Explore. Create. Grow.

Break out of your comfort zone, find your passion and prepare yourself for your future career with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts.

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at MMNT. Photo by Jessica Attie.

Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts students may pursue concentrations in Theater Design and Technology, Theater Management or the General Theater degree, or may audition for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. Students may also major in Theater Education through a joint arrrangement with the School of Education. In addition to a rigorous curriculum and a substantial emphasis on project-based learning, all specializations are supported through hands-on application and mentoring in the laboratory environment of the Mary Moody Northen Theatre (MMNT).

She Loves Me at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre 2016. Photo by Tomas Segura.

Core Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Theater core curriculum provides a strong foundation for upper level coursework. Core classes include acting, play analysis, theater history, theater management, technical theater, design and theater practicum. Students apply the skills they learn in the classroom to theatre productions through the practicum sequence. Initial practicum opportunities include serving on wardrobe crew, building scenery, operating spotlights, running sound, building props, serving on the electrics staff, tailoring costumes and a host of other positions. Assignments become increasingly specialized and students move quickly into their degree focus areas. Later practicum assignments may include stage managing, assisting a professional designer, designing and building costume pieces for a production, serving as a technical director, house managing and many other projects. Students learn about all the moving parts of a theater organization as they hone their craft in a high-calibre, professional environment.

All classroom instruction is supported by faculty, staff and guest artist mentorship. Students build their professional networks along with their résumés. And Mary Moody Northen Theater's affiliation with Actors' Equity Association means that actors and stage managers involved in mainstage productions may earn points towards their union membership.

Misalliance at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Internships and Beyond

Many Hilltoppers find internships with local arts agencies during the year or pursue summer programs both in Austin and around the country. Students have interned with ZACH Theatre, Austin Opera, Ballet Austin, The Long Center, The Rude Mechanicals, Austin Film Festival, Zilker Theatre Productions, Barrington Stage Company, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Bay Area Playwright's Festival and others. Recent graduates have interned with The Acting Company, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Cirque du Soleil, Manhattan Theatre Company and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

St. Edward's University Theater Arts graduates are prepared to work in their field or pursue graduate training. When you walk out of our doors with your degree in hand, you will join a network of hard-working, accomplished and caring alumni. Our program graduates are working in film and television, running theaters across the country and working for off-Broadway companies.

The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Scholarship Audition Weekend

Unsure if St. Edward's University's theater program is right for you? Come find out for yourself. Join us for SCHOLARSHIP AUDITION WEEKEND on February 24 and 25, 2017 (Friday and Saturday). Meet current students, tour campus, sit in on a class, see a show, attend a post-play discussion, take workshops from theater faculty and audition for theater scholarships. We know how challenging it can be to make college decisions, so we invite you to come and give us a try. We think  you will like what you experience. For more information, go HERE.

On The Verge by Eric Overmyer at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the St. Edward's University theater program are prepared to enter the theater workforce and pursue a career within the industry. Further, they posess valuable skills necessary to succeed in virtually any field. Students who pursue professional careers within the field work for theater, film, video, television and academia in areas such as:

  • Acting
  • Design (Sound, Lighting, Scene, Costume, Props)
  • Stage Management
  • Playwriting
  • Production Management
  • Dramaturgy
  • Audience Services
  • Directing
  • Theater Management
  • Theater Education
  • Literary Management
  • Costume Technology
  • Properties Construction
  • Company Management
  • Technical Direction

Students are well equipt to work in the field and pursue graduate school, where they may choose to pursue a master of arts, master of fine arts or doctor of philosophy. Recent graduates have attended Harvard, Yale, Penn State and UCLA graduate training programs. St. Edward's University theater alumni are working professionally across the spectrum in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, internationally, and all points in between.

Outside the Classroom

Guest Artists

Guest artists from the world of professional theater, film and television work with faculty and students in production. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in hands-on work in acting, writing, design and directing.

Learn in a City Thriving on Artistic Culture and Creative Expression

In addition, students in the Theater Arts major are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the variety of arts supported by the vibrant culture of Austin. While studying at St. Edward's, you will be connected to the pulse of a cosmopolitan city. Austin is home to a community of people who appreciate the beauty of human expression. Engaging with the local culture will feed your soul. It's also an epicenter to creativity and attracts world class events. Your immersion in such a colorful art scene will enrich your educational experience and connect you to people who share your passion. 

Meet the Faculty

“I am committed to sharing my many years of professional experience with them. This offers a valuable perspective on what skills and thought processes are most productive in the business arena.”
—Susan Branch Towne, professor

About the Minor

Would you like to major in something else, but still keep the theater as a core part of your university experience? Consider minoring in Theater Arts. The minor requires 24 hours of coursework, including:

  • Theatre Skills I: Stagecraft and Lighting
  • Theatre Skills II: Costume and Makeup
  • Acting for Non-Majors
  • Design for Performance
  • Theater History I or Theater History II
  • Theater Management I
  • Private or Voice Classes (2 hrs.)
  • Dance (1 hr.)
  • Electives​

For more information, please consult the undergraduate bulletin.