Theater Arts


Good luck convincing your parents.


From strong, confident, blue-haired women with piercings to shy guys who study all day, the dramatic arts major is full of eclectic students with just about every personality type that exists.

Part of the reason for this is that the drama major has an appeal to it that other majors do not: open expression. You'll learn how to express yourself in a million different ways, like playing your banjo on the streets of New York or doing an interpretive digestion dance (what?) at a local coffee shop during Open Mic Night.

Some people can jump into the dramatic world and succeed immediately, but for most people, it takes years of refinement and hard work (bummer, we know). Keep that in mind when you're sitting in your tiny studio apartment and eating cup noodles for the tenth time that week. Along the road, all of that hard work will teach you how to bring all kinds of characters to life. We're talkin' your whimsical fairy princesses and your grizzled prison inmates.

We suggest not doing any method acting for that last example, though.

Moving on from college is a huge step for many actors. They've got a piece of paper that says they have a pretty good idea of what the whole "theater arts" thing is all about, but now, they need to prove it. Some people shoot for the moon and head to LA to become movie stars, while others are more content to take smaller roles in local theaters.

No matter which path you choose, it probably won't be a very easy one. As almost any famous actor will tell you, you're going to fail…a lot.

Well, unless you're Channing Tatum and someone catches you doing a sexy dance. Unfortunately, several of us here at Shmoop are not Channing Tatum.

Famous People who majored in Theater Arts

  • Samuel L. Jackson, who turns swear words into poetry
  • Tina Fey, of SNL and 30 Rock
  • Donald Sutherland, seen recently as President Snow in The Hunger Games
  • James Dean, an actor from the '50s who is probably most remembered for dying so young
  • Jemaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords

Percentage of US students who major in Theater Arts:


Stats obtained from this source.