ACHE Approves BFA in Theatre Program

ACA Campus

Athens State is pleased to announce that the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) has approved a new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre program. The upcoming BFA in Theatre will build on the previously established BA in Drama and Theatre Arts degree program.

“This program will be exciting to students wanting a focused approach to performance, technical theatre, or musical theatre,” said William Richardson, Assistant Professor of Drama & Theatre Arts Lighting & Scenic Design. “The BFA allows for a concentration in the student’s specific area of interest and is intended to prepare students to enter the workforce and work professionally immediately upon graduation.”

Students in the program will complete a core curriculum that includes courses in acting, directing, stagecraft, theatre history, and dramatic literature. These courses provide a solid foundation in the fundamental aspects of theatre. The program will offer students numerous opportunities to participate in productions including plays, musicals, and other types of performance projects. Additionally, the program offers three distinct concentrations that allow students to specialize in a particular area of interest: Performance, Musical Theatre, and Production Design and Technology.

“A Bachelor of Fine Arts is the undergraduate degree for students that desire a conservatory and professional education to train them specifically for a career in the arts,” said Dr. Hugh K. Long, Associate Professor of Drama & Theatre Arts. “I earned my BFA at New York University precisely because I knew that I wanted to enter the entertainment industry immediately upon graduation. It was through my training that I learned not just about the craft of acting, dramatic literature, and theatre history, but also how to think like an independent artist entering the profession.  I only wish I had the option of attending classes and performing in a state-of-the-art facility like the Alabama Center for the Arts.”

Dr. Long continued, “This new BFA program presents a unique opportunity for young actors, directors, and designers to complete their education by performing and creating through an experiential learning curriculum tailored to their individual interests. We’re all so excited to bring this opportunity to our students from all over North Alabama, and beyond, to give them the resources and the training to prepare them for an artistic career.”

The theatre department is housed in The Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur, Alabama, a state-of-the-art facility that offers approximately 45,000 square feet dedicated to the performing arts, replete with rehearsal spaces for music, dance, and theatre as well as a studio theatre and recital hall. A downtown Decatur residence hall will open in Fall 2024, offering affordable and accessible housing options to all students of the ACA. These facilities are shared with Calhoun Community College and enjoyed by students from across Alabama’s Community College System.

Application information for the BFA in Theatre is coming soon.

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