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Theatre Management

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Theatre Management
Students meet and chat with the Watts Theatre Box Office

The Theatre School’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in theatre management embraces the intersection of the art and business of theatre, preparing students for management and leadership roles in the professional field and related arts and not-for-profit industries. The four-year curriculum offers students an appreciation and understanding of the artistry, craft and social impact of theatre, introduces skills and contemporary practices in business and management, and supports practical and experiential learning and skill-building on and off campus. 

In addition to four years of conservatory theatre training, students take a progression of business and management courses through DePaul's Driehaus College of Business at the downtown Loop campus. Students can easily add a minor in management and/or business administration, as well as a second major or another minor in a range of complementary areas of study offered at DePaul University. The degree’s flexibility enables students to tailor the degree to meet their individual learning goals and career ambitions. 

Students learn from a distinguished faculty of theatre and arts administrators and business and receive formal and informal feedback through continual evaluation of their work and progress in the major. Students’ post-graduation goals, including employment in theatre/an adjacent field or graduate school, help their academic advisor to identify and create opportunities to match individual academic and professional interests.

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BFA Theatre Management Curriculum

The first-year curriculum is shared with other theatre studies students and is an immersion into theatre production, theory and literature. Coursework includes script analysis, theatre history, and performance to facilitate critical thinking and an experiential understanding of the theatrical process. Students also participate in three crew assignments in various areas of production.

In the second year, students move into the not-for-profit theatre management curriculum and focus on the study of performing arts organizations, including leadership, operations, financial management, marketing, fundraising, governance and community engagement. Students take courses in theatrical design or technical areas, dramatic criticism, and in business at DePaul University's business school in downtown Chicago. Students participate in school productions as house managers and ideally complete their first two professional internships by the end of the summer.

The third year focuses on the business of commercial theatre, producing, and company management. Through a series of business courses, theatre management students learn about business management, human resources, and strategic planning. Students also explore the production process through directing and dramatic criticism coursework. Students participate in a second production assignment at The Theatre School in an area of personal interest such as producing, new works, and marketing.

The fourth year is a transition year, further developing students’ abilities and preparing students to enter the profession. Coursework includes career and networking opportunities and business plan development. By the end of their final year, students will have completed four professional internships in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.

The Theatre School hosts annually a Graduate Showcase event to highlight the work of our graduating students. Under the guidance of the faculty, graduating Theatre Management students may prepare a professional portfolio to share with theatre professionals and DePaul alumni working in Chicago, New York and/or Los Angeles, and with other members of the theatre, film, and television industries.

Liberal Studies

In addition to the major's requirements, students complete 52 quarterly credit hours (13 courses) in the university’s Liberal Studies Program. Courses are taken in theatre history, writing, quantitative reasoning and technological literacy, philosophical inquiry, religious dimensions, scientific inquiry, understanding the past, multiculturalism in the United States, and electives. These liberal studies courses are scheduled during the first three years of the program.

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