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Theatre Career Opportunities

Students performing

Careers & Alumni

What can I do with a theatre degree?

Our undergraduate theatre degrees prepare you for a professional career or to pursue a graduate education in the theatre field.

Common graduate school options

There are many great programs throughout Texas and the United States! The three most common graduate degrees offered for theatre are the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. Explore the descriptions below to understand which might be the best fit for you.

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts is often referred to as a research degree and provides students with a strong background in theatre history, dramatic literature, and theory and criticism. Students also explore creative areas of special interest including dramaturgy, playwriting, design and directing.

Completion of the MA typically requires a thesis. The MA in theatre is intended as advanced education for students with substantial background in theatre who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in theatre and drama for the purposes of preparation for doctoral studies, preparation for MFA training, enhancement of secondary school teaching skills and credentials, or enrichment for other personal goals. A master's degree usually takes two to three years to complete.

Master of Fine Arts

The Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree in many areas of theatre. The most common areas of study are: acting, directing, drama and theatre for youth, playwriting, theatre technology, theatrical design and theatre management.

Completion of the MFA degree typically requires a thesis. In the case of acting-directing and design candidates, the thesis is usually based on performance or production project accomplished during the program. In the case of playwriting candidates, the thesis is typically based on a script which is produced during their program. The MFA usually takes two to three years to complete.

Doctor of Philosophy

The primary credential for college level teaching is the Doctor of Philosophy, although one can teach with a master's degree in some areas of theatre.

The PhD typically involves both course work and a major research project. It usually takes four to six years of full-time study.

The traditional career for recipients of the doctorate degree is college teaching and research. The PhD, however, can lead to a wide variety of career options such as working as a consultant for an arts agency or for a non-profit organization, or working as an official in a national or state arts policy organization.

Online resources for support, networking and job postings

  • Alliance of Artist Communities
    • A consortium of artists' communities which offer residencies in all disciplines.
  • American Alliance for Theatre and Education
    • This organization serves and inspires a growing collective of theatre artists, educators, and scholars committed to transforming young people and communities through the theatre arts. 
  • ArtSearch
    • Publication from the Theatre Communication Group for full-time, part-time, seasonal, year- round and internship opportunities in the performing arts.
  • Artslynx
    • With a neat and well-organized series of connecting icons, Artslynx has master folders dealing with "Dance," "Visual Arts," "Writing," "Film," "Arts Administration," "Music," "Arts of Social Responsibility," "Education" and "Arts Advocacy."
  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education
    • An organization of individuals and institutions that provides vision and leadership for the profession and promotes excellence in theatre education. ATHE actively supports scholarship through teaching, research and practice and serves as a collective voice for its mission through its publications, conferences, advocacy, projects, and through collaborative efforts with other organizations.
  • Association of Performing Arts Presenters
    • Excellent site for those interested in arts administration positions in the performing arts. Includes a job bank.
  • Backstage Jobs
    • Free job listing service for all behind-the scenes jobs in the live entertainment industry.
  • Entertainment Careers
    • Jobs, internships and career information in the entertainment industry.
  • Entertainment Community Fund
    • Information for actors, dancers, musicians, producers, directors, carpenters, stage hands, singers and others in the spotlight and behind the scenes. They also have a resource center for health insurance as well as human services for people with HIV+/AIDS and the elderly.
  • Literary Manager and Dramaturgs of America
    • Membership organization for the professions of literary management and dramaturgy. LMDA is a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization with members throughout North America and abroad.
  • National Performance Network
    • Network of artists and organizations committed to advancing racial and cultural justice through the arts.
  • New Dramatists
    • Finds and nurtures new talent through a competitive, membership selection process and a seven-year playwright development program.
  • New York Foundation of the Arts Interactive
    • Free national information resource for artists in all disciplines and for everyone who supports them in any way.
  • Playbill Online
    • Provides a wealth of information for both theatre goers and professionals. Check out their "Jobs" section and filter by category according to the best fit for you.
  • Playwrights' Center
    • Playwrights' Center sustains, develops, and advocates for playwrights and their work to realize their full artistic potential.
  • Professional Associations and Organizations Actors' Equity Association
    • Labor union representing over 40,000 American actors and stage managers working in the professional theatre. Their website contains information about the union and its various departments, programs, and contracts, industry-related news and casting notices.
  • Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
    • The primary role of SAG-AFTRA concerns the members' wages and working conditions. They represent performers and medial professionals across the United States.
  • Showbiz Jobs
    • Search engine for all types of jobs in the entertainment industry.
  • Theatre Communications Group
    • The national organization for the American theatre with over 440 member-theatres offers a wide array of services.
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology
    • USITT is an association for performing arts and entertainment professionals.
  • University/Resident Theatre Association
    • The country's oldest and largest consortium of professional theatre training graduate programs and associated professional theatre companies.

