Explanation of need for a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) in Theatre at The University of Alabama in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Specialized training and experience provided in a BFA Degree has become an industry standard and a highly sought after degree of theatre training at the undergraduate level. The BFA degree is a pre-professional degree that will offer an intensive training curriculum and will prepare the undergraduate student for profession work in the field of theatre. The BFA degree track will not require the student to pursue a minor as the BA degree will not be changed and will still be available for the student that also wished to study theatre with a minor at UA. Currently the BA offers many elements comparable to a BFA curriculum. For example the advanced and unique training opportunities presently offered in our program include:
- Large and diverse faculty/staff, offering a broad range of specialized training
- Annual showcase in New York City for fourth-year students
- Annual professional summer theatre (SummerTide in Gulf Shores, AL)
- Large number of on-campus performance opportunities, with a minimum of eight full-scale productions per year
- Production of an Off-Broadway show (every other year)
- Collaboration with regional professional theatres
- Wide of array of guest artists and lecturers
- NAST-accredited BA and MFA, as will the BFA. (Note: We were the first Theatre program in the state to receive NAST accreditation in 1986.)
Additionally the addition of the BFA will give us an edge in recruiting as many other institutions in the state of Alabama already offer this degree and UA needs to be included in this listing below.
- Auburn has the only full range BFA program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
- UAB has a NAST accredited BFA in Musical Theatre.
- Samford has a NAST accredited BFA in Musical Theatre.
- Montevallo has multi-area BFA programs but is not NAST accredited.
- USA has multi-area BFA programs, but is not NAST accredited.
Finally, the BFA degree will allow our well respected program to attract and even higher caliber of student, guest artists as well as future faculty members. It is time for our Department to move forward with the addition of the BFA degree in Theatre.