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The University of Memphis

T h e Departm e nt of

Theatre & Dance BFA in Theatre |

Performance | Musical THEATRE | Design and technical production

BFA in Theatre | Performance, Musical Theatre, and Design and Technical Production

The Department of Theatre & Dance

Y O U R APP L A U S E S TAR T S HERE The Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Memphis invites you to join us as we explore the exciting world of the performing arts. We are dedicated to a unified program designed to help you learn to use your body, voice and mind more proficiently than you ever thought possible. We believe that each student should be broadly prepared in as many meaningful artistic experiences as imaginable. Come celebrate theatre and dance in all their infinite varieties. We offer the BFA degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Performance, Musical Theatre, or Design and Technical Production, and the MFA degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Directing or Design and Technical Production. If you are a performer, you will notice that there is no MFA program in acting, which means you are not competing with graduate actors for roles! Our focus on professionalism is reflected by the department’s excellent faculty of teachers and artists

who are dedicated to the nurturing of individual creativity. More than just outstanding professors, in the Department of Theatre & Dance, you will encounter genuine mentors – faculty devoted to your development as an individual. Our faculty are active in their chosen fields, continuing to direct, design, choreograph, produce and perform, both on campus and off. They also maintain professional affiliations and contacts, which will enrich your classroom experience.

With an emphasis on diversity and the breadth of experience only the performing arts can provide. You will find that our upcoming productions are an astonishing mix of comedy and drama, music and dance. The University of Memphis is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

P rog r am su m m a r y Artists need a supportive, diverse and respectful environment in which they can learn; the freedom to experiment, fail, succeed and triumph; and the guidance to understand what has happened. We mentor and nurture each student so that he/she can discover the artist within. The College of Communication and Fine Arts (home to the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and the departments of art, architecture, communication and journalism, in addition to the Department of Theatre & Dance) provides a perfect environment in which to study a multidisciplinary profession like theatre. The BFA is a four-year, pre-professional degree program in which students take approximately two-thirds of their coursework in their major areas of study and one-third in other areas. This allows students to grow and develop as theatrical artists while they gain a broader educational perspective. We firmly believe that the more you understand the world you live in, the more successful you will be in theatre. Our incoming BFA students “hit the ground running� and participate in the department’s productions during their first semesters. We understand that great theatre is truly a collaborative effort, and we want every student, freshmen included, to take part in our season productions and contribute to our vibrant theatre community.

Stu de n t H igh light:

A J B ERNAR D BFA Musical Theatre

I chose to attend the U of M because of the wonderful opportunities I knew would be provided that would further my career. The highlight of my short time at the U of M has been meeting other wonderful, talented people who have goals similar to my own.

Year 1 Fall Spring English Composition English Composition Math Oral Communication History History Intro to Theatre Social Science Intro to Design or Performance Fundamentals Tech Prod Production Lab Production Lab

Schedule at a glance

BFA in Theatre – Performance

Year 2 Fall Literary Heritage Stage Movement Acting I Dynamics/Vocal Perform I Directing Experiments Production Lab

Spring Social Science Dynamics/Vocal Perform II Acting II Movement Styles Production Lab Theatre Elective

Year 3 Fall Spring Acting III Stage Combat Audition Prep Theatre Elective Vocal Styles for Perf Theatre Elective Script Interpretation Theatre/Free Elective Theatre Elective

Year 4 Fall Natural Science Internship Theatre Elective Theatre/Free Elective (or Dance-2 cred)

Spring Natural Science Theatre Management Elective (or Dance-2 cred)

Performance The professional coursework in the BFA Theatre Performance program includes intensive theatre courses that will prepare students for professional work after college. The BFA Theatre coursework includes a range of classes that focus on the actor’s body (Stage Movement, Stage Combat, Mask Performance, Acting Styles, Creative Dramatics, Audition Preparation), the actor’s voice (Vocal Dynamics, Stage Dialects, Musical Theatre Applied Voice), and the mind (Directing Experiments, Script Analysis, Asian Theatre, African-American Diaspora, Theatre History, Dramatic Literature).

St u de n t H igh light:

Emily Childers

BFA Performance

I chose the University of Memphis because I wanted to be close to home during my college years. I knew my aspirations as an actor would lead to building a career in another city, so I chose to spend my college years at home and close to my family. I also chose the U of M because of the theatre department. Our department has a high reputation for faculty, productions and alumni. Being involved in our theatre department and being able to throw myself into my work and a theatre community on a daily basis is a constant highlight. By throwing myself in and getting involved on or off the stage, I keep busy doing what I love. Our Theatre courses in Performance are taught by such distinguished professors as: playwright and director Stephen Hancock; Fulbright Scholar, actress and playwright Sarah Brown; Lessac practitioner, somatics and theatrical voice specialist Anita Jo Lenhart; actor and fight choreographer Lawrence Blackwell; performer and choreographer Holly Lau; and award-winning SDC director Robert Hetherington. This four-year degree program, in combination with our production season, gives each student confidence in his/her abilities and provides the necessary skills and competencies as outlined by NAST to enter this competitive arena.

