BFA in Acting

Acting (BFA)

Video of Performance at Western Michigan University

Auditions are held in-person and virtually. Information and tips on how to prepare for the audition can be found by scrolling down on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting offers a conservatory-style training program with a rigorous focus on the individual student’s own artistry, growth, and professional placement.  

Our actors are trained in various modes of performance: on-camera, voice-over, ensemble-based devising, exceptional vocal and physical work, and athletically present moment-to-moment work. Our artists are treated as individuals with voices that need to be heard. An impressive student-to-faculty ratio makes this personalized training a key component to our success. Masterclasses with nationally recognized, professional artists expand the academic experience beyond the classroom.

Our actors also receive an exceptional array of performance opportunities in the department’s undergraduate-only nine-show production calendar. These faculty or guest-directed productions are offered in our three world-class theatre spaces. Onstage experience is also provided through department-supported, student-directed Footlight productions, directing classes, as well as opportunities for new play readings or devised film work in supplemental production offerings each summer. 

Professional and summer stock companies conduct on-campus auditions, and students have multiple opportunities to showcase their talents for industry agents and casting directors from New York and Chicago in immersive experiences unique to our department.

Audition Information

  • Audition process

    2021 Virtual Audition Guidelines

    First Round:

    You’ll prepare two video submissions for your first-round virtual audition.

    First: prepare and submit a video monologue audition of two contrasting pieces (see below for guidance on selection and preparation). Your video should allow you to be clearly seen and heard and be no longer than two minutes in total. Film in landscape mode with your frame capturing you from the waist-up.

    Second: submit a video of yourself telling us something you feel we should know about YOU! This video should be no longer than one minute.

    Submit these videos through the GetAcceptd portal under the “Apply Now” button above.

    Second Round:

    We will have virtual callbacks via Zoom on February 19, 2021 and March 19, 2021. This is an opportunity for us to work with you on your material, get to know your artistry better, and for you to have a clearer sense of how we work. On your callback day, you will have the opportunity to speak to some of our current students and attend a ‘virtual tour’ of our facilities. You will also have the opportunity to ask the faculty any questions you may have.

    Our goal is to nurture each student's personality and potential, as well as share the strengths and opportunities of our program. We want the best possible match, so that you may select the program best suited to develop your individual voice.

    What happens after the audition?

    After all the auditions are completed for the year, the performance faculty meets to review the admissions files and audition data for all of the applicants. We have many talented, qualified applicants and after reviewing their work we make admission offers to a class of twenty actors, and create a ranked list of alternates. The initial twenty students will be informed within two weeks of the last audition date (generally in late March), via email or phone. Please ensure that we have accurate contact information for you so that an offer will not be delayed.

  • Tips for preparing your audition

    Tips on Preparation and Selection of Material

    • Choosing the perfect monologue takes work.
    • There is no shortcut to a great audition. We encourage you to seek out coaching and rehearse your audition in playful and imaginative ways. A monologue should show off who you are and the best work always comes from the actor’s ability to personalize the material. Be sure to use material that is relatively within your age range and understanding. We suggest that you focus on contemporary, realistic scripts.
    • Each monologue should be no longer than 1 minute. 45 seconds is ideal.
    • Your monologue should be one in which you are actively working to impact the character to whom you are speaking. Monologues are most effective when you are actively and immediately trying to change or get something from your unseen scene partner and they matter to you tremendously.
    • Wear clothing that is simple, professional, and comfortable. Do not use costumes, dialects, or props.
    • Your intro is called a ‘slate.’ Keep this warm and welcoming. Tell us your name and the names of the plays from which you are doing material.
    • Remember even on video: yes, a video is a two-dimensional medium. But we want three-dimensional characters! Find JOY in what you have to share. We can’t wait to see your work.

    Preparing your audition

    Sample resume

  • Dates and locations

    Find out where and when you can audition and how to apply.

  • Questions?

    For further information on Department of Theatre majors or the minor, email Debra Gambino, academic advisor.

Alumni Success

Meet our Alumni

Acting Alums have performed on Broadway, on screen, regionally and on tour. Broadway/Regional theatre includes: West Side Story, The Women, Beauty and the Beast, Shanandoah, Kiss Me, Kate, Gypsy, The Pirate Queen, Taboo, Jersey Boys, Into The Woods, Ragtime, and Spamalot. They have also performed with The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Royal Shakespeare Company (England), Disney. On camera includes: Modern Family, Lost, Orange is the New Black, Shameless, Weeds, Desperate Housewives, Six Feet Under, Boston Legal. National Tours include: Mean Girls, Forbidden Broadway, Miss Saigon, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Cats, just to name a few. Those who desire MFA training have gone to study at graduate programs such as ART/Harvard, Yale, Cal Arts, NYU, Florida State University, University of Connecticut, Case Western University, University of California at San Diego and UC Irvine, as well as many other programs too numerous to mention.

  • Black woman standing on red carpet in long white dress.

    Crystal Lucas-Perry

    Award-Winning Actress Crystal Lucas-Perry, who was last seen at the Public Theater in NYC working alongside Tony Kushner, starring in his first major play revival as Zillah in A Bright Room Called Day (2020 Antonyo Award Nominee for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play) — as well as the premiere production of Ain’t No Mo’ (2019 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play).

    Read more about Crystal

  • young white man wearing black shirt in portrait setting.

    Darren Johnston

    Darren is a Tony Award-winning Associate Producer at the theatrical production company, No Guarantees, where he has worked on Broadway's "Hadestown," "Mean Girls," and "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." Previous work includes a position as Assistant to the Director for the pre-Broadway premiere of "Spongebob Squarepants."

  • Black man wearing a purple sweater in a natural portrait setting.

    Larry Herron

    Larry is a Los Angeles-based actor who has been seen on television in "Modern Family," "NCIS," "Shameless," "Law & Order LA," and "Criminal Minds," among many others. Previous work includes performing at the Kennedy Center as Othello and in "The Deception" at La Jolla Playhouse.