School of Theatre Performance Core

Before officially declaring a BFA major, each first-year student entering the School of Theatre is admitted into a First Year Theatre Core curriculum, in either Performance or Design & Production. The First Year Core experience helps establish a core vocabulary that will serve as the foundation for a student’s progression into the BFA degree program (Acting or Theatre Arts). 

During each year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, courses in the major follow a carefully integrated sequence of class exercises and production assignments. Additionally, the School of Theatre provides for artist-scholars and scholar-artists to experience all the opportunities of a Research 1 university as they deepen their knowledge of foundational techniques within the art form.

Not only does the First Year Theatre Core serve to begin a sequence for the next four years of creative exploration and collaboration; it also sets the tone for the professional path essential to the BFA Theatre and BFA Theatre Arts programs at the BU School of Theatre––and the standard of practice which distinguishes our many working alumni in the profession.

Performance Core Admissions

Performance Core Curriculum

The Performance Core provides the groundwork for future study in either the BFA Acting or BFA Theatre Arts major. Students take courses in movement, voice, acting, and somatic practice––an inclusive methodology including principles such as the Alexander Technique. Students in the first year of the Performance Core can expect to take between 17 and 18 credits per semester.

The Performance Core curriculum includes classes in:
  • Acting
  • Voice & Speech
  • Movement
  • Somatic Practice
  • Dramatic Literature
  • CFA First-Year Experience
  • Language and Craft of Theatre
    Students gain an overview of the people and the physical techniques involved in each major area of theatrical production: scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, properties, scene painting and stage management.
  • Theatre Collaboration: Equitable and Inclusive Practice
    Students work on strengthening their kinesthetic awareness and stage composition skills as they engage in writing, improvisatory, and devising exercises to form and present dramatic material as performers, directors, writers, dramaturgs, and designers.
Learn more on the BU Academic Bulletin

Performance Core

Major Selection

At the end of their first year in the program, in conversation with School of Theatre faculty guidance and review,  students who have successfully completed the Performance Core will choose a major in either:

BFA Acting

BFA Theatre Arts

Curriculum Highlights

BU School of Theatre’s curriculum is designed for individuals pursuing BFA Theatre and BFA Theatre Arts degrees who want to fully immerse themselves in the artistic rigor of the School of Theatre and the academic discipline of Boston University at-large.

  • Interdisciplinary course sequencing including a dedicated focus on communication, collaboration, language, and equitable practices such as consent-based ensemble, and inclusive theatre methodologies.
  • Focused study in core techniques, with comprehensive coursework on technical skill and craft.
  • Scheduling flexibility for HUB requirements, electives, and wellbeing-focused activities. 

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