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Cottey offers BA in theatre, a minor in theatre, and a BA in secondary education-theatre.

Program Description

This degree’s purpose is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of theatre. The student may choose from two concentrations: a general focus in theatre or theatre as an agent for social change.

The general focus in theatre concentration seeks to provide students with the foundation needed to pursue careers in acting, design, stage management, directing, the entertainment industry, and graduate study. The student will gain knowledge of theatre history and dramatic literature, as well as practical experience in production and performance.

Our theatre as an agent of social change focus allows students to explore the history, potential, and skills necessary for the art of theatre to incite social change. It incorporates the unique aspects of a Cottey College education (specifically emphasis on women’s leadership, social responsibility, and global awareness). Students will develop skills necessary for leadership in this dynamic application of theatre.

Signature Courses

  • Play Production

    Guided participation in major theatrical production as actress, assistant director, designer, stage manager, dramaturg, or technical support (minimum of 45 hours of work time as crew member or crew head).

  • Stage Management

    Discover the art and craft of stage management through class work, observation and production exploration. Learn practical techniques for managing theatrical productions in preparation for academic and professional production responsibility.

  • Theatre as an Agent of Social Change

    Theatre for social change has far-reaching implications. It can be used as a teaching tool, a vehicle for self-study, as a problem solving technique for groups of any size, and as community building. Those who have expertise in this area will be equipped to facilitate social change using the medium of theatre in a variety of venues, thus enhancing their abilities as artists, educators, and catalysts for positive human growth. Students may go on to graduate studies in psychology, therapy, and other related fields.

Career Outcomes

  • Career Outcomes

    Many graduates of Cottey’s BA in theater pursue careers* as:

    • Directors
    • Designers
    • Stage Managers
    • Actors
    • Dramaturgs
    • Producers
    • Publicity
    • Technicians
    • Prop Artisans
    • Technical Directors
    • Corporate Liaisons for Diversity and Equality

    *Some careers may require post-graduate education

Theatre Festival

  • Program Description

    The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students annually from colleges and universities across the country. KCACTF aims to:

    • Encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs;
    • Provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight, and achieve professionalism;
    • Improve the quality of college and university theater in the United States; and
    • Encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students; the classics, revitalized or newly conceived; and experimental works.

    Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills, and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide.

Why Cottey’s theatre program is unique.

Students pursuing a theatre degree at Cottey can hit the ground running and immediately audition and be cast in plays, design, and contribute in all areas of production, unlike many larger institutions where only upper-level students are considered for productions. Cottey is located in Nevada, Missouri and perfectly situated between Joplin and Kansas City, with Branson nearby. This allows students to pursue internships and experiential learning positions with larger theatre companies, non-profits, and other businesses.

Offering two tracks for a BA in theatre and theatre as an agent of social change unites the power of theatre with the strengths and goals of a Cottey College education. Cottey has the opportunity to be an innovator in this area and to offer its unique brand/focus beyond what other institutions offer. The world has seen a shift in how we interact with one another and the importance of recognizing diversity and inclusion. Theatre practitioners are at the forefront of helping to effect change, and Cottey will be one of only a handful of colleges to offer a degree in theatre for social change.


Student Testimonials

What students think of Cottey College.

Taylor Jordan Class of '24
"Cottey allowed me to double-major in Theatre and Biology. Singing and acting is my dream, but you can have multiple plans at Cottey."
Taylor Jordan- Theatre and Biology
Molly Mahoney Class of '21
"Joining the theatre department at Cottey was such a great learning opportunity. I was able to sit in on meetings and rehearsals, and work one-on-one with the director to bring their visions to life."
Molly Mahoney
Megan Mahoney Class of '18
"The theatre department at Cottey gave me well-rounded, hands-on experience in technical and design skills. My favorite experience was designing the lighting for a relatively new play and then getting to re-mount the production in a different venue at KCACTF. "
Megan Mahoney

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