Theatre Arts

Why study theatre arts?

Theatre arts classes provide students with skills in analysis, problem-solving, performance, and creative improvisation that can be used in just about any career field. A theatre degree prepares students for a variety of onstage and backstage careers in theatre or entertainment venues such as producer, director, stage manager, actor, technical director, or stagehand. In addition, skills learned in technical theatre are used in many venues including themed restaurants and vacation resorts and in the design, fabrication, and installation of exhibits. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics to view the average annual salaries for careers in the performing arts.

At Parkland, you'll have the advantage of small class sizes, taught by master faculty—never teaching assistants. Your success is our priority.

“Parkland College Theatre has given me more than I could ever return. It has given me a platform to push myself, to be as great as I wanted to be. These people have supported me in, and helped me achieve every goal I’ve ever had.” — Lauren Sutter, theatre major, Point Park University


Parkland College offers a variety of theatre courses to prepare you for a transfer degree or to fulfill general education requirements.
General Education Theatre Courses

Theatre Appreciation (THE 100):  Learn about theatre as an art form including types of plays, playwriting and contributions of artists, as well as methods of production, design, and theatre use.

History of Theatre (THE 101): Students are introduced to historical developments in theatre and drama including theatrical periods, styles and genres through reading and watching plays.

Film Appreciation (THE 124): Students are introduced to film as an art form with an emphasis on production elements, genres, acting, directorial style, cinematography and  editing through film viewing and analysis.

Film History (THE 125): This course provides a survey of the historical development of film and innovations in film production through film viewing and analysis.

Foundation Theatre Courses

Performance of Literature (THE 103): Students learn techniques for bringing literature to life through the effective use of voice and body.

Acting I (THE 104): Students learn the fundamentals of acting including improvisation and scene study as well as the major acting approaches used to help students create believable characters.

Stagecraft (THE 105):  This hands-on lab-based course teaches basic techniques of scenery and property construction, scene painting, tool use, and backstage organization. 

Practicum (THE 107): This hands-on lab course provides students with opportunities to increase their skills in on-stage and back stage theatrical performances. A college production assignment is a required component of the course.

Costume and Stage Makeup (THE 109):  This hands-on course helps students build skills in costume shop safety and organization, as well as basic techniques in costume construction, tool use, and costume projects for production.  Students also learn techniques of stage makeup and application.

Script Analysis for Production (THE 120):  Students learn to read play scripts in their historical and social contexts, and learn techniques of play analysis for production purposes.

Voice and Diction (COM 140): Basic factors of voice and speech sound production. Class study and analysis of variations in spoken English. Individual analysis and guided practice toward improvement of speech habits.

Advanced Stagecraft (THE 205): Gain hands-on experience and advanced training in technical theatre including computerized numeric control, scenic structures, personnel lifts, arena and theatrical rigging, lighting console programming, and scenic automation operation.

Acting II (THE 202): Students learn advanced acting techniques focusing on auditioning, monologue, and scene study.

Will my classes transfer?

THE 100, 101, 124, and 125 will fulfill the Fine Arts general education requirement at Illinois public universities. Parkland College classes with an even middle digit (such as ENG 101, MAT 128, and BIO 141) are accepted for transfer as general education classes, major courses, or electives as determined by the transfer institution.  

For more information about transferring, speak with an academic advisor and visit the Parkland Course Matrix.


Theatre Arts provides hands-on experience in acting, set design and construction, lighting, props, costumes, and stage management. Entertainment Technology is well-suited for students interested in working as stagehands for touring/resident companies in backstage technical areas. 

Learn more about how these classes fit into a transfer degree or the general education core curriculum (GECC).

Entertainment Technology

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
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Entertainment Technology Certificate

Certificate (CER)
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Theatre Arts

Associate in Arts (A.A.)
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Theatre Arts: Design Track

Associate in Arts (A.A.)
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Theatre Arts: Performance Track

Associate in Arts (A.A.)
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