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 BFA in Acting offers conservatory-style training focused on helping you master the skills and mindset you need to develop the career you want. Our training program is rigorous, with flexibility that allows you to focus on your own artistic development, growth, and professional goals.

The BFA in Acting core sequence is extensive, providing the basis for work grounded in truth, connection, imagination, and craft. The Acting sequence is essential for both stage and camera work and includes athletically present moment-to-moment work, script analysis and preparation as it is applied in the industry, voice work for the actor, intimacy direction, and the physical training necessary for the stillness of film and the freedom of stage.

We believe you are an individual working in an industry that needs your voice. We are here to support you in discovering it and developing it. Our student-to-faculty ratio means if you are selected to join us as an Acting major, we will get to know you well, which is vitally important in the training and empowering of young artists.

Our impressive roster of Guest Artists allows you to build on skills you are learning in the classroom through masterclasses and workshops. We give you access to a wide variety of working actors and artists, casting directors, coaches, agents, content creators, cultural competency coordinators, career coaches, casting designers, and voice-over professionals. Our Guest Artists are selected to expose you to the way the industry works now, ensuring your training is relevant to the career you are building.

Your opportunities to perform are exceptional. Since we are an undergraduate-only program, the BFA performance majors fill all the roles. Our production calendar features 8-10 mainstage productions and numerous student-directed/faculty-mentored productions in our three professional theatrical spaces. All majors are eligible to be cast in both plays and musicals, though auditioning for musicals is optional for Acting majors.

In an industry driven by artists creating across multiple platforms, the opportunity to study collaborative film production, new play development, participate in new play readings, and learn to create and devise on stage and film allows you to design the career you want.

We are professional working artists. We will present you with opportunities to explore what really excites you and support your discoveries as you offer your talents to the world. We are passionate about your growth. We are committed to helping you become the artist you want to be.

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  • Audition Process

    To complete your application for the BFA Acting program, you will need to : 

    • Upload a current digital photo and acting resume 

    • Provide email addresses for two references (teachers, directors) who know your work 

    • Know your current GPA 

    You may audition virtually or in person.  

    The guidelines for each audition format are detailed here: 

    The Virtual Audition Process 

    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 hold virtual callbacks via Zoom. 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. 

     

    The In-person Audition Process 

    What you will need for the audition:  

    1. Each auditionee is expected to prepare two monologues, each about a minute in length. (For more tips, please see Selecting and Performing Your Monologue). 

    1. Bring two sets of clothing to the audition day.  You will wear one set of clothing for the monologue audition, and one set of movement clothes for the callback. You may wear your movement clothing to the interview – no need to change. 

     First Round: The Monologue Audition 

    The first part of the audition process is a traditional monologue audition. 

    1. Introduce yourself with  

    1. Your name  

    1. The title of the play your monologue is from 

    1. The name of the playwright (unless it is Shakespeare) 

    1. Perform one of your two prepared monologues for the panel of performance faculty. There will be a timer – don’t worry if you get cut off! 

    Following your monologue audition, you will be informed if you have been called back or not. If you are called back, you will be scheduled for a second Group Movement audition later in the day. If you are not called back, you are free to leave at that time.  

    Second Round: Group Movement Callback 

    You will change into your movement clothes (clothing that is non-binding, allows free movement, and in which you are comfortable rolling around on the floor) for this round. 

    Be prepared to “play”.  This means that you are fully available, physically and mentally, to explore the creative possibilities of performance.  

    The Group Movement Callback is an opportunity for you to work directly with performance faculty who will be leading you and your group through a series of exercises exploring your physical and creative capabilities. This is not about “acting,” or “putting on an act,” but about you as an individual exploring the range of imagination and creativity you bring to your work. There is no right or wrong way to do these activities. What matters is willing and authentic participation.   

    This callback is not a test, an improvisation, or a performance. It is more like playing games, with performance faculty as the leaders. It is a chance for us all to get to know each other a little better as creative and enthusiastic artists.  

    Third Round: Interview 

    After the Group Movement callback, you may be invited to an interview. An invitation to an interview does not necessarily mean you will or will not be admitted.  

    The panel of performance faculty will meet with each individual student. The content of your interview may vary according to the monologue audition, your performance in the group movement callback, or the details of your academic record or performance experience.  

    For example, you may be asked to work on one specific thing from the monologue you did in the morning. You may be asked to do your second monologue. You may be asked specific questions about the Group movement callback, or about your education or experience.  

    You will also have the opportunity to ask the faculty any questions you may have. 

    Our goal in the audition process is to get to know each auditionee’s personality and potential, as well as share the strengths and opportunities available in our program.  

    We want the best possible match, for us and for you,  so that you may select the program best suited to develop your individual artistic voice. 

  • What happens after the audition?

     After all the auditions are completed, the faculty meets to review the admissions files and audition data for the applicants. We have many talented, qualified applicants. We practice rolling admission, which means while it is possible that an offer could be made within two weeks of your audition, it is not likely. Since we have multiple audition events, the majority of the offers will be made later in the audition season, which lasts until March.

    Please ensure that we have accurate contact information for you so that an offer will not be delayed. We absolutely need your email and phone number to be accurate. Please acknowledge receipt of the offer, so we know you received it. At the time we make an offer, we will tell you the acceptance deadline. Please ask questions, tour the campus and the building, talk with our students, and sit in on classes if you can. If at all possible, see a show -- call or email the box office and let them know you’ve received an offer and they will do their

    best to accommodate you. We want you to feel confident in your choice and will do our best to help you get the information you need.

  • Tips for preparing your audition
    • 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 more information on the audition process, email or call us at (269) 387-3220.

Alumni Success

Meet our Alumni

Alums of the Acting major perform on screen, in plays, and in musicals, on Broadway, in Regional Theatres and on tour. To name a few: On-screen: WandaVision, Modern Family, Weeds, Shameless, Law and Order and SVU, Orange is the New Black, Desperate Housewives, Six Feet Under, Chicago Fire/Law/Med/PD Broadway/Regional: Mean Girls, West Side Story, Ragtime, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Shenandoah, Kiss Me Kate, The Pirate Queen, Gypsy, Taboo, Jersey Boys, Spamalot, Miss Saigon Companies: Steppenwolf, The Royal Shakespeare Company (England), The Goodman, Long Warf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Disney, Williamstown Theatre. Those who desire MFA training have gone on to study at graduate programs such as Yale, NYU, ART/Harvard, CalArts, Florida State, Old Globe/USC, University of Connecticut, UC San Diego, and UC Irvine

  • 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.