Program at a glance

How much does it cost? 

Learn more about how to afford a degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

How can I learn more?

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How do I apply?

Open to all undergraduate students. Applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED. Learn how to apply.

What will I learn in a theatre degree program?

The Bachelor of Arts in theatre at the University of Nevada, Reno trains students in a variety of perspectives.

Student actors profit from individualized mentoring by faculty directors, amplifying personal growth and collaborative creation. Because acting demands knowledge of psychology, history and language, the acting specialization is enhanced by a liberal arts education, complemented by a course dedicated to prepare students for career opportunities in the performing arts or graduate school.

Theatre majors who emphasize in Theatre Design/Technology receive individualized training and mentoring as backstage technicians, scenery and costume shop workers, stage electricians and as designers of scenery, costumes and lighting.

Why study theatre at the University of Nevada, Reno?

The Department of Theatre and Dance is a collaborative community of artists and scholars – faculty, staff and students, aiming to achieve the highest level of excellence in their teaching, learning, research, creative endeavors and outreach to the community and state. Our students explore all aspects of the performing arts through classes, studios and hands-on experiences onstage and behind the scenes. Rooted in the liberal arts traditions, our program prepares students with the skills necessary to pursue a variety of careers in the performing arts and beyond.

Theatre majors have access to fantastic facilities to rehearse and perform. The Redfield Proscenium Theatre features 362 seats and the Redfield Studio Theatre features a multi-configuration black box with seating for up to 162. In addition, the department also boasts a state-of-the-art lighting lab which is 900-square-feet of dedicated space for the instruction of stage lighting design.

The Department of Theatre and Dance hosts two student theatre productions each year providing students with professional acting experience, as well as invites a number of resident performing artists to the classroom for discussion and training.

Areas of emphasis in the theatre program

  • Acting specialization

    Theatre acting majors in the School of the Arts begin coursework with Stanislavski's emphasis on character-based action, objective and truth. The curriculum expands to embrace psychological realism as defined by the American method juxtaposed with technique classes developing expressiveness in the voice and body. These skills are synthesized and applied to the work of Shakespeare and heightened styles of performance.

    Acting students can enhance their theatre education with main-stage acting experience where theatre majors receive priority casting; there is no competition from graduate students.

    Student actors profit from individualized mentoring by faculty directors, amplifying personal growth and collaborative creation. Because acting demands knowledge of psychology, history and language, the acting specialization is enhanced by a liberal arts education, complemented by a course dedicated to prepare students for career opportunities in the performing arts or graduate school.

  • Design/technology specialization

    The bachelor of arts in theatre design/technology at the University of Nevada, Reno allows students to receive individualized training and mentoring as backstage technicians, scenery and costume shop workers, stage electricians and as designers of scenery, costumes and lighting.

    After completing basic training in the classroom, backstage and in a modern, fully-equipped lighting laboratory, scene shop and costume shop spaces, theatre design majors in the School of the Arts are asked to focus their study in two of three areas: scenery, lighting and costumes. Students then have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of one or both of these areas through coursework in stage management, automated lighting and scene painting.

  • Musical theatre

    The University of Nevada, Reno rolled out a newly approved B.A.-musical theatre program. Curriculum has fully considered the demands of all three fields contained in the degree (theatre, voice and dance) in an effort to build competitive, triple-threat performers. The musical theatre program is a small program housed within a large university. Here, students will receive a liberal arts education with conservatory-level training. Students are provided more one-on-one attention and an education that cultivates individualized learning. School of the Arts professors are working and practicing professionals. Their industry involvement ensures students will receive a relevant and current education. Additionally, the Department of Theatre and Dance has a close relationship with the Department of Music, which gives students access to many other classes and opportunities. The School of the Arts is devoted to nurturing and training students to help them reach their full potential as performing artists.

    Please note the B.A. in musical theatre degree is an auditioned program. Acceptance to the musical theatre program is separate from acceptance to the University.

    View audition requirements

  • Minor

    The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno also offers a minor in theatre. The minor program provides students with classroom and production opportunities. Scholarly and practical skills are developed in theatre arts including acting, directing, designing and other areas of technical theatre and children’s theatre.

You can afford the University of Nevada, Reno

46% of undergraduate students receive financial aid

Almost everyone is eligible to receive financial aid. If you think your family’s income is too high to qualify for financial aid, you might be surprised.

50%+ of all students graduate with no debt

That's right. More than half of our students leave the University of Nevada, Reno with no student debt.

Life's a journey. Honors makes it meaningful.

At the University of Nevada, Reno Honors College, our students maximize their unique gifts and passions through a series of personalized experiences that deepen their capacity for transformative societal impact.

Visit the Honors College
Four honors students standing near Manzanita Lake; one is holding a soccer ball.