Theatre Arts Bachelor of Arts
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At BJU, you’ll study the theatre arts not merely for the sake of art, but for the sake of God’s glory. You’ll learn of the great need for communication characterized both by artistic excellence and timeless truths.
You’ll imitate God’s role as creator as you unveil stories of truth and beauty that point your audience to the fulfillment of all beauty and truth—Jesus Christ. You’ll study the power of drama to plant seeds of biblical truth in people’s hearts. Then you’ll develop biblical discernment and the skills to find and produce pieces that are appropriate for your audience.
You can use your electives to bolster the skills that you prefer as well. If you enjoy writing, you will try your hand at developing your own scripts, from monologues to one-acts to full-length plays. For actors, improvisation, theatre games, scene work and vocal and physical exercises will increase your sensitivity and imagination. Rehearsing scenes with your fellow acting students will stretch you as a performer and help you to act and react as a believable character in dramatic circumstances. If backstage work interests you, you’ll familiarize yourself with every behind-the-scenes aspect of drama with classes in lighting, costume design, scene design and directing.
You’ll complement your theatre arts classes with BJU’s liberal arts and Bible core programs. English, history, economics, philosophy and other subjects will broaden your horizons and help you relate to more diverse audiences. Liberal arts also develop essential life skills—critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and effective communication—that will help you adapt to any situation.
But your experience doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Both onstage and behind-the-scenes opportunities abound at BJU. Every semester, you’ll have the chance to participate in the biannual Shakespearean productions that are a part of the Concert, Opera & Drama Series. You’ll also have numerous opportunities to collaborate with fellow theatre arts majors on student-run productions, similar to the recent productions of Our Town and Sherlock Holmes.
BJU students who graduate with a theatre degree don’t always go on to work in theatre or the performing arts. The communication, teamwork and audience analysis skills you develop at BJU can be applied to careers ranging from education to marketing to social work.
- Educational Theatre
- Public Relations
- Radio and Television
- Communications Consulting
- Local or Community Theatre Artist
- University of Texas
- Bowling Green University
- Hollins University
- Texas Tech University
- Illinois State University
- Southern Illinois University
- Shakespeare Institute, Stratford, UK
- University of South Carolina
Our graduates work in various locations across the United States and internationally, including the following:
- High School Drama Teacher, Oahu, Hawaii
- Professional Actor, Utah Shakespeare Festival
- College Theatre Professor, Dunbar, Wis.
- Tech Theatre Teacher and Costume Designer, Tampa, Fla.
- Artistic Intern, Canadian Stage, Ontario, Canada
- Free-lance Writer, Greenville, S.C.
- Arts Management, New York, N.Y.
In the Classroom
Familiarity with every part of theatre will help you excel in your career. You’ll build a sturdy foundation in classes such as Stagecraft, Lighting Design, Playwriting and Acting. Within your classes you will also develop a team-centered approach to productions.
For your capstone experience you’ll play a part in staging an actual production for an audience. Together with your peers you’ll submit plans for an original play or an adaptation. You’ll also work closely with a faculty member and receive guidance throughout your play’s production. Your teamwork will allow you to soar to greater heights in a short period of time as together you produce your work. Recent adaptations have included Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.
Outside the Classroom
At BJU, you’ll have more opportunities for real-life experience in theatre arts than you know what to do with.
- Biannual Shakespeare productions: Nearly every semester students can get involved in the Shakespeare production. There are usually many acting roles open to students, including understudy positions for the lead roles so you can learn from your faculty members on the job.
- Vespers: Vespers programs are sacred presentations of drama and music by BJU faculty and students. These programs, both devotional and cultural, attract many visitors and are typically held five times a year on Thursday evenings or Friday mornings.
- Living Gallery: A team of talented artists and technicians spend hundreds of hours putting together the sets, costumes, makeup and lighting needed to create larger-than-life artwork. In addition, an original drama ties in contemporary spiritual struggles to the overarching theme of the artwork.
- Collaboration with peers on your own productions
Your faculty bring to their classes many years of teaching experience as well as experience in the theatre arts and communication fields. Many of them are heavily involved in BJU’s operas, plays and other productions. They’ll give you plenty of feedback so you can get an honest appraisal of your work to help you achieve your greatest potential.
Jeffrey Stegall has more than 30 years’ experience in acting, as well as more than 20 years’ experience in theatre directing and design. He has studied at the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City and has performed more than 30 Shakespearean roles, including Hamlet, Henry V, Costard and Caliban. He is the founder of The Greenville Shakespeare Company, a non-profit organization that performs Shakespearean comedies each summer in a signature zany style. His latest Shakespearean endeavor was an original, Victorian-futuristic adaptation of Richard III.
First Year +
Second Year +
Third Year +
Fourth Year +
- Demonstrate knowledge of the history, literature and function of drama.
- Be able to analyze a play script for production.
- Develop and display basic skills in theatre arts.
- Evidence interpersonal communication skills as they collaborate effectively.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the value of drama as a contemporary ministry tool.