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Conservatory of Performing Arts

Theatre Arts: Performance and Practices


A scene from the Conservatory Theatre Company's '21' Photo | Jeff Swensen
Conservatory of Performing Arts students perform a scene from '21' at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

B.A. in Theatre Arts: Performance and Practices

This unique program — launched in 2015 — is focused on contemporary theatre making practices and is designed to provide the multi-talented performer-entrepreneur with the environment and tools need to create, develop and produce innovative, imaginative and thought-proving theatre. 

Our Performance and Practices degree is one of very few undergraduate programs in the country training contemporary theatre collaborators today who will innovate and lead in making the theatre of tomorrow. Our bustling Conservatory is set in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, adjacent to our Cultural District and many theatres, including the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, City Theatre, Bricolage Theatre Company, the August Wilson Center, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Playwrights, Arcade Comedy Club, The New Hazlett Theatre, and Civic Light Opera (CLO), among others. 

Working in our Pittsburgh Playhouse, a three-theatre national laboratory for young artists, students in this program will be part of developing new projects and practices — under the guidance of professionally active faculty — connecting multiple disciplines in state-of-the-art facilities. Students are immersed in courses and opportunities that explore creativity, aesthetics, design, playwriting, directing, producing, devised work, ensemble and social justice, among other theatre topics, along with a rigorous sequence in core academics. Students also have internship, casting and other professional opportunities within the theatre community of Pittsburgh. 

Students in the 120-credit program have the option to pursue minors, a double major, study abroad and may, with summer coursework, complete their degree in three years. 


You will receive a well-rounded education by combining the core curriculum and courses in your major:

  • Acting
  • Voice and Speech
  • Stagecraft
  • Improv
  • Playwriting
  • Singing for Actors
  • Stage Movement
  • Stage Makeup
  • Production
  • Directing
  • Acting for the Camera
  • Script Analysis
  • Professional Seminar
  • Senior Capstone

For a comprehensive list of program requirements, see the degree requirements and course descriptions.


Graduates are well-positioned to join a network of alumni who are actively working with professional acting companies, productions, associations, non-performance professions, business and post-graduate study.