Theatre Acting (BFA)

PROGRAM OVERVIEW The acting program offers students the techniques and skills necessary to work as professional actors in the field. The curriculum exposes students to multiple performance methods and styles, encouraging students to discover, or even create, the system that works best for them. In addition, students are required to take courses in all aspects of theatre production giving them an appreciation and deeper understanding of the collaborative nature of the art.

The acting program offers a tremendous number of performance opportunities for students to apply skills and techniques they have learned in the classroom to work on the stage. Between larger main stage theatre production and smaller student theatre productions, the department produces approximately 20 different performances each academic year.

FACULTY The Department of Theatre Arts comprises six full-time faculty members, five of whom have earned the highest degrees in their fields. All full-time faculty are engaged in teaching classes from the introductory to advanced levels. The inclusive nature of the curriculum means that students will take classes from every member of the Department of Theatre Arts as they pursue their degree.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION There are no prerequisite high school courses or requirements needed for enrollment in the theatre program, but students should have a well-rounded academic high school curriculum. Previous involvement in high school and/or community theatre is strongly recommended.

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS Students interested in pursuing B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, Acting, Directing, and Theatre Education at Drake University must prepare an audition for entrance into the program. Prospective B.F.A. Design/ Technical students must prepare a portfolio for entrance into the program. Visit the theatre department webpage to view audition and/or portfolio requirements.

GROUP AUDITION/PORTFOLIO REVIEW DAY SCHEDULE Admission and scholarship auditions are offered for incoming, fall-term, first-year students. Audition dates are in January and February. To register for an admission and/or scholarship audition, visit the theatre department audition web page.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR A total of 84 credits is required for the degree. This includes coursework in theatre as well as nine required English courses and 12 general electives. 

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics, and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires a First Year Seminar, which fosters development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus, and a Senior Capstone in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills, and ideas to bear on one project.

INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES Students have the option, with faculty consent, of studying at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, part of the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Conn. This intensive program allows students to work with numerous theatre professionals and to establish possible career ties within the theatre industry. Theatre students also participate in numerous study abroad programs.

Examples of where theatre students have recently interned include the Santa Fe Opera, the Utah Shakespeare Company, the Goodman Theatre Company, and the National Theatre Institute in Connecticut. These internships offer students opportunities to make contacts within the industry, to experience auditions, and to experience first-hand various work in professional theatre.

CAREER OPTIONS Career paths for theatre arts graduates include regional theatre, teaching, and radio/TV. Recent graduates have gone on to work in Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles. A number also have entered and completed graduate programs throughout the country.

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