Major Emphasis / Minor

The Theatre minor and emphasis within the Communication Arts major is designed to teach students about every aspect of theatrical performance, from those visible to the audience to those behind the scenes. Students gain aptitude in the writing, staging, performance, and analysis of theatrical productions, with special attention to relationships among artists, audiences, and communities.

Student theatre productions are staged each semester with students participating from across the College. These plays and musicals directed by communication arts professors are performed in Olin Fine Arts Center. We also produce and host events including Theatre Slam, 24-hour writing and performance event; Winter Tales, an evening of 10-minute one-act plays written by W&J students, faculty, staff and alumni; and student capstones are performed in the intimate Black Box Studio in Olin 102.

Additional information is available in the W&J College Catalog.

Beyond the Classroom

Our students gain additional experience through department-sponsored programming and off-campus internships to supplement their coursework. We work one-on-one with our students to develop career and internship applications, critical research methods, interview best practices, presentation skills, portfolio building, and networking strategy.

The W&J Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a vibrant campus group of students interested in networking with professionals in the PR industry and learning about future careers. Students become engaged leaders and learn how to delegate, manage and create PR content for local non profit originations.

In the theatre, students  perform, design sets, stage manage, or hone their writing skills by participating in Student Theatre Company productions. Student work assistants coordinate events for the department, and gain experience writing copy and managing communication arts social media accounts.

Experiential learning occurs live, each day at 91.7 FM WNJR, the College’s FCC licensed noncommercial educational radio station. WNJR broadcasts 24 hours a day, featuring an eclectic format of music. Student broadcasters have the freedom to produce a diverse range of independent programming, including talk shows on a variety of topics including sports call-in shows, country music live performances, and college student issues. Students learn and apply skills like interviewing and recording, which are applicable to careers in traditional radio as well as the fast-growing, innovative field of podcasting.

Because our electives and emphases are so varied, Communication Arts majors find internships off campus in a wide range of organizations and fields. Students develop skills in fundraising, donor relations, sports analysis, nonprofit event planning, judicial advocacy, digital production, and web writing. Students have interned at Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C.; MTV; CNN; the Pittsburgh Penguins; CASA; UPMC Health Plan; Mylan Pharmaceuticals; and the Washington Wild Things, as well as in local school districts.