Turn your lifelong dreams into reality with the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, which immerses you in performance training for stage and screen.
Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
Fine tune your skills in acting, voice, improv, movement, singing and dance.
You’ll audition for the program in the spring of your freshman year, after you’ve had a semester to take theater arts classes and meet the faculty. Then, dive into your craft, with chances to learn about period styles, play analysis, theater history, voice and speech, dialects and movement. Gain valuable experience through the Professional Development Series, which includes workshops on voiceovers, commercial copy and other media.
In addition to auditioning for shows at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre, where you’ll earn points toward membership in Actor’s Equity, you’ll have the chance to work in the Austin creative community. Take advantage of the growing film scene, or perform with local theater companies. Before graduation, you’ll showcase your work for an audience of industry professionals, such as agents and casting directors. And afterward, you’ll have a support system in your faculty mentors, as well as an alumni network of St. Edward’s theater graduates in cities like New York and Chicago.
What do our graduates do?
Acting majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Theater producer in New York City and London, including winner of two Tony Awards, one Olivier Award and one Outer Critics Award
- Writer, producer and director of a feature film premiering at the Austin Film Festival
- Actor on The Walking Dead and The Fear of the Walking Dead
- Manager of theater and dance programs in a public-school district
- Development coordinator at ACT Theatre in Seattle
- MFA candidate in Acting at UCLA
For more information about the BFA in Acting, please contact tlayton [at] stedwards.edu (Tyler Layton). The Acting major is part of the Department of Performing Arts.
54 Alumni Who Inspire
St. Edward’s University counts more than 25,000 alumni around the globe. Some are making their mark in the job they started right after graduation. Others have excelled in multiple careers. They’re all building on the education they received at St. Edward’s.
Major Requirements: The BFA in Acting requires 66 hours of major courses, which include core theater coursework paired with acting coursework.
General Education Requirements: The degree requires 54 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for our Acting major (PDF).
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Performance 1A – An introduction to the process of making meaning through performance, including a historical review of methods of teaching acting and the development of a conceptual vocabulary and a movement vocabulary for use in rehearsal and performance. Introduction to character design and script breakdown.
- Acting for the Camera – Development and application of the necessary performance techniques required for film and television acting. Students receive practical experience in front of the camera and are introduced to the unique vocabulary of the medium.
- Exploration of Movement – Physical exploration of theatrical movement styles as they relate to performance. Focus is on physical awareness, engagement, breath and approaches to character development.
Faculty and Student Support Services
In my experience, nothing has inspired the creative mind more than an exploration of theatre arts. They expand the mind and heart in ways that are ineffable.
– Tyler Layton, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
We train young artists to be extraordinary in their craft and competitive in their profession.
– David Long, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
It is such an exciting time to be an actor… stereotypes are breaking down moment by moment. This can only happen with a shift in the power structure of who produces projects. The industry has a long way to go, but I do feel hope when I tune in or attend a production and see more and more diversified representation of gender, body types, ethnicity, and race.
– Sheila Gordon, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
Student Support Services
Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:
- Academic counseling and advising
- Supplemental instruction and tutoring
- Career preparation and advising
- Writing Center consultation
- Health and wellness counseling
- Student disability support
Outside the Classroom
Students majoring in Acting can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through internships and interactions with the greater Austin community.
On Campus Projects
Not only are students are encouraged to participate in the four Mary Moody Northen Theatre mainstage productions happening throughout the academic year, there are also opportunities to perform with the student organizations Transit Theatre Troupe and Box of Chocolates Improv Troupe. These student organizations are constantly producing shows and all St. Edward's students are encouraged to participate.
Guest artists from the world of professional theater, film and television work with faculty and students in production. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in hands-on work in acting, writing, design and directing.
Austin's Theater Scene
In addition, students in the Theater Arts major are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the variety of arts supported by the vibrant culture of Austin. While studying at St. Edward's, you will be connected to the pulse of a cosmopolitan city. Austin is home to a community of people who appreciate the beauty of human expression. Engaging with the local culture will feed your soul. It's also an epicenter to creativity and attracts world class events. Your immersion in such a colorful art scene will enrich your educational experience and connect you to people who share your passi