Prepare for a career in acting, directing, design, production, or stage management. Hofstra’s drama program will give you hands-on experience as you deepen your understanding and appreciation of the art of theater.
One of the "Top Acting Schools in New York" by DailyActor.com
One of the Top 10 Best Drama Schools in New York by Acting in London
One of "9 Great New York Acting Schools and Universities" by Backstage
Hofstra Drama Students...
- Develop fundamental practical skills that prepare them for employment or graduate study in theater
- Perform in, or design and produce professional-level productions
- Learn to critically analyze a broad range of works from the history of dramatic literature and the performing arts
- Get practical experience applying historical styles and cutting-edge techniques to the production of plays
- Have access to many performing spaces, including the 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 state-of-the-art facility that features fully flexible seating and industry-standard multimedia capabilities.
Degrees & Programs
The drama program offers a BA for students who want a well-rounded education in theater and the freedom to pursue other academic interests, and BFAs in Performance and Theater Arts for students who want to fully immerse themselves in their areas of study.
BFA in Performance
Students who want to fully immerse themselves in the study of performance apply for the Major in Theater Arts in the fall of their sophomore year. This preprofessional track offers a wide variety of performance skills classes not available to BA students. Graduating BFA actors are featured in a New York City industry showcase for invited agents, managers, and casting directors.
BFA in Production
This degree is for students who want to specialize in an area of design (scenic, costume, lighting, or sound) directing, stage management, or technical direction. The BFA program requires students to submit a résumé and portfolio upon admission to Hofstra. By the time they graduate, BFA in Production students will have served in major roles in at least two departmental productions and will have developed a professional-level portfolio of their work.
Every year the department produces a full season of professional-level productions, as well as a twice-yearly student repertory of student-directed plays.
One of the highlights of the academic year is the annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival, America’s longest continuously running Shakespeare Festival. On alternate years, the Festival is performed on the Hofstra Globe Stage. Inaugurated in spring 2017, it is the most authentic replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in the United States.
More on the Student Experience
Student theater clubs multiply the performance and production opportunities. Masquerade Musical Theatre Co. produces two quality musical productions a year. Spectrum Players was launched in 1959 by one of Hofstra’s most famous alumni, Francis Ford Coppola. Each semester Spectrum Players 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.
As with all academic departments and programs on campus, drama students are encouraged to complete one or more internships during their time at Hofstra. Recent examples of internships completed by drama students include ABC Television, Airmid Theater Company, Atlantic Records, Beyond the Box Productions, Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Fat Melon Productions, HBO, New York Fringe Festival, Pentacle (NYC arts management organization), Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Rabbit Hole Ensemble Theatre, Richard Frankel Productions, Walt Disney World, and Yale Repertory Company.
In the Classroom
Learn from the Experts
Drama faculty have outstanding credentials in performance, direction, and production. Students praise the nurturing and professional atmosphere of the department.
Our graduates are working on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theaters, in film, and on television. They include Oscar, Emmy, and Tony award-winning and nominated actors and artists. More on alumni outcomes
Examples of where recent drama alumni are working:
The Chain Theatre
Cirque du Soleil
Irondale Center Theatre
Lookingglass Theater Company
Mint Theatre Company
The Public Theatre (New York)
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Upright Citizens Brigade
Where our alumni are pursuing advanced studies:
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
CUNY City College
CUNY Hunter College
Kent State University
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Pennsylvania
Yale School of Drama
More about our program
Student Play Tackles Crisis of Human Trafficking
The hardships and heartbreak faced by victims of sex trafficking is the focus of Stained Glass, written by Margaret Engel ’21. This original one-act play incorporates the personal accounts of human trafficking victims, transcriptions of court cases, and research data.
There's one house rule every student in Professor Jennifer Hart's Musical Theater Performance class must follow before entering class: Leave their shoes, and their inhibitions, at the door.
Joe Morton Turns His Talent Loose Off-B'way
Hofstra drama alumnus Joe Morton is spending his summer vacation at off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre, playing comedian turned civil rights activist Dick Gregory in the play, Turn Me Loose, co-produced by John Legend.
A Broadway Break
An open audition in New York City led to Michael Lepore '20 being cast in the Broadway musical Sing Street. When the show opens at a Shubert Theater in late 2021 or early 2022, Lepore will be understudying two principal roles and two featured parts, each of which requires him speak with a heavy Irish dialect and play several different instruments, including acoustic and electric guitar, bass, and piano.
Professor Honored as Fight Master
Robert Westley, associate professor of drama, has been honored as a Fight Master with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). This is the highest honor awarded by the SAFD, a nationally and internationally recognized organization of professional artists and academic practitioners. Only 23 professionals, including Professor Westley, have achieved this distinction.