Immerse yourself in the creative, collaborative, and complex world of theatre arts.

As a theatre arts major, you’ll explore the fundamental ideas and practices presented by this art form while discovering keys to successful self-expression, participating in the creative process, developing your unique artistic voice, and learning about cultural history and its connection to how we live today. Theatrical study also helps you become a better global citizen through its focus on diversity across cultures and throughout history. 

Available tracks: 

All of our tracks of study in the theatre arts degree program provide you with the leadership, communication, collaboration, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills necessary for a career in professional theatre or for graduate study.

Theatre Studies
The Theatre Studies track gives you the opportunity to fashion your own areas of focus in consultation with a theatre advisor as you earn your Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. In addition to its curricular requirements, the program provides you with practical experience in all aspects of theatre production as part of your educational experience.

Your theatre major with a focus in Performance fosters collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills in an active environment, allowing students to hone their artistic abilities in character development, vocal/movement work, and general care for the performer’s instrument. We offer small studio and workshop classroom experiences, endless opportunities onstage, and dedicated individualized mentoring for students in their areas of interest, with opportunities to pursue creative work in acting, directing, and playwriting.

Your theatre arts degree with a Design/Technology track fosters a wide range of practical job skills that are highly valued in a broad variety of professions. These skills include critical thinking, knowledge of the creative process, problem solving, time management, effective written and oral communication, active listening, collaboration, portfolio development, teamwork, production management, self-confidence, and empathy. In this focused track, you’ll explore conceptualization of all four major design techniques, active hands-on experience in a variety of technical theatre fields and their execution, theatre history, script analysis, and emerging theatre technologies.

Program Highlights

  • On campus
  • Two student and two faculty directed, designed, and produced productions each year
  • Faculty active in professional theatre
  • Attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Follow your passion to the stage and earn your theatre arts degree.

Develop your personal creative expression and explore human history and culture through the art of performance.

Hone your craft and prepare for a rewarding career in theatre.

  • Two students preparing hair and makeup before a theatre production.

    Hands-on experience 

    You’ll have the opportunity to participate in faculty-directed Main stage productions, and two student-directed, -designed, and -produced productions each year, as well as internships with a variety of theatre and production companies. 

  • Three students in costume in a performance of “Wild Party.”

    Focused mentoring 

    Receive one-on-one attention and guidance from theatre professors, faculty, and advisors tailored to your specific interests and career aspirations. 

  • Two students in costume performing “The Tempest” on stage.

    Learn from expert faculty 

    Our theatre arts faculty are active and respected members of the theatre community, working as artists in New York City and across New England.  

Program Details

Program Mission

The mission of the Westfield State University Theatre Arts Program is to provide an excellent and broadly based academic education in all aspects of theatre. We provide foundational theatre training that enables students to hone skills in oral, written, physical, and visual communication; in developing personal creative expressiveness; in team-building and collaboration; in critical thinking and problem solving; and in engaging with complex philosophical and social issues that explore the nature of humanity in a community setting. These skills are vital to a career as a theatre artist and are easily applicable to multiple professional paths.  

Students explore a wide range of plays that help them better understand history across eras and cultures. This creates a sense of empathy, sympathy, and justice important to global citizenship. The Theatre Arts Program is committed to equity and inclusion, elevating voices of traditionally under-represented groups through play selection, course materials, and casting. The program enriches the university and surrounding community by presenting important plays for the consideration and inspiration of audiences. 

Program Vision

To inspire creative work relevant to the local and global community. 

Learning Outcomes
  • Communication: Students will learn to communicate effectively by developing and defending informed viewpoints about theatre. Students will gain an understanding of the common elements and vocabulary of theatre and of the interaction of these elements, giving them the ability to analyze both dramatic literature and live performance perceptively and to evaluate them critically. 
  • Creation/Production/Performance: Students will gain an overview of the collaborative elements of theatre and will demonstrate an understanding of the production process. Students will explore and experience different values, perspectives, and aesthetics allowing them to problem solve, create, perform, and produce theatre. Students will successfully execute job duties related to the performance of a role, crew position, and/or design assignment. 
  • Professional Proficiency: Students will acquire the entrepreneurial skills necessary to assist in the development and advancement of careers in theatre. Students will learn to apply knowledge and skills to meet professional competencies in the field of theatre. Students will learn procedures and develop skills that enable them to conduct themselves in a manner accepted in the professional theatre community. 
  • Historical Knowledge: Students will acquire familiarity with the full canon of theatrical literature of various historical periods, cultural sources, and modes of presentation. Students will learn the essential elements of the historical development of theatre and drama. Students will relate, connect, integrate, and contextualize knowledge acquired in theatre courses.

Upcoming & Past Productions

The Theatre Arts Program at Westfield State University gave me the creative space to discover my passion for acting, the tools I needed to take my craft to the next level, and the hunger to continue pursuing opportunities on stage, on film, and in a classroom after graduation.

-Rachel Cofsky, ‘17

What can you do with a theatre arts degree? 

Your theatre arts degree will help you develop a wide variety of professional, creative, and interpersonal skills appropriate in multiple types of professional settings. Follow your passions and pursue a career in theatre as a(n): 

  • Actor 
  • Choreographer
  • Director 
  • Stagehand
  • Producer
  • Theatre or stage manager
  • Technical theatre technician
  • Theatrical scenic, costume, lighting, or sound designer 
  • Hair or makeup artist 

Ready to learn more?

Get big school features with small school advantages.  

We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support. 

You'll join fellow motivated students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.

  • 15:1

    student-faculty ratio

  • 87%

    of students receive financial aid   

  • 84%

    of grads are employed in their field

Connect with the theatre scene throughout the region.

You’ll learn from professors and faculty who are active and successful members of the theatre community in New York City and throughout New England. You’ll benefit from focused mentorship, internship support, and academic guidance, preparing you for a successful transition into your career of interest. You will benefit from one-on-one faculty guidance on applications, letters, portfolios, and more. 

You’ll also have regular exposure to professional theatre productions and industry professionals through guest speakers, class trips, and more. Join your peers and professors at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, where you can present your work and connect with other students from across the region and top-level industry professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to submit SAT/ACT scores or an essay when I apply?

Westfield State University does not require an application essay, SAT and/or ACT scores, or letters of recommendation (except for special program admissions).     

All first-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on their high school record. First-year applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in order to qualify for admission to a state university.   

Learn more about the application process and admissions here.

How much does Westfield State University cost?

Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more. 

Will I receive academic support?

We’re invested in your success. Whether you need a little help adjusting to college, study strategies, tutoring, or disability services, the team at the Academic Achievement Department is ready to help. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to explore academic opportunities as well as to plot strategies for continued growth. 

Learn more about our student support services here.

Request Information

We’re here to answer your questions and deliver the support you need along your academic journey. Please provide your contact information and area of interest, and we’ll be in touch shortly.


Theatre Arts, B.A.