Though it is a pre-professional B.S. degree, Skidmore majors pursue the serious study of theater without sacrificing a well-rounded liberal arts education. Courses afford training in acting, directing, design, technical theater, playwriting, and management, with extensive opportunities for advanced study, practical production experience, study abroad, and internships. Through liberal arts requirements, students discover the moral, intellectual, and political contexts in which artists practice. Our signature production seminars link stage productions to other areas of study through a wide range of on- and off-campus guests. Our graduates pursue careers in theater and related fields and many attend some of the finest graduate programs.
Note about credits: Unlike most liberal arts theater programs, our theater majors receive a B.S. degree, which reflects that Skidmore has a pre-professional program. Of the 120 college credits required for graduation, our theater majors take a minimum of 48 credits in theater, and most take as many as 60 or more credits. Typically, in a 120-credit B.A. program students take 30–36 credits in theater, while those in conservatory programs take 90 credits.
- Introduction to Theater: covers play analysis, theater history, world theater, and an introduction to the work of actors, playwrights, directors, and designers.
- Intermediate Acting: offers a range of classes at the intermediate level including Stanislavski-based training, Viewpoints training, and Shakespearean acting.
- Collaborations: provides advanced directors and actors an opportunity to collaborate on a series of performance projects.
- Stage Lighting: covers all aspects of stage lighting including principles of electricity, equipment, and theories of vision, color, conceptualization, and applied design.
- Special Topics: often features Suzuki and Viewpoints training taught by a member of the world-famous SITI professional theater company.
- Playwriting: various courses are taught by acclaimed playwrights whose works have been developed and performed nationally and internationally.
- The Theater Department offer a wide range of varied dramatic literature, theory, and theater history courses.
Skidmore Theater Company: All theater majors are members of the Skidmore Theater Company, which meets every Friday for discussions about the program, announcements of upcoming activities, and presentations.
Popular study abroad/off-campus programs: Nearly all theater students participate in off-campus and study abroad programs including the National Theater Institute (Moscow, Russia); O'Neill Center; Second City (Chicago, Ill.); Gaiety Theater School (Dublin, Ireland); Accademia dell'Arte (Italy); and the London Theater Program (BADA).
Internships and study options: Many students spend the summer in Saratoga training with the world-renowned SITI Company or earning Actors’ Equity points as interns performing with the professional Saratoga Shakespeare Company. Our students work in major summer theaters throughout the country and train in programs such as Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts.
Note: Career Development prepares seniors for their future as theater professionals. Résumés and actor headshots are explored, and topics include graduate or studio training, self-producing, budgeting, day jobs, and more.
A remarkable number of Skidmore graduates enter the entertainment profession, and quite a few complete professional training programs at top MFA programs. In addition to actors, directors, designers, technicians, and stage managers, a number of our alumni teach theater at other colleges. Of course, many of our graduates also find success in other fields including psychology, law, medicine, and publishing.
Careers: A sampler of what our alumni do
- Actor: Many of our alumni have been seen extensively on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional stages, as well as in feature films, television shows, and commercials Director: Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional productions, as well as documentary films
- Manager/producer, 3 Arts Entertainment, Beverly Hills, Calif.
- Drama department head, A.B. Miller High School, Fontana, Calif.
- Production assistant, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.
- Assistant professor/theater director, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Managing attorney, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Atlanta, Ga.
- Professor of speech/communication, Baruch College, CUNY, NYC
- Independent producer, director, writer, editor, Black Valley Films, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Assistant professor of theatre arts, California State University, Long Beach, Calif.
- Director of special events, Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, N.Y.
- Producing director, Caps Lock Theatre, Queens, N.Y.
- Deputy editor/author, Cosmopolitan, NYC
- Senior VP, daytime, CBS, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Credit specialist, Deutsche Bank Americas, NYC
- Producing artist, Epic Theatre Center, NYC
- LSW, psychotherapist, Innerlight Counseling and Holistic Center, NYC
- Music director, Kingdom 2 Music, Woodland Hills, Calif.
- Educational reporter, Learning Matters/PBS News Hour, NYC
- Assistant professor of theatre, Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass.
- Assistant, rights/clearances, MTV Networks, NYC
- Director, exhibit design and development, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Ill.
- Associate producer, Nickelodeon, Santa Monica, Calif.
- Make up artist/owner, NYC Faces, NYC
- Pastry chef, Patisserie Las Friandises, NYC
- Owner, Pucker Gallery, Boston, Mass.
- Theatrical technician, Radio City Music Hall, NYC
- Dance and theatre teacher, Ramapo High School, Ramapo, N.J.
- Technical/stage staff, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Weston, Fla.
- CPA, Securities & Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C.
- President/owner, SoHo Experiential, NYC
- Costume designer, Stonehill College/Theater Department, North Easton, Mass.
- Actor, Children's Theater Company, Minneapolis, Minn.
- Special events coordinator, Drama League, NYC
- Director of education, Globe Theatre, San Diego, Calif.
- Casting administrator, Two Birds Casting, Chicago, Ill.
- Speechwriter, U.S. House Republican Conference, Washington, D.C.
- Talent agent, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Beverly Hills, Calif.
- Assistant director, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, Mass.
Graduate Schools: A sampler of where our alumni go
- American Conservatory Theater
- A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University
- Boston University of Fine Arts
- Brown/Trinity Repertory Acting and Directing Programs
- California Institute of the Arts
- Columbia University School of the Arts
- New York University Tisch School of the Arts
- Southern Methodist University Meadows School of Arts
- University of California San Diego
- Yale University School of Drama