actor. I discovered a passion for lighting design, and took classes in clowning and Shakespeare that broadened my vision of performance.
Everything I learned at Drew affirmed what I wanted to do with my life. I came here knowing I wanted to write plays and act, and I will leave confident knowing how to do both.
My major has had a tremendous impact on me. All of a sudden the play that I loved wasn’t merely great because of the dialogue or the characters, but because of what it said about theatre as an art form.
The best thing a student ever wrote about my class: “I personally believe that there is beauty in being different and expressing one’s individuality. And we were able to address those things in a setting that was safe and comfortable.”
Ph.D., Columbia University
Professor & chair
Last spring the Drew theatre department premiered my play A More Opportune Time, which is loosely based on Doctor Faustus. I enjoy watching the work of my students take off in unexpected ways.
M.F.A, Rutgers University
I’m finishing a draft of a new musical dealing with the complex relationship between the magician Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle against the backdrop of the spiritualist movement in the 1920s.
M.F.A., Florida State University
I teach theatre technology classes. I’ve also worked professionally on the West Coast as a theatre technologist and stagehand at the Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Opera.
M.F.A., Indiana University
I’ve designed sets for many New York and regional theatres including Tribeca Performing Arts Center, American Globe Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and the Bickford Theatre. I also manage to find time to play drums in a klezmer band.
M.F.A., New York University
I’m a theatre person who teaches. I just directed a production of Ira Levin’s Veronica’s Room at the Bickford Theatre in Morristown. I also take great satisfaction in seeing a student director’s work come alive in an exciting, creative way.
M.F.A., Catholic University of America
- Tony-winning producer
Revival of La Cage Aux Folles, New York City
- Associate producer; Emmy winner
ABC’s Desperate Housewives
- Casting director
Telsey + Company, New York City
Learn more about when you graduate
My Favorite Course
“Clowning is a very particular kind of theater centered around the idea of physical manifestation, rather than an intellectual approach. It is such a mercurial way of acting.
I love it.”
Caitlin Aase on Clowning