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Does It Exist?

abcdefg1abcdefg1 Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Theater/Drama Majors
I'm extremely dedicated to drama and definitely looking to pursue it as a major in college. However, I'm much, much more interested in improving my PERFORMANCE rather than studying/analyzing plays and other works, which seems similar to an English class. The colleges I'm looking at, however, seem to require many courses in these types of things in order to graduate with a Theatre BA. Basically, are there any high-level colleges whose theater/drama major is based solely on performance, and not studying works? Also, to those who are theater majors, do you find that studying/analyzing plays has helped you become a better actor or not?
Post edited by abcdefg1 on

Replies to: Does It Exist?

  • MissTaylorMissTaylor Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    I live in Canada so it may be different here, but here a Theatre BA is concentrated on theory and anaylisis with a few acting classes. While a BFA Theatre or a BFA Theatre Performance is concentrated on acting with a few theory and anaylisis classes.

    A lot of arts schools here offer both programs, usually a BFA is audition and a BA is non audition.
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,145 Senior Member
    You will likely find that even at BFA performance conservatory programs you will study dramatic literature as part of the degree. This does help you become a stronger actor, because you are a more well educated actor in your field.

    You may find less dramatic literature in two-year conservatory programs. These programs do not grant a college degree (unless they have an agreement with a university where you take your academic course work).
  • CollegeMom08CollegeMom08 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Agree with KatMT. Even a conservatory BFA program will have dramatic literature study as part of the overall curriculum. In fact, many actors I know think it's a better idea to obtain your undergrad education in a BA subject (English lit, "theater studies", history, creative writing, even Philosophy) or at least minor in something
    and then get an MFA because it makes you a much better actor. Hard to perform The Bard when you don't know anything about the history, time period, language, etc.,etc. It's a good argument.
  • BelleNienteBelleNiente Registered User Posts: 223 Junior Member
    Yale has a small ensemble program of 16 or so students, and I believe they are performing-based.
    My friend is looking into mostly performance-based theatre major schools and I don't know much about their programs but she's going to the trouble of visiting them so they might be worth a google search. Her criteria is a strong theatre major, old buildings, and decent academics.

    Brandeis, Emerson (wasn't impressed), Wesleyan (sp?), Boston U (loved), Cornell. They may not all have what you are looking for, but i figured it might be semi-helpful.
  • BelleNienteBelleNiente Registered User Posts: 223 Junior Member
    Brandeis' program seems like a good balance: "The major in theater arts is designed to give students a solid foundation in dramatic literature, theory and history (LTH) as well as the opportunity to explore specific areas of practical theater performance and production. In addition to completing required courses in LTH, students are free to concentrate in an area, or track, that suits their talents and interests, including Acting, Dance and Movement, Directing, Design, and Stage Management."

    Sorry for randomly reviving this thread and double posting, but my theatre-crazed friend loved her tour there so I thought I'd share.
  • CCer2014CCer2014 Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    an educated, thinking actor who can make informed choices in their work are the ones who seem to get more work. simply emoting doesn't get a story across. it really is very very important to have a good understanding of the canon and the ability to analyze a play...after all, actors are only there to help tell the story and you gotta be able to break down the play and analyze it before you can even think of beginning to really act. trust me. your performance, which you've stated you are very dedicated to, WILL improve from the studying of plays and learning to do text analysis.
  • forrestforrest Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Acting and text analysis go hand in hand and I don't know any serious actor who is not deeply serious about text analysis and table work, and learning it properly is an essential tool for any actor. You cannot improve your performance without this skill.
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