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Theatre Studies - B.A. and B.F.A. PDFDownload to print

College of the Arts

School of Theatre and Dance

Dance Division
D-101C Music and Speech
Tel: 330-672-2069
Fax: 330-672-4897

Theatre Division
B141 Music and Speech
Tel: 330-672-2082



The Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies gives students an opportunity for study in all aspects of theatre and its relationship to other liberal arts studies. This program serves students who seek a wider range of possibilities to fulfill individual creative goals, whether as theatre artists, scholars, educators, and/or contributors in related fields. Students receive thorough grounding in theatre history and theory and learn imaginative and critical thinking, the process of making theatre, and leadership skills. Each student may choose a concentration of elective choices in one of four areas: Performance, Production, Theatre Management or Theatre and Society. The program prepares students to apply their knowledge and learned skills to career choices in the 21st century and in the process enrich their own lives in their chosen communities.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts is designed for students who wish to specialize in a specific area of theatre or dance (design and technology, musical theatre, dance performance or dance education) and requires successful completion of an audition for the musical Theatre and Dance degrees. The students must demonstrate evidence of continued growth and competency in the chosen specialty via yearly evaluations.

Design/technology fosters the artistic development of theatre designers, technicians and artisans so they can successfully enter the profession and /or its related fields. Students study both traditional theatre practices and new methods, materials and technologies in order to become flexible, dynamic and creative collaborators in theatre art. Students must demonstrate continued progress through annual portfolio reviews, course work and production responsibilities. B.F.A. design /technology students are expected to complete a significant production assignment each semester. The B.F.A. candidate is expected to develop theatre skills equal to entry-level positions in the profession or as required for admissions into Masters of Fine Arts programs.

Musical Theatre offers students interdisciplinary academic and creative experiences that prepare them to be working artists in the field of musical theatre. Students develop practical skills in music, dance and acting in conjunction with concentrated work in theory, history and liberal arts. Students must demonstrate continuing progress and are thus evaluated annually through auditions, coursework and production responsibilities.  The B.F.A. candidate is expected to develop theatre, vocal and/or dance skills equal to entry-level positions in the profession or as expected for admission into Master of Fine Arts programs.

Career Opportunities

Employment in the theater, and in other performing arts companies, is cyclical—higher in the fall and spring seasons—and concentrated in New York and other major cities with large commercial houses for musicals and touring productions. Also, many cities support established professional regional theaters that operate on a seasonal or year-round basis.

Many smaller, nonprofit professional companies, such as repertory companies, dinner theaters, and theaters affiliated with drama schools, acting conservatories, and universities, provide employment opportunities for local amateur talent and professional entertainers. Auditions typically are held in New York for many productions across the country and for shows that go on the road.

Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

Dancers and choreographers worked in a variety of industries, such as public and private educational services, which includes dance studios and schools, as well as colleges and universities; performing arts companies, which include dance, theater, and opera companies; and amusement and recreation venues, such as casinos and theme parks.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Admission Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies: Freshman students most likely to be admitted and succeed at the Kent Campus are those who have graduated with at least 16 units of the recommended college preparatory curriculum in high school, who have achieved a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and whose composite ACT score is 21 or better (980 combined critical reading and math SAT score). For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for new freshmen.

Transfer Students: In addition to meeting the general transfer admission requirement (2.0 cumulative GPA), students wishing to enter the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies must successfully complete an audition for the B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Students electing admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies are not required to present an audition. Inquire can be directed to the Undergraduate Coordinator, B-141 School of Theatre Dance, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240-0001 (or call 330-672-2082).

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies: Applicants in Musical Theatre must pass an audition to enter a B.F.A. degree concentration in the School of Theatre and Dance. Inquire can be directed to the Undergraduate Coordinator, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240-0001 (or call 330-672-2082).

Entrance to the B.F.A. program is based on a rigorous audition. Students who pass the audition will be invited to enroll in the B.F.A. program upon beginning classes at Kent State. All B.F.A. students are required to be evaluated on a yearly basis. Musical Theatre and Dance auditions are head every fall and spring for entrance the following fall. There are also Dance program auditions in August just prior to the start of the fall semester. Students applying for the B.F.A. in Design/Technology may enter the program directly.

The B.F.A. in musical theatre is an interdisciplinary program offered with the Dance Division of the School of Theatre and Dance and the School of Music. Application to the B.F.A. in musical theatre requires an audition in each of the three performance areas: dance, music and theatre. The students must display talent and training potential in all areas to be admitted to the program. Students who pass the musical theatre audition will be admitted directly into the B.F.A. program at the beginning of their freshman year. Students who pass the Dance Division auditions are also admitted directly into the B.F.A. program at the beginning of their freshman year.

Graduation Requirements

The Bachelor's of Arts in Theatre Studies requires a minimum 121 total credit hours  and  39 upper-division hours for graduation. As well as a minimum 2.000 GPA overall and 2.500 GPA in major required for graduation.

The Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies: students will be dropped from the B.F.A. program for failure of audition or portfolio review. Students on academic probation may not participate in any School of Theatre and Dance productions. Students in all the Bachelor's of Fine Arts program areas may be dropped from the program for failure to maintain a 2.500 GPA (B.F.A. students should strive to maintain a 3.000 overall GPA).

The students in the musical theatre concentration must pass yearly auditions and are expected to audition for all mainstage theatre productions and accept roles if cast.

The students in the design/technology concentration must pass yearly portfolio reviews and are expected to participate in at least one mainstage production per semester (this may be in addition to any production design assignment).

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

There are many study abroad/away opportunities, for more information contact the Office of International Affairs.

Program Fee



National Association of Schools of Theatre

Student Organizations

Black Theater Association; Musical Theatre Student Organization; Portage County Players; Theater Roundtable

Advanced Degree Programs

Theatre Studies: Acting, Design (M.F.A.)