College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Theater, BA

Program Overview

Entrance into the BA program is by interview and audition or portfolio review. Theater majors earning a BA in Theater may select one of the following concentrations: Performance (Acting and Directing); Design and Technical Theater; Playwriting and Dramaturgy; and Theater Studies; or may choose from among the different concentrations. Majors are expected to participate in Theater at Mason productions and will be required to demonstrate growing proficiency in their chosen concentration prior to the confirmation of the BFA degree. The Theater BA requires a student to minor in another subject. Nine credits of foreign language may be substituted for the minor.

The Theater Program at George Mason University stresses the ideal that serious practical training and experience, combined with the breadth and vigor of liberal arts study, offers its graduates the best preparation for a life in the theater. Its mission is to use theater as a means of preparing students for a complex and challenging future, regardless of where their interests and training may lead them.

The School of Theater prepares its vocational graduates for entry into the professional world and/or graduate study with rigorous, concentrated, and individualized training. Theater students develop the ability to solve problems creatively, think critically, write clearly, and express themselves comfortably through speech and movement. In addition, students establish a personal work ethic and take responsibility for personal and group efforts.

For complete information on program requirements and policies, please see the University Catalog.


The School offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage & Screen. There are approximately one hundred thirty students in the program, and enrollment continues to grow. Students begin the major by taking the university's general education courses that are required of all majors. Students are then required to take courses in the history of the theater, acting, directing, dramaturgy, script analysis, technical theater, as well as theatrical literature and criticism. Through play production practicum courses, students earn credit for working on shows. 

Theater students are expected to be self-directed and are encouraged to develop a resume of personal experience that includes class work, theater productions, internships, and summer field experiences. Individual opportunities are limited only by the student's desire to create them.

The Mason Players, a dynamic faculty-directed student organization, produces six productions each season. These include Mainstage Productions, which are directed by faculty or guest artists, and Studio Productions which are selected and directed by students. Auditions are open to all full-time Mason students. They may also work as stage managers or designers, on construction and lighting crews, and as crew supervisors. The Mason Players perform in TheaterSpace, a 150-seat flexible venue; the Harris Theater,a 460-seat traditional proscenium stage with a counterweight fly system, and the 1900-seat Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The School of Theater offers additional performance venue opportunities by touring our productions to the Hylton Performing Arts Center on Mason’s nearby Science and Technology campus.

The Performing Artist Residency in Theater (PART) initiative engages theater professionals in our faculty, our productions, and special events. Mason's Theater Program provides professional interaction among our students and the working professionals of the vibrant Washington, D.C. theater community and beyond.

Alumni from Mason's Theater Program are working professionally in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their training at the university has helped them land positions in acting, directing, stage management, technical work, design, and literary management.

The School of Theater main office is located on the 4th floor of the Performing Arts Building at the Fairfax, Virginia campus. The building is equipped with two black box theaters, a scene shop, a costume shop, and a design studio, with additional rehearsal space currently under construction. For a brochure or more information, email the department at: or call the School of Theater Office at: (703) 993-1120.

Optional concentrations within the Theater, BA include:

Design and Technical Theater
Playwriting and Dramaturgy
Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12
Theater Studies

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