Theater, B.F.A.

School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts

Program Overview

Are you looking for rigorous, specialized training in theater? In the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, you choose between two tracks—acting or design and technical production. The acting track offers ensemble-based conservatory training, featuring intensive classes in acting technique, improvisation, on-camera work, movement, voice and speech, solo performance, business of acting, and classical text. The program culminates in a high-impact professional industry showcase.  The design and technical production track offers specialized courses in stagecraft, costume, lighting, set design, CADD programming, theater history, and significant hands-on experience in all aspects of theater through participation in each semester’s department productions. Rigorous training, creative exploration, and disciplined practice lead to fulfilling and sustainable careers in theater.

Theater, B.F.A.

Where You'll Go

With a fine arts degree in theater, you could go on to become an actor, speech coach, scenic or costume designer, stage manager, lighting designer, teaching artist, puppeteer, visual and performing arts technical coordinator, sound engineer, or any number of related professions.

Major Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023-2024 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here.

Major Requirements (65–66 Credits)

The B.F.A. degree program has two tracks: acting and design and technical production (which includes scenic, lighting, and costume design).

Students must complete one of the following areas with a grade of C or higher in each theater course that is applied toward the fulfillment of department requirements. Any substitution of courses must be approved by the chair or designee/undergraduate deputy chair.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Communicate effectively and professionally (verbally, visually, and/or in writing).
  • Apply acquired knowledge and skills to pursue innovative endeavors in line with a personal or collaborative vision.
  • Create work that involves professional collaboration, discipline, and standards.

Contact

Contact the Theater department for information on academic advisers and office hours.

Or contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
E: adminqry@brooklyn.cuny.edu

To make an appointment with an undergraduate admissions counselor, please visit:

Virtual Admissions Counselor Appointments

Tracks

Acting (65–66 Credits)

How to Apply (Fall 2024)

  1. Apply to Brooklyn College.
  2. Submit Supplemental B.F.A. Theater Acting Track Application.

This application will include (full instructions at link above):

  • a personal statement,
  • a three-minute self-tape (two contrasting monologues), and
  • a two-minute “Unique W.A.Y” (Who Are you?) video.

Deadline: January 29 (January 1 for international students). 

Additional Details
  • Only completed applications comprising all required elements will be considered.
  • Callbacks will be held in person on the weekend of February 25 and 26.
  • Questions can be sent via e-mail.

About the Acting Track

The acting track is dedicated to developing students’ abilities through rigorous, personalized training. The program accepts 10 to 12 students annually into the ensemble-based, conservatory-style training, creating a close-knit community of collaborative artists that progress through the program together.

Designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of a life in the arts and a professional acting career, the program offers intensive classes in acting technique, improvisation, on-camera acting, movement, voice and speech, solo performance, business of acting, classical text, and contemporary and period genres.

The only acting track in the entire CUNY system, Brooklyn College boasts one of the most diverse student bodies in the world and exceptional professional training at a fraction of the cost of other undergraduate acting programs.

Get on Stage

The Theater Department puts on between eight and 10 fully produced plays each year. B.F.A. actors get multiple  opportunities to audition for and act in our incredible production season alongside our B.A. and M.F.A. actors. Plays are directed by faculty, professional guest directors from the New York theater scene, and talented M.F.A. directors.

Want to Be in Movies?

Our actors have exclusive access to Brooklyn Backstage, an incredible collaboration hub where actors, filmmakers, directors, designers, theater-makers, and more find each other to make independent work. These collaborations often occur with members of the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, one of the top 25 film schools in the country, located at Steiner Film Studios.

Launch Your Career

In their final semester, B.F.A. seniors produce and act in a high-impact industry showcase composed of short films, monologues, and scenes that premieres live to an invited audience of industry professionals. Check it out here.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and convey the physical, psychological, and intellectual components of a character.
  • Synthesize their knowledge of the liberal arts with the specialized actor training they receive.
  • Apply ensemble principles of collaboration to theatrical productions in a wide range of performance contexts.
  • Identify and develop who they uniquely are as a storyteller through practical training in voice, movement, and acting technique.

Course Information

All of the following: Theater 1201, 1202, 1203, 1204, 3201, 3202, 3203, 3204, 3205, 3207, 3208, 3209, 3401, 3402, 3403, 3405, 3406, 3407, 3436, 4501, 4504W.

