Major code BF5161
College of Fine Arts
School of Theater
Kantner Hall 307B
Athens, OH 45701
TBA, contact person
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. Required studio performance courses are the core of the program at all three-year levels. Acting, movement, and voice and speech are taught in a series of courses and special projects throughout the four-year curriculum. The emphasis in studio acting classes is on the authentic use of self, the reality of doing, the awakening of the emotional life, and the collaborative process. In the movement studio, emphasis is placed on the human body as an instrument of expression, and on developing strength, alignment, flexibility, availability and stamina. Voice and speech work focuses on releasing habitual tension, increasing power and range, and utilizing specific speech skills. Advanced courses in each of these areas introduce a wide range of approaches to the craft of acting and the further development of the actor’s instrument.
Theater and performance serve as the basis of the undergraduate fine arts education. We seek serious, disciplined students committed to rigorous training, who want the art of theater and performance to be at the core of their education. At the end of the freshman year, potential majors apply, interview and audition for provisional acceptance into the program. Students are evaluated at the end of each semester, and continuing status in the program is based on successful completion of all required coursework as well as positive evaluation from all performance area faculty. A student who is struggling academically or programmatically will receive a letter of concern or be placed on probation.
During the first two years, each B.F.A. candidate in performance should complete much of the theater core as well as the General Education requirements. Careful and consistent faculty supervision and advising are an integral part of the B.F.A. in performance.
Following freshman year (or first semester of residency in the case of a transfer student), students are eligible to audition for all School productions. Once accepted into the performance program, performance opportunities include a minimum of two significant experiences in School of Theater productions, either in main stage offerings or in studio or laboratory productions. Performance students may also work in the development and production of new plays. There is programmatic interaction with the M.F.A. programs in directing, playwriting, and acting. Off-campus and study abroad opportunities abound, and a wide range of internships are available for interested students.
Students may be offered the opportunity to be involved in a full summer of activities with the Ohio University Players at the Monomoy Theater on Cape Cod. Operated in conjunction with the Ohio University School of Theater, Monomoy has been one of the most enduring and popular attractions on the Cape for more than 50 years, providing a memorable experience for students and public alike.
Students interested in the B.F.A. in performance are expected to complete the theater core, first-year foundation during their first year of study. Interviews for all School of Theater specialized B.F.A. programs are held annually in the spring. Admission to this specialized B.F.A. program is by application, interview and audition only. All theater majors are required to attain a minimum grade of C (2.0) in any theater course required for graduation.
Change of Program Policy
Admission to the B.F.A. performance program is by application, interview and audition only. Upon successful admission, change of major paperwork should be initiated at the College of Fine Arts Deans Office.
Admission to the B.F.A. performance program is by application, interview and audition only. 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 potential to succeed. In most cases, transferring students should be prepared to expect to make up some of the foundation coursework in their programs. Upon successful admission, change of major paperwork should be initiated at the College of Fine Arts Deans Office.
Opportunities Upon Graduation
Graduating performance majors have the skill set necessary to craft vivid and specific performances in any medium. They are prepared with the business acumen and audition skills that will ready them to complete for entry-level professional acting work. Many seniors are offered internships upon graduation. Students are also prepared for acceptance into graduate studies, including M.F.A. Professional Actor Training programs or an M.A. in Theater Studies.