Marymount Manhattan

Department of
Theatre Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students audition each year?

This past year, we auditioned approximately 1100 students.  Of those students who complete the application and audition process, about 1 in 3 is offered admission to the Theatre Department.

How many people do you accept a year?

On average, we make offers to 100 students for the BFA Acting Program, 100 students for the BA Theatre Arts Major with a Concentration in Theatre Performance, 70-75 students for the Musical Theatre Minor.  For the non-performance concentrations in the BA Theatre Arts Major, we enroll approximately 30 students per year.

What are your students doing after they graduate?

Our students go on to pursue a plethora of opportunities, both in and outside of the theatre.  We currently have alumni on multiple major network television shows, on Broadway, on National Tours, and performing throughout the country in regional theatres.  Additionally, many of our students go on to pursue graduate degrees in theatre, as well as in medicine, law, business, and accounting. 

What is the difference between the BFA in Acting and the BA in Theatre Performance?

The BFA in Acting and the BA in Theatre Performance differ in the number of credit hours required to complete the major and in the training received in the third and fourth years of study.

In the BA in Theatre Performance, students are required to complete 42 credit hours to obtain the degree.  Therefore, this program becomes ideal for students looking to double major or minor in other areas, including the musical theatre minor.  When paired with the 43 credit hours required by the liberal arts curriculum, students in the BA in Theatre Performance will have enough credit hours remaining to complete a minor or double major.

As for the training in this program, it is focused on contemporary acting.  Students will have two full years of acting in contemporary styles and can then go on, in the junior and senior years, to study other areas of interest, be they acting classes or other courses at the College.  Such areas include classes geared toward experimental theatre like Beyond Naturalism, as well as advanced contemporary styles.  

The BFA in Acting requires 60 credit hours to complete the major.  For this reason, it becomes difficult, though not impossible, to complete a minor in this program and is not possible to double major.

In the first two years of this program, the training mirrors that of the BA in Theatre Performance.  Students are training in contemporary acting styles.  However, in the third and fourth years, students go onto focus on classical styles.  The third year consists of scene study through the work of playwrights such as Ibsen, Chekhov and Shaw, while the fourth year is a full year of training in Shakespeare.

Is one program better than the other?

No!  This is a common misconception.  The BA in Theatre Performance and the BFA in Acting are very different.  However, they are equally strong and provide students with training in areas specific to their interests.  Therefore, based on the differences between the two programs detailed above, the question becomes: Which program will be better for you?  When looking at these two programs, you should try to decide what type of training you want to receive and what your personal interests are, then, you can determine which concentration will provide you with these aspects.

Can you start in one program and then move to the other?

Ok, so say you have looked at the differences and are still confused as to what program would better suit you.  It is possible to begin training in one program and then switch to the other.  This can be done at the end of the sophomore year.  Students moving from the BFA in Acting to the BA in Theatre Performance must have good academic standing in order to switch.  When a student moves from the BA in Theatre Performance into the BFA in Acting it requires a recommendation from that student’s acting teacher and an audition for the theatre faculty.  This is to ensure that the student is prepared for the physical and vocal work required to train in classical styles in the junior/senior year.

Are BFA students guaranteed a role in a main stage show?

Unfortunately, no.  All of our main stage productions are open to the full student body and therefore, students MUST audition in order to be cast.  The faculty considers students from all of the programs in Theatre Arts equally when casting shows.  Students should be prepared to put their best foot forward and fully prepare for the audition requirements each semester. 

Does the BFA have a cut system?

No, it does not.  We are not looking to get each class down to a finite number for the junior and senior year.   Students are seen by the full time performance faculty at the end of their first semester of Acting II for evaluation.  The faculty is simply looking to make sure that each student is progressing in the ways necessary in order to move on to classical study in the third and fourth year.  As a result of this showing, students may be placed on probation for a semester.  During this semester, they will work with the faculty and their Acting teacher to make the necessary improvements.  If at the end of the probationary semester the student has not made the appropriate progress, the faculty may suggest that the student move to the BA Theatre Performance program where they may continue their study of contemporary styles. 

Can I double major if I am a BFA acting student?

The faculty strongly recommends that students who wish to pursue a second major outside of the Theatre Department consider the BA Theatre Performance program, not the BFA in Acting.  The intensity of the credit requirements makes it impossible to complete the required courses in Theatre along with the required courses for a second major and graduate in four years.  Since the BA in Theatre performance requires 42 credits instead of 60, students are able to double major and complete their degree(s) in four years.

Why is Musical Theatre a Minor at MMC and not a Major?

