BA Theatre Arts Study

ls3Theatre Arts Study FAQ

What kinds of design, production and stage management opportunities do theatre students have?

The Theatre Department has an ambitious, varied season and produces plays and musicals on four different stages. There are several levels of production work. First, there is an active 7-show main stage season guided by the faculty. Students work at all levels of production, but are generally assigned roles after participation in classes that prepare them for this work. There are also a number of student productions either associated with TMA 536 projects or TMA Mask Club (436) that produces 5-10 one-act plays each season. Check the TMA Facebook or TMAccess which will give notice of these productions.

Under the direction of faculty and professional artists, students are given opportunities to work back stage, in the shops, as designers, as technicians, as dramaturgs, or as stage managers on all main stage productions. Students also work with Media Arts majors as designers and crew for film and television productions. All students are welcome to audition for both film and theatre productions.

Students can check TMAccess and the bulletin board by the Nelke Theatre, and the bulletin board around the corner from D-581 for audition and production opportunities.

Each year, theatre hosts a “get involved” forum to introduce students to all production opportunities available during the year. Students may also contact Michael Kraczek for design opportunities (michael_kraczek@byu.edu), Jennifer Reed (jennifer_reed@byu.edu) for stage management opportunities, Shelley Graham (shelley_graham@byu.edu) for dramaturgy opportunities, and Rory Scanlon (rory_scanlon@byu.edu) for backstage crew opportunities.

Are apprenticeships and internships available?

Yes. Katie Tolman (D-581D, 801-422-3750, katie_tolman@byu.edu) coordinates apprenticeship and internship opportunities both on and off campus for theatre students. You can find more information about the internship process at our Internship page

Does the Theatre department have a career placement program?
  1. If you are a Theatre Education major, Career Services at careers.byu.edu can assist you in finding available teaching positions.
  2. If you are a BFA Acting or MDT major, placement is dependent upon auditions. Several professional performing companies hold auditions on campus, which are publicized in the student newsletter, TMAccess. In addition, each spring, seniors in the BFA majors are taken to New York with the BFA Showcase to audition for agents and talent scouts in these areas.
  3. Theatre Arts Studies majors, no matter their focus, are traditionally hired based on experience and through recommendations. Getting a job after graduation depends largely on networking and your reputation of dependability and expertise, which can be facilitated by collaboration on class projects, apprenticeships, internships, and graduate study.
  4. Theatre Arts Studies majors who are interested in directing or dramaturgy are also usually hired through recommendation. Internships in dramaturgy are a plus. Graduate degrees in these fields improve employability as well.
Should I plan for graduate school after graduating in Theatre?

Many theatre students find value in graduate school. An MFA, PhD or other advanced degrees can provide additional training in areas of interest and qualify you to teach on the college or university level. More importantly, graduate school can provide you a wide network of professionals working in the field who can help with job placement.

How will I know if credits I have earned in theatre classes elsewhere will be accepted by BYU’s Theatre Program?

After acceptance into the university your advisor and Wade Hollingshaus will assess your transfer credits. Contact Professor Hollingshaus (wadeh@byu.edu) for an appointment. Bring your transcript of the desired courses you wish to substitute, and a copy of the “course substitution” form found at the TMA front desk to your interview.

Do transfer students have a disadvantage?

In some ways, yes. Students are encouraged to begin their education at BYU as early as possible to take advantage of the project and internship opportunities. This also helps students avoid problems with frequency of course offerings. However, if you are transferring, there are many people who will help you matriculate into the department.

Do the theatre programs require a foreign language?

No. However theatre students must fill all university requirements for graduation. CFAC Advisement (D-444 HFAC) can assist you in the selection of general education classes that compliment a theatre major.

BA Theatre Education

Theatre Education FAQ

Do I have to get an FBI background check like other education majors?

Yes. You are required to get FBI clearance for a number of theatre education classes because you will be periodically working with K-12 students in outside schools settings. For questions, contact Kris Peterson (kris.w.peterson@byu.edu), or contact the Education Advisement Center at education.byu.edu/advisement to receive information and instruction about this process.

BFA Acting

BFA Acting FAQ

How many students are accepted each year?

The BFA Acting program is a limited enrollment program (LEP).  On average, 8-10 students are accepted each year.

Can I take acting classes without being formally admitted into the BFA Acting Program?

Yes! In order to take classes above TMA 123 or TMA 128 and TMA 121 or TMA 122, you need to audition, however. These auditions take place at the end of fall and winter semesters and are called proficiencies. Placement in acting classes depends on your proficiency results, completion of prerequisite classes, and available space in the class. If you have questions about proficiencies, you are welcome to contact a member of the BFA Acting Program faculty.

Can I participate in acting performances if I am not accepted in the BFA Acting Program?

Yes! There are many opportunities for performance in the department of Theatre and Media Arts. You do not have to be a BFA Acting Major to audition for productions. Audition notices and casting requirements can be found online at TMA Access.

BFA MDT

BFA MDT FAQ

When is the deadline for the MDT application materials and video?

MDT applications are due each year during the second week of November, for more details, go here.

When is the invited live audition?

The invited live audition is held the last Saturday of January.

What must individuals auditioning submit for prescreening?

Individuals should submit their MDT application, essay, letter of recommendation, three videos, transcript and completed BYU application submitted to the admissions office.

What happens if application items are late?

