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Acting

BFA in Acting

Note: This program will be open for Admission for Fall 2020. The curriculum may be slightly altered.

The BFA in Acting is a rigorous, focused and sequential actor-training degree. This degree prepares its graduates to enter the acting profession and work across all media: stage, film, television and web-based work. The degree nurtures and develops both skilled, transformative actors and self-generating, collaborative theatre artists. The degree aims to train young artists whose work is truthful, physically and imaginatively engaged, vocally dynamic and versatile, and who can work successfully in a highly competitive global marketplace. 

Initially, the BFA sequence focuses work on "Self" via the introduction of the fundamentals of acting, and the development of the actor's body, voice, imagination, and creative individuality. Work also addresses creative blocks and unproductive habits. 

The sequence then goes on to deliver rigorous exploration work on the "Role" through a wide variety of dramatic texts and genres that the student will encounter in a career as a professional actor. It continues to develop the core principles introduced in the first year and adds more advanced techniques and methodologies. 

Finally, the BFA degree will prepare students for a demanding transition into the professional arena. This preparation includes Shakespeare and other classical texts, self-generated material and solo performance, on-camera acting techniques, and techniques for digital or new media and an expanded mastery of the fundamentals introduced in the first year. 

The degree culminates in an online Showcase, which introduces our graduates to industry professionals. 

Criteria for Admission

To be eligible for admission to the BFA degree applicants must demonstrate the following, prior to the semester for which the application is submitted: 

Applicants must have met requirements for admission to the university as a freshman, or articulating transfer student with 60 completed units at a previous institution. 

Students are admitted to the BFA after completing the Major-Specific Admissions Requirements.

Applicants must earn a "B" or better, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the following suite of courses: THEA 103, THEA 112, THEA 114A, and THEA 116. If students are enrolled in requirements at the time of the audition, they may audition with a signed Grade In-Progress form from the instructors of the in-progress courses.

Applicants must participate in an adjudicated audition with the Theatre Arts Department performance faculty.

Students may not apply after they have completed 90 units.

Students are allowed one (1) opportunity to audition/apply for the BFA. Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.

 

To remain in good standing in the BFA degree: 

Each semester, B.F.A. in Acting students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all performance and performance theory requirements (THEA 220A/THEA 220B, THEA 230A/THEA 230B, THEA 266A/THEA 266B. THEA 320A/THEA 320B, THEA 330A/THEA 330B, THEA 366A/THEA 366B, THEA 420, THEA 430A/THEA 430B, THEA 466). Students dropping below a 3.0 GPA in performance and performance theory requirements or receiving a grade of F in any performance and performance theory requirement, will be placed on administrative academic probation for the following semester. During the probationary semester, BFA majors may not audition for mainstage productions or be involved with Theatre Threshold in any capacity. Following the probationary semester, students earning a GPA of 3.0 or above in performance and performance theory requirements will have their Mainstage and Threshold privileges reinstated, as long as no grade of F was earned in performance and performance theory requirements. Students who fall below a 3.0 GPA in performance and performance theory requirements in any two semesters or earn grades of F in performance and performance theory requirements in any two semesters, will be removed from the B.F.A. in Acting program.

Progress will be closely monitored and discussed during BFA student evaluations, which take place at the end of every semester. 

Candidates must perform a substantive role in at least one Mainstage or Studio production to satisfy degree requirements. 

Admission to the BA degree will not guarantee admission into the BFA. 

Philosophy

The Acting Faculty believes that every artist, no matter their medium of expression, reveals some aspect of their individuality – even unintentionally - through the conscious manipulation of form. Creating a work of art is therefore an act of autobiographical will, revelation, imagination and vulnerability.

Therefore, it follows that art is, at its most base, the willful expression of the individual via a chosen form. Consequently, we, as teachers of artists, can fruitfully work on one of two areas:

  • The artist’s “Instrument” and experience of the world – what they want to say about it. = Self.
  • The “How” - the form, the means, the craft - they will go about doing that = Skill.

Our philosophy of actor training embraces and parallels our global view of art. We specifically, thoughtfully and systematically work on two primary aspects of the actor:

  • Work on “Self”- Freeing the actor’s instrument. Creating an open free channel through which to express, then building technique upon it. Developing, enhancing and encouraging the individual’s imagination.
  • Work on the “Role” – the acquiring a specific “Skill” or craft, be it Psychological Verisimilitude, Anton Chekhov, film, episodic television, Shakespeare, etc. Art is not sloppy; it is precise, demands skill, ability and expert demonstration of craft to succeed.

We work under the assumption that all acting, no matter the form, medium, style or genre is some sort of imaginative communication. Once a common acceptance of this principal is reached we present the syllogism that there are three areas of human communication that the actor can train:

  • What we say = text = the head.
  • What we feel = emotions = the heart.
  • What we do = behavior = the will.

