Careers in Performing Arts

Careers in Performing Arts

Performing Arts Careers and Industry

For BFA students, internships are a graduation requirement – which means professional experience is a sure thing. While there are many amazing opportunities in Santa Fe (from local dance and theatre companies to the world-renowned Santa Fe Opera House), we also have affiliations with the New York Arts Program and the London Center Program. As a Junior or Senior, you’ll be eligible to be placed in internships on Broadway, at NBC Studios working on Saturday Night Live, amidst the New York Dance Company, and more. We want you working before you graduate, and we’ll help you get there!

When you choose SFUAD for your Theatre education, you’re not just choosing Santa Fe, NM – you’re choosing New York and Chicago. We have active internship relationships across the country, and we send students every year for summer terms and semester stays working in the industry. In the past year, we’ve placed students at the American Blues Theater in Chicago, on Broadway in New York City, and participating in elite training programs with Cirque du Soleil! We believe in Santa Fe without borders – so that you can custom-make your arts education to exactly what fits you best.

When you’re ready to start looking at the post-graduate world, our Career Services department will help you plan your path in the professional world. Our alumni have credits impressive enough to show that our system is one that works: graduates of the Performing Arts department have credits in theatre productions across the country, as well as Cirque du Soleil, Broadway, work on Television networks including HBO, NBC, ABC, Fox, UPN, Hollywood film productions, voice work with MTV and Cartoon Network, and more. Others go on to found theatre companies, create private design studios, pursue graduate work, or numerous other creative pursuits.

Examples of careers for Performing Arts graduates:

Actor: Stage, Television, Motion Picture, Video

Voice Artist: Radio, Television, Motion Picture

Director / Technical Director / Stage Director

Casting / Talent Agent

Stage Management

Set Design / Construction

Property / Lighting / Sound Design

Costume Design / Wardrobe Tech

Hair / Makeup

Special Effects / Prop Management

Rigger / Electrician / Carpenter


Marketing / Advertising / Promotions

Fundraising and Development

Administration of Arts Programs

Private Instruction / Education

Examples of employers for Performing Arts graduates:

Community / Regional / Commercial Theatres

Summer Stock / Dinner Theatres

Children’s Theatres

Arts Councils


Stock Productions

Repertory / Touring Companies

Industrial Shows

Show Groups

Amusement and Theme Parks

Television / Motion Picture Studios

Radio Stations

Nightclubs / Cabarets / Cruise Lines

Acting Conservatories

Public or Community Programs

Video Production Companies

Performing Arts Centers


Every year, the Performing Arts department brings in professional from across the industry. Here’s a sampling of individuals who have visited, and worked directly with performing arts students:

Rita McGhee (Emmy Nominated Costume Designer, Empire)

Alan Arkin (Academy Award-winning actor, Little Miss Sunshine)

Carol Carpenter (Novelist, playwright - The Guadalupe; Sweet, Sweet Spirit)

Marty Markinson (Tony Award winner for producing Torch Song Trilogy)

Michelle McGregor (Actress, studied at the Yale School of Drama)

Fred Wolf (Grown Ups, Joe Dirt, former head-writer for SNL)

Dance: guest choreographers Gail Gilbert, Jocelyne Danchick, Miguel Perez (choreographers)

Dance: BODYTRAFFIC (LA based contemporary dance company)

David Hanson (Broadway stage manager of 42nd Street; National Tour manager of Wicked, Ragtime, Phantom of the Opera, and many more)

Rachel Bush (Equity stage manager; head of University of Houston Stage Management program)