Applied Theatre

Applied theatre is a service- and career-oriented program that extends the traditional skills, tools and values of the theatre arts into civic engagement, public health and community. Pacific University offers the only undergraduate major in applied theatre in the country. Students build a strong foundation in the liberal arts, study traditional theatre, and put their talents and training to work in residencies with underserved populations and service settings. The applied theatre program has a strong future focus, offering students a network of professional pathways, as they connect to the professional theatre world, local social service organizations, and the community.


  • Participate in the only undergraduate program in applied theatre in the United States
  • Apply traditional theatre skills within service professions
  • Go off-campus for community learning opportunities during a Winter Term travel course
  • Intern with senior centers, youth centers, arts administration organizations or other nonprofits
  • Complement your studies in anthropology, education, political science, psychology, social work or sociology
  • Apply for a talent scholarship of $1,500 to $4,000 a year earn talent scholarships for prospective students in theatre. 


Applied theatre students participate in many of the same foundational courses as traditional theatre students. These include courses such as technical theatre, acting, playwriting, and directing. Applied theatre students also study the history of theatre in a social context, exploring the roots of how theatre and drama have played a role in religion, politics and community service. Students can connect their theatre skills with other disciplines in courses such as "Theatre in Education," “Theatre for Gender Equity,” and “Eco-Theatre: Community & Performance.”


Students with an applied theatre major or minor develop marketable skills they can put to work in education, recreation and applied performance companies. Students go on to share their talents by using theatre and drama to work with at-risk youth in schools and after-school programs, with senior centers, or in other health, education and community settings.

Department of Theatre & Dance

Applied theatre is part of the Department of Theatre & Dance, which also offers majors and minors in theatre and dance.

Professor; Theatre & Dance Department Chair