Why Hartwick?

At Hartwick, Theatre Arts is more than just what happens on stage. It’s sets and costumes, scripts and lighting design, even the box office and marketing. When you study at Hartwick, you’ll get hands-on experience across all of these fields, then choose the one you’re passionate about. Whatever your focus, you’ll have the talents to strongly position yourself in front of directors, producers and employers.

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Hartwick student performing on stage

A Hartwick Theatre Arts degree prepares you for a career in any aspect of the theatre industry, from performance to design, management to marketing. You’ll learn acting techniques and how to write a play, light, set and costumes design, even work in the box office. Hartwick’s flexible, experience-based training gives you a solid foundation of everything that goes into putting on a show.

Hartwick theatre student working on stage set

You can get involved in productions in your first semester, giving you up to four years of hands-on experience on stage. You’ll work closely with faculty, as well as with students from across campus – productions are open to all, giving you a chance to engage across disciplines. Propose a performance or stage design, and your work could become part of Hartwick’s production season. Your Success Coach will be there to cheer you on from the start, and your Alumni Mentor and Career Coach will help you navigate your way into work you’ll be passionate about pursuing.

Stage lighting

If performance isn’t for you, Hartwick’s applied theatre concentration teaches you how to use theatre arts in education, social work, and other ways to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Theatre Arts Major and Minor Requirements

Theatre Arts Department


As a Theatre Arts major, you’ll have the opportunity to present your work on campus and off. Spend your J Term at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, take part in the 24 Hour Playwriting Festival or launch a podcast in our new production studio. Whatever your concentration, your Career Coach and Alumni Mentor will help you find an internship to put your skills into practice. And you’ll showcase your final piece to the campus community. It all goes on your Digital Resume, promoting your skills to future employers.


From your first year, you’ll have opportunities to practice every aspect of theatre arts, giving you a broad base of knowledge to draw from as you progress through the program. When you find your passion, dive- deep to prepare your SOAR thesis project – whether a performance, design, or a new play – and present it to an audience who can’t wait to see what you’ve created.



Like Nathan Skethway ‘16, who’s helped create advertisements for Broadway shows including Broadway productions of Hadestown, Meteor Shower, Farinelli and the King, and True West. In 2019, along with fellow Hartwick theatre alumna Abi Vermeal ’18, he wrote and premiered a folk rock musical adaptation of Stephen King’s short story “Willa” at Ars Nova’s ANT Festival.


Like Chase O’Neill ’16, whose most recent production, “Here There Be Dragons” premiered at The Players Theatre in June 2022. He received an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and served as an assistant director, dramaturg and choreographer at the American Shakespeare Center.


Like Zac Whitenack ’17, the Assistant Technical Director at the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine. In addition to his expertise behind the scenes on productions and with their youth company, Whitenack helped refurbish the theater, including the scene shop and dressing rooms, for their 2021 Christmas season.


Malissa Kano-White

Professor and Director of Theatre Arts

Gary Burlew

Technical Director

Barbara Kahl

Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts

Marc Shaw

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts & Department Chair

Kathryn Smith

Adjunct Lecturer of Dance

Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program.

Ready to move faster? Get the full Hartwick theatre arts experience in three-quarters the time at three-quarters the cost.

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