May 23, 2019  
2008-2009 University Catalogue 
    
2008-2009 University Catalogue [Archived Catalogue]

Acting - Bachelor of Fine Arts


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Program Total Credits: 124

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, monologue, 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. The second year is devoted to technique training, in 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 and 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 style work are also integral to this level of training. The focus of the fourth year is on classical performance and preparing the student to enter the profession. Students are given instruction in audition and camera techniques, resume preparation, how to work with agents, etc. The fourth year culminates with an audition clinic given by a selected panel of agents, directors, and casting representatives.

Actor training in the 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 the “reality of doing” as it 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 (Linklater, Meisner, IPA, LeCoq, Williamson, Fitzmaurice, Laban) as a part of their training. 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 also 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; and to possess a work ethic that will support the collaborative nature of theatrical production.

Additionally, the Acting Program seeks to train students who have developed:

  • fundamental skills in stage combat and the use of selected weaponry;
  • an awareness of mask techniques as a platform from which characterization and behavior can evolve;
  • basic skills in performing for the camera, a familiarity with their image in two-dimensional media, and some experience in fundamental issues such as slating, continuity, hitting marks, working within frame, etc.; and
  • scene study skills that will serve them in the interpretation of classical material that requires a command of both style and language.

Freshman Year Credits: 31


Fall Credits: 16


Spring Credits: 15


Sophomore Year Credits: 34


Fall Credits: 17


  • Liberal Arts Credits: 3 cr

Select one course from the following two:


Spring Credits: 17


  • Liberal Arts Credits: 3 cr

Select one course from the following two:


Junior Year Credits: 31


Fall Credits: 16


  • Liberal Arts Credits: 3 cr
  • Electives Credits: 3 cr

Spring Credits: 15


  • Liberal Arts Credits: 3 cr
  • Electives Credits: 3 cr

Senior Year Credits: 28


Fall Credits: 14


  • Liberal Arts Credits: 6 cr
  • Elective Credits: 1 cr

Spring Credits: 14


  • THXX XXX - Theater Studio Electives Credits: 8 cr
  • Electives Credits: 3 cr
  • Liberal Arts Credits: 3 cr

Liberal Arts Distribution


Note all Liberal Arts courses are 3.0 credits.

  • Liberal Arts Electives Credits: 15 cr

Acting Major Core Courses


To remain in good standing for casting consideration or production assignments in the School of Theater Arts, a student must receive a grade of ‘B’ or better in the core courses listed 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.

Review Minimum Grade Requirements within the School of Theater Arts Special Requirements and Regulations  .

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