Major code BF5161
(Admission by application and audition only.)
The B.F.A. with a major in theater performance is a rigorous program fostering creative, cognitive, and artistic skills. It is intended to advance the education and training of motivated, curious, self-reliant, adaptable theater artists capable of dealing with all aspects of theater and contributing to the relationship between theater and society. Theater and performance serve as the basis of the undergraduate fine arts education. Theater is approached technically as craft and art, but also as a way of looking at, interpreting, organizing, and expressing one’s ideas and thoughts. We seek serious, disciplined students interested in demanding technical training, who want the art of theater and performance to be at the core of their education.
Formal application and audition into the Theater Performance Program (TPP) takes place during the freshman year. Transfer students from other programs and institutions are accepted, provided they can meet the requirements of the program, the School, and University General Education.
In addition to the University and theater core requirements, you are required to include additional electives from a broad range of areas and to maintain minimum academic and artistic standards. Tier II classes can be counted toward meeting these requirements. The B.F.A. with a major in performance fosters diversity within the theater curriculum and in disciplines essential to a liberal arts education. Careful and consistent faculty supervision and advising are an integral part of the program.
Preparation for Admission to TPP
Freshman performance classes emphasize preparation and examination, i.e., preparation for the audition into the TPP and examination of your skills, interests, and talents. Assisted by an assigned faculty advisor, you may select coursework designed to allow broad exposure to diverse courses in the University, while building a strong foundation in acting.
During the freshman and sophomore years, you will complete most of the Tier I and II University requirements, as well as the freshman and sophomore components of the theater core. After your freshman year (or first quarter of residency in the case of a transfer student), you are eligible to audition for all School productions. Required coursework in acting is available to theater students who do not join the performance program.
Though it is rare to accept a transfer beyond the sophomore year, transfer students should be prepared to present a transcript, resume and a formal audition as soon as possible. After acceptance to the University, program acceptance and placement will depend on the faculty’s assessment of the candidate’s past training and experience, and the candidate’s potential to fulfill our programmatic requirements. In most cases, transferring students should be prepared to expect some foundation coursework in their programs.
Theater Performance Program
The B.F.A. with a major in theater performance offers a curriculum of rigorous technique instruction with an emphasis on international and ensemble theater. Complementing a faculty of working professionals are an important visiting artist program and a strong internship program, which includes internships in the United States and abroad. In your senior year, you are required to complete your practicum requirements in acting. The culminating experiences of the B.F.A. degree program are three quarters of acting practicums and the senior project.
Required studio performance courses are the core of the program at all three year levels. The sophomore year is dedicated to the acting foundation and the junior year to classical ensemble, leading to a senior year that emphasizes new work, from original scripts to ensemble collaboration. There is programmatic interaction with the MFA programs in Directing, Playwriting, and Acting.
There is constant communication among the faculty to evaluate your progress, confirm individual progress decisions, and resolve any issues germane to your success in the program. If you are struggling academically or programmatically, you might receive a letter of concern or be placed on probation. Continued concern indicates doubt about the appropriateness of your continuation in the TPP.