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.