Areas of Study

To build a sustainable life as a practicing theater artist you need a wide range of tools and techniques, an informed ethos of collaboration, and a solid grounding in the history of the craft.

In the first two years of the program you will build that awareness and begin to develop those tools through a series of core classes founded in modern acting techniques and text analysis of modern realistic playtexts.

You will develop a wide range of tools and techniques, dive into the history of theater, and look forward at modern and progress theater.

You will learn how to launch your career, develop a business plan, and explore opportunities in stage combat, self-producing, and professional auditioning.

You can download detailed degree requirements + course descriptions here:


You will develop your performer’s instrument in classes devoted to vocal and physical technique, and develop resilience through yoga and mindfulness. A theater education at Cornish is grounded in a dynamic relationship to the history of the craft as well as an awareness of the conditions of the world. Students are trained to be physically and vocally flexible and powerful, critically astute, articulate, and in command of a wide variety of techniques applicable to a range of theatrical styles. 


Musical Theater is a true hyphenated art form: practitioners are actors-singers-dancers. It is as rooted in acting technique as any other kind of theater – but it is acting with rhythm, melody, and choreography.

Musical Theater students get a solid foundation in ballet, tap and theater dance, as well as solo and ensemble singing and music theory. This practical and experiential work will be informed by deep dives into dramatic literature, theory and theater history. You will also study the basics of theater production and work backstage in the Cornish Theater season in a variety of capacities.

Original Works

Cornish students are theater makers. Here you not only develop the tools to interpret great plays and musicals from the classical and contemporary theater, you learn and practice the tools to generate new works of your own.  

In Original Works you make new theater in every class, as playwrights, directors, and as generative ensembles. You can develop your own performance styles through clown, solo performance and neo-burlesque.

For interested Theater Artists, this program begins during your third year. You cannot apply to enter Original Works directly.


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