Why study drama at the UW?

About the University of Washington School of Drama’s Bachelor of Arts in Drama

Overview: Why study Drama at UW?

At the University of Washington, the study of dramatic arts at the undergraduate level builds on the philosophy of a broad liberal arts degree within the College of Arts and Sciences. Through study of the history, production, performance and methodology of live theater, students gain a foundational knowledge of our theatrical legacy, theory, practice and develop their own creative imaginations.

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama are poised to begin careers in the professional theater, pursue graduate and post-graduate study in acting, directing, design and scholarship and engage in a wide range of creative pursuits. Our graduates go on to careers in film, television, arts management, advertising, design, creative media and other areas such as law and business where the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, entrepreneurship and creativity are essential.

In a recent survey of 500 senior management professionals conducted by the Global Strategy Group, the most sought-after (skills in new employees) are problem-solving (49% ranked it No. 1), collaboration (43%), and critical thinking (36%). Also in demand is the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in writing (31%).

In addition, the ability to work imaginatively and present oneself publicly with confidence are keys to success in a wide range of endeavors. The BA degree at the School of Drama instills these qualities for a lifetime.

To the prospective Drama Major:

The Bachelor of Arts in Drama at UW offers three tracks or areas of emphasis for the major:

General Drama: A broad overview of drama that includes history/theory/criticism along with design, production, acting and directing opportunities. This track is for drama majors who prefer the widest range of classes available.

Drama Performance: Building on the foundational curriculum in drama, the performance track student can focus their upper level studies in the areas of acting and/or directing.

Drama Design: Building on the foundational curriculum in drama, the design track student can focus their upper level studies in the area of scenic, costume, sound and lighting design.

To the prospective double major:

Are you considering Drama as a double major with another course of study at UW? Many of our students find this is a preferred option. By declaring the drama major early, you assure yourself of ample room in your undergraduate career to double major. Adding drama as a second major can be an effective way of gaining the theater based creative education you want while pursuing another major , and ensures priority registration for a range of upper level courses.

Opportunities for Undergraduates:

Undergraduate students appear in mainstage productions, studios, workshops and learn through crew and technical operations. A specific production in the regular School of Drama season is cast exclusively with undergraduates. In addition, the Undergraduate Theater Society offers students the unique opportunity to gain experience working in a self-sustaining theater club. UTS is run by a student board of directors, plans its season and operates its own theater space in the School of Drama building. Productions are designed, built, produced, directed and performed by undergraduates.

Special Events:

The School of Drama works with the BA Council to provide a range of workshops, master classes and events with visiting artists throughout the academic year. From faculty directed set building workshops to visits by leading figures in the local and national theater community, the range of special events provides further enrichment to our vibrant undergraduate theater program.

Careers:

Through senior seminars, senior capstone projects, independent study and internship opportunities, the BA program offers our students a range of experiences for portfolio development, practicums in special topics and career entry. Our focus is on educating creative leaders who will embark on dynamic careers with a strong background in theater arts.

For more information, contact the undergraduate advisor at uwdrama@uw.edu

Andrew Tsao, Associate Professor
Head, Undergraduate Drama Program
Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow
University of Washington School of Drama
101 Hutchinson Hall Box 353950
Seattle, WA 98195
Main Office: 206-543-5140
tsao@uw.edu