Job and career opportunities

Depending on your concentration, there are various opportunities available to theatre majors in the professional world across a wide variety of industries. Some examples include:

  • Serve as a dramaturg
  • New play development
  • Continuity expert/Script accuracy
  • Event planner
  • Corporate presenter

Explore more details about fantastic career opportunities below.

Performing and directing

  • Broadway and Off Broadway
  • Regional theatre
  • National and international tours
  • Animation
  • Stand-up, magic, cabaret, etc.
  • Video games
  • Film (theatrical features, industrials, etc.)
  • Theme parks
  • Television (broadcast, cable, premium, PPV)
  • Web series
  • Educational institutions (museums, etc.)
  • Industrial shows
  • Radio/podcasting
  • Circus
  • Advertising (commercials, print, etc.)
  • Stage combat
  • Hosting (talk shows, reality shows, etc.)
  • Audiobooks

Performing arts design

Industries include theatre/opera, dance, music, theme parks/restaurants/fairs, industrial shows, churches, weddings, special events, circus and variety entertainment.

  • Costumes
  • Makeup and hair/wigs
  • Scenery
  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Props
  • Theatre consulting
  • Projections

Performing arts technology

Industries include theatre/opera, dance, music, presenting venues, theme parks/restaurants/fairs, industrial shows, churches, weddings, events, circus and variety.

  • Production management
  • Costumes
  • Scenery
  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Makeup and hair/wigs
  • Props
  • Projections

Talent/casting (stage, screen, advertising, etc.)

  • Agent/manager
  • Career coach
  • Casting director

Arts administration

Industries include theatre, dance, music/opera, presenting organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, service organizations, theme parks/restaurants/fairs, foundations and corporate philanthropy.

  • Development (fundraising, granting, etc.)
  • Box office/sales
  • General/business management
  • House management
  • Marketing/publicity/public relations
  • Facilities management
  • Booking agencies
  • Arts advocacy

Stage management/production assistance

  • Theatre/opera
  • Web series
  • Dance
  • Industrial shows
  • Theme parks/restaurants/fairs
  • Circus
  • Film
  • Presenting venues
  • Television
  • Concerts/cabaret
  • Educational and service organizations
  • Stand-up, magic, etc.


Production design (art direction) and sound design

  • Film (theatrical features, industrials, etc.)
  • Web series
  • Television (broadcast, cable, premium, PPV)
  • Retail display
  • Advertising (commercials, print, etc.)

Costume and makeup/hair/wig design

  • Film (theatrical features, industrials, etc.)
  • Web series
  • Television (broadcast, cable premium, PPV)
  • Retail display
  • Advertising (commercials, print, etc.)



  • College/university
  • High school/middle school
  • Elementary school/early childhood (creative dramatics)
  • Other educational institutions (museums, etc.)
  • Professional theatre (teaching artist, educational outreach, etc.)
  • Private instruction/coaching
  • Coaching/consulting for presentations/public speaking (corporate, etc.)

Equipment and materials for stage and screen

  • Research/development/design
  • Marketing
  • General/business management
  • Sales/rentals
  • Publicity/Public relations
  • Service


  • Plays
  • Teleplays
  • Screenplays
  • Web series
  • Industrial/educational shows and films
  • Video games
  • Research/scholarship
  • Arts journalism
  • Advertising (commercials, etc.)
  • Cabaret
  • Stage, screen and literary criticism
  • Stand-up, magic, etc.

Commercial/educational design

  • Point-of-sale
  • Trade shows
  • Museum/gallery exhibitions

Non-performance lighting

  • Architectural
  • Special events
  • Display/exhibition (retail, museums, etc.)

Helping professionals

  • Drama therapy
  • Medical clowning


School of Theatre and Dance
Faculty directory

Physical Address:
Griffith Fine Arts Building
Room 235

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6090, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

SFA is accredited by NAST.