m usi c al th eatr e The professional coursework in the Musical Theatre program includes intensive studies in dance (ballet, tap, musical-theatre styles), theatre (acting, history, technical production), music (voice, piano, theory), and musical theatre (performance, history and more). It is our goal to give students the skill set necessary to be successful in the popular and competitive professional musical-theatre world. To develop that skill set, students receive a broad education in all three areas of music, theatre, and dance. In musical theatre, one is called upon to use all three of these areas together at any given moment in

performance; therefore, additional training is given in musical theatre specifically to help students learn how to use all three of these areas together in the particular genre that is the American musical. As part of the degree, students also have opportunities to learn about career strategies, audition techniques and a wide array of performance skills. The Musical Theatre program has been designed and is taught by director and performer Jacob Allen and Broadway actor, choreographer and director Mark Allan Davis.

Year 1 Fall Intro to Music Theory Basic Piano Skills English Composition Stage Movement Intro to Design Intro to Theatre

Year 2

Stu dent H ig h lig h t :

Schedule at a glance

I’ve had an opportunity to play a variety of characters on the U of M stage, and I’ve experienced the artistic process of bringing productions to performance level with several different directors; these experiences have allowed me to reach out to the Memphis theatre community as a new Memphis resident. I am in the first graduating class of the Musical Theatre concentration in the BFA program, which has allowed me to expand my talents to singing and dancing. The artistic growth that has occurred in the past three years at this University is indescribable.

BFA in Theatre – Musical Theatre

s haki er a ada m s BFA Musical Theatre

Spring English Composition Oral Communication Math History Performance Fundamentals Production Lab

Fall Spring Literary Heritage History Singing for the Actor MT Applied Ballet Ballet Musical Acting I Acting II Dynamics of Vocal Performance I Dynamics/Vocal Perform II Production Lab Social Science

Year 3 Fall MT Applied Voice MT Dance I Elective Acting for Musical Theatre Audition Prep Production Lab

Spring MT Applied Voice MT Dance II Elective Musical Theatre History Social Science Production Lab

Year 4 Fall Natural Science Internship Dramatic Literature I Script Interpretation Elective

Spring Theatre History Theatre Management Musical Theatre Practicum Natural Science Elective

design and technical production The professional coursework in the Design and Technical Production program includes intensive studies in Scenic, Sound, Lighting, Costume Design, and Technical Production. Design course options include, Intro to Design or Technical Production, Theatre Graphics, Stagecrafts, Visual History, Scenic Painting, Principles of Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting and Sound Technology, Theatre Architecture and Facilities Planning, Theatre Management, and Technical Direction. Our dedicated and innovative design faculty work hand in hand with design students not only in the classroom but in the practical setting of creating our vibrant production season. Professor John McFadden leads the team as production manager, as well as award-winning lighting and sound designer and technology guru. Scenic designer Dave Nofsinger’s creative vision inspires students as they grow as scenic artists. As technical director for the department, Mike O’Nele trains students to bring that vision to life. Costume design students also find inspiration in the shop, working with costume designer Janice Benning Lacek.

Schedule at a glance

BFA in Theatre – Design and Technical Production

Year 1

Fall English Composition Math History Intro to Theatre (Hum/Fine Arts) Intro to Tech Production Production Lab

Spring English Composition Oral Communication History Intro to Design Intro to Theatre Graphics Production Lab

Year 2

Fall Literary Heritage Natural Science Social Science Principles of Scene Design Elective

Spring Natural Science Social Science Performance Fundamentals Stagecraft Elective

Year 3 Fall Spring Princ of Costume Design Production Lab Production Lab Design Studio A Technology Course A Theatre History Visual History for Thea I Visual History for Thea II Elective Elective Elective

Year 4 Fall Production Lab Technology Course B Internship Dramatic Lit I Script Interpretation Elective

Spring Production Lab Design Studio B Dramatic Lit II Theatre Management Elective

p r o duction s Productions are the lifeblood of a theatre artisan. We produce. We create. We do it as a team. Over and over, you will hear your professors, your peers and other theatre artisans refer to theatre as a collaborative art form. What this means is that we are all working together to create the same end product: the play (or dance concert). Everyone involved realizes that each person’s contribution is appreciated and necessary.

Recent Productions Musicals: The Phantom of the Opera (Lloyd Webber) The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Bat Boy Edges Blood Brothers The Spitfire Grill The Mystery of Edwin Drood Assassins Into the Woods Parade Elegies

Plays: Arcadia Wit A Streetcar Named Desire The Comedy of Errors Cyrano Fences Hedda Gabler Hay Fever Eurydice In the Blood Noises Off

St u d ent H ig h l ig ht :

K e ego n Sc h u ett BFA Design and Technical Production

I received the fulltuition scholarship in the area of tech/ design. I was excited by the fact that the department offers many opportunities in many different areas. As a performer, playwright, director and technician, I was looking for a program that would encourage me to explore and grow in all of those areas.

