BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Abilene Christian University in 2019/2020
We're taking a in-depth look at some of the country's most prestigious college theatre programs to help students learn all about the variety of options they have at their disposal to further their education. With the help of the schools' faculty, we're highlighting insights about everything from audition advice to real world experience and more. Today we're taking a look at Abilene Christian University's theatre department, including its summer Shakespeare Festival, senior showcase, and more. Find out info about the school and check out answers about their program below!
The ACU Theatre offers a rigorous and transformative studio-intensive program designed for students with a strong commitment to a professional career in performance, directing, design, teaching or theatre ministry. Our curriculum and facilities are contemporary and cutting-edge. As a theatre student, you'll receive a well-rounded education with hands-on experience in all phases of backstage work. Integrating faith and art is at the center of the creative work at the ACU Theatre. Students can connect the spiritual implications and influences of their work through faculty mentors and challenging discussions.
What is the audition process for performing arts majors?
Students submit a resume and headshot to us through GetAcceptd.com. Then, depending on whether they selected the open audition or our prescreened auditions, they may be asked to submit a prescreening video before being given an audition time. They then come to an in-house audition where they will present based on preferred track (Musical theatre, Acting, Dance, Theatre Education, Directing, Design/Technical, or Theatre Ministry).
What tips can you offer to auditioning students?
Don't stress about the audition! Our faculty want you to do well and succeed in your audition just as much as you do!
What is the approximate average class size within an arts major?
Any notable alumni you would like to mention?
Ben Jeffries (Broadway's The Lion King), Laura Siebert Young (Broadway's Pippin, Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway), Caleb Pierce (The Real O'Neils), David Utley (Scenic Design: Glee, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Proposal), and Ally Beans (Eisenberg-Beans Casting)
Do you see more students interested in working on stage or off?
We have a larger percentage of majors coming in for on-stage work than off but the number of off-stage majors has been increasing over the recent couple of years.
What kind of real world experience outside of the classroom do you offer students during their program?
We hold multiple productions in-house every year that are open audition/interview for theatre majors of any classification or track. We also provide a summer Shakespeare Festival in tandem with the Historic Paramount Theatre here in Abilene, Tx. This provides our students with a performance opportunity not directly tied to the school that gives good experience in working with different people and different material.
What kinds of things does your school do for students to help them succeed after graduation?
Each year in the spring we produce a Senior Showcase in an off-Broadway theatre that we rent out to provide our students with the opportunity to make connections and get themselves out and into the world of professional theatre. We bring in many different casting agencies, casting directors, and more to watch our students do what they do best!
How do you keep your program as relevant as possible to the current industry trends and how have you modernized it in recent years?
We are always asking our alumni working in the industry on keeping up to date on what the current audition, rehearsal, and performance trends are in professional productions.
Be sure to apply to Abilene Christian University's theatre department here: https://www.acu.edu/on-campus/undergraduate/college-of-arts-and-sciences/theatre-department/overview.html