A Day In the Life of a College Theatre Major

Written by Austin Santinsky

September 27, 2017

Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome to a story that delves into a world that is often glamorized and highly dramatized. It is the lifestyle that we spend our adolescent years fantasizing about and our adult years reminiscing on: college. College is a wonderful and magical time filled with memories and friends that will last a lifetime. But for one subsection of student, it’s a little different. I’m talking of course about theatre majors.

This eclectic group of individuals are often believed to be snobbish and self-centered, with headshots and a 32-bar cut tucked into their back pocket (ya know, just in case). But these stereotypes, while sometimes true, don’t paint an accurate picture. Theatre majors are a special group of people, and it’s about time we got a look into what their lives are truly like.

Good morning!

After hitting the snooze button on their phone and alarm clock 6 times, the theatre major pulls themselves up out of bed and over to their coffee maker. Now, even though they have general auditions later that night, and they have plenty of throat coat and green tea, they’re still going to drink coffee anyway (because coffee is the liquid of the gods). After checking their social media, packing their audition outfit, and doing their daily “you-can-do-it-don’t-listen-to-your-mom” pep talk in the mirror, they’re off to class.

Research time.

Like most theatre majors, they have a few non-theatre classes scattered throughout the day, so they use this time as an opportunity to post up in the back of the room and research summer stock theatre jobs and apprenticeships. No one really has time for college algebra when they desperately need to bump up their resume! Who doesn’t want to spend a summer in the mountains of West Virginia doing Rodgers and Hammerstein? Oh, looks like class is over!

A respite.

It’s a beautiful fall day, the perfect day for the theatre major to park themselves out in the quad with their Smart Water, pita chips and hummus, and start loudly practicing their audition pieces. A tour group walks by and the admissions guide jokes how “this is a regular occurrence here”. The theatre major doesn’t mind — they like the attention. It boosts their confidence. Uh oh, looks like the student is getting a phone call.


It’s mom! The theatre major takes a deep breath and answers the phone. Mom mentions that they haven’t called since last Wednesday and brings up that their bank account balance has fallen below $10 again. She asks if they’ve applied for any internships or considered picking up a second major yet. The theatre major knows Mom cares, but they die a little inside. After 35 grueling minutes, the phone call ends, and the theatre major heads over to their friend’s place so they can go over audition pieces.

“Don’t freak out.”

While hanging out with friends is supposed to be a safe and relaxing environment, for the theatre major, it is an unspoken competition to show off who has picked the best song and monologue combo. Stephanie went to one of those performing arts high schools and is doing a song she did at districts. Bryan’s monologue is from the second stage director’s favorite show. The theatre major has an internal panic attack that they are not good enough — but little do they know…everyone in the room feels the same exact way about themselves. After that, the group heads over to the theatre.

Audition time.

It’s time! The lobby of the theatre is packed with students camped out in every nook and cranny, silently singing and acting out monologues. That one guy from the theatre major’s movement class is doing way too much with his hands and while part of the student’s mind tells them to go tell the dude to calm down, the other part sees this guy as a competition. The audition stage manager begins taking in groups of 10, and stress bubbles up inside. As the theatre major’s group is called to line up, they put on their best smile and walk in the room.

Sigh of relief.

After two hours of waiting and 90 seconds of the actual audition, the theatre major walks out of the building with a sense of relief, daydreaming about the day when they can go to cattle call auditions in New York and live the life of the artist. But for now, they drag themselves back to their room to eat a whole sleeve of Oreos while rewatching The Office for the fifth time. Not thinking about the callback list or their contemporary theatre homework that is due. Just basking in the bliss of a good audition.

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Tatiana Rodriguez is a student and a writer, currently studying at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is working to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Theater, as well as a certificate in Multicultural Theater Practice. She is a stage manager, a playwright, and an aspiring director.