Oct 23, 2018  
2014-2015 University Catalogue 
2014-2015 University Catalogue []

Acting, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Programs   >  Programs in the College of Performing Arts 
Contacts     Description     Program Objectives     Minimum Grade Requirement     Program Requirements

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    Brind School of Theater 
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David Howeyjhowey@uarts.edu \ 215.717.6568
Program Director


The four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program prepares students for careers in the professional theater or for continued study at the graduate level. In the first year, students concentrate on finding the “core of the actor” through the study of improvisation, monologues, emotional discovery, speech, and movement. In addition to fostering these acting skills, the first year of training is also designed to encourage an in-depth self-analysis of the student’s commitment, discipline, and professionalism and an investigation into the nature and practice of theatre and creativity in general. The second year is devoted to technique training, during which actors develop a sense of conversational reality and strengthen their imagination, responsiveness, and spontaneity. This level of training also addresses an actor’s skill for evoking a full, accessible inner life.

The third year is dedicated to giving shape and specificity to the actor’s behavior and aims to refine technique and deepen characterization. Advanced scene study and an introduction to working on style are also integral to this level of training. The focus of the fourth year is on classical performance whilst giving the student greater opportunity for electivity. Students are also given instruction in audition and camera techniques, resume preparation, how to work with agents, and more in order to prepare them for their chosen profession. The fourth year culminates with an audition showcase given for agents, directors, and casting representatives.

Actor training in the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts lies at the heart of the two performance curricula. The training is designed to cultivate the actor’s ability to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” Students develop an understanding that such truth begins with a shared interconnectedness between actors onstage.

Early technique studies, for majors in both acting and musical theater, emphasize that the “reality of doing” is rooted in a full emotional life, driven by action and expressed with meaning, clarity, and theatricality. To this end, students are challenged to cultivate a fuller understanding of themselves and to continually exercise their skills as analysts of text and as observers of human behavior.

The program introduces students to a range of training methods, such as Stanislavski, Linklater, Meisner, IPA, LeCoq, Williamson, Fitzmaurice, Viewpoints and Laban, as a part of their instruction. The successful student should emerge from the program with a practicable performance technique in place, which enables her/him to develop and sustain a role from first rehearsal to closing night.

Students completing these programs are expected to be knowledgeable about a variety of styles and types of drama, and the challenges presented by each; to work in a vocally and physically free and efficient manner; to be able to identify their character type, and its potential range within the casting conventions of the industry; to have a sense of how to begin to establish a career as a performer; to possess a work ethic that will support the collaborative nature of theatrical production and the imagination and flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing and expanding world of performance and creative opportunities outside the current “conventions of the industry.” 

Program Objectives

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting will:

  • be able to analyze a text and place their skills in the service of telling a story by fulfilling the demands of that text, using “action” as the primary building block of rehearsal and performance:
  • be able to act and react authentically, specifically and imaginatively within the given circumstances of a scene:
  • be able to initiate action and respond to imaginative and emotional impulses with a dynamically aligned body, free of unnecessary tension, efficient and expressive in action, and capable of transformation according to the demands of character and given circumstances:
  • possess a strong, supported and natural speaking voice capable of speaking Standard American Speech expressively, with distinction and clarity, and capable of transformation according to the demands of character, and given circumstances:
  • be adaptable and fearless in facing the varying demands of dramatic forms, theatrical styles, directors and new technologies:
  • be able to function comfortably and productively within a group dynamic with confidence in their own abilities and trust in their fellows:
  • be able to function constructively with flexibility and imagination in any artistic community, social or educational group, through their understanding of what it means to be a “citizen artist.”
  • be able to take on the role of “entrepreneur” in developing their career in the arts.

Minimum Grade Requirement

To remain in good standing for casting consideration or production assignments in the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts, a student must receive a grade of C+ or better in the required courses marked 1 below. In the view of the faculty, a student whose work fails to meet this level of achievement will be considered non-competitive by professional standards.

Additional minimum grade requirements are found in Grade Point Average Requirements policy published on the grading options & policies  page in the policies  area of the catalogue.

Program Requirements (129 credits)

University Common Curriculum (4.5 Credits)

Additional information available on the University Common Curriculum  page.

Major Requirements (61.5 credits)

Discipline History (9 credits)

Liberal Arts Distribution (33 credits)

Humanities Seminar (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject HUMS

Period Interpretation (6 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject PIPT
  • Select 1 course from subject PITC

Scientific Inquiry Foundation Track (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject SIFT

Liberal Arts Electives (15 credits)

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • ARAB (Arabic), FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • MATH (Math), SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
    • STCU (Cultural Studies), STDA (Dance Studies), STGS (Gender & Sexuality Studies),
      STMU (Music Studies), STPF (Performance Studies)   
  • Select courses from  : Art History or LA Elective.

Electives (21 credits)

  • Complete 21 credits of free electives. This requirement is satisfied by any undergraduate course that isn’t required by the program.