Frequently Asked Questions About Our Theatre Department
WHAT PROGRAMS DOES YOUR DEPARTMENT OFFER?
UMBC offers the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting (B.F.A.) in Maryland. It also offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theatre with an emphasis in acting or in design/ production. The B.A. program is designed for the student who is interested in a broad understanding of all areas of theatre, while maintaining focus in acting and in costume, scenic, lighting, or sound design. The B.F.A. track is designed for students who want to pursue graduate study and a career in acting.
HOW MANY MAJORS ARE IN YOUR PROGRAM? WHAT’S THE STUDENT/FACULTY RATIO?
Generally there are between 80 and 90 students, including some who minor and double major in theatre and another field. The student body is small and students receive an exceptional degree of individual attention from our 10 full-time faculty members.
WHAT IS YOUR THEATRE PRODUCTION PROGRAM?
Our department is known for its unique approach to classical works and its commitment to complex plays, so you will not see a lot of conventional plays on our list of past productions. We produce two productions each semester, a studio production, which is directed by a faculty member and designed by faculty or students, and a mainstage production, which is directed and designed by department faculty or by professional guest artists. Occasionally we produce an outreach production that performs in local high schools. Rehearsal and production work is treated as class work. Rehearsals are held during afternoon class hours and acting and stage management students receive up to five or six hours of course credits for their participation. Students who work on design or crews also receive credit.
WHAT DO YOUR GRADUATES DO?
Many of our graduates leave UMBC and enter an internship program in stage management, educational theatre, audience development, dramaturgy or any one of the areas of theatre production. These internships are held at professional theatres in and near Baltimore such as Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, Rep Stage, Round House and in the Washington theatres, Woolly Mammoth and Studio Theatre. We offer graduating students guidance and recommendations to receive internships. Other graduates are working for advanced degrees in a variety of areas of theatre. They have attended graduate programs at Temple University, University of California at Irvine, California Institute of the Arts, Purdue University, New York University, University of Delaware, North Carolina School of the Arts, George Washington University, among others. We have graduates who have founded their own theatre companies and others who are actors working at professional theatres throughout the country. Some of our actors work in film, television or radio. Others make good use of the skills they learn in our program and find careers in business, teaching, law and social work.
DO I NEED TO AUDITION TO BECOME A THEATRE MAJOR IN ACTING?
You only need to audition if you are applying for the Fine Arts Award, offered to Freshmen and Transfers, or the Linehan Artist Scholarship, offered to Freshmen. If you audition, you will be asked to perform a monologue and do some improvisations. You will have a chance to meet some of our faculty and students and to get a sense of how we work with actors. Details about these auditions are posted at: theatre.umbc.edu.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR ENTRANCE INTO YOUR PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WITH INTERESTS IN THEATRE DESIGN AND PRODUCTION?
We do not require a portfolio review for design/production students unless you are applying for the Linehan Artist Scholars Program or the Fine Arts Award. We recommend that any design/production student set up a meeting with one of our faculty members in your area of interest. Our production program includes scenic and costume design and production, lighting and sound design and stage management.
I AM A TRANSFER STUDENT. HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT ENTRANCE INTO THE PROGRAM AND WHAT CLASSES DO I NEED TO TAKE?
Transfer students gain entrance into our theatre program by the same process as freshmen. However, as a transfer student you need to make an appointment with a theatre faculty advisor who will discuss your previous theatre courses and determine your required theatre curriculum. It is critical that you do not register for classes before speaking with a theatre advisor. Often we find that students have had some courses and experiences in technical theatre and in theatre history that fulfill one or two of our required core courses.