Theatre and Electronic Media Performance—BA
Acting is not just for stage and film. Emerging technologies have created more opportunities than ever to perform. Michigan Tech’s unique program integrates studies in traditional theatre and electronic media performance, making our graduates well-rounded performers qualified to work in theatre, film, video, digital arts, video-game voice-over, and more.
As a Theatre and Electronic Media Performance major (SEMP) you will have plenty of opportunities to hone your performance skills, not only with stage productions, but also with radio dramas, television sitcoms, TV and radio commercials, video-game characters, and many other voice acting projects. Actors typically earn half of their living outside the theatre—and a diverse skill set means more job prospects.
- At Michigan Tech, you will start performing from day one. Through the First-Year Practicum, you can get involved with an audio play, join a mainstage production, or work on a media project.
- You will develop your skills through high-tech training at performance venues such as the beautiful Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the black box McArdle Theatre.
- You will log significant time on the stage and in the studio—more than what is required by many comparable programs.
- The department’s computer lab is equipped with the latest entertainment-dedicated programs.
- Limited enrollment allows for more time with professors, advisors, and equipment.
What kinds of projects will I do in school?
You can expect to
- Perform in live theatre productions including contemporary dramas and comedies, classical plays, children’s theatre, and musicals.
- Play a role in media projects such as documentary and training films, radio dramas, radio and television commercials, and student film projects.
How will Michigan Tech help me start my career?
A professional portfolio: You will begin creating a portfolio during your first semester, continuing to develop it so that you leave campus with a solid professional presentation of yourself.
- One-on-one academic advising: You will meet with your advisor each semester to talk about your progress and class schedule, keeping you on track to graduate. These meetings will also shape your production experiences at Tech.
- Career advising: Your advisor will also discuss career options and post-graduation goals with you, and will assist you in searching and applying for internships—skills that are applicable to post-graduation job searching.
- Networking: You will regularly attend professional conferences, where you will meet with industry professionals and, as an upperclassman, present your work. Opportunities to apprentice/intern at local radio and television stations increase your connections to potential employers.
What will I do after graduation?
Graduates may opt for careers in theatre, film, video, digital arts, video-game voice-over, audio-book narration, theme-park entertainment, and mass media, including radio and television. The program promotes entrepreneurship, teaching students to discover new and unique avenues of employment.
Learning Goals for Theatre and Electronic Media Performance
Graduates will employ methods of creative analysis to understand how the performing arts are used as meaningful expressions of the human experience. They will:
- Interpret the plot, character, thought, diction, music, and spectacle – through Aristotle's Elements of Drama – inherent in scripts and other literary works.
- Using the literature or story as a foundation, construct and implement a research plan that provides deeper insight into the work
- Articulate an informed opinion by distinguishing between 1) the elements inherent in the script and 2) the choices by actors and the production team that make the performance unique
- Apply knowledge gained through analysis in performing a specific role
Graduates will apply a diverse set of artistic techniques in creating performances in theatre and electronic media. They will:
- understand the foundational elements and principles of performance in varied artistic modes.
- demonstrate foundational applied knowledge of skills and techniques in performance.
- present the body of their performance work in an organized and artistic manner.
- demonstrate the ability to modify their work after self evaluation and external review.
Graduates will apply knowledge of the context and evolution of diverse artistic media in creating works in theatre and electronic media. They will:
- understand the history and evolution of theatre and electronic media.
- demonstrate a familiarity with major artistic works throughout history.
- evaluate and understand a performance in its artistic, cultural and historical context.
- apply historical artistic theatre or media-related forms and methodologies to their own artistic practice.
Graduates will apply scientific and technological principles to support work in theatre and electronic media performance. They will:
- be familiar with current technology relevant to theatre and electronic media performance.
- understand the affect of technology on performance
- demonstrate ability to use technology in an efficient and meaningful way
- demonstrate flexibility and self-reliance both in learning and using emerging technology.
Graduates will engage the arts and entertainment industry with relevant professional skills. They will:
- demonstrate familiarity with the diverse theatre and electronic media performance industries.
- understand basic structures and organization in the theatre and electronic media industries.
- demonstrate professional skills in industry-specific areas of study.
- communicate using the diverse modes of theatre and electronic media.
- evaluate their work within the context of the work of peers and professionals in theatre and electronic media.