Theatre Undergraduate Programs
Undergraduate theatre majors can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree with a concentration in Performance, Design/Technology, or Musical Theatre . All students enter the program as BA students.
BA in Theatre
The BA program in theatre is a broadly based program of theatre practice and study for the student who may wish to pursue in-depth studies in another area as well. The program requires completion of 40 credits in theatre, 3 credits in dance, and 6 credits in dramatic literature outside the department, including 3 at the upper division. A student may count as many as 45 credits in “THTR” designated courses towards the 120 credits required for graduation. A grade of C- or better is required for each course fulfilling the major requirement.
BFA in Theatre
The BFA degree programs in theatre offer a concentration in theatre study to a limited number of highly motivated and talented students. The BFA student will pursue one of three areas of concentration: Performance, Design/Technology, or Musical Theatre. Students may count as many as 67 credits in “THTR” designated courses towards the 120 credits required for graduation.
Admission is limited not only in terms of student capacity, but also to insure the type of individual attention necessary for effective training. To be eligible for the four year guarantee in Performance and Design/ Technology, interested students must identify themselves, in writing, at the beginning of their freshman year, and formal application (including auditions and interviews) must be completed during the third semester of study. (Transfer students should see a departmental advisor, as the third semester requirement may not apply.)
To be eligible for the four year guarantee in Musical Theatre, interested students must declare, in writing, during the application process, their intetion to audition; audition at the regular spring audition for the College of Music before matriculating; and declare their major immediately upon acceptance following the audition.
A student may apply to all three areas of concentration, but can only be admitted to one. Counseling in advance is recommended. Admission is based on talent, academic record, motivation, and audition/interviews which are held during the specified semester. A grade of C- or better is required for each course fulfilling the major requirement.
BFA in Performance
In order to audition for the BFA in performance, students must be enrolled in or have completed THTR 2003, Acting 1. Students accepted into the BFA program in performance will begin their program by taking THTR 3013, Studio 1. Evaluation of progress will occur throughout the semester, and at the conclusion of the semester, it will be determined if satisfactory progress has been made. If so, students will move on to take THTR 3023, Studio 2. At the conclusion of Studio 2, an evaluation by the performance faculty will determine further courses. Some students may be advised to continue into advanced acting studios. Others may be advised to enroll in other courses for a more diversified BFA (for example, a student whose strengths are in areas such as directing or playwriting). Others may be advised to complete the BA program, applying the studio courses they have already taken to electives for the BA degree.
Admission into the advanced Studio courses will only be by permission from the performance faculty through evaluation and when appropriate, by audition. This determination will be made each semester. It is important that students beginning Studio 1 understand that they are not automatically entitled to take further acting studios or to automatically continue towards a BFA degree.
Enrollment in acting studios will be on the basis of the ongoing demonstration of satisfactory progress, as determined by the performance faculty. All BFA students are required to audition for the major season productions.
BFA in Design/Technology
The BFA concentration in Design/Technology requires a significant number of theatre credits in addition to the general College of Arts and Sciences requirements for the BA and the required Theatre BA requirements (including electives). Please note that students in this concentration should use the theatre electives to fulfill any prerequisites (e.g. THTR 3005, THTR 3015) for these courses.
BFA in Musical Theatre
The BFA in Musical Theatre degree program offers a rigorous concentration in theatre, music, and dance to a select number of highly disciplined, motivated, and talented students; the degree program includes courses in the College of Music (30 credit hours), the Department of Theatre and Dance (30 credit hours), and the College of Arts and Sciences core curriculum (43 credit hours of core curriculum, plus an additional 17 credit hours of electives).
Students in this degree program must pass an audition/interview conducted by the College of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Please see the BFA Musical Theatre Application page for detailed information and forms. The BFA in Musical Theatre is part of the BFA track in the Department of Theatre and Dance; therefore students in this major are housed in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Applicants for the BFA in Musical Theatre are expected to
- have taken private voice lessons,
- have good sight reading ability,
- demonstrate elementary piano skills to understand basic music theory, and
- be able to read treble and/or bass clefs.
On the application to the university, students should list “BA in Theatre” as their prospective major. In addition to the CU application, you will need to submit an application to the BFA in Musical Theatre at the same time.
Before you can be invited to the live audition, but must pass a pre-audition. Mail your application, essay, reference (in a signed, sealed envelope), and recording* by December 1st to: Bud Coleman, Dept. of Theatre & Dance, 261 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. *Digital recording consists of you singing two, complete songs to accompaniment. No accapella recordings will be considered.
Auditions are held in February by the College of Music prior to the first semester of enrollment. The student should prepare two contrasting songs, at least one from the classical repertoire, and a monologue (60-90 seconds in length) from 20th/21st century dramatic literature. (Sing the complete song; do not perform a 16-bar cutting.) All material must be memorized. An accompanist will be provided. For those prospective students who cannot attend the Boulder auditions, a recording (DVD or YouTube posting) can be substituted. To be assured of consideration for financial assistance, the recording must be received by February 15. Students who participate in the February auditions (either in person or by recording) will learn of their acceptance or rejection within two weeks.
Continuing students, transfer students, and students who anticipate beginning their freshman year in the spring should contact the Musical Theatre Advisor (Bud Coleman, 303-492-5809) as this audition sequence does not apply. Auditions for these students will occur on Mondays at 3:00 p.m. by advance appointment only.
Continued enrollment in the BFA in Musical Theatre program is dependent upon satisfactory progress, as determined by the performance faculty in the College of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Admission into advanced courses will only be with permission from the performance faculty through evaluation, and when appropriate, by audition. This determination will be made each semester.