This is a limited-enrollment program requiring departmental admissions approval. Please see the college advisement center for information regarding requirements for admission to this major.
The BFA Acting Program exists to help students gain professional and academic skills to compete in the theatrical and film acting profession and/or meet admission standards for acceptance into advanced acting conservatory programs or other graduate work. The program couples professional training with a broad-based liberal arts education rooted in the principles and practices of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Program graduates will be professionally competitive performers in acting. They will also understand, interpret, explain, analyze and assess the history and social impact of the acting art form as well as the popular canon of theatrical literature. Graduates will be committed to intellectual inquiry, self-directed learning, and professional growth. Ultimately, graduates will be models of achievement, leadership, inspiration and integrity in the world of performing arts.
The BFA Acting program was developed for students who are committed to acting as a career. It is focused to prepare individuals to compete professionally and/or for admission to advanced acting conservator programs or graduate work.
Acceptance into this limited enrollment program requires successful completion of two auditions, one preliminary and the other for final acceptance. These auditions (aka: proficiencies) are held at the end of each fall and winter semester.
Fourteen credits of foundation and core courses give grounding in fundamental skills and analysis of narrative texts, as well as experience in the practical skills of acting, directing, collaboration, research and visualization.
Eight credits in core courses deepen knowledge of dramatic literature and theatre history, including theory and performance techniques.
The two credit Capstone course allows synthesis of prior academic and production work in preparation for movement into graduate school or career.
Forty-eight credits in major courses incuding acting, vocal production, movement and performance develop indepth skills that prepare an individual to compete in a professional acting career or to continue on to graduate school.
One important aspect of the program is "learning how to learn," as well as learning specific skills and abilities. Therefore, many curricular activities are supplemented by practical courses and production-related experiences where students are often taught by professionals in a professional environment. Students learn factual, conceptual, historical and theoretical ideas in the classroom. Then they integrate their knowledge, skills, and character through involvement in collaborative, evaluative and creative practical experiences.
Some of the most effective co-curricular opportunities extend the educational goals of core courses, overtly integrating spiritual and creative concerns. Graduates leave the BFA Acting program with meaningful hands-on experiences, grounded on solid historical, critical-thinking, and technical competencies. This allows our students to compete with graduates of other university programs for jobs and graduate degrees in the professional and/or academic worlds.
Students will demonstrate competitive performance skills and effective work habits through mastery of performance techniques in the discipline and by consistently representing themselves as professionals in audition, rehearsal and performance situations.
Students will understand, interpret, explain, analyze and assess the historical, social, and spiritual impact of theatre as well as critically converse about theatrical literature.
Students will demonstrate a commitment to intellectual inquiry, self-directed learning, and professional growth based on the values of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Students will develop business skills and compile personal resources to sustain a healthy self-image in order to pursue individual creativity and innovation in their craft while enduring the rigors of the entertainment industry.
Evidence of Learning
To help students in their progression in the discipline, proficiency auditions are conductd at the end of each semester. Proficiencies provide an opportunity for faculty to observe student progress and for students to receive feedback from faculty members.
Other assessment tools include:
- One-on-one faculty mentoring, advisement, and interviews.
- One-on-one faculty mentoring in student production assignments
- Instructor assessment and student self-assessment at the course level include: written quizzes, written exams, performance evaluations, skill proficiency exams, portfolio examinations, homework that strengthens student skill development, student self-assessment, personal philosophy papers, journaling, peer reviewed performances, and production post mortem evaluations.
- External assessment of student skills through departmental participation in the American College Theatre Festival national competitions in all aspects of theatrical production.
- Exit interviews between graduating seniors and program committee members.
- Alumni surveys and placement data.
- Formal and informal interviews and feedback from agents, casting directors, and other professionals in the field.
- Formal and informal feedback and input from colleagues heading the graduate work of former students.
- Written examinations
- Written research papers
- Monitoring progress through the College Advisement Center
- Carefully and specifically designed performance rubric used in proficiencies
- Immediate verbal faculty assessment of in-class performances
- Student assessment of in-class performances
- On-campus public performances with feedback from faculty, students and published sources
- Faculty assessment of off-campus performances
- Faculty assessment during auditions for on-campus performance productions
- AIMS survey
- Feedback from industry professionals attending the annual New York Showcase
- Feedback from faculty at other universities of student skills through departmental participation in the American College Theatre Festival national competition
- Professional activity within the theatre industry by Acting BFA alumni
- Students being accepted into graduate programs
- Student evaluations
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
- All students in the BFA acting program must past a proficiency at the end of each semester. These proficiencies allow the faculty to accurately assess the progress of each student in the program and develop specific educational plans to assist them in their training as actors. Students who are not able to maintain performance proficiency are in jeopardy of losing the right to perform in their senior acting project. Three members of the acting faculty score the proficiency auditions.
- Members of the acting committee assess the proficiency scores, as well as each student's class work and production involvement. This assessment determines student placement in the BFA program, placement in classes, and may prompt necessary changes in class structure. Things such as student success in graduate auditions and work in the industry also prompt discussion and changes in class structure. Student evaluations, both formal and informal, are discussed in this committee as part of an ongoing assessment and search for improvement. Necessary syllabi changes are made through the efforts of the acting committee and given to all acting faculty.
- Desired curricular changes are brought to the TMA Curriculum Committee, then the Executive Committee, and are finally discussed and voted upon in departmental faculty meetings.
- Proposals for curriculum changes are then submitted to the College Curriculum Committee.