In creating a Musical Theatre Minor at Marymount Manhattan College, the faculty feels that they are best able to deliver the type of well rounded education and training for a career in Musical Theatre.  By using the Minor in combination with the Performance Major, we are able to deliver more credits and courses than if the Musical Theatre was classified as a 60 credit BFA program.

How many credits are included?

The Minor consists of 24 credits and two labs.  To fulfill these credits, students must study with us for a full four years.  The two labs included are Daily Dance and Private Voice.  Daily Dance takes place five days a week for all four years of the program.  Private Voice takes place once a week for 45 minutes for all four years of the program.

Where do the Musical Theatre students take dance classes?

Since the College is home to such a large population of Dance Majors, students in the Musical Theatre Minor take dance courses off campus on the West Side at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.  The classes occur Monday through Friday from 9am to 10:30am.  Attendance during all four years of study is mandatory.

Is there an additional cost to be a Musical Theatre Minor?

Yes.  In order to deliver the Daily Dance classes and Private Voice, there is an additional fee of $1,495.00 per semester.  The goes directly towards covering the costs of the labs.

Can I be a Musical Theatre Minor with a non-Theatre major?

Unfortunately, no.  The Minor is designed to specifically compliment either the BA in Theatre Performance or the BFA in Acting.  You may not combine it with any other major.

Can I audition for shows outside of Marymount Manhattan?

During the academic year, students in the Musical Theatre Minor and BFA programs are required to obtain written permission from the faculty before pursuing outside projects.  This is not designed to inhibit students, but rather keep them focused on their studies given the rigor of the two programs.  The faculty does grant this permission if a student has exemplary study habits and the opportunity will not directly interfere with their daily class work.   


