Are you passionate about theatre arts education? If so, you may find earning a master's degree in theatre pedagogy engaging, fascinating and invaluable if you want to turn your passion into a compelling career.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers an online Master of Education (M. Ed.) in Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) — Theatre Pedagogy program. This in-depth, integrative program of study prepares students to excel in various fulfilling theatre arts education professions.
What Is the Study of Theatre Pedagogy?
Southeastern's integrative approach to the advanced study of theatre arts education is both specialized and generalized. Core C&I studies focus on educational research, history, philosophy and law as well as teaching strategies applied to classroom instruction within the context of contemporary education and social concerns.
Further core courses examine innovations in modern educational theory and practice. These studies delve into topics like the effective integration of educational technologies in enriched learning environments. Students also explore concepts like building culturally responsive learning environments to cater to today's diverse learners.
Theatre pedagogy courses integrate C&I studies with specialized topics ranging from classical theatre to acting theory and directing, costume, movement, music and dance. Coursework emphasizes the comprehensive roles and responsibilities of theatre arts educators in various settings, be it a high school drama play or a community theatre production.
What Careers Can I Pursue with an M.Ed. in Theatre Pedagogy?
The focus on diverse and dynamic learning environments is central to studies in Southeastern's online theatre pedagogy master's program. Students learn how to design and implement effective C&I methodologies for a broad array of learning applications.
Essentially, theatre pedagogy students graduate prepared to teach, supervise and coordinate C&I and direct and produce plays in any theatre arts education setting. This diversity of transferable theatre arts education knowledge and skills equates to versatility in potential career paths.
Here are a few careers for professionals with an M.Ed. in C&I — Theatre Pedagogy from Southeastern:
High School Theatre Instructor / Drama Teacher
Drama teachers impact students' lives and the future of theatre in powerful and positive ways. They have many different responsibilities, depending on the size of a school's drama program and resources. The instructor may create lesson plans, teach acting theory and theatre history in classroom settings, take students on theatre trips, direct and produce school plays and coach students throughout.
Pay for drama teachers can vary widely depending on factors like the region and the type of school (private, public, specialized theatre school, etc.). ZipRecruiter reports that the average annual salary of drama teachers is $51,033 (April 2021 data).
Community Theatre Director
Theatre directors can also have a plethora of responsibilities depending on the type of organization they work for and the organization's structure. Considering actual theatre productions, directors may be responsible for all aspects of producing a play or event. This can include everything from casting to artistic direction, costume design to training and coaching actors.
A director in a larger scale theatre may work with and oversee a team of people more directly responsible for these aspects of production. In community theatre environments, directors may also run theatre arts education programs for local schools or community members. They may also be involved in organizational functions like marketing efforts, public relations, community outreach and even securing funding through grants, sponsors and government funds.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for directors and producers in performing arts (including theatre) in 2020 was $76,400.
Theatre Arts C&I Director, Supervisor or Coordinator
Logically, graduates of Southeastern's M.Ed. in C&I — Theatre Pedagogy program are well suited for high-level C&I positions in theatre arts education programs. In director, supervisor or coordinator positions, these professionals are responsible for drama program C&I design and implementation. This can include selecting materials and content, choosing instructional methods, providing instructional coaching to educators and other administrative duties.
According to 2021 data from Glassdoor, the average annual base pay for curriculum and instruction directors is $79,572.
Beyond these examples, theatre arts professionals with advanced education and credentials could work in drama therapy, write theatre educational materials or continue in academia and conduct research. Clearly, earning an M.Ed. in theatre pedagogy can prepare students for a number of exciting life and career pursuits combining a passion for education and the theatre arts.
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