We build artists: Prepare for a variety of careers within the entertainment industry and beyond.

The Theatre Department’s combined historical, theoretical and applied curriculum develops a wide range of knowledge and practical skills in a collaborative environment. Theatre studies prepare students to use innovative thinking for a variety of professional careers and to enrich many aspects of their lives.

All About Theatre at ESU

All About Theatre at ESU

What do students learn to do?

All students receive training in all aspects of theatre, but as they discover their unique abilities and talents, the students will work closely with faculty advisors to tailor their experiences to suit their emerging specialties.

Students who successfully complete the BA in Theatre will be able to

Specialize in one of four Theatre concentrations.

All students will enroll in core theatre courses together, then individually, have the ability to pick one or more concentrations to complete their coursework. Concentrations are a set of classes to give the student specialized training.

Acting for Theatre, Television, and Film

Student actors will be guided through foundational to advanced technique in Stanislavsky-based forms as well as targeted skills in acting for television and film, classical acting, improvisation, and comedy. Actors are developed through classes, public performances, and private coaching during their time at ESU. In addition to acting in our main stage season, students have the opportunity to perform in numerous student film projects throughout the year.

Musical Theatre

To meet the interest of our students, courses in Musical Theatre are offered in the theatre department for general education requirements. Additionally, students may major in theatre and select the Musical Theatre track. The Musical Theatre track combines courses in theatre, music and dance, as meets the demands of this unique American art form. In addition to a broad study of theatre techniques, students will study vocal performance, music theory and piano, as well as classes in important dance forms. The department regularly produces full scale musicals and other theatre productions that include music and dance.


Students may enter the program as directors or add directing later in their studies as an emerging interest. Student directors develop knowledge and skill in all aspects of theatre as the coordinators of all artistic aspect of the production. Directors are developed through directing class, independent studies in Directing II, ESU and outside assistant directing, and by taking advantage of student directing opportunities through stage II and student cabarets.

Design/Technical Theatre

Students in this concentration are guided through foundation through advanced courses in all areas of design (scenic, costume, lighting, and sound) and technology.

Students will develop their craft through classes, workshops and live performances.

Advanced students will have main stage design and production shop employment opportunities.

This concentration is very hands on with one on one faculty mentorship.

Career Opportunities

Entertainment is one of the biggest exports in the United States. Theatre is one of the biggest industries in nearby New York City and Philadelphia.

Theatre department alumni are working in arts and entertainment in the United States and internationally, have gone on to excellent graduate programs, and have transferred their skills to related fields.

ESU Theatre Alumni in Arts and Entertainment Professions
  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company – Jamil Joseph (actor)
  • The British Invasion – Janel Manzi (actor)
  • Signature Theatre – Michael Demyan (deck carpenter)
  • New York Deaf Theatre – Kelsey Pulzone (stage management)
  • New York Theatre Workshop – Kayla Gobels (lighting)
  • People’s Light and Theatre – Eric Lange (stage carpenter)
  • Long Warf Theatre - Miche Tuite
  • Three Rivers Theatre – Brian Holland
  • Regina Sayles – singer/songwriter
  • Freelance Hollywood Costume Designer – Jennifer Mae Nickel
  • Henry Ford Community College - Lighting Designer/Lighting Technician – Scott Ross
  • Freelance Sound Designer – Josh Weidenbaum
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment – Katie Dembesky – script and continuity
  • Blue Roses Theatre – Sound Design, Assistant stage management
  • Baruch Performing Arts Center - Erick Creegan- Production Manager
  • Film and Television Actors (look them up on IMDB.com) – Cassandra Dailey, Michelle S. Jones, Christie Berlane, Jannel Manzi, Dave Ausem, Matthew Namik
  • Hollow Tree Films - Melissa Sherry (producer and casting director)
  • Matador Production Company – Dave Ausem, Christi Berlane, Matthew Namik
  • National Players for Onley Theatre – (National Tour) Tamir Cousins-Ali
  • Independent Screenwriter/Director – John Lauri
  • Blue Man Group – Erick Creegan, Stage Carpenter

A Theatre major prepares graduates for a wide variety of professional roles in the entertainment industry.

Artistic Roles
Teaching Roles
Technical Roles
Administrative Roles

"The entire U.S. arts and culture sector is a $764 billion industry," according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Americans for the Arts. "This represents 4.2 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - a larger share of the economy than transportation, agriculture, or construction."

Hands-on Learning

All ESU students can apply for work study positions in our production shop and audition for our productions, but as a major, students have the opportunity to assist in many production roles and qualify for professional internships.


Students are encouraged to complete professional internships to prepare for a career in the arts and entertainment industry. Internships are generally done between junior and senior year but students who have been involved in every production for their first two years may be prepared for an internship as soon as the end of their sophomore year.

ESU theatre majors have interned at some impressive performing arts organizations, including those listed below. All are great resume builders and some have led directly to job offers after graduation.

Specialized Facilities

Dale Snow Theatre
Smith McFarland Theatre

The Theatre Department has two main theaters: the Smith McFarland and Dale Snow.

Both are equipped with state of the art lighting and sole consoles and equipment.

Additionally, the department has:

Students take classes and film regularly in ESU’s Warrior TV Studio where they learn to act on multiple camera shoots, green screen and to work with a teleprompter.

Innovative Faculty

Our faculty continue to work professionally and often give workshops and presentations on campus, nationally, and internationally. Additionally, they bring their expertise to the academic stage by producing three productions each year along with two student directed productions. We have a diverse, welcoming student body who are all eager to collaborate.

Learn more about ESU and the Theatre major.

Contact Us

For additional assistance, you can also reach out to Jason Narvy, Co-Chair at jnarvy@esu.edu or (570) 422-3259

Contact Information

Campus Address
Fine & Performing Art Center
(570) 422-3694
(570) 422-3008 (Fax)
Title of Department Leader
Bethanie Watson
(570) 422-3790