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Bachelor of Fine Arts – Theatre

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a professional degree designed to prepare the student for a career in theatre and the entertainment industry. Emphasis may be focused on acting, design/technology, or musical theatre.

81-83 hours are required for the degree. No minor is required.

Production

Student must acquire

  • Artistic and technical skills in acting, design/technology, or musical theatre (acting, singing, dancing) that prepare them for the professional market, and those skills must be progressively developed to the highest level appropriate to the highest level appropriate to the particular area of concentration.
  • An overview understanding of the major aspects, techniques, and directions in the area of concentration.
  • Broad and basic understanding of the various elements and interrelated processes of creation, interpretation, performance, and production.
  • Fundamental, conceptual understanding of the expressive possibilities of theatre.
  • Knowledge and skills sufficient to work in both collaborative and individual roles in matters of theatre interpretation.
  • Growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence, and knowledge of repertory through regular performance and production experiences.

Repertory

Student must acquire

  • Familiarity with theatre literature of various historical periods, cultural sources, and modes of presentation.
  • Experience with specific repertories and comparative standards of production quality through performance, academic study, and attendance at productions.

Theoretical and Historical Studies

Student must acquire

  • The ability to analyze plays perceptively and evaluate them critically.
  • An understanding of the common elements and vocabulary of theatre and of the interaction of these elements, and be able to employ this knowledge in analysis, including analyses of their productions.
  • The ability to place works of theatre in historical and stylistic contexts and have some understanding of the cultural milieu in which they were created.
  • The ability to develop and defend informed judgments about theatre.

Technology

Student must acquire

  • Students must acquire a working knowledge of technologies and equipment applicable to their areas(s) of specialization.

Synthesis

Student must acquire

  • Students must demonstrate the ability to work independently on a variety of professional problems by combining, as appropriate to the issue, their capabilities in performance, repertory, theory, history, and technology, as well as other fields they have studied.

 

The BFA in Acting is a professional training program that prepares students for an acting career in theatre, television, and film.

BFA Acting majors have:

  • Demonstrated ability to act (i.e., to project one’s self believably in word and action into imaginary circumstances, evoked through improvisation or text).
  •  Demonstrated ability to engage effectively in improvisations both by oneself and in an ensemble.
  •  Demonstrated ability to create characters convincingly from plays drawn from different genres and styles in an ensemble relationship with other actors.
  • A developed technique for analyzing the specific tasks required in performing varied characters from written plays.
  • Understanding of the specific demands of the acting styles for major periods and genres of dramatic literature and media.
  • Clear, articulate, and expressive speech, normally with demonstrated ability to use appropriate tools and systems to learn and perform dialects, and the ability to perform effectively in verse plays.
  • A flexible, strong, and controlled voice with trained breath support; appropriate vocal range and freedom from vocal and postural tension in rehearsal and performance; demonstrated ability to use the voice effectively as an instrument for characterization together with the ability to project the voice effectively in theatre spaces of varying sizes and in media productions.
  • A flexible, relaxed, and controlled body trained in basic stage movement disciplines, including dance and mime; demonstrated ability to use the body effectively on stage as an instrument for characterization and to be responsive to changing time/rhythm demands and spatial relationships.
  • An overview understanding of makeup materials and techniques.
  • Demonstrated comprehension of the basic business procedures of the actor’s profession, including audition procedures, résumés, agents, and so forth.
  • Solo and ensemble performance experience in a variety of formal and informal settings provided throughout the degree program.

