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Theater BA / Arts Management MA

(HEGIS: 10.07 , CIP: 50.0501 Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General)

Department of Theatre and Dance

285 Alumni Arena
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14620-5030

Anne Burnidge
Chair, Department of Theatre/Dance

Lindsay Brandon Hunter, PhD
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Theatre BA

Veronica Sedota
Assistant to the Chair

Why study Theater BA / Arts Management MA at UB?

The Theatre BA/Arts Management MA deliberately links critical artistic and management inquiry to create a dynamic investigation of theatre, its production, and theatre arts environments. The positioning of students between management and artistic practice/discourse creates a perspective designed to give students the versatility to enter, and then grow in the field, as an artist, a manager, and an artist/manager. The degree increases employment prospects through a divergent set of skills in artistic practice and management, while providing varied perspectives of arts environments.

Students start the program studying in a broad range of core theatrical disciplines covering the artistic, literary, historical, and technical aspects of theatre and performance. This broad exposure positions students to define specific areas of interest including acting, directing, dramaturgy, stage management, or theatre studies.

Their study of artistic practice then segues into questions of management and the arts, focusing on the increasingly complex cultural, socioeconomic, legal, and political systems that challenge sustainable arts environments. Students take courses in business and law; cultural theory as a foundation to understand changes in local, national, and international art landscapes; and finish with hands-on, experiential practice with existing arts entities and institutions.

When finished, graduates have developed not only skills in theatre practice, but have accumulated highly sought after skills in writing, technology, presentation, and critical thinking vital to professional success in the 21st century. They emerge ready for a multi-faceted career in theatre environments.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

•    Identify major figures and events from theatre history, theory and criticism.
•    Define and use appropriate critical vocabulary of theatre arts, including script analysis, acting, and design terminology.
•    Critically read, interpret, and evaluate a range of representative plays and situate representative plays and performance events within larger cultural and historical movements.
•    Construct and articulate in speech and writing a compelling thesis about theatre history, literature, or theory using acquired research skills and critical vocabulary.
•    Integrate the concerns of actors, directors, and designers into a collaborative creative process, both in the creation of extant plays and original work.
•    Demonstrate the ability to conceive and execute an original performance, either solo or in a collaborative process.
•    Identify, recall, and reproduce elements of critical arts management and cultural policy theory and practice.
•    Comprehend, explain, and discuss critical arts management and cultural policy theory and practice
•    Interpret, employ, and apply critical arts management and cultural policy theory and practice.
•    Critically understand and analyze the presuppositions implicit while considering arts management and cultural policy models
•    Identify and solve complex, interdisciplinary problems and tensions that are inherent in the areas of arts management and cultural policy making
•    Develop, contextualize, and implement creative arts management solutions

The Learning Environment

The Department of Theatre & Dance offers a comprehensive catalog of courses including seminar-based instruction, studio training, and hands on mentoring through experiential learning opportunities. All modes seek to integrate theoretical and practical instruction. Seminar and lecture courses, ranging from 20 to 100 seats, engage students in discussion on historical trends, contemporary practice, philosophical and aesthetic principles, criticism and analysis, and technical skills. Studio courses apply theory to technique in small, practice-based classes ranging from 16 to 28. Coursework often includes attendance at live performances as well participation in live production, and contributes to the development of professional portfolios, performance reels, and academic resumes. Practicums, tutorials, and independent studies supplement classwork with focused, in depth exploration of the discipline through close mentorship with faculty and guest artists.

Students explore arts management practice in experiential learning opportunities under the close guidance of faculty and professionals in the field.

About Our Facilities

UB’s Department of Theatre & Dance boasts an array of resources for both instruction and practical preparation for productions, including performance and classroom space in the Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus. Within the CFA students directly benefit from the use of:

The Drama Theatre: a 388-seat theatre
The Black Box Theatre: a flexible space with seating of 100-120
Rehearsal Workshop: a mirror image of the Black Box Theater used for acting classes and rehearsals
Dance Studios: 4 spacious studios with full-length mirrors, Marley floors, and specially designed sound systems
Scene Shop
Costume Shop
Craft Studio
Students also utilize:

Katharine Cornell Theatre: a unique performance space that functions as a rehearsal room, acting classroom and performance venue.
Alumni Arena: includes the Design Suite with drafting studio, lighting lab and 10-seat computer lab; an acting classroom and rehearsal space; dance studio; a seminar room; and departmental offices.

About Our Faculty

In Theatre & Dance you will study with active practitioners and internationally recognized scholars who are dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre and dance artists, teachers, and supporters. UB’s Theatre & Dance Faculty are members of professional networks including Actor’s Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Society for Theatre Research, Dance Masters of America, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, National Dance Education Organization, Stage Actors Guild, and United Scenic Artists. They have extensive professional experience in directing, designing, dramaturgy, and performance on and off Broadway, on regional stages, in major dance festivals, in documentaries, and in film and television work. Twenty-five full-time faculty members along with adjuncts from the professional community, production staff, and Teaching Assistants from our graduate programs in support our undergraduate programs.

The Arts Management Program offers practical and theory based courses in intimate seminar settings (6-15 seats). In the Arts Management Program, you will study with accomplished scholars and practicing arts managers from a wide range of disciplines and nationalities. This diverse faculty cohort has been carefully assembled to give students a varied perspective on the field of arts management.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Department of Theatre and Dance  and Arts Management Program website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

The skills required for success in the performing arts are broadly applicable across a range of professional careers. Our graduates work in film, television, and a wide array of live events. Many are awarded fellowships and assistantships to prestigious graduate programs across the country.

  • Actor
  • Agent: Theatrical, Film and Television
  • College Professor/Academia
  • Company Director/Artistic Director
  • Director: Stage, Film, Media Entertainment
  • Dramatic Coach
  • Dramaturg
  • Entertainment Journalist
  • Executive Director, Arts and Cultural Organizations
  • Law
  • Presentation Consultant
  • Producer
  • Production Manager
  • Theatre Critic

Our graduates work as designers, directors, and actors, including Black Panther's Winston Duke. Others perform with major companies across Europe.

Academic Advising

Advising is provided by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advising Services; Melissa Berg, Academic Manager of the Department of Theatre and Dance; Kevin Leary, Assistant Director in Arts Management .

First semester students are required to meet with their advisors in the College of Arts & Sciences as well as the department. All students are expected to meet with their departmental major advisor each semester to ensure progress toward your degree. In addition to the major advisor, students meet with an academic advisor through the College of Arts & Sciences regarding general education requirements. Area Directors also provide close mentorship and oversight of students’ schedules, academic and artistic progress, and professional development.

Prospective majors should work closely with the department Academic Manager and Assistant Director in Arts Management to ensure they maintain a viable sequence in this dual degree track. 

Academic Advising Contact Information

For advising on the Theatre BA contact:
Melissa Berg
Academic Manager
Email Melissa Berg

For advising on the Arts Management MA contact:
Kevin Leary
Assistant Director
Email Kevin Leary

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in this program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of sources, including:

  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards
  • The Perry Watkins scholarship is available to African American freshman students majoring in design/technology
  • Arts Management Awards (intended for incoming students who demonstrate exceptional merit or financial need; prioritizing under-represented minority students, as defined by SUNY: African American, Indigenous, and Latinx)

Published: Nov 28, 2022 13:04:29