BFA - Theatre - Acting Concentration

Department of Theatre and Dance

Innovative Professional Actor Training

Immerse yourself in multiple approaches to action, learn techniques that get to the heart of the craft of acting. Unleash your talents and transform yourself and audiences by your commitment to artistry in performance.

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About the Program

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The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre/Acting Concentration is a rigorous, conservatory-based program of study that prepares you for a career in theatre and film. This challenging curriculum covers the theoretical and practical application of the foundations of the craft of acting through an immersion in multiple acting techniques. This multi-technique approach provides you with the unique ability to draw on a range of methods and finely crafted skill set for work in any style or genre of theatre, film or television, with any playwright or director, in any medium.

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Theory is put to practice with an abundance of performance opportunities in an array of challenging and differing styles with classical, contemporary and experimental material fully produced in the department season and in workshops, staged readings with our distinguished faculty, guest artists and guest directors. 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.

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New York City is only 14 miles away! Begin forging relationships and making connections with other artists now that will be your foundation and last a lifetime. Our proximity to Manhattan allows us to attract an outstanding full-time faculty and prominent guest artists. With Manhattan just 35-40 minutes away, you will have the luxury of experiencing professional theatre on and off-Broadway and the cultural vibrancy of New York City as a counterpart to your acting training.



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What You Will Learn

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Emphasizing comprehensive acting training, the program specializes in three essential areas: Acting, Movement, Voice and Speech. Dedicated to a holistic approach to the craft of acting, the program will give you experience all in areas of the theatre as part of your training including Text Analysis, Theatre History I and II, Directing, Introduction to Technical Theatre and Practicums in Stage Craft, Costumes and Production Operations. 

An ever expanding menu of electives are available including: Acting for the Camera I & II, Playwriting, The Business of the Business, New York Showcase, Shakespeare Workshop, and Stage Dialects.


  • Immersion in a multi-technique approach to acting, studying the methods of Stanislavski, Practical Aesthetics, and Viewpoints 
  • Exposure to a large range of playwrights, theatrical periods, and styles
  • A full year of study devoted to classical material and the works of William Shakespeare
  • Integration of acting techniques for work in film and television, offering courses in acting for the camera and opportunities to work with emerging film directors and faculty in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Filmmaking Program


Six semesters of rigorous movement training for the actor including Yoga and Pilates, Grotowski, Viewpoints, and Suzuki Training


Six semesters of voice and speech training with a focus on Fitzmaurice deconstruction and reconstruction techniques, full comprehension of the International Phonetic Alphabet and Dialects with Edith Skinner text work.


The BFA Acting Program's curriculum includes academically rigorous courses in Text Analysis, Theatre History, Directing, Introduction to Technical Theatre and Practicums in Stage Craft, Costumes, and Production Operations, where every student gets hands-on experience working behind the scenes in various areas on fully produced department shows.


Students are encouraged to discover and awaken their own artistic voices not only as actors, but as knowledgeable, passionate theatre artists through additional courses in Playwriting, Collaboration, Acting for the Camera I and II, Dialects, Stage Combat, and through a vast choice of Special Topics Courses with visiting guest artists such as Kari Margolis and Michael Bloom.


Your four-year experience will prepare to launch your acting career after graduation with courses that focus on "the business of the business," hands-on workshops with casting directors and agents, our partnership with New York producers-in-residence, Bisno Productions, and a New York Senior Showcase on Theatre Row.   

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


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Opportunities That Await You

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

  • Production Season: Department of Theatre and Dance’s produces full seasons of contemporary and classical plays and musicals in our multi-dimensional performances spaces in the Alexander Kasser Theater, 900 seat Memorial Auditorium, 125 seat Dance Theatre, the 100 seat flexible black box, the Howard Fox Theatre, and an outdoor amphitheatre. 
  • Laboratory Series: Features workshops of plays and staged readings directed by faculty and guest directors as an extension of the production season. The Lab Series functions as an extension of the technique classes providing additional opportunities for our students to work on process and performance with a rotating repertory of styles and genres.

  • New Works Initiative (NWI): In partnership with New York Producers-In-Residence, Bisno Productions, NWI commissions high profile guest artists to create new work with our students that features a developmental rehearsal period, a presentation in New York City and a fully produced work as a part of our department season. Learn more about New Works Initiative here.
  • Theatre on the Move: Our Educational Touring Company performs original theatre pieces addressing current social issues for high schools and middle schools throughout New Jersey and New York.
  • The Dirty 9: Our Late Night Comedy Improv Group is created and directed by faculty and students. Learn more about this unique group here.



  • Watch a clip of BFA Acting students perform and discuss Clybourne Park, a play which examines American social issues in the late 1950s.





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Expand your creative horizons as an artist and study abroad to experience diverse, international theatre.

  • Spring Break Trip to London: Experience world class professional theatre in one of the world’s most esteemed theatre meccas. (Trips to London occur every other academic year.) 

