Department of Theatre

Study Theatre at USM!

The USM Department of Theatre is a vibrant community of artists and scholars who value collaboration, imagination, and excellence. We mentor our students through their undergraduate years and prepare them for a competitive job market. At USM, Theatre majors learn by doing.  

Why Students Study Theatre at USM?

Our Faculty

All of our faculty members are professionally active in their fields and have national reputations for their work. USM Theatre majors are taught by and receive individual attention from these faculty members, not graduate students. We not only teach our students, we collaborate with them.

Mentorship

A superior undergraduate education involves mentorship. Students are not “numbers” in the Department of Theatre at USM. We know all of our students and work to help them identify their strengths and teach them the skills they need to succeed in the professional workplace as actors, designers, technicians, teachers, historians, and more. The Theatre Department is a welcoming home for students with a broad range of interests.

Hands-On Experience

Theatre students have opportunities to work on an average of five shows each year, both on stage and behind the scenes. Our seasons are always exciting and diverse. We produce comedies, dramas, musicals, operas, classical plays, and premieres. We graduate students well rounded in all aspects of theatre to make them more marketable. Students learn skills valuable for any career. We help shape writers, thinkers, artists, and technicians. Every production is a classroom for our students, and they play active roles in their own educations.

Internships

USM Theatre majors and minors frequently intern and/or apprentice at theatres and organizations across the country to gain practical experience in professional environments prior to graduation. Some students choose to intern right here in Maine at Maine State Music Theatre, PORTopera, Add Verb Productions, Theatre at Monmouth, Portland Stage Company, etc. Others have secured internships out of state at Theatre West Virginia, the Arden Theatre Company, and Fulton Opera House, among others.

Study Abroad

Many of our majors also study abroad during their time here. The USM Office of International Programs connects students with semester- or year-long programs in countless countries (including English-speaking destinations). Credit earned through exchange programs may count toward a student’s degree at USM and financial aid can be used to help finance approved study abroad travel.

Contact the USM Office of International Programs for more information about study abroad options, including approved programs and funding. For more information, go to usm.maine.edu/international/study-abroad

Professional Preparation

In Theatre Workshop, a one-credit course that students take each semester, students prepare for life after graduation by creating and fine-tuning resumes and cover letters, exploring graduate school, and learning from guest speakers working professionally in the field and representing a variety of careers.

Students also have the opportunity to design or direct productions at USM. Our graduates go on to work as professional actors, designers, directors, technicians, and educators.
Many of our faculty and alumni work under Screen Actors Guild and Actors’ Equity Association contracts and at venues such as the Alley Theatre (TX); Cherry Lane Theatre (NY); Fulton Opera House (PA); Good Theatre (ME), InterAct Theatre Company (PA); Maine State Music Theatre (ME); Opera House Arts (ME); PORTopera (ME); State Ballet of Rhode Island (RI); Tulsa Opera (OK); Utah Shakespeare Festival (UT); and Walnut Street Theatre (PA), to name just a few. Countless graduates of our program are living around the country, relocating to Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles for professional careers.

Many of our majors choose to pursue graduate careers not only in Theatre, but also in disciplines outside of Theatre, a testament to the rigorous liberal arts education provided to our Theatre undergraduates. Recent Theatre graduates have been accepted into diverse graduate programs including University of Kansas’ M.A. in Theatre, Boston University’s M.F.A. in Lighting Design, Simmons College’s M.S. in Library & Information Science, and Antioch University’s M.Ed.  in Arts Education.

Course of Study

The USM Department of Theatre offers a broad educational foundation in the art and craft of theatre; areas of concentration include Performance, Design, Technical Theatre, and Dramatic Literature & Theatre History. No matter what your interests are, the Department of Theatre has the courses you need to hone your craft and develop the skills necessary for success in professional environments. Students study all facets of theatre and can use their electives to focus their studies on the areas of theatre that interest them most.