Theatre Transfer Pathway


Riverland's Theatre Department is a high-energy, performance-oriented program. Four mainstage productions are performed each academic year: one classic musical, one contemporary musical, one comedy (modern or classic) and one drama (modern or classic). Students are encouraged to get involved in all areas of theatre production, including but not limited to acting, stage managing, set building, and design. Strong academic offerings provide challenges in and out of the classroom.

Travel-study courses such as Big Arts in the Big Apple and London Dash give students the opportunity to experience professional theatre in major cities around the globe. Each year, Riverland students attend and compete at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Region 5 Festival. Students also have the opportunity to participate in Summerset Theatre, which has performed on the Riverland campus since 1968. Summerset mounts several main stage productions between June and August and engages students as actors, crew, and in paid staff positions.

Why choose this program at Riverland?

  • Immediate opportunity to participate in all areas of theatre no matter what your experience level
  • Four mainstage productions each year, including two musicals
  • Transfer pathway guarantees transfer within the Minnesota State system
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio
  • Opportunity to complete general education classes while focusing on the arts
  • Faculty with professional experience and connections
  • Affordable on-campus housing

What will I study?

The AFA Theatre and Musical Theatre degrees give students hands-on learning experiences designed to prepare them for transfer into four-year BA or BFA Theatre programs and/or eventual careers in the performing arts. The AFA Theatre degree allows students to choose electives to meet their interests, while the AFA Musical Theatre degree provides additional training in music theory, voice, musical theatre performance and history.

What are my career options after graduating this program?

Many AFA Theatre students choose to transfer to a 4-year program to continue their theatre training and focus their studies. Theatre students go on to work in a wide range of career fields in theatre, music, film, media, and the arts. Potential jobs include but are not limited to actor, arts administrator, choreographer, composer, director, designer, dramaturg, educator, playwright, producer, stage manager, and technician.

In addition, the AFA Theatre degree teaches skills that are in high demand by employers in many fields, such as collaboration, creative problem-solving, effective communication, time management, public speaking, improvisation, concentration, and self-confidence.

What facilities and resources will I be able to access?

Performances are held in the Frank W. Bridges Theatre, a 322-seat flexible space with newly upgraded lighting and sound equipment. The Bridges Theatre also includes a large scene shop, costume and prop shop, dressing rooms and green room.

The E102 classroom space is a flexible performance and rehearsal space where many theatre and music classes are held. The space features “smart classroom” technology and a sprung wood dance floor.

In addition, Theatre students have access to our excellent Music facilities including practice rooms and a digital piano lab.

Are there any special scholarships related to this program I can apply for?

Riverland offers several scholarships for students to help with the cost of their education.

  • New and Returning Theatre Talent GrantSummerset Theatre Scholarship
  • Jerome L. Girton Scholarship
  • Iverson Family Scholarship
  • Katie Ann Nelson Scholarship
  • Northwestern Singers Scholarship
  • Dan Bissen Scholarship
  • Numerous department workstudy positions are also available for students who qualify.
  • For more information about scholarships & deadlines please visit: Riverland Foundation Scholarships

Can I participate in any clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities?

Many Theatre students are active in College Choir, Frequency, and the Left Ear Art Club.

At the end of each semester, the Fine Arts Showcase is held to showcase work that Art, Music, and Theatre students have done throughout the semester.

Riverland Theatre is an active participant in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Region 5. Students have the opportunity to attend and participate in the regional festival each January.


Last Updated: July 16, 2018

    Quick Facts
  • Associate of Fine Arts
  • 60 Credits | Four Semesters
  • Location: Austin
  • Offering: Fall, Spring



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