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  • Santiago, Chile Spring Break 2018: Acting Exchange with students and faculty from the BFA Acting Program and the Universidad de Mayor in Santiago, Chile. Featuring a bilingual acting experience, master classes, and cultural adventures which explore the history and cultural diversity of this dynamic South American city. Read more about Spring Break 2018 in Santiago Chile.






  • Shanghai, China: June 2015: BFA Acting student Rebecca DeMarco was cast in the student film collaboration between MSU’s BFA Filmmaking Program and the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China. Rebecca starred in the film, Runaway that was shot in Shanghai, China in June 2015. 




Who You Will Become

The careers of BFA Acting alumni take flight after graduation:

BFA Acting Alum Carlos Gonzales

Carlos Gonzalez was born and raised in Cuba. Carlos graduated from Montclair State University Class 11′ with a BFA in Acting and Minor in Dance. Touring credits include: In The Heights (National Tour), Zorro The Musical (Asia Tour) and the Off-Broadway sensation FUERZA BRUTA and various regional productions. Also performed for Telemundo, Norwegian Cruise Lines, PBS and more. Carlos returned to Cuba as part of the creative team in the first two professional musicals produced there in 50 years, Carmen Jones El Amor Cubano and RENT. He is currently making his Broadway debut with On Your Feet at the Marquis Theater and performed with the cast on GMA, The View, Macys Day Parade and along side Gloria Estefan in concert. The love and support of his family and friends is what inspires him to approach every day with a smile.

BFA Acting Alumni Allegra Cohen 

Producer and Actress Allegra Cohen '02 is maximizing her experience from both sides of the camera to create All In One, a lifestyle brand which forges successful partnerships in business and the arts. Allegra graduated with top awards in Theater and was the commencement speaker for her graduating class. She co-produced Split the Difference, which won Best Comedy at the New York Television Festival and was later bought by NBC. She followed up with The Crawl, which evolved into Spike TV's Weekend Pre-Game. Her production Putzel won Best Picture at the 2013 Phoenix Film Festival and was released worldwide by Filmbuff. Allegra worked product placement into the feature film, I Am Michael, starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Emma Roberts, and premiered at Sundance Film Festival and at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2015.

BFA Acting Alum Dustin Fontaine

Dustin Fontaine is a Montclair alumni (class of 2011) and recipient of the Marc Mattaliano Theatre Award for excellence in performance. He has since performed in plays, workshops, and readings everywhere from The Actors Studio to Premier Stages to Harlem rooftops and Brooklyn garages where he has collaborated with directors like McG, Wes Grantom and Rachel Chavkin. His current escapades bring him to Las Vegas where he performs as a Blue Man in the internationally renown Blue Man Group. He has also performed as a Blue Man in New York, Boston, Orlando, Detroit, Mexico City, San Jose, Panama City and Bogotá.

BFA Acting alumni Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez is a 2013 graduate BFA Acting program at Montclair State, where he was seen in Romeo and Juliet, Attempts on Her Life, The Grapes of Wrath, The Seagull, and was the 2013 recipient of the Marc Mattaliano theatre award for excellence in performance. Since then he has been seen in numerous productions in the NJ/NYC area such as That Day in Tucson at Urban Stages, Comida de Puta (f*ckin lousy food) at the West End Theatre, Profiles at Passage Theatre Company, and The Virilogy at Strangedog Theater company to name a few. TV credits include Law and Order SVU and the premiere episode of HBO's Vinyl where he had the privilege of working opposite Emmy winner Bobby Canavale and directed by Martin Scorsese. He is currently a member of the Acting Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he was last seen in Peter and the Starcatcher directed by Meredith McDonagh and will be seen in the world premiere of Wondrous Strange directed by Marti Lyons in the 40th Annual Humana festival of new American plays.

BFA Acting Alumni Bret Lada

Bret Lada is a 2011 graduate of Montclair State University and the National Theater Institute. During his time at Montclair he was the recipient of the Garden State Arts Foundation Scholarship and the Dennis K. McDonald Senior Theater Award. Since graduation he has held a recurring role in Amazon Studios Alpha House opposite John Goodman. Other television credits include guest stars on Hostages (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS), I Love You…But I Lied (LIFETIME), Person of Interest (CBS), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Deadly Sins (ID). Off-Broadway credits include That Bachelorette Show and Love and Contempt. Regionally he played Kenny in the Austin Pendleton helmed production of A Loss of Roses at the Arkansas Repertory Theater. Film credits include BADA BING BADA BOOM which was awarded best comedy at the 2015 Williamsburg Film Festival and the upcoming Night Sweats which is slated for a 2016 release.

BFA Acting alumni Aryana Sedarati

Aryana Sedarati is an actor/designer, specializing in theatre arts, commercial & fine arts photography, makeup design, and graphic artistry. In 2014, she received her BFA in Acting from Montclair State University. Combining her passion for human expression and connectivity with a keen sense of aesthetics, Aryana's designs have been recognized nationally at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. As an actor, she was accepted as one of seven apprentices at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and was seen under the tent in their apprentice production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia, Egeus & Starveling. She was then seen as Banquo, a Witch, and the Porter in HVSF's educational touring production of Macbeth. Most recently, Aryana returned to her alma mater to direct Macbeth with the MSU Players. Currently, Aryana works as a headshot photographer with Studio Vashti.

