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Drama

Overview

The Drama program at Hofstra readies students for careers in acting and production in the competitive worlds of theater, film and television. Hofstra’s Drama program has trained Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winning and nominated actors and artists - among them Francis Ford Coppola, Madeline Kahn, Phil Rosenthal and Joe Morton. Students develop skills across a broad range of studies, such as musical and dance performance, set design, directing and acting.

Throughout the academic year, there are numerous on-campus, performance opportunities. Production students have creative license to design, stage manage, and co-direct these productions. Every fall features a major Broadway-quality musical, staged at Hofstra’s Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. The spring brings with it the annual Shakespeare Festival, the University’s longest running tradition, often performed on the Hofstra Globe Stage, the most authentic replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in the US. The experience of working on this historic stage is transformational.

Students benefit immensely from Hofstra’s close proximity to New York City and all of its cultural offerings, with numerous faculty-supervised trips to plays, musical theater, the opera and other arts performances.

Curriculum

The BA in Drama offers students experiences both on stage and behind-the-scenes. First-year students take courses such as Introduction to the Theater, Play Analysis, Technical Production and Acting or Theater Design Fundamentals. The BA program is the ideal track for students interested in a double-major or double-minor in other areas, such as education, psychology, political science, creative writing, English literature, marketing, computer science, film and TV, dance, musical theater and fine arts. For example, a student who would like to teach drama at the high school level would typically double major in drama and English and later pursue a master’s in education.

The BFA in Theater Arts - Performance, which requires an audition in the fall of your sophomore year, is for students who want to fully immerse themselves in the study of performance. This track does not leave time for a dual major in another discipline. Graduating students present a showcase in New York City for agents, managers and casting directors.

The BFA in Production includes design (scenic, costume, lighting, or sound), directing, stage management, and technical direction. Interested students are required to submit a resume and portfolio upon admission to Hofstra.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Drama Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Many outstanding Hofstra Drama program alumni have built successful careers in film, television, and theater. Recent alumni are working at a wide range of prestigious companies and organizations, including Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Records, New York International Fringe Festival, Live Nation, Town Hall Concert Hall, and Bay Colony Shakespeare Company.

99% report employment/grad school or both
94% are employed within six months
$36K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

What You'll Learn

Drama Teacher teaching student

You will have exciting opportunities to hone your craft onstage and behind the scenes. Specifically, you will:

  • develop fundamental, practical skills that prepare them for employment or graduate study in theater
  • perform in a wide variety of campus productions
  • critically and aesthetically analyze works in dramatic literature and the performing arts
  • comprehend and analyze historical movements in dramatic literature and practice
  • demonstrate a proficiency in dramatic literature, stage history and theatre aesthetics
  • learn proficiency in oral communication and dramaturgy
  • learn how to collaborate and be a productive part of a creative team

Experience

Students performing

One of the highlights of the undergraduate program is Drama 003 - “Intro to Theater Arts,” in which students attend various New York City productions, including Broadway plays and musicals.

Every fall the department produces a musical worthy of the Broadway stage. Past productions have included Gypsy, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Hair, and Fiddler on the Roof. Students also have the opportunity to perform in other plays, including the annual Shakespeare Festival on Hofstra’s new, meticulous replica of London’s famous Globe Theatre (where Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed) or in a one-hour adaptation of a Shakespearean play that tours local high schools. In addition to that ambitious repertoire, the Drama department produces a twice-a-year Student Rep, featuring the work of undergraduate directors, choreographers and playwrights.

On-campus theater clubs, such as Masquerade Musical Theatre Co., multiply the performance and production opportunities. Student operated, Masquerade strives to produce two quality musical productions a year. Another club, Spectrum, was launched by one of Hofstra’s most famous alumni, Francis Ford Coppola, in 1959. Each semester Spectrum produces a main stage show, a traveling children's show, and a night of experimental works. And not to be forgotten, Tequila Mockingbird is Hofstra’s first improv troupe.

Facilities

Little Shop of Horrors

Drama students use many performing spaces across the campus to present their productions, including the newly-renovated Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, an 1,105 seat proscenium theater, and the Joan and Donald Schaeffer Black Box Theater, a more intimate stage that features a customizable lighting grid, catwalk and seating chart.

In 2017 the Drama program unveiled the Hofstra Globe Stage, the most historically accurate reproduction in the United States. The stage is used for the University’s Shakespeare Festival, Hofstra’s longest-running tradition. To design Hofstra’s Globe, Hofstra Drama Professor David Henderson traveled abroad to consult with the archivists and design staff of Shakespeare’s Globe in London; he is the only American college professor to have studied the original plans.

In total, Hofstra is home to six theaters, which are suited to the hundreds of diverse performances, and scholarly and cultural events the University hosts throughout the year.

Meet Maya Carter

BFA Performance Arts major Maya Carter fell in love with Hofstra during her first visit to campus, when she laid eyes on the John Cranford Adams Playhouse set up for the annual Shakespeare Festival. She co-chaired Spectrum Players and was a member of the national theater honor society, Alpha Psi Omega.


Department of Drama and Dance - Buy tickets