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With our exclusively undergraduate focus, students participate in comprehensive conservatory training with exceptional performance opportunities from the very start. Throughout their four years, students are cast in a range of plays and musicals, as understudies, ensemble members, supporting parts, and leading roles. Students also have the opportunity to perform in films produced by our award-winning Motion Pictures program. Seniors can participate in an intensive career workshop and showcase, with elite casting professionals and creative talent in New York City.
Acting faculty members are working professionals and internationally respected experts in their field, with active careers as directors, actors, choreographers, and teachers around the world.
Recent graduates are working across the nation at the finest regional theatres, appearing in TV and movies, on and off-Broadway and in national and international touring companies.
Competition for professional opportunities in acting is extremely high, and our Professional Acting Training Program is designed to develop our students’ talent, skills, and commitment to secure employment upon graduation from Wright State University. We maintain an excellent network of relationships with agents, casting directors, and creative talent nationwide. Because of their intensive professional preparation at Wright State University, fully 80 percent of our graduates find work in the field immediately after graduation.
Wright State students find jobs in a wide variety of performance-related fields. If desired, they may pursue additional graduate training in order to teach at the college or university level. Graduates have attended such programs as the Denver Center, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Emerson College, and New York University.
Our alumni are working on and off Broadway, in national tours, and at many of the country’s finest regional theatres, including The Guthrie, Actors Theater of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, and the Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton. They appear on television, films, radio, industrial films, and commercials, as well as on cruise ships and themed entertainment venues, comedy clubs, and cabarets.
Graduates of the program have achieved membership in professional theatrical unions, including Actors' Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
The Acting program focuses on both contemporary and classical styles with instruction in dance and voice to prepare the well-rounded professional. All acting majors are required to study one year of dance fundamentals and modern dance, followed by jazz/theatre dance or ballet as electives. The Acting major is encouraged to participate in additional dance courses.
The Acting faculty believes that all actors must be trained to sing. Students who study singing learn the rudiments of breathing, vocal support, and placement. Singing is required for all four years of the training period.
The four-year B.F.A. curriculum in Acting includes:
View the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program information, degree requirements, and graduation planning strategy in the Academic Catalog.
Students are required to maintain an active performance schedule in campus productions throughout the school year.
The Honors program in Acting provides superior students with further opportunity to demonstrate excellence and receive special recognition in their senior year. Honors students create a capstone project, such as a self-written monodrama, a solo recital, directing a production, or other projects that are mutually agreed upon with the student’s advisor. To apply for admittance to the Honors program, a student must possess a 3.0 overall grade point average and be in the last year of the B.F.A. program.
Musical Theatre students may choose to participate in an intensive workshop to prepare them for audition trips to New York or other major entertainment centers. This workshop assists students in the selection and preparation of a wide range of audition materials and in the development of the actor’s presentation. The Showcase in New York City is the culmination of four years of intensive training, includes several audition workshops with top industry professionals, career seminars, alumni networking events and an intensive introduction to the theatre, film and TV industry.
The department leaders feel a strong obligation to graduate only those students whose chances of attaining professional employment remain strong. The faculty believes it is unfair to graduate people who, because of lack of motivation or developing skills, are unlikely to achieve successful, professional careers or who do not seem to be growing adequately within the Professional Actor Training Program. Therefore, students are evaluated regularly for progress, especially through their sophomore year. At the end of the first year of training and at the end of each term of the sophomore year, students participate in faculty juries to assess their singing, acting and dance abilities. When deemed necessary, the faculty advises some students to select another major. All students are urged to carefully consider their career choice and to fully understand the rigors and demands of the acting profession. There is no specific quota for the number of students in any given year of the curriculum.
Professional Acting Training Program students must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all classes required of their major to be retained. Students who are not making satisfactory progress, even with a grade of "C" or better, may be advised by the faculty to withdraw from the program. An overall GPA of 2.5 is required for graduation.
The Acting program at Wright State University is designed for students who are highly motivated to pursue professional careers in acting performance. Students must demonstrate acting proficiency through an audition and meet the university’s educational standards for undergraduate admission. The B.F.A. Acting Program accepts approximately 10% of those who audition. The day before many auditions, we hold master classes so students can get a glimpse of the outstanding level of our faculty and our productions.
Prospective students should:
Admission to the Acting program is competitive and dependent upon the results of the audition. An individual may audition only once for the Acting Program.
Auditions, which are required for all first-year and transfer students, are held each year in the winter for students who want to be considered for admission in the fall semester. Please see the department calendar for the audition schedule or refer to the B.F.A. Admission and Scholarship Application (PDF).
Transfer students may be accepted into the program after a successful audition and university admissions process. The university generally follows a liberal policy in accepting general education and elective credits, allowing virtually all credits earned at an accredited institution from courses in which the student earned a “C” or better. The Office of the Registrar is responsible for determining which credits are eligible for transfer. However, the program is geared to four years of training and transfer students rarely receive credit for conservatory courses from other institutions.
The Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures offers an array of scholarships based on talent, academic performance, and financial need. For first-year students, the audition will determine qualification for a scholarship.
Department scholarships include:
Talent scholarships are awarded for one year to students in acting, dance, motion picture production, and design/technology. Students in all majors are eligible to apply each year for merit scholarships. Although competition for scholarships is keen, the department provides generous support to qualified students throughout their four years of study to enable them to complete their degree.
The Acting and Musical Theatre faculty at Wright State University are connected to some of the brightest stars in the performing arts, who are invited to campus to share their talents with our students.
Recent guest artists include a long list of luminaries: