BFA - Theatre - Acting Concentration

Department of Theatre and Dance

Acting Main Page Image

Acting Program Coordinator: Professor Heather Benton; 973-655-3085

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BFA Acting: The Big Picture

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre/Acting concentration is an intensive, conservatory-based program of study that prepares students for careers as stage and screen actors.

A challenging curriculum covers the theoretical foundations of the craft of acting. You will put theory to work by performing in an eclectic array of classical, contemporary, mainstream, and experimental productions. The program’s blend of theory and practice is supported by the personalized attention that you will receive both in the classroom and on the stage.

Our proximity to Manhattan allows us to attract an outstanding full-time faculty and prominent guest artists. With Manhattan just 30 minutes away, you will be able to connect easily with on and off-Broadway productions, music and dance performances, and internships. 

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What You Will Study

The BFA in Acting curriculum consists of 120 credits, including 81 credits in Acting and 39 credits in General Education and Free Electives. The program’s rigorous coursework includes:

  • Seven semesters focused on improvisation, scene study, classical work and camera technique
  • Six semesters of class work in voice and speech
  • Six semesters of movement and physical theatre
  • Classes in script analysis, stage make-up, theatre history, and directing

Seniors take part in a career-oriented New York Senior Showcase, which gives them the opportunity to perform to an audience that includes agents and casting directors.

For complete BFA Acting course requirements and descriptions, go to:

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Performance Opportunities

As a BFA Acting student, you will have access to a wide range of performance opportunities including:

  • Fully staged classical and contemporary plays and musicals
  • Faculty, student, and guest-directed workshops
  • Touring productions to high schools and community venues
  • Staged readings
  • Directing class scenes and one-acts
  • Laboratory exercises initiated by students at all levels

Students learn to act by "doing." As we do not offer a masters degree program in acting, you will never compete with graduate students for acting opportunities and leading roles.

We produce as many as 7-10 plays each year. Visit our Productions and Photo Gallery links to see examples of current and past student work.

Students learn by watching, as well as by doing. You will have the opportunity to attend more than 500 professional events each year, including those presented by the Theatre and Dance Department as well as by Montclair’s Peak Performances program of theatre, dance, and music productions. Students – who are sometimes cast alongside seasoned performers and renowned actors -- are admitted without charge to these campus events.

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Our Faculty

More than 75 permanent faculty members and visiting professionals – including internationally renowned celebrity guest artists and artists-in-residence – mentor our Theatre and Dance students each semester. These working professionals share insights gleaned from their professional experiences in the "real world" of theatre. Faculty mentoring can often lead to opportunities beyond the classroom. 

Click the links below to learn more:

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Theatre Facilities

Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications.You will perform in any of six well-equipped theatres, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium; our 2000-seat amphitheater, and the intimate L. Howard Fox Theatre.

This outstanding range of performance spaces reflects industry opportunities and prepares students for performing in a variety of settings. 

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Awards and Accreditation

Montclair State acting majors are recognized regionally and nationally for their performance accomplishments. For five consecutive years, we have sent our regional winners of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival acting competition to Washington, D.C. to compete for national awards. Recently, one of our majors distinguished himself by winning the National Competition – in both the theatre and dance categories.  Montclair students have also performed internationally with the Shanghai Theatre Academy as well as in Europe and Australia. 

The BFA Acting program meets the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) – a distinction that places us among the nation’s most competitive programs. 

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Apply Now

To apply to the BFA Acting program, or to any Department of Theatre and Dance program, please visit Department Admissions.

For additional information about our programs, please visit us to tour our facilities and/or plan to attend one of our Arts Days and Open Houses.

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