The study of theatre arts is a key step in the development of the multidisciplinary artist. BU’s BFA in Theatre Arts Performance provides students with the opportunity to shape the content and trajectory of their course of study.
Theatre arts students at BU also have the ability to focus deeply on one or two disciplines in exciting and rewarding ways; the ensemble work that is emphasized in CFA School of Theatre develops skills imperative across disciplines and across fields. Our students locate, articulate, and develop their unique voices as artists who will intersect with the world in meaningful ways.
Training the future generation of multi-faceted artists
As a Theatre Arts major, students can devote themselves to their acting training, while learning other crafts and…
- PURSUE ARTISTIC PROJECTS supported by faculty mentors
- SELECT an academic minor, concentration, or dual degree program
- Fully PARTICIPATE IN THE CREATION OF NEW WORK by student playwrights, directors, and designers
As Kirsten Greenidge, playwright and BFA Theatre Arts Performance program head says, “Theatre Arts is a wonderful way to broaden your sense of artistry as a theatre practitioner.“
Program of Study
All first year performance students are admitted to the First Year Performance Core. The First Year Core experience establishes a base vocabulary that serves as the foundation for a student’s progression into their chosen BFA degree program. In addition, the First Year Core is designed to provide an appropriate context for faculty evaluation of each student’s strengths, interests, and potential for success in the upper years of training. At the end of the first year, each student will declare a BFA major; these decisions are reviewed and mentored by members of the School of Theatre faculty before a student is officially enrolled in their BFA program.
The performance core curriculum is carefully designed to instill the School’s core values and encourage students to become aware of and overcome personal obstacles and explore students’ untapped potential. Classes in acting, voice and speech, movement, Alexander Technique, theatre ensemble, dramatic literature, stagecraft, and more.
Training includes a rigorous curriculum, production opportunities, and collaboration with theatre professionals. Students are regularly mentored by working professional faculty and advisors through studio classwork, hands-on, in-process rehearsal & performance advising, and end-of-semester conferences.
Students gain a fundamental understanding of theatre history and dramaturgy, movement technique and its application to performance, professional expectations in a rehearsal and production experience, and if desired, an understanding of the elements of directing, playwrighting, and theatre management.
During their third year, students can partake in study abroad opportunities. In the summer before entering their final year of studies, theatre arts performance students are required to register for an off-campus internship with an established, professional arts organization or an approved on-campus internship experience with a member of the BU faculty or staff. Students then take an Internship Reflection course upon returning in the fall.
Situated within a large, top-tier research institution, students pursue coursework in the University Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the undergraduate student experience. This provides students with the chance to dive into other topics, from other colleges and schools, to enhance their studies.
BFA Theatre Arts Performance students can also pursue music theatre training through our Music Theatre Focus and playwriting training through our Playwriting Focus.
Students can opt to join the casting pool as an actor, or propose an alternative project serving as an assistant director, dramaturg, playwright, etc.
Develop professional skills through production work, internships, and mentored work and design that will serve as a basis for your transition from the academic world to the larger community of theatre professionals. Be trained by School of Theatre faculty who are working theatre artists that maintain active professional careers.
Guest lecturers are brought in to expand upon the students’ exposure to the professional world. Study abroad and internships are available, plus summer work opportunities in high-profile summer theatres are available to students.
Participate in the School of Theatre Showcase, held in Boston and/or New York City, and share your work with alumni and working professionals in the field.
Many of our graduates work within the field, but some also use the skills developed within the Theatre Arts major to then focus on other aspects of their intellect. Some graduates go on to form their own theatre companies, create their own production opportunities such as web series or touring shows, and some perform in regional theatre or on Broadway. Others have gone into education or law.
Feeling connected to her roots more than ever.
Jayna Shoda Meyer (CFA’23) recognizes there’s not a lot of Pacific Islander representation in the theatre industry. She’s looking to change that.
The BFA Theatre Arts student returned to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, where her mother is from, to water her roots when the world shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. This opened so many new passions for Jayna who’s brought them with her back to Boston.
In 2022, Jayna was part of Patterns of Wind, a School of Theatre Production sponsored by BU Arts Initiative‘s Indigenous Voices in the Americas series. The devised piece exploring oral storytelling, lineage, blood memory, and personal experience in a decolonial creative setting, was the perfect creative outlet for Jayna. “I am pouring my experiences into this process as I find ways to remain connected with my islands and connect with other artists in the Pacific diaspora.”
Artist, Dramaturg, Podcast Host.
For Edward Sturm (CFA’24), his experience at CFA has widened his view of what it means to be an artist. “CFA is a place of strenuous creativity. If you feed off the energy of a community unrelenting in its growth, I can’t think of a better environment to expand your artistry,” says Edward.
During his sophomore year of college, Edward created, wrote, and hosted a podcast called “Fair Admission” about equity in the college admissions process. It led him to start conversations with experts from across the country and to collaborate with peers and faculty across BU. The result was a nine-episode series produced by BU’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press.
Another interest of Edward’s is dramaturgy, the theory and practice of dramatic composition, which he got to explore through a workshop at BU by Obie-award-winning writer and director Ain Gordon. The play reflected on an often-buried moment in history: the start of AIDS. For Sturm, discovering what was unknown during the AIDS epidemic became just as important as discovering what was known. “For this project, I focused on creating approachable resources for the actors to learn how the AIDS crisis unfolded and understand the specific cultural and geographical references used in the text.”
Making scholarly work in Black studies accessible.
BFA Theatre Arts alum Mya Ison (CFA’22) came to BU to pursue training as an actor. She graduated not only as a trained actor, but as a playwright, dramaturg, and Black studies scholar.
“All of these aspects of my work hold equal weight and the conversation between them is what builds the foundation of my artistic freedom practice,” explained Mya. “My studies and research in African-American studies have given me language for the types of stories that I think are important to tell. These stories are theoretically based on Black feminist theory which means they are always about the body. They reclaim and reimagine what Western patriarchy has tried to steal, erase, and squash out of marginalized peoples. They ask the question of who we have been told we are and who we could be if we rewrote those definitions with our own pens.”
Mya was recognized for her work at the 2022 CFA Kahn Awards, where she was one of the finalists and received a grant to launch her artistic career. Her goals are to move to New York to pursue a career as an actor and playwright and will be using the award to facilitate a workshop on her play, Laure, which premiered at BU in fall 2021.
Head of Movement; Assistant Professor, Movement; Co-Chair, Dance Minors; Advisor/Faculty Mentor, Theatre Minors
Senior Lecturer, Theatre
Playwright; Associate Professor; Playwriting Track, Director; Theatre Arts, Chair; Performance, Co-chair
Senior Lecturer, Directing
Assistant Professor; Program Head, MFA Theatre Education
Assistant Professor, Dramatic Literature & Dramaturgy
Next Steps for Applicants
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