What You'll Do

  • Training. Study with experienced faculty and staff in the areas of acting, scene study, movement, voice, stage combat, Shakespeare, and improvisation for live theatre, film, and television.
  • Performance. Opportunities in four mainstage theatre productions, one mainstage dance concert, two second stage theatre productions, and one second stage dance concert, as well as a host of one-acts, readings, cabarets, improv shows, and so on.
  • Fault Line Film Festival. Act in one of dozens of student films produced as part of the annual nationwide festival.
  • Career Development. Prepare to launch a career in the industry through auditioning classes, as well as entrepreneurship classes and Senior Portfolio.
  • Housing. Live and train in the beautiful River Campus
  • Guest Artists. Benefit from an established program of master classes and residencies with professional guest actors, directors, and industry professionals.
  • Study Abroad. Train at the prestigious NSKI University College in Oslo, Norway, the only institution in Scandinavia to teach Method Acting at degree level.
  • Professional Auditions. Participate in numerous combined and individual professional theatre auditions across the country.
  • Intensives and Professional Employment. Complete a required internship through various summer intensive acting programs and professional employment.
  • Certification in Stage Combat. Study 3 levels of stage combat in conservatory and participate in the annual Dueling Arts International summer residency, which provides combat training and certification for both stage and screen.
  • Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival. Perform in the annual new play festival with guest artists and playwrights from across the country.
  • Student Organizations. Join Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Theatre Fraternity, as well as one of our student improv troupes.
  • BFA Reviews. Learn from faculty committees dedicated to providing individual feedback on training, academics, and career development for every student.
  • BFA Project. Perform in a faculty or guest-artist directed mainstage or second stage production, followed by a project review with a faculty committee.
  • Los Angeles or NYC Showcase. Participate in one of two showcases: Los Angeles with Actors Connection or New York City with CRY HAVOC Company.

The BFA in design/technology is a professional training program that prepares students for careers in theatre, film, and television.

BFA Design/Tech majors have:

  •  Ability to conceptualize and realize a design aesthetic consistent with the overall artistic concepts of a production.
  • Ability to understand and articulate basic elements and principles of design theory.
  • Ability to understand and articulate basic elements and principles of composition related to line, shape, color, texture, and sound.
  • Understanding of the aesthetic use of color.
  • Understanding of the aesthetic use of sound.
  • Ability to communicate design ideas and realities to other personnel involved in the production, including directors, other designers, stage managers, and actors.
  • Ability to produce and communicate design ideas with freehand drawings.
  • Ability to provide formalized, accurate production models and drawings by hand and/or through the use of current industry standard software programs.
  • Fundamental knowledge of the total design process, including the progression of raw materials through multiple design “shops” and the roles that various craftspeople play in the creation of a finished product.
  • Fundamental knowledge of décor, architecture, furniture, dress, crafts, and art as they relate to various historical periods.
  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of basic engineering principles (electrical, mechanical, and/or structural) as they relate to chosen design specializations.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local health and safety codes, best practices, and industry standards as they relate to theatrical venues and production elements.
  • Preparation and presentation of a professional résumé and a portfolio of design-and technology-related work that demonstrate one’s abilities, strengths, processes, and experiences.
  • Opportunities for experience in the design/technology aspects of theatre in a variety of formal and informal settings throughout the entire degree program, including an opportunity to design and/or create the technology for at least one fully realized production that will be presented before an audience prior to graduation.

What You'll Do

  • Training. Train with experienced faculty and staff in the areas of scenic design and painting, lighting and sound design, costume design, and construction.
  • Production. Design and leadership technical positions in four mainstage theatre productions, one mainstage dance concert, two second stage theatre productions, and one second stage dance concert, as well as a host of one-acts and workshop productions.
  • Fault Line Film Festival. Direct, produce, or serve in a leadership design or technical capacity in one of dozens of student films produced as part of the annual nationwide festival.
  • Career Development. Prepare to launch a career in the industry through various upper-level design classes, as well as entrepreneurship classes.
  • Housing. Live and train in the beautiful River Campus
  • Guest Artists. Benefit from an established program of master classes and residencies with professional guest designers and industry professionals.
  • Professional Jobs. Participate in numerous combined and individual professional theatre job fairs and interviews across the country.
  • Intensives and Professional Employment. Complete a required internship through various summer intensive acting programs and professional employment. Design/tech faculty also have an established relationship with the Black Hills Playhouse in South Dakota, and Dobbins Conservatory students are frequently hired as technicians in the summer season.
  • Student Organizations. Join the USITT Student Chapter at Southeast, as well as become a member of Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Theatre Fraternity.
  • BFA Reviews. Learn from faculty committees dedicated to providing individual feedback on training, academics, and career development for every student.
  • BFA Project. Design or serve in a major technical capacity in a faculty or guest-artist directed mainstage or second stage production, followed by a project review with a faculty committee.
  • Post-Graduate Job Fair. Earn money through various fundraisers to travel to one of numerous job fairs for post-graduate jobs or graduate school—e.g., SETC, USITT, U/PTA, Strawhat, and so on.

