The BFA 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 and 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 progression 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 choices. 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.
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 MFA programs in Directing, Playwriting, Acting and Film. Off-campus and study-abroad opportunities abound, and a wide range of internships are available for interested students.