The Acting for the Camera Classroom

Theatre Arts Program Information

Classes for Actors, Designers, Technicians and Transfer Students


Something for Everyone

See Our Degrees and Certificates

The Theatre Arts Department at Santa Barbara City College offers a variety of programs of study and experience suited to the needs of the serious theatre student, as well as those students who wish to include theatre arts as part of their liberal arts education. With curricula in Acting/Directing, Design/Lighting, Costuming/Make-up and Technical Production. For the liberal arts student, ample opportunities to participate in productions, either by performing or working behind-the-scenes, combined with the freedom to select courses in areas of interest, provide an exciting and enriching addition to their other studies. The unique combination of state-of-the-art facilities, professional faculty and staff, and an active respected production program make theatre studies at Santa Barbara City College worthy of any student’s consideration. 

 theatre comedy mask

Not only are there no admission requirements, but there is no audition required for admittance. SBCC is rated as the Best Value Associates Degree of the year!

Come see how you fit in our theatre community.

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Theatre Arts Programs

Jump-Start Your Acting Career for Stage, Film and TV

The acting program is designed to fit the needs both of the beginning acting student and those with considerable experience.  Taught by professionals with decades of experience in theatre, television and film, our courses allow you to learn and practice the skills necessary to get cast, create compelling characters and believably engage with other performers under imaginary circumstances.  Our main acting sequence involves monologues, scene work, theatre games, improvisation and acting exercises to teach the skills necessary to create an affecting performance. Other classes include voice and diction, acting for the camera, improvisation and stage combat. Productions with the Theatre Group at SBCC  provide opportunities for acting in a professional quality setting, and our all-student production in the fall and one-act festival in the spring allows students of all skill levels to perform publicly.

Learn About Design and Tech

Our technical theatre and design program provides course work and hands-on work opportunities in a wide range of technical theatre work.  Courses include Costume Technology, Stagecraft, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Theatrical Make-up, Scenography and Scenic Design.  Students in these courses immediately earn credit through work experience running, and constructing shows in the areas of wardrobe, light or sound board operators, scenic construction or painting or stage management.  Design opportunities are available as well. Students are mentored in their work as designers in one of the productions each semester. 

Get a Degree for Transfer to a 4-year College

This program provides an intensive two-year course of study that prepares Theatre Arts majors for transfer to a four-year college or university—ready to do advanced, upper-division work. Students can focus their studies on Acting, Directing, Design, or Technical Theatre. All courses are transferable to many UC's and 4-year colleges. Click Here to learn more about our transfer programs.

Theatre Arts Certificate Programs

Our theatre certificates in the areas of acting, costume and make-up, scenic and lighting and theatre arts allow students to complete a program of study and earn a certificate in as little as one semester.  These certificates attest to basic training in an area of theatre that can provide a foundation for work in many areas of the entertainment industry.  Students that have earned certificates in the past have been hired in local theatres, music venues and film and television production companies.

Come Join us in one of our Production Studios

We offer a number of late start classes.  Several of our classes including Costume Technology, Scenography and a section of Beginning Acting all start two weeks into the semester to allow greater flexibility for registration.  We also offer a range of courses in the areas of theatre production.  Students can enroll any time before the last few weeks of the semester and can earn between .5 and 2 units in the area of set construction, wardrobe, backstage crew, etc.  California residents can enroll in these courses for free. All are hand-on and require no prior experience. Let us know if you would like to come work with us in our costume and scenic studios for that special last-minute half-unit course. Studios are open from 9am to 5pm M-F.

The mission of the SBCC Theatre Arts Department

To provide a rigorous academic program that prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university and offers three AA degrees:  General Theatre Studies, Acting and Directing or Technical Theatre. To prepare students for immediate entry into the professional theatre workplace through a certificate program in individual areas of focus including acting, theatre costume and make-up, lighting and set construction. To provide a hands-on laboratory experience working in state-of-the-art facilities with professional faculty, staff and Equity Guest Artists in conjunction with the critically acclaimed Theatre Group at SBCC.

The Theatre Arts Department Promotes a Diverse Student Body

The student body at SBCC Theatre Arts is very diverse. Because SBCC is a California community college, enrollment is open to students of all backgrounds. Our students range from 16 to 76-years-old and come from all backgrounds. Some students are Santa Barbara residents, while others are from out of the state. In fact, students from all over the world choose to live and study theatre at SBCC. Because of our diverse student body, our learning environment promotes multiple viewpoints and experiences far beyond that of your traditional conservative program.


Degrees and Certificates

Our two-year Associate in Arts Degrees are designed to provide the knowledge and skills for success before and after transfer to a four-year institution. Students who complete specialized one-year programs of study in Acting, Costumes, Lighting, and Theatre Production can earn Theatre Arts Competency Awards and Certificates.


How to Apply for Scholarships and Transfer

Students in Significant Other

Theatre Arts Scholarships

A number of scholarships are available to students who have declared a major in Theatre Arts. Learn how to qualify and where to apply.

Makeup Students Ready for Transfer

Planning for Transfer

Do you want to get a Bachelor's degree? Get in touch with our advisors early to plan a course of study that fits your needs and interests. We even have a program for guaranteed acceptance at 6 UC's and over 30 top US colleges for students who qualify.

About SBCC Theatre Arts
Learn about the Theatre Classes and Community

How we take a show from script to stage

In the fall of 2014, Student Documentarian, Kate Kurzweil and her team followed the students and production staff as they put on Ten Red Kings by Mark Rigney at SBCC.