University of California, RiversideUCR



Theater majors have the opportunity to participate in performance, writing, production, costume design and other segments that make up the magic of theater.

You also will develop strong skills in communication and presentation that are highly valued in other fields.

Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization

Actor/Actress Playwright
Artistic Director Producer
Arts Administrator Professor/Instructor/Teacher
Booking Agent Property Master
Box Office Manager Public Relations
Business Manager Scene Painter
Costume Designer Set Constructor
Critic Set Designer
Director Sound Designer
Drama Instructor Sound Technician
Dramaturge Stagehand
Editor Stage Manager
Historian Subscription Director
House Manager Talent Agent
Lighting Designer Technical Director
Lighting Technician Touring Director
Literary Manager Vocal Coach
Makeup/Wig Master Vocal Specialist
Media Wardrobe Assistant
Movement Specialist Writer

Nature of the Work

Beginning stage actors generally start in "bit" parts where they speak only a few lines. They frequently serve as understudies for the principals. Film and television actors, in contrast, may begin in large roles or start out doing commercials.

Some actors move into acting-related jobs as drama coaches or directors and producers of stage, television, radio, or movie productions.

Directors interpret plays or scripts for stage, movie, television, and radio productions. They conduct auditions and rehearsals, and hire and direct the cast and crew.

A few theaters majors teach drama in colleges and universities.

Places of Employment

Acting schools Film companies
Advertising agencies Motion picture studios
Broadway theaters Public relations firms
Television stations Public television stations
Commercial networks Resident acting companies
Community theaters Resident professional theaters
Cable television School districts
Dinner theaters Summer theaters
Federal, state and local arts councils Universities/colleges


While a college degree is not necessary for a career in theaters, it does provide you with excellent training in liberal arts, stage speech and movement, directing, play writing, play production, design, and history of the drama, as well as acting.

Individuals with a bachelor's degree or three years of experience may qualify for an assistant directors training program offered by the Directors Guild of America.

If you want to teach at a college or university, you will need a master of arts or a master of fine arts degree. Many faculty members possess a Ph.D. or a D.F.A. (doctorate in fine arts) or an M.F.A. (master's in fine arts).

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Career Center
Career Center Plaza

Tel: (951) 827-3631
Fax: (951) 827-2447
Student Questions: careercounseling@ucr.edu
Employer Questions: careerrecruiting@ucr.edu