Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
School of Arts and Sciences
When we fear failure, we avoid risk; when we avoid risk, we stunt our creativity. As a theatre student, you’ll be challenged to take creative chances—to push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of. You’ll work closely with classmates and professors who encourage you to explore and experiment as you find your voice. Together, you’ll discover what you’re passionate about and create worlds that have the power to captivate your audiences.
Who It's For
The Theatre Arts program is targeted to students who want to become strong actors, directors, designers, technicians, and theatre administrators who create inspiring and challenging work. Students are passionate, curious, and creative—always hungry to explore the unknown.
- Intimate class sizes encourage intensive, in-depth exploration
- A collaborative environment encourages you and your classmates to support and challenge one another
- A mixture of classics, contemporaries, musicals, original plays, and devised works gives you an opportunity to explore a wide range of thought-provoking topics about socially relevant issues
- Experimentation, collaboration, and individual creativity are cornerstones of the program that allow you to continuously rediscover the dynamic quality of the theatrical process
- Connections to major theatre companies in town (including Pinnacle Acting Company, the Classical Greek Theatre Festival, and the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival) that gives you access to internships and learning opportunities off campus
About the Program
With classes as small as 11 students, it’s nearly impossible to go unnoticed in Westminster’s theatre program. You’ll work side-by-side with devoted professors who are passionate about helping you succeed, and collaborate with classmates who push you to do your very best. Performing is a huge part of the program. You’ll have the chance to tackle major roles even as a first-year student, and have access to 2 performance spaces (1 proscenium and 1 black box) and spacious scene and costume shops. Westminster is also in the process of expanding Florence J. Gillmor Hall, creating enhanced classroom, rehearsal, and performance spaces.
There are helpful student resources available to theatre arts students as well as suggestions for extracurricular opportunities you may want to explore, including partnering and affiliated companies in the local area and professional organizations. And, you can get insight into the perspectives of Westminster theatre arts students and alumni.
What You'll Learn
- Develop the skills needed to produce creative, expressive, and distinctive work on the page, on-stage, and backstage.
- Develop an appreciation for the role of story as the driving energy in all theatrical work—artistic and academic.
- Become a leader capable of facilitating the collaborative, ensemble environment that is the hallmark of great theatre.
- Embrace your role as an inductee into the community of theatre artists.
- Demonstrate the ability to think, write, and speak self-reflectively, analytically and fluently, about your own and other’s work.
- Expand your personal, social, and global understanding through engagement in a diverse array of theatre work on campus and in the community.
- Explore the connection between physical, mental, and emotional health and successful theatre work.
- Demonstrate core artistic and academic competencies that inform all theatre studies.
- Discover the value of authentic inquiry, risk-taking, effective self-evaluation, active listening, spontaneous generosity, and insatiable curiosity.
Plan of Study
During your first year and a half in the program, you'll explore a wide range of classes including acting, costuming, stagecraft, and dance. As you begin to specialize your craft, you can choose from advanced classes like musical theatre, directing, stage lighting, and dramatic theory and criticism, while utilizing your theatre training in productions on campus and throughout the Salt Lake City community. Faculty members often arrange internships and other professional experience opportunities with partner organizations in your field of study.
The Theatre Arts program offers 2 degree tracks. All students who declare as a theatre arts major enter the program in the bachelor of arts degree track (no audition required). If you want to pursue the bachelor of fine arts degree track, you must audition/interview when you become eligible. In the bachelor of fine arts degree track, you additionally choose 1 of 2 emphases to pursue based on your career goals.
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
The bachelor of arts in theatre is a generalist degree that allows you to explore a wider range of studies in performance, production, and design. If you'd like to double major, this degree path is a great fit with the Art, Communication, or Dance programs, or a program within the School of Education or Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. The bachelor of arts degree does not require an audition to enter the degree track, you only need to declare the major.
The bachelor of arts degree does not have emphases. Instead, you choose some of your elective courses based on your interests. Students planning on auditioning to transition into the bachelor of fine arts degree track can focus on elective courses that coincide with the bachelor of fine arts emphasis they plan on auditioning/interviewing to pursue.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre
The bachelor of fine arts is a pre-professional degree. The 2 emphases offered at Westminster provide in-depth training in a specific area. Completing a bachelor of fine arts signifies that you're ready to get into entry-level, professional work in theatre after graduation. Unlike the bachelor of arts in theatre, you must apply for entry into this degree track.
Current (continuing) students are eligible to audition/interview for acceptance into the bachelor of fine arts degree track and declare an area of emphasis in the fall of their sophomore year.
Transfer students auditioning or interviewing for scholarships in the spring before their first semester will be considered for both scholarships and acceptance into the bachelor of fine arts degree track in the emphasis of their choosing. Transfer students who are not pursuing a scholarship but are still interested in acceptance into the bachelor of fine arts degree track must contact the head of the degree track to schedule an audition or interview.
The bachelor of fine arts audition/interview period is announced to current and transfer students each year. Students who are not accepted into the degree track upon their first audition or interview may continue in the bachelor of arts degree track and reapply for the bachelor of fine arts the following academic year.
Areas of Emphasis
The performance emphasis allows you to prepare for a professional career as an actor. You'll take rigorous courses focused on styles of acting, voice work, movement, and audition techniques. You will also prepare a repertoire to market yourself as an actor for future theatre work or graduate programs.
- Current headshot/resume
- Audition including 2 contrasting monologues (1 must be classical and in verse)
- Completed bachelor of fine arts (Performance Emphasis) self-assessment rubric
- Letter of intent
Production and Design Emphasis
The production and design emphasis allows you to design and produce an effective portfolio that showcases your knowledge, skills, and personal qualities that will help you secure future theatre work or pursue graduate studies.
- Current resume
- Current portfolio, online preferred, that includes (transfer student portfolios may contain work produced at previous institution[s]):
- Samples of renderings, models, and coursework
- Process photos of technical work.
- Completed bachelor of fine arts (Production and Design Emphasis) self-assessment rubric
- Letter of intent
Liberal Education Courses
In this course, you and your classmates will work as a cohort to create and perform a piece, borrowing from the idea of the Living Newspaper, where the script originates from the entire group (rather than from a specific writer) and pulls inspiration and materials from current events.
In this course, you will use your classroom knowledge for practical experience at companies including Salt Lake Acting Company and Pioneer Theatre.
Want to learn more about the Theatre Arts program?
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You’ll graduate with a comprehensive theatre education and in-depth training. Many students go on to professional careers in film, television, and entertainment, while others choose to continue their education through graduate studies, such as pursuing a MFA.
of students who apply to graduate programs are admitted
Theatre Arts program graduates have begun careers with companies and organizations such as:
- The Grand Theatre Company
- Hale Center Theatre
- Off Broadway
- Pioneer Theatre Company
- Plan B Theatre Company
- Salt Lake Acting Company
Theatre Arts program graduates have chosen to further their studies at schools such as:
- Cal Arts
- Columbia University
- Guilford School of Acting
- London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
- Savannah College of Art and Design
- University of California Irvine
- University of Edinburgh
Tuition and Aid
There's No Better Investment Than You
Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.
With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.
You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.
In addition to general merit scholarships, there are other scholarship programs to support you throughout your time at Westminster.Check Out Scholarships
The Theatre Arts program also offers talent-based scholarships to incoming students interested in majoring in theatre. An audition or interview is required for consideration.