Faci liti es The University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance is one of the best theatre facilities in the city of Memphis. There are three main performing spaces in the Theatre building (TH) and two in the Communication & Fine Arts building (CFA).

The Mainstage Theatre (TH 100) is a flexible, 312-seat proscenium stage space that houses our larger productions. It has a large apron as well as side stages to accommodate many settings. This theatre has high-end technical support such as computer-automated, multichannel sound playback; a computerized lighting system capable of supporting automated lighting; projection; and 44 counter-weighted line sets for rigging.

The DanceSpace (CFA 124) is the larger of our two dance studios. Equipped with computerized lighting control, sound support and flexible audience seating, this room is used both as a classroom and a performance space.

The Studio Theatre (TH 137) is an intimate black box, capable of any configuration. Due to limited seating (85–100), smaller productions tend to be produced in this space.

The Dance Studio (CFA 126), TH 201 and TH 207, are primarily classroom spaces but may be reserved to use for rehearsals.

The Lab Theatre (TH 235), directly above the Studio Theatre in the Theatre Building, shares a similar floor plan. This space is primarily for classwork and student-driven presentations.

m e n tor i n g Stu den t H ig h lig h t :

jan i e cr ick BFA Musical Theatre

The University of Memphis is the only public school in the state of Tennessee that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. This program is a way for me to take classes that are more focused on my career goals. I also received the Emerging Leaders Scholarship to help me with my leadership and business skills.

We are dedicated to mentoring our students in their artistic and personal growth. As part of that commitment, our talented faculty continue to pursue and develop their own professional and artistic growth outside the University setting, connecting them with many professional persons and companies nationally and internationally. These connections benefit our students when they are looking for internships and work. Students are typically considered for internships, scholarships and special theatrical opportunities through those connections. Memphis offers a wide variety of theatrical and professional opportunities.

con n ect ion s Each year, one theatre student is chosen to study abroad in Arezzo, Italy, at the Accademia dell’Arte. And in recent years, several of our students have taken part in the SpringboardNYC experience in New York City. Graduate and undergraduate students have interned and worked with professional companies across the country, including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier, The Public Theater, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Shakespeare Festival and California’s Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Ad m i ssi on s

interview; (2) the student’s previous coursework in theatre, particularly in the area of special interest; (3) the student’s previous involvement in production experience; and (4) letters of recommendation from former theatre arts instructors and/or directors. Even if admitted to an advanced standing, the student will be required to remedy any Admission to the BFA Performance, Musical Theatre and the Design and Technical Production programs are based on successful admittance to the University of Memphis. previous course deficiencies. In addition, entrance to the Musical Theatre program is through audition. The entrance auditions are offered in the Spring and are available to incoming freshmen and transfers as well as current U of M students. The audition is comprehensive and evaluates students’ abilities to sing, act and dance. Space is limited and will be given to students, based on the auditions, who best exhibit potential for development in the field. Transfer of Credit: In certain cases, students may be admitted to an advanced level of the BFA program. Such admission will be based upon: (1) an audition and

f i nanc i al a i d Your investment of time, energy and money into your college education returns much more than a degree. It provides you with a set of opportunities, friendships, experiences and professional relationships that will help shape your life. We believe that students should choose a school that offers the best educational fit in the combination of faculty, curriculum and environment for their individual goals. The University of Memphis and the Department of Theatre & Dance, along with generous community supporters, provide a wide array of financial assistance to help students meet the financial responsibility of receiving a University of Memphis education.

Admission to the BFA curriculum does not imply your permanent tenure in the program. After admission, you are expected to audition and interview on an annual or, in some cases, semester basis. It is at this time that the BFA committee will evaluate your artistic growth, the development of your technical facilities, and your continuing commitment to creative excellence in the area of design and technical production, performance or musical theatre. Permission to continue in the program will be based upon this evaluation. For more information, visit

Two types of financial assistance are available at the University of Memphis: scholarships based on either academic or performance excellence, and needbased assistance.

Applicants are automatically considered for scholarships that range from several thousand dollars a year to full tuition, and generous support from local donors ensures that several major awards are available each year.

Scholarships are available from both the University and the Department of Theatre & Dance. Generally, University scholarship support is provided based on academic potential as demonstrated in a student’s admission application. For more information, visit

In addition to scholarships, all students are encouraged to apply for need-based aid through the University. Through the need-based program, other funding in the form of state or federal grant (freemoney) programs and federal student-loan programs may be available to students based on their specific financial circumstances. For more information, visit

The Department of Theatre & Dance offers competitive performance scholarships based on students’ auditions.

Photo credits: Curt Hart, Amie Vanderford, John Moore and Rhonda Consentino The University of Memphis, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University. It is committed to education of a non-racially identifiable student body. UOM124-FY1112/2M JACO BRYANT PRINTERS, INC 4783 HICKORY HILL ROAD MEMPHIS TN 38141-8216

BFA in Theatre Viewbook  

The University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance BFA in Theatre: Performance, Musical Theatre, Design and Technical Production

BFA in Theatre Viewbook  

The University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance BFA in Theatre: Performance, Musical Theatre, Design and Technical Production