Explore These Top Jobs for Theatre Majors

theatre house with balconies

Why major in theatre? There are many jobs for theatre majors to pursue, including various types of acting jobs and even non-theatre jobs.1 If you’re passionate about theatre and drama, then one of the following careers may be a good choice for you.

In This Article:

Jobs for Theatre Majors

When considering future job prospects, one of the possible jobs for theatre majors is acting. However, there are several types of acting jobs, as well as non-acting theatre jobs to consider.

1. Actor

An attractive career path for a theatre major often includes pursuing roles as an actor.1 Actors may work on the stage or on a TV or movie set.

An actor’s job is to interpret a script. Thus, they need to adopt a character’s state of mind and emotions. Actors must use their tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, posture and other cues to convey their character’s personality.

Embarking on the journey of acting offers opportunities for growth and creativity. It's a path that invites individuals to embrace challenges as steppingstones toward realizing their dreams. Cultivating resilience and dedication are essential traits that pave the way in this field. Accumulating valuable experience is not only enriching but may also help unlock doors to representation and potentially securing roles as you evolve in your craft.

2. Background Actor

Commonly referred to as an “extra,” background actors may or may not have lines in movies or TV shows. To become an extra, you may need to contact and sign up with an extra casting agency. It may be possible to work your way up to being cast in a role after gaining some experience as an extra.

3. Commercial Actor

These actors fill roles in TV commercials, where the goal is to sell products or services. When a commercial becomes a hit, there’s potential for an actor to become a star in their own right. It may be possible to transition from acting in commercials to pursuing roles on the stage or in TV or movie productions.

4. Voice Actor

If you have a strong command of your voice, you might consider pursuing a career as a voice actor. These professionals provide the voices for animated characters. Some voice actors also provide the narration for audiobooks, documentaries, and even video games. There may be also be opportunities to narrate commercials, host conventions, and speak on podcasts.

5. Playwright

Becoming a playwright is another potential career outcome for a theatre major.2 Playwrights tend to be creative individuals who develop the concept of a new play and write it. While writing a play, it’s essential to be mindful of how it will be performed. Playwrights must keep in mind the traditions and exciting challenges of live performance when writing. Playwrights can also be script writers in Hollywood for movies or on-staff writers for news, television, and streaming services.

Often, playwrights are freelancers. They may send copies of their play to theatre companies in hopes that one will decide to perform it. As they begin to make a name for themselves, playwrights may then be hired on a contract basis by the theatre company to write new plays.

6. Costume Designer

If you have a love for fashion as well as the performing arts, consider pursuing a career as a costume designer after earning a degree in theatre.Costume designers work on movies and TV shows as well as theatrical productions and commercials. Their job often requires research, as they must consider the fashions of the time period in which the production takes place.

Typically, costume designers begin by producing rough sketches of the clothing, jewelry, hats and footwear, taking into consideration both style and fabric. Once the initial designs are approved, the designers produce full-color versions, which are sent to costume makers. Designers are also responsible for creating a “costume plot,” which is a document that specifies each item of clothing a particular character will wear in each scene

7. Dramaturg

Another potential career for a theatre major is that of a dramaturg.3 A dramaturg functions as a researcher and consultant. Theatrical companies hire dramaturgs to analyze the story of a play and research its historical and cultural context.

Dramaturgs also consider how past theatrical productions envisioned the play. The insights provided by a dramaturg enable the director and actors to bring the production to life in a way that is faithful to the playwright’s intentions and the creative team’s context of the play.

8. Theatre Director

Other jobs for theatre majors may include the role of the theatre director.1 They are responsible for guiding and collaborating with the creative team of designers and technicians to reach new heights in the performance.

If you aspire to a career as a theatre director, then you might want to look for opportunities at small community arts groups. Once you have some directing experience, you can look for positions in better-known productions.

9. Theatre Stage Manager

If you prefer behind-the-scenes work, then you might think about a role as a stage manager at a theatre.1 Managers work hand-in-hand with stage directors, designers and production staff, keeping track of the director’s guidance for the actors and ensuring that the director’s instructions are carried out.

Stage managers must be good communicators because their role is largely that of a liaison between the director and everyone from the design team to the technicians and crew who may have earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Drama.

Other Careers for Theatre Majors

A theatre major usually teaches transferrable skills, such as creative problem-solving, collaboration, communication and leadership skills. These soft skills may be used in a wide range of industries and professions.

1. Arts Administrator

One of the top non-theatre jobs for theatre majors is that of arts administrator.3 A job as an arts administrator may be a good fit for someone who has a passion for the performing arts, as well as a business-oriented mindset. Arts administrators are hired by many different organizations, including the following:4

  • Ballet companies 
  • Musical groups 
  • Symphony orchestras 
  • Art galleries 
  • Museums

Although an arts administrator’s role may not always directly relate to theatre, many of these professionals may find opportunities to contribute their expertise to community theatre productions. Their role is to run the business side of the organization.

Arts administrators handle marketing, as well as promoting the organization and its productions. In addition, they deal with financial concerns, such as fundraising and budgeting. In other words, they have a wide range of tasks.

2. Talent Agent

If you’re looking for a non-theatre job but you still want to work with on-stage talent, you might consider becoming a talent agent after earning your theatre degree.3 A talent agent can represent the interests of their clients, who are performers and other creative professionals such as writers. Talent agents work to connect their clients with jobs, negotiate contracts and polish the public image of their clients.

3. TV Broadcaster

As a theatre degree focuses on refining communication skills and stage presence, it may naturally align with the career path of becoming a TV broadcaster for certain graduates.3 TV broadcasters are responsible for presenting a variety of material on TV, including both live and pre-programmed shows. Some TV broadcasters present the news, while others host talk shows, game shows or children’s programs.

Begin Your Theatre Education at GCU Today

If you’re excited to pursue any of these career paths, you can build a firm foundation for the future at Grand Canyon University. One degree option that may interest you is the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Drama offered by the College of Arts and Media, which explores all aspects of theatrical productions. Complete the form at the top of your screen to learn more.

Indeed. (2023, March 10). 26 jobs for theatre majors to pursue. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2023.

The Art Career Project. (n.d.). Careers in drama & theater. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2023. 

Grierson, S. (2022, Aug. 16). Jobs for drama graduates: What can I do with a performing arts degree? Backstage. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2023.

4 Labbate, H. (n.d.). Arts Administration: Wellesley Career Education. Wellesley College. 

Approved by the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Media on April 8, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.