Majors & Programs

Undergraduate Theatre Education (BFA)

Shape the next generation of young minds through theater.

About the Undergraduate Theatre Education Major

Most people tend to think of theater as entertainment…but it is so much more. It teaches, inspires, and transforms not only its audiences, but also its performers. From exploring emotions and building confidence to instilling empathy and encouraging a personal voice, learning the art of the stage nurtures children and young adults as few other learning experiences can.

Emerson College’s undergraduate Theatre Education BFA program is grounded in the liberal arts and in the fundamentals of the dramatic arts. Housed in the Department of Performing Arts in the School of the Arts, the program’s faculty will provide you with pedagogical tools that can be applied to many vibrant vocations. And, most importantly, you will be empowered to engage young minds and shape society’s next generation.

Real-World Experience as a Theatre Educator

Theatre Education majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience. Here are a few examples:

  • The Theatre Education program is connected to over 60 area schools and theater companies in the Greater Boston area. Students intern at Huntington Theatre Company, Central Square Theater, American Repertory Theater, and Lyric Stage Company, among others. They also work alongside theater teachers in schools through various observation and student teaching opportunities.
  • On campus, students have the opportunity to work on multiple Emerson Stage productions each year. All positions are reserved exclusively for Performing Arts students: more than 120 opportunities for actors, 100 positions for design staff, 70 for production staff, and another 70 for theater management staff and 30 artistic staff.
  • Our campus is also home to a vibrant student theater scene with 30 student performance organizations, including Kidding Around, Emerson Comedy Workshop, Emerson Shakespeare Society, and Flawless Brown.
  • As the professional presentation and production organization of the Office of the Arts at Emerson College, ArtsEmerson brings industry-leading theater and film from all over the world to the heart of downtown Boston. Through master classes, brown bag lunches, networking events, discounted tickets, and free student rush, ArtsEmerson gives students the chance to learn from cutting-edge artists.

Careers for Theatre Education Majors

Our Theatre Education graduates pursue careers in professional theater, community outreach, and teaching at all levels. Graduates who complete student teaching and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure will have met all requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education–approved program, leading to initial licensure as a teacher of theatre at all levels (pre-K to 12+). Examples of careers include:

  • Acting Coach
  • Children’s Theater Manager
  • Educational Outreach Coordinator
  • Theatre Teacher

Notable Performing Arts Alumni

  • Christopher Brindley, Theatre Arts Teacher and Director, Department Head of Performing Arts, Framingham Public Schools; Vice President, Executive Council Member, Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild
  • Marisa McIlrath Jones, Associate Director of Education and Practical Learning, Huntington Theatre Company
  • Adam Riccio, LHMC, Expressive Arts Therapist, Dana Group Associates; Adjunct Faculty at Lesley University
  • Angie Zomer, Director of Extended Day and Assistant Director of Summer Camp, The Chestnut Hill School

Meet Our Faculty

Performing Arts faculty come from a variety of backgrounds in the arts and education. Whether representing the teaching artists or the artist-teachers, all share a focus on the use of education and theater to serve the goals of justice, equity, and social change. They reside in the School of the Arts.