Performing Arts (BA)

Exchange ideas, build community through performance

You have something to say. About yourself. About your world. The performing arts program is here to help you find your voice and your instrument. It might be raising your voice with the rest of the choir or stepping into the lights at center stage. Taking the solo and swinging the lead, or playing to the camera, MBU performing arts students have the skill and passion to amaze an audience, start important dialogues, and change the world.

Time to finish
4 years
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts

Why Study Performing Arts at Mary Baldwin?

With experienced faculty, small class sizes, and intimate performance venues, MBU’s performing arts programs offer an unparalleled opportunity for students to channel their passion for the arts into skilled and disciplined performance. From the moment they start, students are engaged in doing, performing, creating, and shaping all aspects of projects alongside faculty and their fellow students. The deeply interconnected nature of our music, dance, theatre, and film programs give students a chance to try their hand at various disciplines, both on stage and behind the scenes.

Even if you’re not destined for a career in the performing arts, classes in the performing arts can build confidence and discipline, develop skills in critical thinking and close reading, and provide collaborative experiences with fellow students that are unlike any other. Students learn not only technique, but history and cultural context, giving them a deeper understanding of the arts, and a fuller language to communicate their own truths.

Majors and Minors

  • Major in Performing Arts with a Concentration in Film
  • Minor in Music
  • Minor in Theatre
  • Minor in Dance
  • Minor in Film with Emphasis on Film Production
  • Minor in Film with Emphasis on Film Studies
  • Accelerated 3+2 BA/MLITT in Shakespeare and Performance lets you complete your BA in three years and your Master of Letters in five years, with the opportunity to audition for the MFA program after.

“I had the pleasure of researching Drama as Therapy during my senior year by looking at how elements of the rehearsal process like deroling, intimacy choreography, speech, and storytelling can be used as therapeutic tools for the Black woman.”

Jaliyah Bryant ’23Theatre major

Students love our courses

You’ll take courses like: 

Unique student support

The McCree Center for Life Success assists current students and alumni in finding the best opportunities throughout their career development. We work closely with both faculty and employers to identify how your valued education best matches the needs of today’s evolving marketplace.

Where Art Meets Activism

Throughout history, the performing arts have been a driver for social and political change. That tradition continues at MBU. With our focus on creative expression paired with social outreach, MBU’s performing arts program gives students the opportunity to lift up their voices through the arts and bring their visions of the world to life on stage and screen. 

Beautiful Stages, Meaningful Partnerships

All the world’s a stage, and the MBU performing arts programs give students the chance to perform in some of the most remarkable performance spaces in the country. From our on-campus theaters and auditoriums to the Blackfriars Playhouse in downtown Staunton (the world’s only re-creation of William Shakespeare’s indoor theater), students take the stage and learn the ropes at an array of beautiful venues. With partnerships with orchestras, ensembles and theatres across the world, MBU performing arts students will experience and work with professionals in their field through internships and study abroad programs.

Starring Outcomes 

Performing arts careers are available across the areas of: 

  • theatre
  • music
  • film

May include becoming an: 

  • actor
  • director
  • stage manager
  • set designer
  • drama therapist
  • media specialist
  • music agent
  • festival organizer
  • event planner
  • teacher

Our students get top billing. Here are just a few of the careers MBU students have landed:

  • Director, Geffen Playhouse, New York, NY
  • Professor, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
  • Teacher, NYU Tisch Art and Public Policy, New York, NY
  • Artistic Director, Bad Quarto Productions, New York, NY
  • Acting Fellow, American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, VA

Cost & Financial Aid

A great education is worth it. Here’s how Mary Baldwin helps you pay for it: Generous financial aid packages, a broad range of scholarships, transferring maximum credit hours from previous coursework or relevant work and life experiences — the list goes on. Our mission is to help you level up and bring your aspirations to life.

MBU helps you fast-track your path to a political science degree with the opportunity to transfer up to 18 credits (6 courses) through direct course equivalents from the Virginia Community Colleges System.

  • Cost per credit hour: $486
  • Credits required for a bachelor’s degree: 120

Try our net price calculator | Go to cost and aid to learn more

It’s time to level up your career. Apply today!