Does theater count as volunteer hours/community service?

I’m getting ready to start college applications but I don’t have any volunteer hours specifically. But, I have been heavily involved in theatre and earned several International Thespian Honor Society points through after school activities like shows, set builds, fundraisers etc. So basically my hours will be in points, should I try to convert them to hours?

My D considered theater and related activities to be extra curricular, not volunteer hours.


You don’t need volunteer hours to apply to college. Neither of my kids tracked or reported that and both did fine with college admissions.


My child did theater tech, and their school had a formal policy on this. 1) Hours spent working on the actual high school shows were plain EC hours 2) Unpaid hours spent working on projects for the benefit of the community (e.g. running the sound at fundraisers, helping kids with costumes for the grade school shows, set building for the 1 production a year that the community theater used the stage etc.) were volunteer hours. 3) Anything paid (because there were some paid opportunities for juniors and seniors, such as running the lights at alumni reunions) was just a job.


I agree with the other posters. School-related theatre and activities are extracurriculars.

While volunteer/service hours are not necessary, it is a nice addition to your application IF IT IS SOMETHING YOU ENJOY. Examples, volunteering at a food bank or animal shelter, volunteering (unpaid) work at a community theatre, church, after-school program… maybe you could use your tech skills for something like that.

ETA: I just saw @fiftyfifty1 's post. That is an excellent explanation.