Welcome to the Department of Theatre at UNCW. We are thrilled to make our home in the spectacular, state-of-the-art, $34 million Cultural Arts Building. This extraordinary facility houses two beautiful theaters, fully-equipped shops, and first-rate studio spaces. Students interested in theatre will not find better facilities in North Carolina. We are ideally located in Wilmington, NC, where the arts thrive in a beautiful coastal setting that is home to both an active film industry and growing television market.
Our goal is to nurture, encourage, support, train and educate the artist in the study and practice of theatre. We train students to pursue a career in the vast field of SHOWBUSINESS. Whether that is in live theatre, film, television or a host of other fields, students will learn the essential skills needed.
All Theatre majors take a common core of courses that introduce them to a full range of dramatic study—courses in Western Theatre History, Stagecrafts, Script Analysis, and Beginning Acting. Majors then choose one of three tracks or “options” within the major, depending upon their interests. Students interested in acting usually choose the “Performance” track, which trains them in Voice and Movement, Improvisation, Stage Combat, and other areas of theatrical performance. Students interested in behind-the-scenes production choose the “Design and Technology” track of the major. They work on building sets, designing lighting, creating costumes, and other aspects of theatrical design. Still other students major in a “Customized” track, which helps them develop as directors, playwrights, stage managers, and other theatrical professionals.
While maintaining the flexibility of our Bachelor of Arts degree, these concentrations offer professional training in theatre, television, film, related industries and a wide variety of graduate programs, as well as careers in the private and non-profit sectors. Our 43 credit hour B.A. gives our students the flexibility to complete a second major. We offer an interesting selection of courses and various production opportunities on our two stages.
While most of our majors envision careers in the theatre, our program at UNCW is not a “studio” or “conservatory” training ground. Instead, it is a concentration within a broadly-based liberal arts curriculum. Just as not all students who major in Philosophy are expected to become philosophers after graduation, Theatre majors are not trained narrowly for careers on the stage. As Theatre majors, they are required to study all aspects of stagecraft, the history of theatre in western culture, dramatic literature, and other dimensions of theatrical production. Through our course of study, they learn skills that will help them in any profession: critical thinking, research, problem-solving, oral and written communication, and working with others in a creative enterprise that requires dedication, innovation, and timeliness.
As students in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNCW, our majors are also required to study Mathematics and the Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Geography, Computer Science, Mathematics & Statistics, Environmental Studies); Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology); Humanities (Philosophy, Foreign Languages, International Studies, Religion, History, Literature); the Fine Arts (Music, Art and Art History, Film Studies, Creative Writing, and Theatre); and Physical Education (Sports, Dance, and Physical Fitness). In a tradition that goes back to ancient Greece and Rome, our students graduate as well-versed and well-rounded citizens.
We are proud that many of our acting graduates have been successful in landing roles in feature films and television such as Munich and End of Spear, as well as television shows such as Homeland and One Tree Hill. Other students have built their careers in theatres such as San Diego's Old Globe or have signed on with major agencies in New York City. Some of our most recent grads have found new homes in top-notch graduate programs.
We ask that our students bring a strong sense of commitment to excellence and a passion for the theatre. We can then help them hone their skills to achieve their dreams. Our students have many opportunities to perform, design, and/or work backstage once they matriculate into the program.
Please contact Office Assistant, Susan Wilder at (910) 962-2061, if you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your further interests in our Department of Theatre.