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Frequently Asked Questions

HOW MANY MAJORS ARE IN YOUR PROGRAM? WHAT’S THE STUDENT/FACULTY RATIO?
There are just over 100 Theatre majors. Students receive an exceptional degree of individual attention from our 11 full-time faculty members.

WHAT KINDS OF SHOWS DO YOU DO AND HOW MANY?
We produce four productions each year: two on our large Proscenium Stage, and two in our flexible, state-of-the art Black Box Theatre. Three are directed and designed by faculty directors (or by professional guests), and one is directed and designed by students — see Studio 3!

UMBC Theatre is committed to exposing our students to a range of material by balancing realism with classical works (including Shakespeare), modern and contemporary plays, and diverse period styles. We typically search for plays that allow students to experience theatre with music, experimental theatre, puppetry, physical theatre, and/or theatre that explores social issues over a series of annual seasons.

UMBC Theatre has received national recognition for its unique approach to classical works and its commitment to new work. We have premiered a number of plays (including commissioned pieces by internationally renowned playwrights) and student/faculty devised works that attempt to expand the boundaries of what theatre can be.

WHAT DO YOUR GRADUATES DO?
UMBC Theatre students often enter professional internships or employment immediately upon graduation (and many build on professional theatre internships begun as part of their undergraduate education). Our graduates have become actors on stage, in film, television, and internet series as well as theatre producers, directors, makeup artists, designers, crafts specialists, theatre educators, stage managers, technical directors, technicians, writers, and theatre administrators. UMBC Theatre alumni have been accepted into highly competitive graduate programs including the Yale School of Drama, California Institute of the Arts, New York University, The University of California at Irvine, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. UMBC Theatre alumni have joined the faculty of universities across the country.

The Theatre major provides an excellent foundation for a great many careers, and our graduates have proven how diverse the opportunities are (see Notable Alumni). Many UMBC Theatre alumni are succeeding in fields as divergent as business, education, law, and social work. They attribute their skills to the team-building, critical thinking, and self-discipline they learned at UMBC Theatre.

DO I NEED TO AUDITION FOR THE THEATRE MAJOR?
The BFA in Acting*, and the Linehan Arts Scholarship both require an audition and/or evaluation. Otherwise, no, any UMBC student may declare themselves a BA in Theatre major or a Theatre Minor.

*There are three options for admittance into the BFA Acting program. The first is to audition as an incoming freshman for early acceptance into the program. The second is to audition for the accelerated BFA if you are entering as a transfer student. The third more unhurried option is to undergo a first year review that includes an application for the BFA during the second semesterof your first year of acting classes. Click here for more information about admission to UMBC.

Click here for Acting FAQ.

I AM INTERESTED IN DESIGN AND PRODUCTION. DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT A PORTFOLIO OR HAVE PRIOR EXPERIENCE?
At UMBC Theatre, we learn by doing — all students work on fully-realized productions for the public. No experience is required to declare the BA in Theatre major with a concentration in Production and Design, but talented students who bring prior accomplishments are encouraged to apply for the Linehan Artist Scholarship.

Our production program includes scenic design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, stage management, and technical production. Students may choose a broad-based education in these areas, or they may wish to specialize. As students advance, they work alongside faculty as designers, assistant designers, dressers, master electricians, and/or stage managers, etc. with many opportunities to showcase their work along the way. Any student interested in design/production is encouraged to meet with faculty in that area through a campus visit and tour our state-of-the-art facilties.

Click here for Design & Production FAQ.

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 the best pursuit of coursework to finish your theatre degree in a timely manner. It is critical that you do not register for classes before speaking with a theatre advisor. Please contact Laurie Newton at laurienk@umbc.edu to make an appointment as soon as possible. Acting students should contact Professor Eve Muson at ebmuson@umbc.edu.

More about being a Transfer Student here.

I CHANGED MAJORS. HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT CLASSES DO I NEED TO TAKE?
Welcome! If you change your major to theatre you need to make an appointment with a theatre faculty advisor immediately who will discuss your previous theatre courses and determine the best way to apply your already completed coursework to a timely completion of your new major. Due to required involvement in coursework labs in the shop and/or in conjunction with work on a production, it is critical that you do not register for classes before speaking with a theatre advisor. Please contact Laurie Newton at laurienk@umbc.edu to make an appointment as soon as possible.

DO I HAVE TO BE A THEATRE MAJOR OR MINOR TO HELP OUT BACKSTAGE OR JUST GET INVOLVED?
No, we’re happy to have you, and any registered UMBC student can audition! You will have to register for the appropriate credited course aligned with the show, technical production or “crew” assignments (such as helping to build sets, running a light board, working on costumes, or working backstage during a show). The best way to get involved is to send an email to our Production Manager, Gregg Schraven at schraven@umbc.edu to let him know of your interest. No experience is necessary.

UMBC Department of Theatre: 410.455.2917