2017-18
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Theatre BFA - Performance Concentration

(HEGIS: 10.07 DRAMATIC ARTS, CIP: 50.0501 Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General)

Theatre & Dance

285 Alumni Arena
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-5030
716-645-6897
716-645-6992
www.theatredance.buffalo.edu
Lynne Koscielniak
Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance
Vincent O'Neal
Director of Theatre BFA, Performance Concentration
Karen Cleary
Assistant to the Chair
Katie Mallinson
Academic Manager

Why study Theatre BFA - Performance Concentration at UB?

The Theatre BFA, Performance Concentration at UB integrates rigorous training, critical understanding, and impassioned creation supported by close faculty mentorship and developed collaboration with internationally recognized guest artists. Learning within conservatory style courses and grounded in the liberal arts, students acquire the essential skills for effective communication, collaborative problem-solving, and critical perspective in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. In addition to a comprehensive four-year sequence in performance styles, history, and literature, BFA Performance students are also an integral part of the department’s season of fully produced plays, musicals, and experimental performance work. Their research and creative activities involve on and off campus experiences, and hold to professional union theatre criterion, preparing them for professional careers in the field.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

  • Identify major figures and events from theatre history, theory and criticism;
  • Define and use appropriate critical vocabulary of theatre arts, including script analysis, acting, and design terminology
  • Critically read, interpret, and evaluate a range of representative plays and situate representative plays and performance events within larger cultural and historical movements
  • Construct and articulate in speech and writing a compelling thesis about theatre history, literature, or theory using acquired research skills and critical vocabulary;
  • Integrate the concerns of actors, directors, and designers into a collaborative creative process, both in the creation of extant plays and original work;
  • Demonstrate the ability to conceive and execute an original performance, either solo or in a collaborative process.

The Learning Environment

The Department of Theatre & Dance offers a comprehensive catalog of courses including seminar-based instruction, studio training, and hands on mentoring through experiential learning opportunities. All modes seek to integrate theoretical and practical instruction. Seminar and lecture courses, ranging from 20 to 100 seats, engage students in discussion on historical trends, contemporary practice, philosophical and aesthetic principles, criticism and analysis, and technical skills. Studio courses apply theory to technique in small, practice-based classes ranging from 16 to 28. Coursework often includes attendance at live performances as well participation in live production, and contributes to the development of professional portfolios, performance reels, and academic resumes. Practicums, tutorials, and independent studies supplement classwork with focused, in depth exploration of the discipline through close mentorship with faculty and guest artists.

About Our Facilities

UB’s Department of Theatre & Dance boasts an array of resources for both instruction and practical preparation for productions, including performance and classroom space in the Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus. Within the CFA students directly benefit from the use of:

  • The Drama Theatre: a 388-seat theatre 
  • The Black Box Theatre: a flexible space with seating of 100-120
  • Rehearsal Workshop: a mirror image of the Black Box Theater used for acting classes and rehearsals
  • Dance Studios: 2 spacious studios with full-length mirrors, Marley floors, and specially designed sound systems
  • Scene Shop
  • Costume Shop
  • Craft Studio

Students also utilize:

  • Katharine Cornell Theatre: a flexible performance space that functions as a rehearsal room, acting classroom, and performance venue 
Alumni Arena: includes the Design Suite with drafting studio, lighting lab and 10-seat computer lab; an acting classroom and rehearsal space; dance studio; a seminar room; and departmental offices.

About Our Faculty

In Theatre & Dance you will study with active practitioners and internationally recognized scholars who are dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre and dance artists, teachers, and supporters. UB’s Theatre & Dance Faculty are members of professional networks including Actor’s Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Society for Theatre Research, Dance Masters of America, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, National Dance Education Organization, Stage Actors Guild, and United Scenic Artists. They have extensive professional experience in directing, designing, dramaturgy, and performance on and off Broadway, on regional stages, in major dance festivals, in documentaries, and in film and television work. Twenty-two full time faculty members are support by an average of eight adjunct professors, six professional production staff, and four Teaching Assistants from our PhD Theatre & Performance program.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

The skills required for success in the performing arts are broadly applicable across a range of professional careers. Our graduates work in film, television, and a wide array of live events. Many are awarded fellowships and assistantships to prestigious graduate programs across the country.

  • Actor
  • Agent: Theatrical, Film and Television
  • College Professor/Academia
  • Company Director/Artistic Director
  • Director: Stage, Film, Media Entertainment
  • Dramatic Coach
  • Dramaturge: Stage and Media (i.e., film, video games, theme park entertainment)
  • Entertainment Journalist
  • Executive Director, Arts and Cultural Organizations
  • Law
  • Presentation Consultant
  • Producer
  • Production Manager
  • Theatre Critic

Recent graduates have appeared in productions of Wicked, Pippin, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, and have been featured on CBS's Person of Interest, NBC’s Smash, among others. Others perform with major companies across Europe.

Academic Advising

First semester students are required to meet with their academic advisor. All students are expected to meet with their departmental advisor each semester to ensure progress toward degree. In addition to the major advisor, students meet with an academic advisor through the College of Arts & Sciences regarding general education requirements. Area Directors also provide close mentorship and oversight of students’ schedules, academic and artistic progress, and professional development. 

