All the world’s a stage …

And Valpo’s theatre alumni play many parts: actors, designers, directors, theatre administrators, business leaders, lawyers, ministers, and more. The theatre program builds students’ résumés, preparing them for success in the field of theatre, even as the same experiences develop skills that can be transferred to a wide variety of industries.

Theatre-making is an inherently collaborative process, combining the work of set designers, makeup artists, actors, sound technicians, and more. Valpo’s theatre students work productively as members of a team and learn to see their work as a service to their castmates and to the audience.

Focused skill-building

Valpo’s broad approach to theatre means that theatre majors engage and strengthen a wide variety of skills. Through required practicums, students gain experience in at least three of the following areas:

By performing, students develop their skills in:

  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Concentration
  • Empathy
  • Setting objectives
  • Adjusting and correcting behavior as they move toward an objective
  • Trial and error
  • Imagination
  • Intentional relaxation
  • Listening
  • Respect for the opinions of others
  • Openly accepting and learning from critical feedback

Through work on scenery and lighting — both design and implementation — students develop:

  • Imagination
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Working as a productive team member
  • Listening
  • Ability to following instructions
  • Focus of attention/concentration

Working in the management positions of the theatre (stage manager, assistant stage manager, house manager), students develop:

  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Leadership
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentration
  • Organization
  • Ability to following instructions
  • Composure that carries them through stressful circumstances

Costume and makeup work helps students develop:

  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Imagination
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentration
  • Organization
  • Professionalism when working with others’ bodies
  • Hand-eye coordination

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"Becoming an entrepreneur was a logical step given my training as an actor. Starting a business is incredibly creative and requires a real sense of collaboration, which is what theatre is all about."