If you have dreamed about exploring your passion for theater in college, the stages at Hofstra University can provide you with many unique and exciting opportunities to develop your craft onstage and behind the scenes. Many graduates from Hofstra’s drama program have gone on to success in film, television, on Broadway and off Broadway.
The Hofstra Drama faculty supports the idea that theater artists should approach their craft with the broad understanding that can be acquired in a liberal arts setting. The drama program has embedded its performance and production program in a curriculum that requires a complement of general education courses including English composition, math and natural sciences, social sciences, languages and literature.
No audition is required to major in drama performance at Hofstra University. All performance or generalist students begin as B.A. candidates and have the option to apply for the B.F.A. program in their sophomore year. In the first year the B.A. and the B.F.A. programs are the same, and courses such as Introduction to the Theater, Play Analysis, Technical Production, and Acting or Theater Design Fundamentals are applicable to either degree.
Students interested in the B.F.A. in Production (design, directing, stage management, technical direction) must submit a resume and portfolio for review once they have been admitted to the university. The Department of Drama and Dance holds an annual spring portfolio review to determine acceptance into the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Production and to award grant-in-aid scholarships to the most deserving students. While this is the preferred method for those interested in the B.F.A. (and the only way to be considered for a grant-in-aid scholarship in the first-year), it is also possible to meet with production faculty for a portfolio review at another time in the spring. In addition, if attendance at Hofstra for a portfolio review is not possible, we will accept an online portfolio and a scheduled phone interview. Please contact Angela Visco, drama department secretary, at Angela.Visco[at]hofstra.edu to reserve time at our spring review or to schedule another appointment.
The B.A. in Drama
The B.A. in Drama gives students a comprehensive understanding of theater. The program includes exposure to both performance and production areas. Unlike conservatories, no audition is required. The B.A. candidate is required to complete 45 credits in drama and 79 credits outside their major to fulfill the 124 credits required for graduation. The 79 credits are comprised of distribution requirements, electives, and/or a minor (usually 18 credit hours). The advantage of the B.A. program is that students may double-major or double-minor in another area, such as psychology, political science, creative writing, English literature, marketing, computer science, film and TV, dance and fine arts. For example, a student who would like to teach drama on the high school level would normally double major in Drama and English and then later pursue a master’s in education.
The B.F.A. in Theater Arts
This program is for the student preparing for a career in the practice of theater as a performer, director, designer or technician. The B.F.A. degree (in performance or production) is intended to provide a small, specialized group of such students with a high level of competence.
In their sophomore year, performance students wanting this more specialized course of theater studies must present an audition for the B.F.A. in performance. The faculty members base their decisions not only on the audition, but also on their collective experience with the student. Self-discipline, focus, initiative, and the ability to work well with peers count in equal measure to raw talent.
B.F.A in production majors must apply for the program before their first semester, after acceptance to the university.
The B.F.A. programs require a minimum of 132 credits. Approximately 72 of those credits are taken in drama classes. In regard to transfer students, the B.F.A. requires a minimum of six semesters at Hofstra.
- B.F.A. in Performance
In the fall of the sophomore year, students may take Voice and Speech for the Actor, Movement for the Actor and Acting II - each of which are required for the B.F.A. and are electives for the B.A. Mid-semester, students who are interested in the B.F.A. submit letters of application and are granted an audition. Once accepted, they pursue additional courses in Voice and Speech, Movement, and Acting for both Stage and Film/TV. Interested students can opt for courses in Musical Theater. As part of the B.F.A. curriculum, graduating performance students present a showcase in New York City for agents, managers and casting directors. This has traditionally been scheduled the day after commencement.
- B.F.A. in Production
B.F.A. in production students can choose a generalized production track or pursue specific areas of interest such as Theater Design (scenic, costume, lighting, or sound), Stage Management, Technical Production, or Directing. As part of the B.F.A. curriculum design students may be given the opportunity to design a university Theater production, stage managers work in a variety of Theater settings, and directors assist faculty and guest directors and have the opportunity to direct up to two one-act plays.
- Minor in Drama
A minor in Drama consists of 18 semester hours of drama classes, as least 6 hours in residence.
- Minor in Musical Theater
By audition only. An interdisciplinary minor which consists of successful completion of 18 semester hours, at least 9 hours in residence, including a selection of classes from the Dance Program and the Department of Music. To participate in the Musical Theater Minor the student must be enrolled in voice lessons each semester or under the tutelage of a private vocal instructor.