  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/949-antonio-edwards-suarez"><img src="/live/image/gid/121/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/322,4,1491,1174/8820_scan_1-4.jpeg" alt="Antonio Edwards Suarez" title="Antonio Edwards Suarez" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/949-antonio-edwards-suarez">Antonio Edwards Suarez</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts - Acting</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description"> </div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/950-timothy-johnson"><img src="/live/image/gid/121/width/200/height/235/crop/1/7842_4454892079_603f798b74.jpg" alt="Timothy Johnson" title="Timothy Johnson" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/950-timothy-johnson">Timothy Johnson</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts-Acting</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Timothy received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music with Flute as his Major instrument. During his senior year at B-W he was the First Place Winner in the Conservatory’s Annual Concerto Competition. He received an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington. He was an Assistant Professor of Acting/Movement at Ohio University. Currently he is an Artistic Associate at Rosie’s Theater Kids.</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/41-robert-dutiel"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/80_robert_dutiel.jpeg" alt="Robert Dutiel" title="Robert Dutiel" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/41-robert-dutiel">Robert Dutiel</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Associate Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description"> </div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/48-mark-ringer"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/82_markringer.jpg" alt="Mark Ringer" title="Mark Ringer" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/48-mark-ringer">Mark Ringer</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Mark Ringer is a Professor of Theatre Arts at MMC. He has worked as an actor, director, and dramaturge throughout the United States and Europe. His translations of Euripides’ “Bacchae” and Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise” have received successful performances as have several of his adaptations. He was seen Off Broadway as Polonius in two different stagings of “The Heart of My Mystery: The Hamlet Project”, an adaptation which he co-authored. His one- play fusion of Shakespeare’ s “Henry IV Parts I and II” was produced at the Shakespearean Theatre of Maine, a production in which he also played Falstaff. He has worked professionally on productions of half of Shakespeare’s plays.</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/51-christine-riley"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/218_mysqldb.jpeg" alt="Christine Riley" title="Christine Riley" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/51-christine-riley">Christine Riley</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Visiting Instructor</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Christine is currently a member of the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, a musical director for Camp Broadway and maintains a private vocal coaching studio.</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/38-john-basil"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/77_john_basil.jpg" alt="John Basil" title="John Basil" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/38-john-basil">John Basil</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Associate Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">John Basil founded the American Globe Theatre in New York City in 1988, and since then has served as its Producing Artistic Director and regularly teaches its Playing Shakespeare course. John has taught Shakespeare and acting at Rutgers University, C.W. Post Long Island University, Penn State University, Asolo Conservatory, Bradley University, University of Colorado, University of Wyoming, and Columbia Teachers College. In addition he has taught Shakespeare workshops at the high school level and for the NYC Arts Connection’s outreach program, Children of Hope. He has directed for the American Globe Theatre, Riverside Shakespeare Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Sarasota Opera, in addition to guest artist positions at several universities. John is the author of Will Power, How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days (Applause, 2006).</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/43-david-mold"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/0,32,1000,1032/3896_mmc_13-09-09_003.jpg" alt="David Mold" title="David Mold" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/43-david-mold">David Mold</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts<br/> Chair, Division of Fine and Performing Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Professor Mold is the Chair of the Division of Fine & Performing Arts. Courses he teaches include, Acting I (THTR 211/212), Acting II (THTR 341/342), The Business of Acting (THTR 318), Theatre Production Workshop (THTR 343), and Directing III (THTR 406). MMC stage directing credits include Bogosian’s suburbia, Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, The Seagull by Chekhov, Miller’s The Crucible, Paul Green and Richard Wright’s Native Son: The Biography of a Young American (an adaptation of Wright’s novel), John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath adapted by Frank Galati, George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara, Geography of a Horse Dreamer by Sam Shepard, Ruined by Lynn Nottage, and Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman’s Stage Door. Professor Mold served as the first elected vice president of the College’s Faculty Council from 2007-2010. He is also active in higher education as a consultant in program review for fine and performing arts departments, completing such reviews for Iona College and York College, CUNY.</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/26-barbara-adrian"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/0,0,433,433/66_barbara_adrian_headshot11.jpg" alt="Barbara Adrian" title="Barbara Adrian" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/26-barbara-adrian">Barbara Adrian</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description"> </div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/49-patricia-hoag-simon"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1236,1236/1945_img_0090.jpg" alt="Patricia Hoag Simon" title="Patricia Hoag Simon" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/49-patricia-hoag-simon">Patricia Hoag Simon</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Associate Professor of Theatre Arts</p><p> Coordinator for Musical Theatre Program</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description"> </div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/46-ellen-orenstein"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/83_ellen-orenstein.jpg" alt="Ellen Orenstein" title="Ellen Orenstein" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/46-ellen-orenstein">Ellen Orenstein</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Associate Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Ellen Orenstein is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and the Coordinator for Freshman/Sophomore Acting at Marymount Manhattan College. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from the University of Washington.</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/40-kevin-connell"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/0,0,427,427/9370_facebook_day_of_shoot_copy.jpg" alt="Kevin Connell" title="Kevin Connell" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/40-kevin-connell">Kevin Connell</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts<br/> Recruiter for Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">KEVIN CONNELL is currently a Professor of Theatre Arts at Marymount Manhattan College, where he serves as Coordinator of Junior and Senior Acting and Recruiter for the Department of Theatre Arts. He attended The Ohio State University (B.F.A.) and the University of California, San Diego (M.F.A.).</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/45-richard-niles"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/0,26,1602,1628/5853_richard-niles-color.jpg" alt="Richard Niles" title="Richard Niles" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/45-richard-niles">Richard Niles</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description"> </div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/42-mary-fleischer"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/src_region/0,50,1556,1606/2054_mf_portrait_8-13.jpg" alt="Mary Fleischer" title="Mary Fleischer" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/42-mary-fleischer">Mary Fleischer</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts<br/> Chair, Department of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Mary Fleischer is a Professor of Theatre Arts, serves as Chair of the Theatre Arts Department, and teaches courses in directing, dramatic literature, performance theory and history, and producing. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and her interdisciplinary interests have inspired performance and research activities, including her book, Embodied Texts: Symbolist Playwright-Dancer Collaborations. She received the MMC Teaching Excellence Award in 2005.</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/47-ray-recht"><img src="/live/image/gid/121/width/200/height/235/crop/1/3558_dsc02152.jpg" alt="Ray Recht" title="Ray Recht" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/47-ray-recht">Ray Recht</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Professor of Theatre Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">“Good design does not happen by accident.”</div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/450-sydney-maresca"><img src="/live/image/gid/95/width/200/height/235/crop/1/3480_sydney_maresca_2013.jpg" alt="Sydney Maresca" title="Sydney Maresca" class="lw_image" width="200" height="235"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_header">Get to know:</div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/450-sydney-maresca">Sydney Maresca</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_type"><p> Assistant Professor of Theater Arts</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_description">Sydney Maresca is a professional costume designer with a strong background in costume construction and fashion history. Her designs have been seen all over New York City and the country and her work was nominated for a Henry Hewes Design Award for The Debate Society’s Buddy Cop 2. She has an M.F.A. degree from New York University’s Tisch Department of Design for Stage and Film and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. Professor Maresca has worked with students both as an educator and as a designer at a number of universities including Pace, Princeton, Sarah Lawrence, Western Connecticut State University, Juilliard and the Curtis Institute.</div>