Theater (minor only)

Theater is the activity or profession of acting in, producing, directing or writing plays or musicals. One of the oldest and richest forms of artistic expression, theater is a live look into human emotion, history and social change. It educates and empowers us.

Why Choose Theater?

Whether you want to study theater as a launching pad for a career in performing arts, or as a way to pursue a passion and supplement your major, our theater minor offers great opportunities.

The City

New York City is home to some of the best and most diverse live theater in the world on Broadway and off-Broadway. For theater fans, there’s no better place to be. Many theater classes at Manhattan College involve trips to Broadway and other venues to see live performances. Some field trips involve backstage tours or hands-on lessons about how theaters operate behind-the-scenes. At Manhattan College, you have the opportunity to turn your passion for theater into actual college credit.

Maybe you are considering turning that passion into a career. There are internship opportunities with theater companies and dance studios throughout New York City. Our students have interned at:

  • Atlantic Theater Company
  • Disney Theatrical Group
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Manhattan Theatre Club
  • New York City Center
  • Playwrights Horizon
  • Roundabout Theatre Company

Our location in New York City also lends itself to visits from professionals troupes and industry guest speakers. The National Shakespeare Company visits each year to conduct workshops with students and perform one of Shakespeare’s classics.

Performance Opportunities

There are many opportunities to hone your acting skills on campus. The Players is Manhattan College’s student-led performing arts troupe. While anyone is welcome to join, Players is also offered as a theater course for credit. Students who take part for credit receive 10 individual lessons from the director or an outside professional. The Players put on two main stage productions throughout the year produced by professionals in the industry, along with a number of cabaret-style shows.

For students who are quick on their feet, there’s Scatterbomb, the College’s improvisational comedy group. Learn about the different forms of improv, and how to set up scenes by working with a team. Scatterbomb hosts monthly shows throughout the year for the campus community.

Our theater students also attend the Kennedy Center and American College Theater Festival each spring. This program gives you the opportunity to perform at a competitive level against other college students, and explore many areas of theater including:

  • Theater administration
  • Design
  • Dramaturgy
  • Stage management
  • Construction

The Skills

As a student of theater, you will develop skills for succeeding in a theatrical or performing arts career. But you will also develop sought-after professional business skills. You will learn how to control a room with presence and voice, and how to think quickly and creatively under pressure. You will also learn to be a team player, because theater (and business) is rarely a one-person show.

What Will You Learn?

Whether you intend to make theater your career, or you simply enjoy the performing arts, you will learn:

  • The history of theatrical arts
  • How to analyze theatrical production and performance
  • Interpersonal and oral communication skills
  • How to be a creative problem-solver
  • How to set and articulate team goals
  • Self-discipline and self-confidence

The minor in theater is designed to supplement majors across many subjects, including:

  • English
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Communication
  • Business and Management
  • Arts Education
See the Minor Requirements

What Will You Do?

From production to performance, there are countless jobs that contribute to what the audience sees on stage. Most performing arts companies have business, creative, and even educational outreach teams on staff. A theater minor prepares you for a job in the performing arts or in a field where communication skills are valued.

The experiential nature of the program forced me to step out of my comfort zone, gain insight and take on new tasks. Specifically, it pushed me to live out my artistic abilities. The theater minor gave me the ability to grow as a well-spoken and self-confident individual and employee in my career today. It improved my communication skills, which is significant in my job position as I converse with influential talent and administration in the entertainment/news industry frequently.

Dominique Girardi ’14, Assistant Agent at Bienstock, a United Talent Agency Company