Bachelor of Fine Arts Emphasis - Acting


All students are accepted by successful completion of an audition and interview to begin the program and are evaluated yearly to retain their position. This program offers intensive training with a personalized approach aimed at ensuring that graduates are prepared for the artistic and business demands of an acting career.

During the first two years, students study different facets of the theatre including acting, theatre history, script analysis, dance, mask work, and theatre design and technology. Many of the university's general education requirements are completed during this period as well. The second semester of the freshmen year students start the professional block of training in movement, voice and acting.

Training and coursework for the acting emphasis is Meisner-based and in-depth for all four years. Coursework includes on-camera acting for film and television and classes in voice-over, cold reading and audition techniques. Shakespeare and comedy of manners, dialects, stage combat, contemporary and period plays, musical theatre and on-camera techniques are also offered. At the end of the senior year, successful students professionally produce material to start a reel for agents/casting directors and formally appear in a Chicago showcase for an invited audience of top regional industry reps, agents, directors and producers.

For all BFA in acting students, the fall semester of the junior year will be spent in Russia studying acting, movement, singing, dance, theatre history, script analysis and Mikhail Chekhov technique at the legendary Moscow Art Theatre. In addition, students will tour museums and theatres, attend performances and meet with a number of prominent Russian theatre artists in order to better understand the Russian theatre and its effect on contemporary acting and literature.

Movement training is informed by Feldenkrais, Alexander, Meyerhold, Growtowski, Rolf, and Sensory Awareness.  Areas you will study include period styles, stage combat, and behavior through awareness.  Students will develop strength and precision through conditioning.  A minor degree in dance is available.

The extensive voice, speech and dialect training includes Fitzmaurice Voicework and the International Phonetic Alphabet. There are even external opportunities for study and performance with the Music Department.

Students interested in the BFA in acting emphasis should contact Professor Bethany Mangum-Oles, 815-753-8257 or email at

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