Azusa Pacific University announces a new degree option for students studying theater arts: a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Acting for the Stage and Screen. Differing from the general Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Theater Arts, the BFA is a 63-unit professional degree. This new degree program begins spring semester 2012.

With the help of theater arts faculty, APU developed a rigorous curriculum, including new courses in technical theater, acting, voice, and movement. The BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen allows students to focus on directing, playwriting, technical theater, theater education, civic theater, and dramaturgy.

“By providing concentrated training, the BFA in acting allows us to prepare students for professional acting careers, as well as graduate studies in performance, while elevating APU’s prestige as a training ground for theater arts,” said Monica Ganas, Ph.D., professor and acting co-chair of the Department of Theater, Film, and Television.

Current theater arts students will have an opportunity to apply and audition for the new major. Prospective students interested in the BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen must audition before they enter APU. The Class of 2016, entering in fall 2012, will include the first APU theater arts students admitted as BFA majors.

“The BFA will provide an opportunity for us to meet or exceed the academic standards of leading institutions in this field,” explained David Weeks, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Plus APU will distinguish itself from our local sister schools in the CCCU (Council for Christian Colleges and Universities) by offering this professional degree program.”

This new degree choice makes APU the only school in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to offer BFA degrees in three areas: Cinematic Arts, Theater Arts, and the Visual Arts.

In addition to the new degree program, APU hired two-time Grammy nominee and Broadway veteran Amick Byram to serve as part-time faculty in the Department of Theater, Film, and Television. A veteran of numerous stage productions, his credits include The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and the Los Angeles casts of Les Misérables, in the roles of Marius and Enjolras, and the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar. He can also be heard in more than 100 films—perhaps most notably as the singing voice of Moses in the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt.

Rachel White
Associate Director of Public Relations
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