Two of the following courses: Theater 3102, 3103, 3104, 3206, 3404, 3410, 4102.

One of the following courses: Theater 2002, 2501, 2502, 2503, 3501, 3502W, 3503, 3504, 3505, 3506, 4502, or 4503.

One additional credit from the following courses: Theater 1202, 1203, 1204, 1205, 1206, 1207. (Students may not exceed more than ninecredits in practicum courses.)

One of the following: Theater 4701, 4702, 4703, 4704, 4705, 4706.

One additional credit from the following courses: Theater 1202, 1203, 1204, 1205, 1206, 1207. (Students may not exceed more than nine credits in practicum courses.)

One of the following: Theater 4701, 4702, 4703, 4704, 4705, 4706.

Design and Technical Production (66 Credits)

How to Apply (Fall 2024)

  1. Apply to Brooklyn College.
  2. E-mail Professor Kip Marsh to schedule an interview and portfolio review. Admission will be determined once this step is complete.

About the Design and Technical Production Track

This 66-credit major offers specialized courses in stagecraft, costume, lighting, and set design; CADD programming; theater history; and a series of independent studies in which students serve as assistant designers and designers for department productions. Students are provided significant hands-on experience in all aspects of theater through participation in each semester’s department productions, including:

  • A full-service scene and electrics shop with industry standard tools and construction facilities, including wood, metal, and plastic fabrication. Paint and prop shop, extensive prop and set dressing stock in house, laser cutting, and CNC fabrication capabilities. Industry-standard lighting technology, including LED and intelligent lighting fixtures, multiple programming platforms, and projection and sound technology.
  • Full-service costume shop with multiple professional machines, dress forms, and laboratory workspaces. Extensive in-house costume stock and custom costume building capabilities including draping, dying, costume crafts, and distressing.
  • Three performance venues, including a modified thrust proscenium, flexible black box, and a festival stage venue with dedicated lighting plot.
  • Dedicated studio with access to a student lighting lab, drafting lab and technology center including lighting counsel programming, digital rendering, projection equipment and software, audio labs and studios, 3D printing, and laser cutting.
  • Numerous opportunities to engage with industry professionals.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate, using visual media, the ability to communicate stage design concepts and technical theater practices.
  • Demonstrate a synthesis of technical and stage design concepts adhering to industry standards and practices.
  • Successfully execute production-oriented projects in alignment with professional standards and practices.

Course Information

All of the following: Theater 1001, 1202, 1203, 1204, 2002, 2310, 2320, 3321, 3330, 3331, 3341, 2201, 4501, 4504W (Students with no previous experience may need to complete Theater 1201 before registering for more advanced technical courses. See course prerequisites.)

Three credits from the following courses: Theater 1202, 1203, 1204, 1205, 1206, 1207. (Students may not exceed more than nine credits in practicum courses.)

One acting course or Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders 1717.

Two of the following: Theater 2501, 2502, 2503, 3501, 3502, 3503, 3504, 3505, 3506, 4502, 4503. (One of the following may substitute for one of the above: Classics 3220, 3221, Comparative Literature 3305, 3610, 3611, English 3122, 3124, 3132, 3170).

Additional credits from the following to total a minimum of 66 credits: Theater 2002, 2202, 2311, 2312, 2313, 2321, 3002, 3120, 3310, 3320, 3322, 3332, 3333, 3340, 3342, 4320, 4321, 4330, 4331, 4340, 4341, 3351, 4351, 4701, 4702, 4703, 4704, 4705, 4706, 4801, 5801, 5805, 5806, 5807, Art 2210, 2211, 2310, 2311, 2320, 3321.

Internships and Employers

Through job fairs, the internship database, and internship panels, the Magner Career Center gives students in the theater B.F.A. program access to career opportunities at a wide variety of employers, including:

  • Art/New York
  • BRIC Arts Media
  • HBO
  • Kings Theater
  • La MaMa Experimental Theatre
  • Lincoln Center Theater
  • Netflix
  • New York Theater Workshop
  • Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
  • Signature Theater
  • The Public Theater

Learn More

Brooklyn. All in.

Brooklyn. All in.