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Acting FAQ

WHAT DEGREE PROGRAMS DOES THE THEATRE DEPARTMENT OFFER FOR STUDENTS INTERESTED IN ACTING?
UMBC offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Acting. B.F.A. students focus on developing and practicing performance skills leading to the pursuit of graduate study and/or experience in professional theatre.  The B.F.A. program requires 63 credit hours in addition to the UMBC general education requirement. Click here to see list of courses in the acting track.

CAN I COMPLETE MY B.A. OR B.F.A. DEGREE IN FOUR YEARS?
YES. You can complete your theatre courses in four years if you follow the curricular schedule given to you and you work closely with your Theatre advisor.

DO I NEED TO AUDITION TO BECOME A THEATRE MAJOR IN ACTING?
YES AND NO.
There are three ways to enter the BFA Acting program:

  • Early Acceptance for Freshmen. Students ready to commit to immersive actor training may audition for early acceptance to the BFA Acting major at a High School Theatre Festival, or at an on-campus audition in April or August.***
  • Accelerated BFA for Transfer Students. Transfer applicants may audition for the BFA and placement in upper-level studio courses at an on-campus audition in December, April, or August. Depending on previous coursework, transfer students may earn their degree in 4 or 5 semesters. Please note that this accelerated program is best suited for students who have already pursued acting training at their previous institutions.***
  • First Year Review. Acting students who did not have the opportunity to audition, or need more time to consider their degree path, are enrolled in the first-year BFA acting courses with an invitation to apply in the spring. After observation in acting courses, and through advisement, the faculty admits students to the BFA based on ability, progress, work habits, and potential.
  • ***How to Audition for Early Acceptance or Accelerated BFA:
    1) Apply and be accepted to UMBC.

    2) Apply to the BFA Acting major via the correct Google form.
    -Entering Freshmen: https://goo.gl/forms/E4p8kHW8Hzdaupfi2
    -Transfer Students: https://goo.gl/forms/e0kBkfbPwP5p0tWY2

    3) After you apply using the correct Google form, we will contact you to arrange an audition appointment.

    Auditions are required for acceptance into the Linehan Artist Scholar program. Click here for more scholarship information.

    WILL I BE ABLE TO STUDY SINGING AND DANCE IF I BECOME AN ACTING MAJOR?
    YES. We encourage our BFAs to develop skills in both music and dance. Theatre majors may register for private singing lessons any and every semester they study at UMBC. There are also a number of choruses in which Theatre students may participate. Many dance classes are available to theatre majors. One of them even fulfills one of the required Theatre courses, and can also be used to fulfill a physical education requirement.

    AS AN ACTOR, CAN I BE CAST MY FIRST SEMESTER IN ONE OF YOUR THEATRE PRODUCTIONS?
    You are required to audition for department productions each semester, but Freshman rarely have achieved the training necessary to be cast in their first semester. However, we value the audition process as an important part of your training as an actor.

    DO YOU EVER BRING IN GUEST ARTISTS?  
    YES. We often bring in professional artists with special expertise to support our productions and expand our training. We have engaged artists to teach and/or perform mask work, stage combat, puppetry, Japanese Noh theatre, casting and auditioning skills, and voice over, and specialized acting techniques. We also bring in guest directors and designers so that students experience a wide range of artistic ideas and approaches. Students have been able to learn from and interact with artists such as Tim Miller, Lee Breuer, Ann Bogart, Liz Lerman, Daniel Ettinger, Phyllis Nagy, and Kari Margolis.

    I AM A TRANSFER STUDENT.  HOW DO I ENTER THE PROGRAM?
    We welcome transfer students and will work with you to insure your success. You are not required to audition before beginning your course work, however you are encouraged to audition for our Accelerated BFA (see above).  As a transfer student, it is critical that you make an appointment to have your previous course work evaluated and to create a plan of study that will allow you to graduate as expeditiously as possible. Do not register for classes before meeting with a Theatre Department Advisor. Please contact Professor Eve Muson at ebmuson@umbc.edu to schedule a meeting.

    More about being a Transfer Student here.

    UMBC Department of Theatre:  410.455.2917