Two Baldwin Wallace acting students performing on stage

BW's Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting is a rigorous program that melds classical theatre training with contemporary theatrical techniques.

BFA Acting

School of Humanities

Apply  Visit  Request Info  

Undergraduate Admission

(440) 826-2222, (877) BW-APPLY, admission@bw.edu

 

Share

OVERVIEW

Experience a fresh approach to actor training that can prepare you for a successful career in the performing arts. Baldwin Wallace’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting (BFA) is an intensive theatre program offering extensive training in acting, voice and movement.

Individual attention, professional mentoring and diverse performance opportunities are at the center of our BFA acting program. You’ll benefit from BW’s partnership with Cleveland's acclaimed Great Lakes Theater at Playhouse Square – where you can work alongside leading professionals, understudy acting roles and earn equity points.

As an acting major, you’ll develop your whole-body-instrument and learn effective techniques for communicating with power and authenticity through movement and voice. You’ll challenge yourself to excel. Express your creativity. And build an impressive resume.

Ranked a Top BFA in Acting Program


BW's Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting program was named one of the nation’s best BFA acting programs by OnStage Blog in 2018. The four-year acting program was lauded for its ongoing partnerships with nationally ranked theatre and arts organizations. It is the only BFA in acting in Northeast Ohio.

  • QUALITY STREET by JM Barrie

    BW takes a fresh approach to the classics, as evidenced by this acclaimed staging of a neglected masterpiece.

  • PERICLES by Shakespeare

    BW's two annual Shakespeare productions feature live music performed by the casts.

  • INTIMATE APPAREL by Lynn Nottage

    BW produces a wide range of plays, including classics and new works.

  • FYOO ZH EN

    FYOO ZH EN: NEW MUSIC + DANCE

    BW dance program teams up with the Conservatory of Music composition program and a different academic department each year to produce an astonishing evening of new modern dance and music.

  • ANGELS IN AMERICA PART ONE: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES

    ANGELS IN AMERICA PART ONE: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES

    BW is one of the few theatre producers to tackle both parts of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize winning American classic.

  • THE DIVINERS by Jim Leonard Jr.

    A busy production schedule means there are many opportunities to perform on the BW stage beginning freshmen year.

  • BIG LOVE

    BIG LOVE by Charles Mee (based on Aeschylus's THE SUPPLIANTS)

    Twenty tons of sand and a working bathtub were required for BW's version of Mee's modern classic.  

Theatre and Performing Arts Partners

Baldwin Wallace's close proximity to Cleveland and its nationally ranked theatre and arts organizations offers outstanding learning and performance opportunities.

BW’s formal alliance with Cleveland's Great Lakes Theater (GLT), which is one of the few recognized, active partnerships between an equity theatre and undergraduate program in the U.S.

As a BFA major, you’ll have audition opportunities with the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

You’ll learn from BW faculty who bring decades of experience as practicing professionals with leading Northeast Ohio organizations:

Auditions

Auditions for BFA in Acting

Each year, approximately 16 students are accepted into the program. Auditions are required for all students applying to the BFA in Acting major.

Audition Process

Learn about the audition process including audition dates, registration, fee, requirements and admission notification.

FAQs and Helpful Tips

FAQs and helpful tips can help you choose the right program and prepare for your audition and the admission process.

Important Dates

View all admission dates >

BW Theatre Productions

Baldwin Wallace's theatre and dance department produces two main stage productions and a series of one-acts each semester. Productions include musicals, operas, plays and a dance concert.

CURRICULUM

Strong academics, small class sizes, and personalized coaching and mentoring are inherent to the BFA acting program.

You'll learn from award-winning, professionally active faculty with extensive experience in directing, acting, design and dance.

Our bachelor of fine arts degree builds on BW’s recognized strength in the theatre arts and includes a strong collaboration with the nationally acclaimed Baldwin Wallace music theatre program. Faculty teach across both programs.

Acting Program Combines Classical, Contemporary Theatre

You’ll benefit from our dual approach to actor training that combines classical drama with contemporary technique. Our fresh approach to classical actor training enables you to expand your skills and versatility in the performing arts.

The importance of mastering dramatic verse is a priority. You'll learn a diverse range of techniques including scansion, Folio Technique, Linklater, Fitzmaurice, Alexander, Meisner, Stanislavsky and others.

BW's BFA in acting curriculum includes eight semesters of coursework focused on acting and a wide range of movement training (including dance and stage combat) as well as multiple approaches to text analysis. 

BFA Senior Showcase

Held in Chicago, the Baldwin Wallace BFA Showcase will help you launch your professional career by giving you an exciting opportunity to perform before casting directors and agents within the Chicago Theater market.

