Theatre and Communication Arts

    • Graduates work for Nickelodeon, Disney and DreamWorks. They have been nominated for notable awards, including the Emmy for news producing and cartoon writing.
    • The theatre program regularly participates in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival, in conjunction with the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival, an annual gathering of more than 20,000 performers.
    • Theatre and communication arts students have opportunities to study abroad with our many international partners, including Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, and Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome.
    • Gannon University's student-operated radio station, 90.5 WERG-FM, won several awards at the annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Conference in 2015 and the Abraham & Borst Award for Best College Station in the Nation.

    You Will Learn

    Theatre and communication arts majors comprise communicators excelling in plays, musicals, newspaper or broadcasting (school radio and television or Internet communication/blogging/social media). Students engage in music, performance, promotion and production. For students who love to connect with others, create and interpret messages that are shared and experienced by one to thousands, the theatre and communication arts program offers unlimited possibilities for future careers.

    Theatre and communication skills are transferable to many career paths. Our experienced faculty will help develop creativity in a challenging and caring environment. The theatre, communication and media world is exploding with opportunities, and the School of Communication and the Arts is the place to prepare to meet that future.

    You Will Experience

    Theatre and communication arts majors have broad opportunities for internships within walking distance or a short drive of Gannon's campus. Internship options include:

    • Downtown Cultural District - Erie Art Museum, Erie Arts & Culture, Erie Insurance Arena
    • Fortune 500 companies - Erie Insurance, GE Transportation
    • local broadcast affiliates of national networks - ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and NPR
    • local radio stations - with formats including country, contemporary hits, mainstream rock, top 40
    • medical industry - Erie VA Medical Center, UPMC Hamot, Saint Vincent Hospital
    • nonprofit organizations
    • professional sports teams - Erie BayHawks, Erie Explosion, Erie Otters, Erie SeaWolves

    You Will Achieve

    Jobs will be available in large media centers on the coasts and abroad, in media organizations, independent studios and network affiliates, and in small, entrepreneurial organizations. Many people in media find satisfying and lucrative careers as freelancers, able to pursue projects that are of interest to them. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • acting and directing
    • advertising communication
    • audio and visual production
    • copywriters
    • corporate communication
    • design - scenic, lighting, sound and digital animation for stage, film and television
    • education - K-12 and college theatre, media studies and communication instructors and professors
    • media law - legal support and defense in media and entertainment industries
    • news - print and online
    • nonprofit administration
    • public relations, sales and promotions
    • radio - production and performance for on-air and behind the scenes
    • website designers and managers

    You will Study

    Students in the theatre and communication arts program choose from an array of various subjects to fill their curriculum. Incorporated into the curriculum is exposure to hands-on learning through Gannon's radio station, 90.5 WERG-FM, and participation in the Schuster Theatre. Theatre and communication arts majors take various core and elective courses including:

    THEA 210 Contemporary Issues in Media and Theatre

    An introduction to academic theatre and media scholarship forming a critical foundation on which students can formulate opinions based on factual observation and argue various points of view relating to current production in theatre, radio, television, digital communication and performance studies. This course is both writing-intensive and argumentatively provocative.

    THEA 221 Voice and Diction

    A practical examination of the voice as a communicative tool. Emphasis is on vocal flexibility, breathing, vocal expansion and a working understanding of the phonetic alphabet.

    COMM 357 Animation

    Animation class is designed to explore the area of visual communication in the digital media, specifically the areas of vector graphics and motion. Through the exploration of various fundamental animation techniques, the student will create a portfolio of moving images and text. Through the accumulation of sensitivities and skills, the student will be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in the digital and electronic medium.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $40,000
    • Mid-career salary: $69,600