Stand in the spotlight. Entertain people. Make the audience laugh or think. Realize your own ideas. Let your creativity run free. Doesn’t that sound like things to study? Not correct! At first glance, the performing arts department does not seem to fit the idea of the lecture hall and library at all. Actors, stage designers, directors and dramaturges can also learn their craft at the university.
Performing arts courses in Germany are mostly offered at art colleges . Also, state and private acting and film schools offer bachelor degree programs. The most important courses in the performing arts are acting , stage design , directing and dramaturgy .
Performing arts courses
All courses deal with theoretical subjects such as theater studies or theater and media history . In addition, the study areas partially overlap. Theater directors receive basic training in acting, for example, while stage designers also learn the basics of directing and dramaturgy.
According to Collegesanduniversitiesinusa, all courses are also characterized by their high level of practical experience . The main course is usually designed as a project course in which the students shoot their first films, design stage concepts or stage plays. These project work are often developed jointly by students from different departments. Otherwise, the individual contents of the courses are as different as the later job profiles:
In the acting course you will get to know techniques that enable you to slip into different roles. The curriculum includes singing, dance and fencing lessons, recitation exercises and role studies.
The stage design course is about developing manual skills, with which the students can realize various stage concepts and implement their own ideas. In order to achieve this goal, the students have lessons in subjects such as drawing, mask design or costume studies.
Budding directors, on the other hand, deal with the basics of image design, lighting and stage technology or media technology in their studies.
In the dramaturgy studies you learn how to edit scripts, analyze films and plays and do public relations.
Further education courses
The Bachelor’s degree enables all graduates to pursue further studies. Master’s degrees in the performing arts offer students the opportunity to deepen their specialist knowledge and specialize in a particular area of work. There is also the possibility of further training in related fields. For example, actors with a bachelor’s degree can take a master’s degree in dramaturgy and thus expand their professional perspectives.
Personal requirements and admission criteria
All degree programs in the performing arts are characterized by the strict admission criteria . Prospective actors, directors and stage designers must prove their special artistic ability in the form of portfolios, trial work and aptitude tests lasting several days . Even those who want to study dramaturgy must first pass the oral and written entrance exams; at many universities, pre-study internships are compulsory. In addition to artistic qualifications, anyone studying the performing arts should have assertiveness, a healthy dose of risk-taking and optimism, as well as the ability to market themselves in order to survive on the job market later on.
Most of the graduates work freelance and are involved in individual projects at theaters, opera houses or in film and television. The engagements are not always coordinated in time. Graduates work on several productions at the same time and have to commute between different locations.
Apart from the theaters, radio stations and film studios, career opportunities are rather few and far between. With their broad-based studies, dramaturges have the best prerequisites to find work in other professional areas. For example, they work in the press and public relations departments of theaters, cities and municipalities, work in cultural management or work as freelance journalists. The bachelor’s degree also enables acting, directing and stage design graduates to continue their education in a master’s degree and thus expand their career opportunities.
Study the performing arts globally
Anyone who wants to get a taste of international film or theater during their studies should consider studying abroad. Because it is not only useful for actors to improve their language skills. During one or more semesters abroad you get to know other methods of acting, directing or stage design. Students expand their own artistic repertoire and have the opportunity to build up a network of international contacts early on, which they can fall back on in their later professional life.