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Lorenzo Villanueva 'XX has recently been cast in the production of The Glory of the World (ensemble) by Chuck Mee at the Brooklyn Academy of Music directed by Les Waters. He was part of the 2014-2015 apprentice company at Actors Theatre of Louisville. His past credits at Actors Theatre of Louisville include the apprentice show That High Lonesome Sound written by Charise Castro-Smith, Diana Grisanti, Jeff Augustin and Corey Hinkle directed by Pirronne Yousefzahdeh. The ten minute play The Markers By Martyna Majok directed by Marty Lyons. Also the production of The Glory of the World at The Humana Festival. Past regional theater productions include On Borrowed Time directed by Joel Grey at Two River Theater at Red bank, NJ and Melissa Arctic by Craig Wright directed by Aaron Posner at Two River Theater at Red Bank NJ.‌


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Our Faculty

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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 here to see all BFA Full Time Faculty

Meet the BFA Acting Adjunct Faculty:

BFA Acting adjunct Jordan Baker-Kilner

Jordan Baker-Kilner
Education: A.A. American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NY
B.A. Smith College
M.F.A. Rutgers University: Mason Gross School of the Arts

Credits:List:  or
"C" Edward Albee's 1994 Pulitzer Prize play Three Tall Women
The New Adventures of Old Christine (over 100 television shows)
Another Earth (Winner, Sundance Alfred P. Sloan Award)

BFA Acting adjunct Doug Chapman

Doug Chapman
Education: Interlochen Arts Academy
B.A. Magna Cum Laude Oberlin College
M.F.A. ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University
Certified Teacher of  Fitzmaurice Voicework

Credits: Solutions Grassroots Tour, International WOW Company, Directed by Josh Fox
Spiral Ramp Library/Time Temple, Guggenheim Museum, Directed by Wang Jianwei
Romance, American Repertory Theatre, Directed by Scott Zigler

BFA Acting adjunct Tara Franklin

Tara Franklin
Education and Training: BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, MFA from University of Connecticut

Credits: Sleep No More (Hecate) with Punchdrunk Theatre Company at the McKittrick Hotel
The Homecoming (Ruth) with the Berkshire Theatre Group
The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (World Premiere), Lookingglass Theatre Co. in Chicago
BFA Acting adjunct Erin Gorski

Erin Gorski  
Education: The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University

Credits: The Shakespeare Theatre Company/ACA Hamlet (Hamlet)
Emmy Award Winning HBO Film The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale (Allison "lead")
Artist-in-Residence at The Berkshire Theatre Festival (2 years)

BFA Acting adjunct Carole Healey

Carole Healey
Education and Training: MFA University of Delaware PTTP, Florida State London/Tallahassee.

Credits: Oregon Shakespeare Company Member, Mint Theatre, Utah and Alabama Shakespeare Company Member 
BFA Acting adjunct Ellen Lancaster

Ellen Lancaster
Education and Training: Northwestern University, American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University

Credits: Broadway: La Bete and The Visit
Television: Host of We Television series Cinematherapy, Law and Order
Film: Films with Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, Alfred Molina, and Nicolas Cage.
Voice Over: Voiced spots for commercials from Charmin to Pepperidge Farm, Coffee to Tylenol and many more.
BFA Acting Adjunct Jim Ligon

Jim Ligon
Education: BFA from University of Alabama, MFA from University of Virginia

Credits: Greater Tuna, Playwrights Theatre of NJ/Shadowland Theatre, Ellenville NY: "Rising Water" by John Biguenet, Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, Vermont, as Estragon in Waiting for Godot, Television: Law and Order, The Mysteries of Laura, Guiding Light

BFA Acting adjunct Mercedes Murphy

Mercedes Murphy 
Education: New York University Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing/ Classical Studio, ART/ MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University 

Credits:  Moscow Art Theater, PS 122, Brick Theater, Dixon Place

 BFA Acting adjunct John Plumpis

John Plumpis 
Education: MFA University of Delaware - Professional Theatre Training Program

Credits: The Lion King, as Timon, 1st National Tour
Barrymore starring Christopher Plummer, on stage and film
Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor, 1st National Tour

BFA Acting adjunct Gareth Saxe

Gareth Saxe 
Education: NYU Graduate Acting Program, MFA

Credits: Scar in The Lion King on Broadway
Joey in The Homecoming with Ian McShane
Hamlet at Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey

BFA Acting adjunct fac Tommy Schrider

Tommy Schrider  
Education: NYU Graduate Acting Program, MFA

Credits: War Horse (Broadway - Vivian Beaumont Theatre)
Hamlet at the Yale Repertory Theatre (Laertes to Paul Giamatti's Hamlet
Recurring role on The Americans (on F/X) 


Click here to see Guest Artists


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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.

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

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