These are the three areas that we focus on, both in the classroom and rehearsal. Within each of these three areas there are two aspects that all exercises and or techniques are aimed at dealing with:

  • The actor’s Impulse
  • The actor’s Expression

From here we work moment to moment with each individual actor to discover what stirs his or her creative subconscious. Once we have divined this element, we begin to find ways – through established and proven methodologies - to open them up and push them out of “comfort zones”. Once this has been done, usually over the course of their first semester of study, we then begin to layer on more genre-specific techniques.

  • Work on the “Role” – the acquiring a specific “Skill” or craft, be it Psychological Verisimilitude, Anton Chekhov, film, episodic television, Shakespeare, etc. Art is not sloppy; it is precise, demands skill, ability and expert demonstration of craft to succeed.

We work under the assumption that all acting, no matter the form, medium, style or genre is some sort of imaginative communication. Once a common acceptance of this 

  • What we say = text = the head.
  • What we feel = emotions = the heart.
  • What we do = behavior = the will.

These are the three areas that we focus on, both in the classroom and rehearsal. Within each of these three areas there are two aspects that all exercises and or techniques are aimed at dealing with:

  • The actor's Impulse​
  • The actor's Expression

From here we work moment to moment with each individual actor to discover what stirs his or her creative subconscious. Once we have divined this element, we begin to find ways – through established and proven methodologies - to open them up and push them out of “comfort zones”. Once this has been done, usually over the course of their first semester of study, we then begin to layer on more genre-specific techniques.

  • Applicants will be admitted into the BFA track via an adjudicated audition with the Theatre Arts Department performance faculty, after completing the following course work with a grade of “B” or better: THEA 112, 114A, 116, 214, 262 and either 215 or 316 or equivalent.
  • Students only have two chances to apply for a BFA program, and once admitted must remain in good standing to graduate with the degree.

Curriculum

Requirements:

Foundations (16 units)

Take the following 10 units:

Take either

  • THEA 111 - Theatre Arts Showcase (1 unit)
  • OR
  • THEA 311 - Theatre Arts Showcase (1 unit)

Take the following courses:

  • THEA 112 - Beginning Voice and Speech (3 units)
  • THEA 114A - Fundamentals of Acting (3 units)
  • THEA 116 - Fundamentals of Collaboration (3 units)

Take 6 units from the following:

  • THEA 142 - Elementary Stagecraft (3 units)
  • THEA 146 - Costume Crafts (3 units)
  • THEA 148 - Stage Lighting (3 units)
  • THEA 271 - Stage Management (3 units)

Theory (18 units)

Take the following 3 units:

  • THEA 103 - Dramaturgy (3 units)

Take the following 6 units of Category C3, Humanities Explorations:

  • THEA 221 - History of Theatre and Drama to 1660 (3 units)
  • THEA 222 - History of Theatre and Drama Since 1660 (3 units)

Take the following 3-unit Human Diversity, Writing Intensive, Capstone:

  • THEA 327 - Theatre, Protest, and Social Change (3 units)

Take the following 6 units:

  • THEA 320A - Accents: Theory and Practice (3 units)
  • THEA 320B - Accents: Theory and Practice (3 units)

Production (3 units)

Take 2 units from the following:

  • THEA 440 - Theatre Arts Activity - Crew (1 unit)
  • THEA 340 - Theatre Arts Activity - Crew (1 unit)
  • THEA 240 - Theatre Arts Activity - Crew (1 unit)
  • THEA 140 - Theatre Arts Activity - Crew (1 unit)

Take 1 unit from the following:

  • THEA 210A - Theatre Arts Activity - Cast (1 unit)
  • THEA 210B - Theatre Arts Activity - Cast (1 unit)
  • THEA 310A - Theatre Arts Activity - Cast (1 unit)
  • THEA 310B - Theatre Arts Activity - Cast (1 unit)
  • THEA 410A - Theatre Arts Activity - Cast (1 unit)
  • THEA 410B - Theatre Arts Activity - Cast (1 unit)

BFA Core (42 units)

Take all the following 9 BFA Voice and Speech units:

  • THEA 220A - BFA Voice and Speech I (3 units)
  • THEA 220B - BFA Voice and Speech I (3 units)
  • THEA 420 - BFA Voice and Speech II (3 units)

Take all the following 18 BFA Acting units:

  • THEA 230A - BFA Acting I (3 units)
  • THEA 230B - BFA Acting I (3 units)
  • THEA 330A - BFA Acting II (3 units)
  • THEA 330B - BFA Acting II (3 units)
  • THEA 430A - BFA Acting III (3 units)
  • THEA 430B - BFA Acting III (3 units)

Take all the following 15 BFA Movement units:

  • THEA 266A - BFA Movement I (3 units)
  • THEA 266B - BFA Movement I (3 units)
  • THEA 366A - BFA Movement II (3 units)
  • THEA 366B - BFA Movement II (3 units)
  • THEA 466 - BFA Movement III (3 units)