Great Lakes Theater

The BW BFA partnership with Great Lakes Theater is a senior-year capstone project designed to get you into a workplace in a professional capacity, as a bridge into the real world. You will either understudy a production or appear onstage in a smaller role. You can connect with actors and directors from across the country and practice the skills you’ve learned in a professional theatre setting.

Master Classes

Learn from the best. BW brings to campus guest theatre and industry professionals to teach students. These include agents, graduate school representatives and directors – all of whom can help you understand what it means to work as a professional in the field.

Related Programs of Study in Theatre

In addition to the BFA in acting, BW offers a Bachelor of Arts in theatre with four track options — design and technical, dance and movementstage management and acting and directing.

STUDENT EXPERIENCES

As an acting major, you’ll be encouraged to participate in a variety of cultural, professional and educational theatre and dance programs both nationally and internationally. These opportunities, in conjunction with theatre productions and student organizations, will help you network, advance your acting skills, and build an impressive resume and portfolio.

Theatre Productions

Performance opportunities begin early and continue through senior year. You can audition for BW main stage and studio series plays, musicals, operas, two 10-minute play festivals, dance concerts and student-led projects.

Facilities

The Department of Theatre and Dance is located in Kleist Center for Art & Drama. It houses two theatres: Mainstage Theatre and Black Box Theatre.

The Mainstage Theatre is a large 500-seat proscenium theatre. The Black Box Theatre is a smaller, flexible theatre with seating between 100-250. This unique studio space is intended to provide a variety of seating arrangements, including proscenium, three-quarter-thrust and in-the-round.

There are also two dance studios and an acting studio, which operates as a small 30-seat performance space for rehearsal projects.

Study Theatre in London

Heighten your understanding and appreciation of British theatre through a study abroad experience led by Baldwin Wallace theatre faculty. The optional eight-week, credit-earning immersion course in British theatre includes a 12-day trip to London.

Student Organizations

Theatre Arts and Performance

This organization supports student theatre artists and those interested in theatre on campus. It informs students of events and opportunities in theatre, maintains an open forum for student ideas and projects, and raises awareness of on- and off-campus theatrical events.

Faces for Radio

BW's improv comedy troupe holds bi-weekly workshops and performs on campus.

ALUMNI SUCCESS

Renowned for its top acting programs, Baldwin Wallace has earned national attention for alumni success. BW graduates are working as actors, directors, stage managers, artistic directors and in other roles in performing arts and entertainment venues nationwide.

Career areas include theatre, film, television and other performing arts media. BW's outstanding reputation in the arts and its ranking as one of the best BFA acting programs help students secure professional representation.

FACULTY

 

DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND DANCE

(440) 826-2239, theatre@bw.edu

Full-Time Faculty

Scott Plate
Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance
Directing Program Coordinator
Associate Professor
Acting, Directing, On Camera

Tesia Benson
Assistant Professor
Make-up, Costume Construction

Beth Burrier
Music Theatre Music Director & Area Coordinator, Music Theatre
Associate Professor of Music Theatre

Victoria Bussert
Director, Music Theatre Program
Professor of Theatre

Gregory Daniels
Coordinator, Dance Program
Associate Professor of Dance
Jazz, Tap

Anjanette Hall
BFA in Acting Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor

Les Hunter
Associate Professor
Playwriting, Script Analysis, Screenwriting

Keira Lea McDonald
Associate Profesor

Brennan Murphy
BFA in Acting Program Coordinator
Associate Professor
Acting, Voice

Annika Sheaff
Assistant Professor
Ballet, Modern Dance

David Allen Stoughton
Assistant Professor

Sara Whale
Assistant Professor
Ballet, Modern, Improv, Choreography

Charlotte Yetman
Costume Design Program Coordinator
Professor

Adjunct Faculty

Laura Welsh Berg
Lecturer
Acting

Melanie Boeman
Lecturer
Costume Shop Manager

Pamela Decker
Lecturer
Theatre History, Dramaturgy, Script Analysis

Martin Friedman
Lecturer
Script Analysis, Intro to Theatre

Dylan Fujimura
Lecturer
Technical Director

Shannon B. Fujimura
Lecturer
B.F.A., Kent State University

Fred Gloor
Lecturer
Improvisation, Intro to Theatre

Heidi Glynias
Lecturer
Dance

Tracy Grady
Lecturer
Singing for Actors, Voice

Todd Krispinsky
Lecturer
Theatre Management

Christine McBurney
Lecturer

Lisa Ortenzi
Lecturer
Creative Dramatics

Corrie Purdum
Lecturer
Stage Management 

Pandora Robertson
Lecturer
Movement, Devised Theatre

Kelly Smith
Lecturer
Acting

Bob Taylor
Lecturer
Theatre Seminar in London

Dusten Welch
Lecturer
Resident Fight Director, Stage Combat

Staff

Yolanda Kennedy
Office Manager

Josh Padgett
Assistant Technical Director