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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About Our Acting Program

WHAT PROGRAMS DOES YOUR DEPARTMENT OFFER FOR THE ACTING STUDENT?
UMBC offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Acting and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theatre, with an emphasis in acting or in theatre production and design. The B.F.A. degree is designed for the person who wants to pursue a career in acting; the B.A. degree is designed for the student who prefers a broader knowledge of theatre.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE B.F.A. AND B.A. PROGRAMS FOR THE ACTING MAJOR?
The B.F.A. program is designed for the acting student who is interested in an intensive performance training program leading to the pursuit of graduate study and/or experience in professional theatre. This program emphasizes performance skills courses. The B.A. program is designed for the student who is interested in a broad understanding of all areas of theatre, while maintaining a focus on acting. The core theatre courses for both programs are similar, while reflecting these differences in emphasis. The B.F.A. program requires 63 credit hours. The B.A. program requires 47 credit hours. Students fulfill all other UMBC general education requirements with both programs of study.

IF I PURSUE THE B.F.A. PROGRAM, WILL IT TAKE ME LONGER TO COMPLETE MY DEGREE?
You can complete your theatre courses in four years if you carefully follow the curricular schedule given to you and you work closely with your theatre advisor.

AS AN ACTING MAJOR IN THE B.A. PROGRAM, WILL I BE ABLE TO TAKE UPPER-LEVEL TECHNIQUE CLASSES AND WILL I BE CAST IN YOUR PRODUCTIONS?
Our upper-level acting, voice and movement classes are open to B.A. actors with permission of the instructor. All acting majors are required to audition for department productions and all productions are cast with actors from both the B.A. and B.F.A. in Acting programs.

DO I NEED TO AUDITION TO BECOME A THEATRE MAJOR IN ACTING?
Students who wish to major in acting area not required to audition to begin the program. They should contact the Theatre department to inform us of their interest so that they can be advised about required theatre courses. Students wishing to apply for merit scholarships must audition and should contact the Theatre department to schedule an audition time.

HOW DO I GET INTO THE B.F.A. IN ACTING PROGRAM?
Students interested in pursuing the B.F.A. in Acting degree apply to a committee of theatre performance faculty at the end of their freshman year or after they have completed the first series of performance courses. Students are evaluated by the acting faculty and are admitted based on ability, progress, work habits and potential.

WILL I BE CAST AS A FRESHMAN?
You will not be cast as a freshman, but you are required to audition for department productions each semester. We value that process as an important part of your training as an actor. You will have plenty to do in your performance classes and your costume and scenography classes will keep you involved with the productions. The rehearsal process at UMBC requires large commitments of time and energy: we have discovered through trial and error that it is in your best interest to adjust to the demands of the university way of life and to the demands of the theatre program before becoming involved as an actor in a department production.

WILL I BE ABLE TO STUDY SINGING AND DANCE IF I BECOME AN ACTING MAJOR?
We encourage our acting majors to develop skills in both music and dance. You may register for private singing lessons any and every semester you are a student at UMBC. There are also a number of choruses in which you may participate. Many dance classes are available to theatre majors. One of them even fulfills one of your required Physical Education credits.

DO YOU EVER BRING IN GUEST ARTISTS?
We often bring in professional artists with special expertise that serves our productions and we bring in artists to support our B.F.A. training. We have brought in artists to teach and/or perform masks, stage combat, puppets, Japanese Noh theatre, casting and auditioning skills, among others. We also bring in guest directors and designers so that students experience a wide range of approaches to texts.

WHAT THEATRE CLASSES WOULD I TAKE IN MY FRESHMAN YEAR?
Many of our courses are taught in sequence and some lower-level courses are prerequisites for upper-level theatre courses. Therefore, it is imperative that you take recommended courses in your freshman year to allow yourself to fulfill all of your requirements both for your major and for the university. By completing these theatre courses early in your university career you will be available for production work.

Your first semester would include the following:

THTR 202

Introduction to Dramatic Literature [3]

THTR 220

Craft of Acting I [4]

THTR 222

Vocal Training for the Actor I [3]

THTR 229

Movement for the Actor [3]

THTR 100

Introduction to Scenography [3] or

THTR 104

Introduction to Costume [3]


I AM A TRANSFER STUDENT. WHAT CLASSES DO I NEED TO TAKE?

Transfer students who wish to major in acting are not required to audition to begin the program.As soon as they have received notification of acceptance by the university these students must contact theatre department to set up an appointment to review their previous theatre courses. It is critical that transfer student do not register for classes before meeting with a theatre department advisor. To schedule a meeting fill out the Contact Us form with your request or call 410 455-2917.