Prospective majors should also arrange for an interview with the department academic advisor to ensure they are taking courses in the proper sequence and to obtain the most benefit from departmental advisement.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Katie Mallinson
Academic Manager
kamallin@buffalo.edu

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in this program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of sources, including:

  • The Perry Watkins scholarship is available to African American freshman students majoring in design/technology. Talent-based scholarships are also available to all students. Auditions, portfolios, and a personal interview are required for all scholarship students
  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards

Academic Opportunities

In addition to the comprehensive coursework and experiential learning opportunities provided by the Department of Theatre & Dance, students benefit from numerous extended learning and professionalization opportunities throughout the year. Professional guest artists are brought in regularly to teach workshops, direct and design and productions, and lead seminars on topics relevant to the field. Through these guest artists, UB students have been part of several world premiere productions. Our Alumni Lecture Series brings in UB graduates to provide networking opportunities for current students. Through generous alumni funding, students are able to produce fully funded student productions each year under the mentorship of Theatre & Dance faculty. Students are also able to work alongside professional artists and technicians at the Center for the Arts, and gain experience in a large presenting venue.

Experiential Learning

Performance and production are essential parts of the Theatre & Dance curriculum, providing over 500 hands-on learning experiences for students in every discipline each year. Our students prepare for professional careers through various research and creative activities both on and off campus at nationally recognized theatres and organizations. The department produces 8 shows annually, including: 2 musicals, 2 theatrical productions, and 4 dance concerts. Students can begin performing as early as their second-semester freshman year, and Design & Technology students can begin working on productions their first semester at UB. Course credit is available for approved production and performance work in off-campus, professional productions. The Department has longstanding relationships with several professional theatres in Buffalo, where our students obtain internships in production, management, and marketing, as well regularly perform.

Study Abroad

The Department of Theatre & Dance offers an immersive, study abroad experience in London during the winter session. Over the course of three weeks, students are led on a guided discovery of London’s artistic and cultural world. Instruction takes place on site at some of the world’s most fascinating historic, cultural, and performing arts venues, as well as while attending an extensive line up of performances across a wide range of mediums, genres, and styles. Students also take on an independent artistic and cultural research project while in London, which provides them with the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice. Applications are welcome from undergraduate students enrolled at any accredited US college or institution who is in good academic standing with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5.

Extracurricular Activities

The Guild is a theatre-oriented group managed entirely by students. It hosts opening night receptions, organizes group attendance at local theatre and performance events, and supports original student work.

From the Wings is a student organization that offers non-credit performance opportunities for music theatre majors and others in the department with an interest in musical theatre performance. Music Theatre faculty serve as advisors and mentors for this group. 

Under faculty guidance, students participate in a number of professional development opportunities including the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Conference. They participate in a host of programs through the Department’s International Artistic & Cultural Exchange Program.

Paid technical assistant positions are available with the Center for the Arts Production Department. To apply, please call (716) 645-6926.

See the UB Student Association.

Honors and Awards

  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Departmental Award
  • College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior Award
  • Departmental Honors
  • Julia Pardee Prize [Awarded for excellence in writing in theatre, dance or music theatre]
  • Performing and Creative Arts Scholarships

Becoming a(n) Theatre BFA - Performance Concentration Student

Audition and acceptance into the University
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall
Minimum grade of C+ in all required courses
Minimum GPA of 2.5 in prerequisite courses
Letter of intent
Interview with program director at the end of the first year

Becoming a University at Buffalo Student

Admission to UB is highly competitive. For the 2016 incoming freshman class, UB reported an average ACT score of 24-30 and an average SAT (CR+M) score of 1100-1300. 90 percent of admitted students are in the top 50 percent of their class.

Admission to UB is based on a holistic review. We consider high school average, class rank, SAT (critical reading and math) or ACT scores, and strength of the high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and special circumstances are also considered.

The following is not required for admission, but is suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:

  • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of college-preparatory science
  • Three years of a second language
  • Three years of college-preparatory mathematics

Visit Undergraduate Admissions to learn more.

Freshman Admission to the Program

An audition is required for acceptance in the Theatre BFA, Performance Concentration, as well as academic acceptance by the university. Current audition requirements and registration information can be found on our website at theatredance.buffalo.edu. Students are able to audition once during an admission cycle.

Transfer Admission to the Program

An audition is required for acceptance into the BA Dance program, the BFA Dance program, the BFA Music Theatre program, and the BFA Theatre, Performance Concentration program. An interview is required for acceptance into the BFA Theatre, Design/Technology program. No audition or interview is required for the BA Theatre program.

Transfer students must also apply and be accepted by the university, with an overall GPA of 2.5 in order to matriculate to programs in the Department of Theatre & Dance.

Interested transfer students are encouraged to contact the Academic Manager as early as possible to discuss curriculum and progress toward degree. Please be aware that, due to the degree requirements and course sequencing for BFA degrees, students may require additional time to degree completion.

