Tired of defending my theater major

“If you can’t get a job, and you majored in drama, there’s probably a reason,” said Huckaby, who oversees the state’s public colleges and universities with the guidance of the regents.

Hank Huckaby is the Chancellor for the University Systems of Georgia, the body that oversees all of the state’s universities. He made this comment while being honored for his years of service at a church in Athens, GA, where The University of Georgia is located. Mr. Huckaby, why did you have to pick on the drama majors?

I ‘d first like to link to two articles to counter his statement:

  1. “3 Reasons A Theatre Degree Is Important”
  2. “10 Ways Being A Theatre Major Prepared Me For Success”

And now I’ll explain/rant/give my reasons…

Why is theater always used as the “go-to if you want to fail” major? My theater major got me admitted into my master’s program at Syracuse University (it was required to have majored in a fine art to be admitted). I’m now the Public Relations Manager at a major theater in upstate NY. I also freelance as an arts journalist writing about theater. An article I wrote was recently the cover story for Dramatics Magazine. In addition to the education and job things, being a theater major makes you incredibly well-read, a great team player, an awesome communicator, and you can blend-in in any setting. It’s not about what you major in, it’s about what you do with your degree. I’m not failing, and neither is anyone in the class I graduated in at UGA (go theater majors class of 2011!).

Jobs held by fellow theater majors in my graduating class:

  • House Manager
  • Stage Manager
  • Lighting Designer
  • Teacher
  • Actor/Actress
  • Journalist
  • Production Assistant
  • Dramaturg
  • Assistant Director (on a production)

He made this statement in the context of growing the state’s job market and profile. He said that many jobs are available and vacant because college students are majoring in the wrong things, like drama, and are unqualified. He said this without considering that no one wants to live in a city without the arts. Period. Just because Georgia is among the stingiest states when it comes to funding the arts, does not mean majoring in theater is a problem. It just drives talent out of the state.

When corporations are courting the best talent for their organizations they take them to the opera, ballet, theater, etc. Arts sell cities. Cities need theater majors. He needs to read Richard Florida’s book The Rise of the Creative Class. Furthermore , being in the arts is a noble pursuit, and every student deserves to feel as if their education and talents are appreciated, especially by the place they are receiving a degree from. I’m tired of defending my theater major, so I won’t anymore. Instead I will live a life of art, fulfillment, and employment.

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