They will be reviewed by the MDT Committee on a case-by-case basis.

What are the judges looking for?

Judges are looking for the following characteristics in the main areas of MDT:

Voice – interpretation, quality, suitable selection for vocal ability
Acting – honesty, clarity of objectives and a sense of real conversation with another individual
Dance – strength, flexibility, musicality, performance skills

Do people wear costumes?

Applicants should not wear costumes, see guidelines below:

Voice – dress nicely
Acting – dress appropriately—no props or costumes
Dance – your dress should be modest and allow the viewer to clearly see the motion and dynamics of the dance as well as the line and design of the body

Are there callbacks following the invited live audition?

There are no callbacks following the invited live audition.

When will I find out my results?

Prescreening: last week of December
Finalized incoming class: mid-March

Can I find out my scores?

No. However, feedback can be obtained by emailing individual MDT faculty members no later than 30 days following notification.

What are the odds?

The MDT program is the most rigorous program at BYU to be accepted into with an average acceptance rate of about 12%. We don’t discriminate between men and women, and there is no quota.

Can I audition over and over again?

You may audition a maximum of 3 times.

Do I have to be accepted into BYU before I can audition for MDT?

No, but you do have to be admitted to BYU before the start of the Fall semester following auditions. Acceptance into MDT does not guarantee acceptance into BYU. You must be admitted to both independently.

Can I apply for a MDT scholarship?

All students auditioning for the MDT program are automatically considered for a Talent Award.

What if I am experiencing difficulty uploading my YouTube video?

If you experience any issues or errors while uploading your videos, please try any of the following options to ensure we receive them:

  • Google the specific error message you received and troubleshoot from there.
  • Reach out to Slideroom Support if you have any problems with submitting your application. They are awesome and can answer any questions you may have.
  • You may call the office to see if the videos have been received at 801-422-2563.
BA Media Arts
Students out on a film shoot.

Students out on a film shoot.

Media Arts FAQ

How can I find information on film opportunities or upcoming events?

Film.byu.edu is the Media Arts blog that is updated daily with new job opportunities and internships. It has links to the Media Arts Program applications, the Student Film Association site, and displays upcoming events.

Does the Media Arts Program require a foreign language?

No. However, Media Arts students must fill all university requirements for graduation. CFAC Advisement (D-444 HFAC) can assist you in the selection of general education classes that compliment a Media Arts major or minor.

Are apprenticeships and internships available?

Yes. Kyle Stapley (801-422-4576, D-581A HFAC, kyle_stapley@byu.edu) coordinates apprenticeships and internship opportunities both on and off campus. Please e-mail for an appointment). There are also some websites available for additional information:

Does the TMA Department have a career placement program?

BYU offers a terrific career placement program located in the Wilkinson Student Center (Placement Center, 2410 WSC, 801-422-2072). The Placement Center will assist in finding future employment.

The film industry traditionally hires through recommendations so getting a job after graduation depends largely on networking and your reputation of dependability and expertise, which can be facilitated by apprenticeships, internships, and collaboration on class projects. Graduate degrees may improve employability.

Should I plan for graduate school after graduating in Media Arts?

We do not offer a graduate program in Media Arts Studies, however, many film students find value in graduate school. A graduate degree can provide advanced training in areas of interest and qualify you to teach on the college or university level.

How will I know if credits I have earned in film classes elsewhere will be accepted by BYU’s Media Arts Program?

After acceptance into BYU, contact our transfer credit instructor, Professor Sharon Swenson (801-422-6648, F540 HFAC, sharon_swenson@byu.edu) to schedule an appointment regarding transfer credits. Sharon will assess the ability to have transfer credits count towards graduation and will help with the credit transfer process.

Willem Kampenhout, Media Arts student.

Willem Kampenhout, Media Arts student. Photo by Nathalie Van Empel.

Do transfer students have a disadvantage?

In some ways, yes. Students are encouraged to begin their education at BYU as early as possible to take advantage of the project and internship opportunities. This also helps students avoid problems with frequency of course offerings. However, if you are transferring, there are many people who will help you matriculate into the department.

How do I apply for scholarships in Media Arts?

The Theatre and Media Arts department provides a variety of financial aid opportunities for its students. Merit scholarships are available for both incoming and continuing students. Groups or individuals within the program may apply for the Fulton grant. Students in their senior year qualify to apply for the Outstanding Student award. There are additional funding opportunities available through the college and university.

Visit /admissions-and-aid/ for additional information, or contact the TMA office (801-422-6645, D581 HFAC, tma_secretary@byu.edu).

What is the probability that I will be accepted?

Only 50 to 60 percent of applicants are accepted into the program (major and minor) each year. Applicants are accepted twice a year. Applications are judged by:

  • The applicant’s abilities, interests, expectations, and preparation
  • A creative sample submitted by the applicant
  • The Media Arts criteria/requirements, namely proof that the applicant is analytical, creative, teachable, responsible, and able to work collaboratively with others (see application online at film.byu.edu/application)
  • The applicant’s adherence to outlined application procedures, guidelines, and deadlines.
  • A grade of B- or higher in the prerequisite course TMA 102.

If you are not accepted the first time that you submit your application, you have the opportunity to apply a maximum of one additional time. Many students improve their ability to be accepted the second time they apply.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to faculty advisors or Kyle Stapley (801-422-4576, D581A HFAC, kyle_stapley@byu.edu).