Author Topic: Is undergrad too early?  (Read 3951 times)

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Jakebert

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Is undergrad too early?
« on: Nov 17, 2008, 11:17 pm »
I have a conundrum. I'd like to get everyone's opinion on this. In your mind is doing a theatre degree for undergraduate too limiting? Should you do a degree in Political Science (for example) and then do theatre as a graduate program? What did you do? Do you regret doing it? I ask because I had always planned to go straight into an undergrad theatre program, but some people keep telling me that I'm "limiting myself". What's your view?
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Britney

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Re: Is undergrad too early?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 17, 2008, 11:47 pm »
You're only limiting yourself if you allow yourself to be limited. (That sounded more Yoda-esque than I meant it to)

What I mean is, if you go to a liberal arts school for your undergrad theatre degree, you will have PLENTY of opportunity to take classes outside of your theatre major.  In fact, these classes (like psychology, sociology, writing, math, economics, biology, anthropology, etc.) will be required by many schools for you to graduate.  Many theatre majors have a minor in something like Poli-Sci, economics, sociology/psychology or writing as it helps them have interests (and a life!) outside the theatre department.

If you go to a school with a conservatory theatre program you may be more limited in terms of what classes you will be taking. 

Keep in mind that the skills you learn as a stage manager and theatre practitioner are still valuable skills to have for jobs outside the theatre world.  If you want to apply for a non-theatre job to expand your horizons, ask a non-theatre friend/parent to look over your theatre resume (or just tell them about your skills) and they can help you "translate" your theatre experience into words that non-theatre employers will understand and value.

I graduated from college with a BA in Drama and never thought for an instant that I was pigeon-holing myself or putting myself in a corner with my degree.  I learned a great deal about theatre in school, of course, but I also learned a great deal about life, people and the world during my college career. It may sound hokey and old-fashioned, but it's true. There are also many stage managers that didn't go to college or went to college for something else entirely; Don't allow your degree to limit you or own you.  Make the best choices for you with whatever degree you decide to pursue.

BLee

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Re: Is undergrad too early?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 18, 2008, 10:51 am »
I concur. I'm getting my BFA in Techincal Theatre Stage Management and not once have I felt held back by that. I have taken psychology classes and art history and all sorts of non-major/non-gen ed classes. Just make sure your first year you take a variety of introduction courses in fields you're interested in. That way you can take the fun upper level courses in that field when they are offered.

Is it safe to say those who argued you would pigeon-hole yourself were not theatre majors themselves? I got that opinion a few times before too, but from people who had a limited view on what theatre degrees were. Getting a theatre degree is a good choice, especially if this is the field you plan to go with.

And as Britney said, you can always get a minor if you are worried or even a double major if you are really ambitious.
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Re: Is undergrad too early?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 18, 2008, 12:23 pm »
I don't think it's too early, and the concept that you're limiting and pigeonholing yourself is ridiculous.  No one would think to tell someone majoring in Business or Poli Sci something like that.  But, if you want to look at thinsg that way, everyone who chooses any major is limiting themselves.

I majored in Technical Theatre and Design with a minor in technical drafting.  I've since worked in places from scene shops to a custom's broker's office, to a renaissance festival, and everything in between.  And I know I've learned more practical, translatable skills than most of my non-theatre classmates ever did. 

Major in anything you want, and then take every opportunity to learn how to do something, whether or not it's related to your chosen major.  I am a big fan of having as many options as possible, and the more you know, the more "tools" you have in your personal tool box.  You never know when basket weaving  ;) will come in handy, so if the opportunity presents itself, learn it!
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maximillionx

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Re: Is undergrad too early?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 18, 2008, 03:42 pm »
You are not limiting yourself by majoring in theatre.  You have more options when you graduate than most people, for example, stage managers go on to manage more things than just the stage and technical students go on to a variety of practices(drafting, carpentry, movies, etc...)  You could even argue that point with any other major.  Don't you think that history/art/whatever majors are limiting themselves?

I also agree with the other respondants.  At a liberal arts school, you will learn basic facts about a lot of different topics.  Also, in college, what you put into your work will determine what you get out of it.  That seems to be the motto of the more successful theatre students in my program(University of Rhode Island).

Who is it who thinks that you are limiting yourself? Parent? Friend? Teacher?

Jakebert

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Re: Is undergrad too early?
« Reply #5 on: Nov 18, 2008, 06:17 pm »
Thanks for your great advice everyone! Just what I needed to hear.   :)
Jakebert
Well, I think he looks quite good in Frollo's clothes...Wait a minute...

I worship the Holy Trinity of Anderson Cooper, John King, and Wolf Blitzer
I love that his parents had the guts to name him Wolf.