What sets APU’s Theater Arts program apart from other schools?
Our proximity to Los Angeles allows our students to train and work with industry professionals. For our productions, we are committed to using directors who are currently working within the industry and have considerable connections and experience with which to help our students. Additionally, we use directors and choreographers from Broadway for our musicals. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional film directors so that they graduate with experience and a professional body of work to begin their careers. Our BFA students leave APU with a professional reel and an opportunity to have industry representation. Students in the B.A. program receive real-world experience through internships at local theaters and production companies. We currently have BA alumni working in theater and film as playwrights, stage managers, arts administrators, teachers, and theater/film technicians.
To learn more about what our students are doing visit Alumni Accomplishments.
Do I have to audition to be admitted?
An audition is required for admission into the BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen and also serves as an application for a CMA Theater Arts Talent Scholarship. No audition is required for the B.A. in Theater Arts program.
How do I audition for the BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen program?
We hold live auditions for the program on-campus every year from October to January. If you are unable to attend a live audition, you may submit an on-camera audition via our Slideroom portal, which you can find, along with more audition details and dates, on the Theater Arts Admission and Auditions page.
Audition Tip: For your audition, you should prepare two contrasting monologues and 16 bars of a song. When choosing monologues, please keep each monologue to one to two minutes maximum. Remember that length does matter; it is much better to do something well for one minute than to struggle through a five-minute monologue. If you do Shakespeare well, you may choose to do contrasting monologues with a contemporary monologue and a Shakespearean monologue. However, it would be equally effective to choose two contemporary monologues that show different sides of yourself and your work
How do I apply for a Theater Arts Talent Scholarship?
For the BFA in Acting your live or on-camera audition will serve as an application for a Theater Arts Scholarship. A student in the B.A. in Theater Arts program must submit a portfolio of work to the B.A. Slideroom portal to be considered for a B.A. Talent Scholarship. The portfolio must include a sample of your writing, an essay about your directing work or a film of directing work you have done, a design portfolio, or an essay about any theater arts experience in which you have participated and/or professional goals to which you aspire. Access the Slideroom portal through the Theater Arts Admission and Auditions page.
What are the differences between programs offered by the Department of Theater Arts?
There are two degrees and a minor in the Department of Theater Arts.
- B.A. in Theater Arts - a generalist degree requiring 42 units, making it very easy to double major and study abroad. In this degree, you may choose to focus on Writing and Directing, Theater Education, Technical Theater and Production, or Drama Ministry/Theater for Social Justice.
- BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen - a professional degree requiring 63 units; students may choose a minor with this degree. Since there are 12 units of General Education within the BFA core, we also allow students to double major with this degree, depending on the choice of the other major. This degree is designed for the student desiring to pursue a career as a professional actor. There is equal emphasis on training for both stage and screen and a strong emphasis on business preparation.
- Theater Arts minor - a generalist degree requiring 24 units.
Who can audition for and participate in shows?
Our large musicals are open to the entire department—BFA, B.A., and Theater Arts minors. Our season plays and Blackbox shows are for BFA in Acting majors only. All theater department students are welcome and required to participate in the technical aspects of production.
I am a freshmen, can I audition?
Freshman BFA students are actually required to audition for all season productions at season auditions during fall semester. Although freshmen are often cast in spring productions their first year, mostly students in the upper classes earn the lead roles in MainStage productions.
How many productions are there per year?
Multiple productions are put on every year as part of the MainStage Season and also as part of the training curriculum. Our MainStage season typically includes four to five plays/musicals and a professional web series production. We also have studio productions both semesters in which students participate in one-acts directed by professional directors and performed at the end of each semester. We are committed to giving each student multiple opportunities on stage or in production before they graduate.
Do you offer a degree in musical theater?
We are committed to training actors who are able to work in all mediums. In fact, we feel so strongly about this that we have incorporated a heavy emphasis in on-camera acting within our degree. Within our BFA in Acting, students train in musical theater by participating in the yearly musicals directed by professional directors from Broadway. Students learn about dance and singing by training with professional choreographers and musical directors.
What role does faith integration play in your training?
The programs encourage the artistic and spiritual growth of students and the exploration of their calling from a thoughtful and culturally engaged Christian worldview.