Although earning a degree in drama may be because you want to see your name in lights, that's not always the case. The drama field offers plenty of career opportunities beyond acting. Drama graduates can work in fields from education to business while sticking with the art that they love. Often, working in different drama positions while earning your degree - in acting or directing or designing costumes - can guide your post-graduation job search.
Drama graduates can share their love of the art with a new generation of students as a drama teacher. This career allows the teacher to continue to hone his drama skills while building and enhancing the skills of others. He might teach students about different acting techniques and styles, from comedy to drama to improv. The drama teacher may also be responsible for casting students in an annual or semi-annual production, guiding their rehearsals and directing the play.
A drama graduate who wants to work in theater can work in set design. In this role, he transforms an ordinary stage into a number of scenes to go with the play being performed. The set designer will likely need to be both handy and artistic, able to use basic pieces like wood, cardboard and paint and turn them into a scenic backdrop for a production. The set designer will likely work with the lighting crew and costume designer to ensure the production has a uniformly appropriate look.
A stage manager ensures that a production runs smoothly. This job requires strong organizational and communication skills, as the stage manager must keep lines of communication open between the actors and behind-the-scenes staff members. The stage manager works closely with the director, taking notes on any changes he recommends during rehearsals. In this role, the manager also ensures that the actors and behind-the-scenes staff receive the right cues so that the production runs smoothly. In a large production, the stage manager might also supervise an assistant stage manager.
A graduate who enjoys the business side of drama can discover a rewarding career as a talent agent. Talent agents manage actors and help find them roles. They work with casting directors to seek out appropriate auditions for their clients. Talent agents also might manage an actor's schedule and his appearances and interviews. The agent often serves a dual role as the actor's publicist, addressing the media on behalf of the actor when appropriate.