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Acting

The School of Theatre's BFA in Acting is professional training program. It combines the best of conservatory/studio training with the breadth of the general education requirements that have made Oklahoma City University one of the nation's best small universities in the US.

BFA actors will take 10 acting classes over their 4 years (covering the basics of Stanislavski, scene study, Chekhov, Shakespeare, Greek and Advanced Acting Styles, Audition Techniques and Professional Preparation and two semesters of On-Camera Acting), along with extensive voice and movement training, a study of script analysis and theatre history, and an introduction to technical theatre and directing. The student's cross-training in voice and dance are provided by the Bass School of Music and the Ann Lacy School of Dance.

PRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES
  • Dance, Music & Theatre produce an average of 55 productions per year
  • Teaching and learning is structure around going from the lab (the classroom) to the showroom (the stage)
  • No walls or silos between schools, which means you have the opportunity to audition for contemporary theatre, classical theatre, opera, musical theatre, faculty and student directed shows, dance and choreography shows
  • Student opportunities to direct in OCUedge (staged readings), Stage II (stripped down black box shows), and Out of the Box (student run theatre co)
FACULTY
  • Working professionals teaching you how to be working professional
  • 8 AEA (Equity) faculty, 4 SAG/AFTRA faculty- all working now
  • Bring up-to-the-minute real-world advice into the classroom
  • Opportunities to act alongside faculty (great mentoring/teaching opportunities)

PERFORMANCE FACULTY TEACHING 

D. Lance Marsh

To act is to do.  It is as devilishly simple and as straightforwardly complicated as that.  Some of the best actors that I have ever watched are children at play, before life and society begin to load them down with inhibitions.  They know how to play with reckless abandon and to immerse themselves in a character.  You never see a child break character or underplay a role because they are paralyzed by over-thinking the part.  Children know how to just do, or as I put to every class I have ever taught, they know how to “run at the edge of the cliff.”  I believe that the job of an acting teacher is threefold: to teach solid rehearsal techniques (including, but not limited to: given circumstances, character and text analysis, active listening with the whole instrument, a fully physicalized moment before, and creating communion with partner), to explore elements of “style” and, most importantly, to assist young actors in stripping away some of the barriers that deny them access to the impulses of play that were pure when they were children.  Stanislavski, in Creating a Role, calls this a journey “through the conscious to the unconscious.”  The purpose of all the technique that we teach an actor, in the end, is to allow him/her access to a place where unfettered imagination sparks real impulses.

Kristen Cerelli

As a teacher, I consider myself a student to each student, an observer to the constellation of strengths and weaknesses that makes each artist unique. I also seek to connect the dots and reveal to them what makes all artists similar. I focus on building ensemble and cultivating an embodied experience of trust, rigor, risk-taking and fun among the players. I try to model dedication and kindness and generosity, because I believe an actor needs those qualities in spades. And along the way, I’ve had profoundly generous teachers with profoundly different points of view, and I’ve stolen from all of them. Here’s what I know for sure: learning to act is no small feat; it’s a lifelong process. Acting is a full-bodied, big-hearted, open-minded expression of our humanity. The beautiful parts and the ugly parts. The light and the dark. My job as an educator is to help my students get curious about all those parts – in themselves and in others – so they can tell stories with resonance, courage and impact. 

Jeanie Sholer

To connect with the students and inspire them with confidence and belief in their talent and teach them the skills to express it.  To encourage self discipline and dedication to their craft.  To prepare them for the next level of their training, whether this be getting them ready for their next academic course or readying them for the professional world.  I believe that everyone who loves the art does so because they hold within themselves the talent for it, even though it may be deeply buried.  My job becomes nurturing their love for the art and helping them reveal their talent.

Hal Kohlman

Through exercises and scene study, I focus on creating moment by moment truthfulness in acting.  This is accomplished through a shared emphasis on internal psychological understanding and external discovery.  Techniques learned are applicable to contemporary theatre, classical plays, and musicals.

CURICULUM

21st century entertainment job market does not want one-trick ponies. We help you develop a deep and diverse tool box of skills and abilities with the primary focus of classes is training in 3 areas:

MUSICAL THEATRE

Even though this is an Acting degree, there is a great focus on MT skills- students REQUIRED to take private voice with the same faculty that trains the MT students, take Dance in leveled classes along with Dance and MT majors

ON-CAMERA

Offer TWO (2) SEMESTERS of On-Camera Training, which is a semester more than most programs.  Provide links to local commercial and film work, and connection to a diverse amount of student filmmaking on campus.  Provide finished products for your reel when you graduate.

CLASSICAL/SHAKESPEARE

Most schools are devaluing this work, but we believe if you can act Shakespeare, you can act anything.  Connection to AEA Local summer Shakespeare work!  200 paying Shakespeare Festivals in the USA

SHOWCASES
  • NEW YORK CITY- Selected Grads fly to NYC the day after graduation to do showcase for industry professionals
  • LOS ANGELES- A 5 day trip over spring break, showcase for industry professionals, tours, masterclasses
  • CHICAGO- Over a weekend in April , half a dozen agents and casting directors audition seniors, teach masterclasses, give personalized feedback
  • DALLAS- Throughout Spring semester of senior year, casting directors and agents from Dallas come up to audition our students.
PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS
  • Many graduates accrue  professional credits due to our diverse partnerships-  Working with local Equity Companies gives students qualifying weeks towards their AEA card; opportunities to work with a diverse set of professional actors and directors while still in school
  • Acting Partners: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (major musical theatre producers), Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (only professional Children’s Theatre in OK), plus connection to Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park
  • Recent INTERNSHIPS- Great River Shakespeare Festival, Montana Shakes, Notre Dame Shakes, Remy Bumpo in Chicago