Current UB Students Applying to the Program

An audition is required for acceptance into the BA Dance program, the BFA Dance program, the BFA Music Theatre program, and the BFA Theatre, Performance Concentration program. An interview is required for acceptance into the BFA Theatre, Design/Technology program. No audition or interview is required for the BA Theatre program.

Currently enrolled UB students in good standing with the university with a minimum GPA of 2.5 are eligible for matriculation to programs in the Department of Theatre & Dance department.

Interested students are encouraged to contact the Academic Manager as early as possible to discuss curriculum and progress toward degree. Please be aware that, due to the degree requirements and course sequencing for BFA degrees, entering the program after you freshman year may require additional time to degree completion.

Suggested Introductory Courses

TH 101 Introduction to Theatre
TH 106 Introduction to Technical Theatre w/
TH 135 or TH 136 Practicum
TH 108 Basic Acting I

Completing the Theatre BFA - Performance Concentration Program

Academic Requirements

Practical application of coursework is an integral part of the Theatre BFA, Performance Concentration. At a minimum, BFA students perform in three faculty led productions (either musical or drama theatre show). Student productions provide a great opportunity for both directing and performance experience, but are not applicable to the performance requirement for the degree. BFA Students are required to audition each semester, but must have a 3.0 major GPA to maintain casting eligibility. Students can begin performing as early as their second semester freshman year. BFA Students are also required to complete three practicums, which include crew assignments on one of the eight departmental productions each year.

Academic Advice

Interested prospective or current students are encouraged to speak to the departmental advisor and program director to discuss their career goals and the program requirements. Students interested in the Performance concentration may wish to begin in the Theatre BA program acting sequence in order to prepare for the BFA audition and degree requirements. The Theatre BFA, Performance Concentration is a high-credit degree that requires students to follow a specific course sequence of technique training. Due to the nature of the program, students who do not follow advised sequencing or do not maintain the minimum C+ grade for major courses may delay their progress toward degree. Students are expected to meet with their departmental advisor every semester, and are also encouraged to meet with their academic advisor regularly.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students wishing to transfer into the Department of Theatre & Dance should consult with the Program Director and Academic Manager in order to assess applicable coursework toward their degree. Transfer coursework is evaluated by our faculty, and requires the submission of a course syllabus as well as previous transcripts. Students will be placed in the appropriate level of technique courses based on this evaluation, which may not correspond directly to student’s academic year.

Residency Requirement

A core requirement of the Theatre BFA, Performance concentration is the students’ practical work on and in productions. As performers, students need to be in residence at UB in order to complete degree requirements.

Prerequisite Courses

TH 101 Introduction to Theatre
TH 106 Introduction to Technical Theatre w/
TH 135 or TH 136 Practicum
TH 108 Basic Acting I
TH 203 Visual Imagination

Required Courses

MTR 220 Beginning Musical Theatre Dance
TH 109 Basic Acting II
TH 208 Method Acting I
TH 209 Method Acting II
TH 227 Voice Training I
TH 228 Voice Training II
TH 301 World Theatre Before 1700
TH 302 Theatre in the Modern World, 1700-Present
TH 308 Poetic Text
TH 309 Acting Shakespeare
TH 401 Directing 1
TH 408 Audition Techniques
TH 409 Mime/Movement for Actors
DAC 213 Ballet 1
DAC 263 Jazz 1
DAC 381 Social Dance
One design course (choose from TH 303 Scene Design I, TH 306 Costume Design I, or TH 332 Lighting Design I)
Three 200/300-level TH practicums
Two dramatic literature courses
Two Performance Electives
Three studio-performance courses

Performance Electives
TH 411, 412, 413, 414 Theatre Workshop
TH 420 Intro to Lloyd Richards
TH 427 Voice & Movement
TH 460 Asian Performing Arts
TH 478 Arthur Miller
TH 480 Shakespeare On Stage
TH 481 Irish Dramatists
TH 482 Chekhov
TH 483 Ibsen

Dramatic Literature Courses
TH 220 Performing America
TH 314 Introduction to Dramaturgy
TH 315 Modern Theatre I
TH 316 Modern Theatre II
TH 325 Performance and the Critic II
TH 370 Age of Shakespeare
TH 425 Media and Performance
TH 466 Women in Theatre
TH 468 Sources of Modern Theatre
TH 482 - TH 489 Major Figures

Electives
TH 402 Directing 2
TH 485 Playwriting Workshop


UB Seminar courses cannot count towards major requirements.

Total Credit Hours Required

Credits Required for Major 85
Additional Credits Required for UB Curriculum  40
Additional Credits Required for Electives   0
Total Credits Required for Degree 125


Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine how any transfer or exam credit might be utilized in meeting general education, prerequisite, or major requirements.

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Curricular Plan / Degree Map

View the Curricular Plan for the Theatre Performance BFA which is a recommended sequence of courses to finish this degree in four years. 

Theatre & Dance

285 Alumni Arena
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-5030
716-645-6897
716-645-6992
www.theatredance.buffalo.edu
Lynne Koscielniak
Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance
Vincent O'Neal
Director of Theatre BFA, Performance Concentration
Karen Cleary
Assistant to the Chair
Katie Mallinson
Academic Manager
Published: May 22, 2017 11:17:11 AM