Discover your artistic voice on stage and behind the scenes
The theatre program at Mary Baldwin University nurtures students’ artistic talents and prepares them for rewarding careers in the working world. Whether your passion lies in performing or the technical aspects of theatre, our comprehensive curriculum provides a well-rounded grounding in theatre arts and strong preparation for graduate school.
- In person
- Degree Type
- Bachelor of Arts
Why Study Theatre at Mary Baldwin?
All the world’s a stage, and Mary Baldwin’s theatre major offers the best of both worlds — a small program with experiences tailored to you and a vibrant, constantly evolving theatre community that gives you a robust foundation in performing arts.
MBU opens the stage doors as soon as you step on campus so you can be an active part of productions beginning with your first year.
Our program thrives on a culture of collaboration, resulting in engaging productions for cast, crew, and audience. You can even become a vital part of the production before the season begins when you take THEA 116: For All Seasons and work with faculty and fellow students to choose upcoming shows.
Features and Benefits:
Students can study abroad or away, pursuing a passion for theatre while exploring other locales. Visit London with the May Term course THEA 208 to see plays at renowned theatres and engage in critical discussion. Or spend the summer in Oxford exploring drama and history. THEA 101 provides regional overnight opportunities for critical viewing and discussion of performances in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Washington, DC.
We offer significant opportunities for research, providing students with the ability to investigate archives, navigate critical history, and analyze plays. With these skills, juniors and seniors design their own senior research projects, presented at the capstone event and senior thesis festival. Our faculty scholars welcome the opportunity to collaborate with students on research projects.
Courses and Curriculum
Our program offers a diverse range of courses, covering technical aspects of theatre, acting, directing, stage management, theatre history, and literature. Through these courses, students gain a deep understanding of the intricacies of theatre production and develop essential skills in their chosen areas of interest. Our faculty, who are industry professionals, provide expert guidance and mentorship, ensuring that students receive a high-quality education.
This class confronts myths of authorship that pervade critical and dramatic analyses of plays. Using Shakespeare as a case study, it asks students to consider traditions of imitation, sourcing, collaboration, and adaptation to deconstruct the idea of “authorial genius.”
Students focus on plays written by women and nonbinary playwrights, studying the works using a number of feminist theories and histories.
Students trace the history of Black theatre in America in the 20th and 21st centuries by focusing on how playwrights have evolved the dramatic form and claimed control of their identities to speak to Black lives, cultures, and histories.
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.
Our Faculty and Teaching Style
With several full-time faculty in the undergraduate theatre program plus professors and graduate students from the master’s program in Shakespeare and Performance, you’ll benefit from the expertise of a robust and dynamic cast of characters as you prepare for your time in the spotlight. Our small student-faculty ratio provides you with personalized and collaborative experiences in the classroom, at rehearsals, and on stage.
Facilities and Resources
MBU theatre students have the chance to make theatre at a variety of performing arts venues on campus including the Deming Fine Arts CenterBlackbox Theatre and the outdoor Rose Theatre. You can also be part of the cultural scene in downtown Staunton at MBU at the Wharf and the Blackfriars Playhouse at the American Shakespeare Center.
As an MBU theatre graduate, you’ll develop critical analysis, creative literacy, innovative thinking, and a desire to effect change.
The combination of leadership skills and collaborative strengths you’ll gain in the theatre program provides a solid foundation for careers in acting, directing, and technical positions.
Theatre majors can pursue their creativity and passion in careers such as a:
- casting director
- cinema actor
- fight director
- film editor
- set designer
- stage actor
- crew member
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