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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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B.F.A. in Acting

Move. Play. Discover. Shine.
Own the scene.
Acting is your passion, and a B.F.A in Acting from Penn State can jumpstart your career and prepare you for your most important roles. If your dreams are set on center stage, our uniquely qualified faculty is eager to help you get there. Each day, you’ll learn from industry leaders the skills to command the performance while discovering your individuality and realizing your potential.

Are you ready to step into the spotlight? We’re excited to see you there.

Working toward a B.F.A. in Acting is a journey to find your artistic voice. Your four-year training sequence will begin with impulse, play and moment-to-moment discovery. The course work moves through creation of original pieces and various devising processes into scene work, monologue work and Shakespeare. Our faculty applies various approaches including Meisner-based work, Michael Chekhov and Jacques Lecoq techniques, Fitzmaurice work, Bartinieff and Laban efforts, Euro Danztheatre, hip hop theatre, singing training, acting in musical theatre training, devised Theatre work and more.

During the spring semester of your third year, the journey will take you to London, England where you will train with British faculty at Theatre Academy London. The transformative experience, set in one of the richest theatre cultures in the world, will offer you an opportunity to study original theatre-making, Shakespeare, physical approaches and scene study.

Throughout your time at Penn State, you will have extensive opportunities to grow as an artist while performing in productions, student films, faculty project productions, graduate student project productions and one acts. Your journey will culminate with your inclusion in a devised piece created for and with your class to serve as its showcase production.

 

See it in 360º

Welcome to our studios and performance spaces! Each of these 360º views is a portal of sorts into the learning and performance spaces in the School of Theatre!

You can click-and-drag to control the view in the frame, and there are embedded ‘links’ within the viewer that enable you to move among physical locations. By clicking the arrow icon at the footer of the viewer window, you can access the tour navigation menu, including the full screen (and you really should check these out full screen).

Pavilion TheatreSnap Content


Theatre Performance Classrooms + Stages


Is earning a B.F.A. in acting your next role?

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting degree program is one of the most revered in the entertainment industry and continuously produces highly skilled graduates ready to step onto the big stage.

The program’s holistic approach to producing well-rounded graduates will prepare you for a career in entertainment while educating you in a variety of subject areas.

Our faculty roster comprises working artists at the top of their game who have a deep understanding of the industry and what it takes to achieve success. They’re ready to help you get to where you want to go. Are you ready to take the first step?

School of Theatre students performing a duet.

Considering the B.F.A. in Acting at Penn State? Consider this.

Program takes holistic approach to producing well-rounded actors.

  • Faculty includes working artists at top of their game, with experience on Broadway and beyond.

  • Program includes semester at Theatre Academy London, in one of the richest theatre cultures.

  • Penn State and the surrounding community have a thriving theatre scene.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State embraced my vision for a cross-disciplinary education that combined electrical engineering with theatre and stage lighting.
Penn State alumnus Andrew Giffin

Alumni Spotlight

Andrew Giffin

Inter-College Bachelor of Philosophy, 2005

Andrew Giffin – a Schreyer Scholar who earned a inter-college Bachelor of Philosophy incorporating studies in Theatre Design and Technology plus Electrical Engineering – is the associate lighting designer for the rock band, Phish, and is widely considered as the top lighting programmer in the industry. Andrew has designed and programmed light shows for musicians such as Pearl Jam, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber in addition to his work on music award shows, theatre productions and sporting events.

Faculty Spotlight

"Into the Woods" production photo with cast grouped in front of a darkened background at Ford's Theatre. Image credit: Carol Rosegg.

Milagros Ponce de León

Associate Professor of Theatre

Milagros‘ areas of specialization include scenic design, 3D drafting, scene painting, and rendering for the theater. Recent design credits in the Washington DC area include scenic designs for Into the Woods, Jefferson’s Garden, and Ragtime at Ford’s Theatre; Life is a Dream at Gala Hispanic Theatre; and Matilda, In the Heights, and Sweeney Todd at Olney Theatre Centre. Additional credits include scenic designs for Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in NC; and Catalyst Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Imagination Stage, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Metro Stage, National Players, Opera Vivente, Roundhouse Theatre, Theatre Alliance, and Studio Theatre 2nd Stage in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.

Milagros has received three Helen Hayes nominations for outstanding scenic design in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local-829, an Associate Artist at Ford’s Theatre, and an Artistic Associate at Olney Theatre Center.

Milagros Ponce de Leon; image credit Roderick Mccladdie-Mcleod

News from A&A

Higgins receives Association for Theatre in Higher Education outstanding teacher award

Jeanmarie Higgins, associate professor of theatre, is the 2021 recipient of the prestigious ATHE Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher Award.

Jeanmarie Higgins, associate professor of theatre, is the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher Award, given by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). The award


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Arts and Architecture names college, academic unit marshals

We are proud to announce our student marshals for spring 2021. Crystal Dahm, who will receive dual degrees in Theatre and French/Francophone Studies, is the college marshal.
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Alum brings together theatre and film communities with award-winning production company

Theatre alum Sarah Ellis' award-winning production company, MT Shorts, brings together film and theatre communities.
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