School of Theatre and Dance
ECU production of West Side Story

Professional Actor Training

Patterned after a world-famous New York studio, the BFA in Theatre Arts offers a Professional Training concentration for those students interested in performance of serious plays, comedies, and musical theatre. This specific approach is based on the Stanislavski System and the teaching principles of Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg, and has trained such actors as Gregory Peck, Joanne Woodward, Peter Falk, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, Suzanne Plieshette, Jon Voight, Grace Kelly, and many, many more. Alumni from the School of Theatre and Dance at East Carolina University have included Sandra Bullock, Beth Grant, Manley Pope, Howell Binkley, Ali Hillis, and Kevin Williamson.

The four years of intensive professional study offer the student eighteen hours a week of actor training in addition to private sessions with the instructor. After three years of training, the senior actor is admitted to the master classes. Because emphasis is on the contemporary (commercial actor rather than the classical actor), the master class focuses on the student's overall ability to find employment in the "real world." Actors are taught to work in film and television as well as on stage. Students in the Professional Actor Training Program receive a videotape of their performance work from the TV/Film course.

Admittance into the School of Theatre and Dance

Our admission procedures for incoming freshman are simple and direct. Intended theatre majors accepted into East Carolina University are automatically eligible to enter the beginning acting classes of the School of Theatre and Dance (THEA 1010, Introduction to Acting I and THEA 2015, Voice and Articulation) and to pursue an intended major in one of our BFA concentrations (Professional Acting, Musical Theatre, Theatre Education, Theatre for Youth). Auditions for each of the BFA concentrations take place in the spring semester of the freshman year. (Please see other area links for details pertaining to that area's specific audition process.) If students aren't admitted into their chosen BFA concentration in their freshman year, they are encouraged to explore other options, including seeking a degree in another area of concentration in the School of Theatre and Dance. Should students decide to pursue another major at ECU, their THEA 1010 and THEA 2015 class will fulfill a Fine Arts Requirement for that other major.