Theatre Arts

Setting the Scene for Success: Careers in Theatre Arts

Some of us are all about being center-stage. Others are more into the “behind-the-scenes” thing. But when it comes to a creative career with a future-built paycheck, we can all get in on the act.

Irvine Valley College’s Theatre Arts program is proud to offer versatile pathways to employment in the thriving Los Angeles/Orange County theater industry. Our proximity to this premier entertainment hub ensures not only a top-notch, industry-tested cast list of instructors, but also a steady classroom-to-career pipeline to real-world opportunities. 

All students, regardless of emphasis, take classes in both acting and the technical aspects of theatre. By participating in student productions, Theatre Arts majors garner live, on-stage experience in all aspects of theater, from music, to directing, makeup, stage tech, costume design and more. 

IVC’s Theatre Arts department stages four to five shows per year – typically one musical and one play per semester. Student opportunities include acting, designing and constructing sets and costumes, and assisting backstage as stagehands, dressers, makeup technicians, lighting operators, and audio/video technicians. All community members are invited to audition for productions and participate as backstage crew.

Ready to launch a Future BUILT career in Theatre Arts? It all starts at Irvine Valley College!

What You Need to Know

What Degrees and Certificates Are Available to Me?
IVC offers a variety of program types to help build your future-proof career! 

Associate in Arts Degrees
These two-year college degrees are designed for students who want to gain in-depth understanding of a particular field in order to enter a specific profession or to prepare for further education at a technical or trade school, or a 4-year college or university.

IVC Offers AA Degrees in:
Technical Theatre
Theatre Arts

Associate in Arts for Transfer Degrees
Like the AA, these degrees give students an in-depth understanding of a particular field but differ in that they are specifically designed to help students transfer seamlessly to a 4-year California State University where they can complete a bachelor’s degree.

IVC Offers an AA-T in:
Theatre Arts

Certificates of Achievement
Certificates of Achievement are state-approved certificates that acknowledge workplace competencies and job readiness in a particular field. In many cases, the courses that comprise a certificate of achievement are the same as those required for an associate degree, minus the General Education courses.

IVC Offers COA in:
Stage Management

Certificates of Proficiency
Certificates of Proficiency acknowledge basic workplace abilities and are designed for students who want to enter the workforce quickly or upgrade their job skills. These certificates have a total credit requirement of less than 18 units and are designed and approved by local business leaders in order to make them as practical as possible. 

IVC Offers COPs in:
Assistant Stage Manager
Live Entertainment Technician

Make sure your class schedule is built for success. Visit the course catalog to see what classes you need to earn your degree or certificate in Theatre Arts.

Irvine Valley College is proud to provide our communities with affordable, accessible Career Education opportunities. For information on how financial aid, scholarships and grants can make college more affordable, visit IVC’s Financial Aid Office.

School of the Arts 
Department Offices: 949-451-5650

Scott Grabau 
Assistant Professor 

Michael Collins 
Technical Director/Scenic Director 

Patric Taylor
Theater Production Manager 

Nancy Bracken
Costume/Makeup Designer 

IVC Theatre Arts graduates are building successful futures in careers like these, and more! Here are some in-demand job titles and their average yearly salaries.

Actors = $33,581 
Set and Exhibit Designers = $49,267 
Producers/Directors = $91,757 
Choreographers = $49,363 
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance = $60,614 
Costume Attendants = $39,014 

Average Salary In This Field

Average Salary In This Field

$33,581 to
Per Year

Potential Careers

Potential Careers

Set Designer
Producer / Director
Costume Attendant

Have Questions? Talk To A Counselor!

You’ve made an independent choice to boost your life and career through Career Education at IVC… but you’re not alone! Talk to a counselor for information on getting started, planning your career pathway, and more!

Our Students Love Us!

“Growing up in Brazil, I developed a love for the Scenic Arts and tried learning more about this trade. But here at IVC, it was the first time that I actually noticed myself improving, to the point I felt not only confident, but looking forward to perform for a crowd.”
- Pedro Barros, IVC Student
“Irvine Valley College has a great theatre program… The theatre department opened many doors for me and ultimately found a job for me at the Laguna Playhouse.”
- Alex Guzman, IVC Alum
“I always wanted to learn more about theatre and to experience what it’s like to be a part of an amazing team of students… If anyone ever wants a great school with amazing teachers, don’t be afraid to show up and have the experience of a lifetime.”
- Kevin Lupardo, IVC Alum
“I never thought I wanted to be a theater major, let alone BE in theater, but the department at IVC allowed me to grow and prosper so much, that I fell in love with it… Take classes and join clubs you never thought you would ever try… It will surprise you!”
- Ericka Redding, IVC Alum
“I went to IVC because it was close to where I lived. Little did I know that I would create lifelong friendships and learn valuable life lessons… I would not trade the experience for anything in the world.”
- Jennifer Walker, IVC Alum