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Performance for Media and Stage

  • Bachelor of Arts Major
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

The theatre program regularly participates in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in conjunction with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an annual gathering in Scotland of more than 20,000 performers considered the largest arts festival in the world.

  • GU Possibilities


    • 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 and the largest arts festival in the world  
    • Located in the School of Communication and the Arts, the program has access to the resources of all of the University’s communication, media and arts faculty and technology under one roof. Students benefit from the synergy this co-location provides.  
    • The theatre program encourages students to experience all aspects of theater as performers, technicians and as audience, through engagement with local civic theater as well as nearby professional venues in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York City, and the American Shakespeare Center.  
    • Students and faculty together engage professional arts organizations and events, including Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, United States Institute for Theatre Technology national convention, and the International Collegiate Theatre Festival.  


    You Will Learn

    Students who have a passion for the creative human spirit and want to study performance for media and the stage within a vibrant, liberal arts curriculum will find numerous possibilities at Gannon University. With multiple performance venues, students can develop on-stage skills in voice, stage combat, acting for the camera and more to prepare for a career as a professional artist or as a foundation for further study. 

    The program emphasizes acting, directing, improvisation, movement and voice. Students may also create their own course combinations to satisfy their personal interests.

    Many theatre graduates migrate to metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, which provide direct exposure to the job market, and some graduates have even explored international connections to start their careers.

    You Will Experience

    The theatre program takes advantage of the University’s urban location to provide students with internship opportunities that are right around the corner from the campus, including:

    • Dramashop, a contemporary theater company  
    •  Erie Art Museum   
    • Erie Arts and Culture/Pennsylvania Council on the Arts   
    • Erie Civic Center’s Warner Theatre   
    • Erie Philharmonic Orchestra  
    • Erie Playhouse (named as the best community theatre in Pennsylvania)  
    • local broadcast affiliates of national networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and NPR   
    • local radio stations – including: country, contemporary hits, mainstream rock and top 40 

    You Will Achieve

    Career opportunities for theatre graduates can be found locally and abroad in a variety of media, including the stage, film, education, television, radio and online media. Theatre graduates can also be found in arts advocacy organizations, human services agencies, advertising and marketing. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • actors and performers  
    • advertising communicators – public relations professionals and copywriters   
    • arts managers – promotion and management of theater and related fine arts   
    • educators – K-12 and university theater instructors and professors   
    • entertainment law – lawyers for the entertainment industry   
    • non-profit administration   
    • stage combat choreographers and stunt performers  
    • voiceover artists   
    • writers – for both/either stage or screen  

    You Will Earn

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

    • Starting salary: $36,200  
    • Mid-career salary: $58,600  
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  


    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    Students in this theatre program choose from an array of subjects to fill their curriculum and participate in the Schuster Theatre. Performance for Media and Stage students take various core and elective courses including: 

    COMM 230: Television and Radio Performance

    A practice in the skills of basic performance and broadcast styles, ranging from news and interview formats to dramatic presentation, emphasizing specific talent problems.

    ARTS 340: Improvisation

    This laboratory course stresses basic performance skills such as focus, teamwork, mime, character development, status work, story development and scene work. Students develop a number of practical skills, including creative problem solving, quick-thinking skills, spontaneity, interpreting non-verbal communication, resolving conflicts and holding a place while working within a group dynamic.

    ARTS 360: Production and Performance in Theatre 

    This laboratory course investigates the rehearsal and performance process in creating a mainstage production. Students assume various roles, both on production crew and cast, and are evaluated on the quality of their participation in the work. The course culminates in public performance and post-performance evaluation by students and directors.

    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.