Vanderbilt theatre majors graduate with skills that have prepared them for employment in a range of professions. Our graduates not only work in the arts and entertainment industry but also in law, project management, consulting, public policy, and education. A theatre education provides students with the competencies most desired by employers including skills in leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking. In telling stories and embodying characters from a range of perspectives, our students are ready to embrace and enact practices of equity and inclusion vital to today’s dynamic workplaces.
Laura Payne BA’14
Laura majored in theatre and history of art at Vanderbilt and continued her education at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and Brown/Trinity Rep, earning an MFA in acting in 2017. She works as a professional actor, singer, and producer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
“The small size of Vanderbilt University Theatre and the attention they give to their majors was crucial in me gaining the confidence I needed to apply to graduate school.” -Laura Payne
Isabelle “Izzy” Mann BA’18
Izzy was a theatre minor and major in public policy studies with a concentration in arts and cultural policy. Her travels abroad to Copenhagen, participation in the theatre Maymester in London, and technical work on multiple productions contributed to the design of her concentration. She now resides in New York City and works as an electrical contracting project manager and was recently selected as a 2023 Emerging Leader by the Subcontractors Trade Association. She credits the transferable skills she learned as a stage manager to her success. In 2022, she also founded Funroe Productions, a company that invests in and produces theatre in New York. This past Broadway season, Funroe invested in two productions: Parade and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. In March 2023, she met with current majors and minors to discuss their career aspirations and joined them for a performance of the Broadway musical Some Like It Hot at the Shubert Theater.
Mary Smith BA’18
Mary was a theatre minor (focusing on technical theatre and design) with a major in educational studies and second language studies. She currently lives in Philadelphia and works for the Department of State. The skills she gained from her theatre minor and volunteering around the department have helped her in a number of professional capacities such as planning internal and external training programs and organizing special events like a recent visit from the Secretary of State. She’s on the board of directors for NCT, a local community theatre, and stage-managed their production of Oliver! in the fall of 2023. By getting involved in a community theatre, she was able to quickly develop new friendships after moving to Philadelphia.
Sam Mallick BA’14
Sam was a theatre major and graduate of Vanderbilt’s Law School, where he was a moot court finalist and board member, research assistant, and executive editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law. He later served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and he now works as an associate in the Litigation Practice Group in the Dallas law office of Haynes Boone.
“In law, whether you’re on the transactional side or litigation side, really what you’re doing is you’re working collaboratively with people, trying to put a finished product out into the world on a deadline. And that’s just like putting on shows at Vanderbilt…it has to be ready by curtain. It’s a hard deadline. And along the way you work with different people who bring different things to the table or who have differing opinions about the way things should go. Having worked collaboratively in theatre with so many personalities was hugely valuable.” – Sam Mallick