“Theatre Majors Unite!”

Two Senior Theatre Majors Take Over the College Commons 1988

Just the other day I received the following comment on my post about the ways being a Theatre Major prepared me for success. When I read it to Wendy over our Saturday morning coffee she insisted that I repost it. It truly deserves a wider audience and I’d hate for it to be lost at the bottom of hundreds of comments to the original post.

Thanks to Lynn Seeling for this great addition to the discussion:

Great post! Here’s my story. I attended a small college in rural MN, one of only five declared tech majors and the only female. I specialized in stage management and props. I spent years “apologizing” to short-sighted (or small minded) employers for my “useless” degree. Then I came up with a way to frame it for myself:

* I know the meaning of a deadline. When the curtain goes up, you better be ready!

* I know the meaning of hard work and long hours. I can commit to a project and work round the clock to see it thru.

* I’m a project manager. I can take a nebulous idea like “I want this set to look like Spring smells!” and figure out how much lumber, how many nails, how big a crew and what kind of schedule will be needed to pull that off.

* I have a solid background in history, the great philosophers and and finest literature. I know the English language; can write and speak “the speech clearly”. I know group dynamics, can read body language, subtext and nuance.

* I can develop and manage a budget, create a marketing campaign, promote, advertise and sell a product, run a box office and record a voice-over.

* I know how to take a risk, attempting something I’ve never done before. I can imagine; I can design; I can research and execute. I can turn a doughnut into a Baroque carving, make a toilet float into a brass lamp – some 2×4, paper towels and little Elmer’s Glue into a 18th century table.

* I can lead a team and be a team player. I know diplomacy and tact. I’ve counseled and cajoled; I’ve coached and curried favors. I’ve dealt with prima donnas and wallflowers, temper tantrums and tornados.

* I’m Radar O’Reilly. I’m the Artful Dodger. I’m a Jack of all trades. I can swing a hammer, wield a paint brush, wire a spotlight, tape a sound track. I can stand in for the dance captain, turn pages in the orchestra pit, pull lines on the fly rail, call cues from the booth. I’ve carried “The Book”.

* I’m a quick study. I can think on my feet and prioritize on the fly. I can tamp down my fears and perform under pressure.

* I know how to take a bow.

I say “Theatre majors unite and stand up against the tyranny of the business major!”

4 thoughts on ““Theatre Majors Unite!””

  1. Your posts about how valuable theatre degrees are so on point. I am so grateful for the blood, sweat and soliloquys. I truly believe that I have the upperhand when it comes to reading a person. I can tell if you are a sweetheart, a psycho or a facade in under a minute.

    Thank you THEATRE!

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