The BFA in musical theatre is a professional training program designed to prepare students for a career as an actor/singer/dancer in theatre, film, and television.

BFA in Musical Theatre majors have:

  • Achievement of the highest possible level of performance as an actor-singer, with studies in acting continuing throughout the entire degree program.
  • Development of skills in dance as appropriate to musical theatre.
  • Thorough development in musical skills including voice performance, musicianship, and music theory, with studies in voice continuing throughout the degree program.
  • Opportunities to develop a high level of skill in sight-singing.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage effectively in improvisations both by oneself and in an ensemble.
  • Demonstrated ability to create characters convincingly from musicals and plays drawn from different genres and styles in an ensemble relationship with other actors.
  • A developed technique for analyzing the specific tasks required in performing varied characters from written musicals and plays.
  • Understanding of the specific demands of the performance styles for major periods and genres of dramatic literature and media.
  • An overview understanding of makeup materials and techniques.
  • Demonstrated comprehension of the basic business procedures of the actor’s profession, including audition procedures, résumés, agents, and so forth.
  • Performance experience in workshops and full productions of musical theatre in a variety of formal and informal settings shall be provided throughout the degree program.
  • Opportunities for developing repertory and techniques for auditions.

What You'll Do

  • Training. Study with experienced faculty and staff in the areas of acting, singing, and dancing for live theatre, film, and television.
  • Performance. Opportunities in four mainstage theatre productions, one mainstage dance concert, two second stage theatre productions, and one second stage dance concert, as well as a host of one-acts, readings, cabarets, improv shows, and so on.
  • Fault Line Film Festival. Act in one of dozens of student films produced as part of the annual nationwide festival.
  • Career Development. Prepare to launch a career in the industry through auditioning classes, as well as entrepreneurship classes and Senior Portfolio.
  • Housing. Live and train in the beautiful River Campus
  • Guest Artists. Benefit from an established program of master classes and residencies with professional guest actors, directors, and industry professionals.
  • Study Abroad. Train at the prestigious NSKI University College in Oslo, Norway, the only institution in Scandinavia to teach Method Acting at degree level, as well as musical theatre.
  • Professional Auditions. Participate in numerous combined and individual professional theatre auditions across the country.
  • Intensives and Professional Employment. Complete a required internship through various summer intensive acting programs and professional employment.
  • Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival. Perform in the annual new play festival with guest artists and playwrights from across the country.
  • Student Organizations. Join Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Theatre Fraternity, as well as Black Light, or one of the other cabaret groups.
  • BFA Reviews. Learn from faculty committees dedicated to providing individual feedback on training, academics, and career development for every student.
  • BFA Project. Perform in a faculty or guest-artist directed mainstage or second stage production, followed by a project review with a faculty committee.
  • NYC or Los Angeles Showcase. Participate in one of two showcases: New York City with CRY HAVOC Company or Los Angeles with Actors Connection.

Contact

Sara Steffens
573.651.2149
ssteffens@semo.edu
River Campus Seminary 458
Conservatory of Theatre and Dance
One University Plaza, MS 7850
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701