In defense of theatre majors

When I entered my senior year of high school, the question was always “Where are you going to school?” Once I decided on Lawrence, the questions I was asked only multiplied.
“Do you know who you’re rooming with? How far of a drive is that?” The question I was asked most often and became the most tired of hearing was “What is your major going to be?” I always felt the need to preface my answer with something along the lines of “I know it’s not practical, but . . .” because many would say that my major is not the most useful.
I chose to major in theatre because it is what I feel most passionate about pursuing in my life.
I would be lying if I said I had not thought about any backup plans, but even people with the most practical majors feel as though their plans may not always work out in the end— they may just need something to fall back on.
I believe that my theatre major should not require a backup plan, but rather open doors to many different types of opportunities, not just theatre-related ones.
The skills learned from participating in and studying theatre as an art form can help someone in all aspects of life—not just when acting out a play on stage.
I believe that the most important thing that students can learn from theatre classes and a theatre major is how to communicate effectively.
In classes for my major, we have been learning how to use our voices and bodies, also known as our “actor tools”, to show the audience what we want to portray in a scene. All human beings, not just actors, need to know things like this in order to effectively interact with others and share feelings—not just through their words, but also their actions and expressions.
This comes into play in all the interactions humans share with one another, not just acting in a play. From pitching product ideas to closing a deal on a house, humans need to be able to effectively share their thoughts in the clearest way possible.
With my theatre major, I intend to act or work in theatre in whatever ways I can once I graduate. That does not mean, though, that I will not be able to take my skills elsewhere and apply them to different jobs I may hold in the future.
Who knows when my future jobs, theatre-related or not, will require me to get up in front of many people that I do not know and tell them a story or pitch to them a product. I do not need a degree in business to be able to do this, but rather I am learning the necessary skills of living in the adult world and communicating effectively with those around me.
I no longer feel the need to apologize for my major because, while some see it as impractical for future employment, I see it as building a skillset that I will stay with me for the rest of my life—a skillset that I will always be able to use.