B.F.A. in Acting

Designed to prepare students for careers in professional theatre, the B.F.A. in acting program is a four-year sequence of courses in acting, voice, movement and dance. Coursework is supplemented by a wide variety of public performances to provide students experience in different theatrical styles. Acting majors audition for mainstage and student workshop productions beginning in the second semester of their freshman year.

The first two years of their Otterbein experience focuses on self-exploration, script analysis, characterization and discovery of personal working methods. BFA Acting majors also take diction and dialects, movement (Alexander and Feldenkrais), voice for stage (Fitzmaurice), scenework, acting for TV/Film and styles including Shakespeare. Acting majors are required to take a year of dance, and may take more.

During the junior and senior years, emphasis is on development in styles from Shakespeare to film along with continually refining skills.

The senior year is highlighted by our Senior Showcase, produced in New York City for agents and casting directors, and by the potential for a ten-week internship in the American professional theatre.  

Placement in an internship is contingent upon the changing availability of internships as determined by the American professional theatre, screen, and entertainment industries, the landscape of social change taking place in the theater community, as exemplified by A New Deal for Broadway, and the readiness of the student to be a full, productive, and beneficial member of their host organization’ mission. 

While we see inestimable value in internship experiences, we fully support the journey toward a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable American Theatre. 

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Demonstrated ability to act. This includes a focus on action, strong listening skills, partner focus, and the ability to live truthfully in imaginary circumstances. Knowledgeable, Engaged, Inquisitive
2. Demonstrated ability to perform action-based script analysis on plays from a wide variety of historical periods and genres with an understanding of the effects of political, social, and cultural contexts on characters. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged, Inquisitive
3. A flexible, strong voice which includes: trained breath support, appropriate vocal range, freedom from tension, ability to healthfully project in a wide variety of spaces, and the ability to use the voice effectively as an instrument for characterization. Knowledgeable, Inquisitive
4. Clear, articulate, regionalism-free, and expressive speech, including a demonstrated ability to learn and perform dialects. Knowledgeable, Inquisitive
5. A strong, flexible, breath-fueled, tension-free body that is capable of expressing the physical life of a character and is appropriate to type for beginning a career in American theatre and TV/film markets. Knowledgeable, Inquisitive
6. Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to perform in a wide variety of period styles. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged
7. Demonstrated professional attitude in classes and productions. This includes a robust level of discipline; a strong work ethic; time management skills; being prompt, prepared, organized, and focused; taking ownership of the work; displaying a commitment to the ensemble nature of the theatre; and treating others with courtesy and respect. Responsible
8. Demonstrated preparation for the profession. This includes having quality headshots, resume, website, reel, social media presence, the ability to self-record/edit/distribute video auditions, and strong audition repertoire. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged

*NOTE: KMERI refers to Otterbein's learning goals. It stands for KnowledgeableMulti-literateEngagedResponsible, and Inquisitive. To learn more about KMERI, visit our University Learning Goals page.