Beginning July 2023, Northern Vermont University will be part of Vermont State University.

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Northern Vermont University will join with Castleton University and Vermont Technical College to become Vermont State University on July 1, 2023.

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About the social justice and activism concentration

Every social movement has utilized performing arts to get their message spread far and wide with as much impact as possible. That is how change is made and how stories are told. March For Our Lives, the gun-control advocate group from Parkland, Florida was started by a high school theater student. Occupy Wall Street had an incredible performance element. The best performances of our time are political. The two cannot be separated.

Multidisciplinary Degree Map

As a student in the social justice and activism concentration, you will take political science and sociology courses and study the history of injustice, movements of change, politics of gender, and more. You will also enroll in courses to pull out your inner performer — such as acting, directing, and scriptwriting. While combing humanity studies and theater arts courses, you will receive proper training to make your impact on the world.

When creating work, you will be prompted to ask yourself, “how will this piece affect our communities?” and “are we approaching this subject ethically and inclusively?”

A Hands-on Focus

To prepare you for a career in social justice and performance, faculty won’t run your shows — you will. You will design, write, and direct your own performances. You will have the opportunity to coordinate your own shows at external professional venues, on the streets, or at Dibden Center for the Arts. By coordinating every aspect of a production, you will enter your professional career ready to take action and run the show.

Your two senior capstone courses will prepare you for your career beyond NVU. In the first capstone, you will build your portfolio by single-handedly designing and completing a project in any one, or a combination of, our concentrations. In the second, you will master important aspects of the theater profession — including audition preparation, resume and portfolio creation, interview skills, and self-promotion and branding.

At a Glance

Program Options:
Students in this program graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in performance, art, and technology with a concentration in social justice activism.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses (18 credits)
Intro to Design (3 credits)
Performance Art Practicum: Collaboration Boot Camp (3 credits)
Devised Performance and Production Lab (6 credits)
History of Performance (3 credits)
Stagecraft (3 credits)

Concentration Courses (22 credits)
Intro to Directing (3 credits)
Acting I and Lab (4 credits)
Intro to Theater Arts (3 credits)
Power, Politics, and Inequity (3 credits)
Social Movement, Culture, and Activism (3 credits)
African-American History and Politics (3 credits)
Gender and Society OR Politics of Gender (3 credits)

Electives (Choose one course)
Podcast Storytelling (3 credits)
Hitchcock’s Smartphone: The Making of Psychologically Engaging Short Videos (3 credits)
Shakespeare: Stage to Page (3 credits)
Improvisation for Actors (3 credits)
Acting III (3 credits)
Musical Theater Workshop (3 credits)
Survey of American Musical Theater (3 credits)
Theater/Musical Theater Production (3 credits)
Pro Tools 101: Intro (3 credits)*
Pro Tools 110: Production (3 credits)*
Arranging/Orchestration (3 credits)
Performance and Production Lab (3 credits)
Musical Theatre Production (3 credits)

Capstone Courses (6 credits)
Senior Project in Performance, Art, and Technology (3 credits)
Seminar in Professional Preparation for the Performing Artist and Designer (3 credits)
Courses marked with * are Summer Session courses offered at NVU-Lyndon.

A group of female actors wearing white perform on a stage.

“I was blown away by the theater program here…It seemed like there’s more effort in making plays great here rather than just reading lines to an audience.”

- Brittney Malik ’19


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