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Why major in Theatre and/or Dance?

What Can I Do With This Major:

Careers in Theatre and Dance are endless and never dull in this ever-changing field of ideas and art in motion. It’s more than just performing on stage on Broadway, that’s one aspect but not the only. This is a large and growing industry that can be found in every city from New York to Los Angeles, Maine to Portland there are many opportunities in Theatre and Dance.

Many actors/dancers do not find “steady work” as performers. However, motivated actors/dance often find other ways to create a career in the business. Whether on stage or behind the scenes, a career in Theatre/Dance can offer a rewarding life.

Below is a list of possible careers in Theatre and Dance:
Successful Theatre and Dance Alumni:
BA ’79 Drama and Literature
Famed actor who was the iconic father figure ‘Uncle Phil’ in the hit television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  He’s role of Uncle Phil was ranked among TV Guide’s “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.”  In addition he’s television, voice roles and film credit span 30 years including "CSI", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", "Dr. Dolittle 2" and much more. Click here to check out his IMDB webpage.

Lee Montgomery
SP ’11 BA in Theatre 
Actor, playwright and director.  Created “God Particles” an International Academy of Web Television 2015 Awards Winner http://www.godparticles.tv/

Kendra Miller
SP ’09 BA in Theatre
Founder and artistic director of Walkabout Theatre in Chicago which recently received a MacArthur grant.

Robert Brill
BA ’88 in Theatre
Designed for theatre, opera and dance.  His design work spans three decades both internationally and in every major city throughout the United States. As a Broadway set designer he received a Tony nomination for his work on Assassins.  He is now a Design faculty at UCSD’s Theatre and Dance Department.

Russell Ewing
BA ’13 in Theatre
Actor performed in Theatre and television. Roles include Unusual Suspect (TV), Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd/Lead), Les Miserables (Grantaire/Supporting).

Christopher James Cortez

BA’12 in Theatre and Dance
An actor whose work includes La Jolla Playhouse-Yoshimi Battles in the Pink Roborts,  San Diego Musical Theater- Chicago (Ensemble) TV credits: Zoey 101, Unfabulous, Tony Park in It Ain’t Right. Film credits: Harold Cisneros in Fifth Form. Commercial credits: Nike, Skype, Suzuki, Hewlett Packard and Target.

Thomas Miller
SP’12 BA in Theatre and Political Science 
Thomas was recently featured in The Trip’s production of Three Sisters at the La Jolla Playhouse’s WoW Festival.

Whitney Adams
BA ’08 in Theatre 
A costume designer for film, theatre, dance and operas.  She was a Costume Design Assistant on “The Great Gatsby” which won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Costume Design. She is also the costume assistant/stylist on the new Channel No. 5 Campaign with Gisele Caroline Bündchen.  In addition she has worked at Madison Square Garden, The Russian Arts Theatre, The United Palace Theatre and many more.

Samuel Hunter
S2 ’11 BA in Theatre and Psychology
Samuel Hunter has also created Interrobangdeparture theatre.

Justin O’Neill
SP ’11 BA in Theatre and Political Science
Founder of Hungry River Theatre.

KJ Sanchez
BA ’89 in Theatre
Is currently a director, actor and playwright. She's been on stage at The Humana Festival, The Goodman, Berkeley Rep and New York Theatre Workshop. She is also the voice of many characters on the cartoons Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go.  Directing credits include The Diary of Anne Frank at Milwaukee Rep, 26 Miles at Round House and The Giver at Asolo Rep.

Transferrable skills:

The Theatre/Dance major offers unique skills and traits than most disciplines. These skills are not only essential for the Theatre/Dance industry but applicable to various careers. Whatever the future holds, our students can be assured they will be equipped with a wide range of transferable skills for their next step.

Skills, traits and qualities developed in this major:


Strong communication skills

Collaboration & teamwork

Problem solving skills

Attention to detail

Ability to learn quickly



Work well under pressure


Public speaking skills


Interpretive skills

Respect for colleagues


Time-management skills


Independent worker

Interpersonal skills

Quick thinker

Presentation Skills

Leadership skills



Motivate and committed

Strong work ethics

Work cooperatively

Appreciation of aesthetics


Ability to bounce back

And much more…

Learn more about the UC San Diego's Bachelor of Arts Programs using the links below.

Theatre Major / Theatre Minor

Dance Major / Dance Minor

Theatre/Dance Double Major

If you have questions or would like more information about our Undergraduate programs, call the Undergraduate Coordinator at 858-534-3619 or email tdadvising@ucsd.edu.

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