Is acting your passion? Are you planning to pursue a professional career on the stage, or do you dream of landing a leading role in television or film? The University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre, with an emphasis in Performance, will prepare you for an exciting career on the stage and screen.
At UCM, you’ll gain experience as an actor — students are active in 35–40 productions each year — while completing your theatre classes. You’ll also have paid opportunities to manage, direct or design as a member of our touring children’s productions. Our hands-on coursework prepares aspiring actors for a professional career or graduate studies.
UCM stands out among colleges for theatre
While earning your degree in Theatre Performance from UCM, you’ll study contemporary and classic drama and put your skills to use at our state-of-the-art 442-seat Highlander Theater. You’ll also have opportunities to workshop scenes and present original works in the intimacy of our 100-seat Richard Herman Black Box Theater.
Our faculty have directed and acted in productions throughout the United States and are key participants in nationally and regionally recognized theatre organizations such as the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), Central Missouri Repertory and other professional theatre groups. Their connections will help you pave the way for your exciting career on stage with a degree in Theatre Performance.
35–40 annual theatre productions
Regional and national performances
NAST-accredited degree in theatre
Near Kansas City theatre opportunities
Theatre Learning Community
Low student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1
UCM’s BFA in Theatre Performance focuses on acting techniques and the performance of classic and contemporary drama while giving you an understanding of the theatre as an exciting whole. You’ll take multiple advanced acting classes, as well as mastering many aspects of the technical side of theatre, in courses such as:
When you earn your well-rounded liberal arts degree in Theatre Performance from UCM, not only will you specialize in acting, much like you would in a conservatory training program, but you’ll also prepare to play many important roles — both onstage and behind the scenes — in the world of professional theatre.
All students applying for our BFA Theatre Performance degree must audition for consideration. Upon acceptance by the UCM Office of Admissions, you should fill out the UCM Theatre & Dance Admission Form and contact our Performance advisor to schedule your interview. To ensure a strong and successful audition, please carefully read the guidelines below and bring the appropriate materials to the audition.
On the day of your audition please bring with you:
The University of Central Missouri excels among colleges for theatre. You’ll use what you learn in your theatre classes to collaborate with and showcase your talents to professionals who offer diverse career opportunities to UCM graduates with a bachelor’s in Theatre Performance:
UCM graduates with a bachelor’s in Theatre Performance are actors and directors in diverse venues such as mainstage theater companies, theme parks, cruise lines and summer stock theaters. Our alumni work as actors at Worlds of Fun, Disney, the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, the Crane River Theater, Kansas City’s Unicorn Theatre and in many professional theaters and multimedia production companies throughout the country.
Job opportunities are widely available with professional regional and summer stock theaters. Many UCM alumni also choose to continue their studies at graduate schools across the United States.
Your theatre classes offer an exciting gateway to life on the stage
Use the interactive tool below to learn more about the potential salaries and career pathways available to you when you earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre, with an emphasis on Performance.
The University of Central Missouri offers numerous resources to keep your student debt and college costs low and to help finance your college education.
Beyond the general awards and scholarships offered by UCM, numerous scholarships are available specifically for students earning a bachelor’s in Theatre Performance, including:
Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to learn more about program-specific scholarships.
Take your degree further.
Build on skills gained from your bachelor’s in Theatre Performance and earn a UCM graduate degree to further specialize your education and increase your earning potential:
Make yourself more marketable.
If you plan to be a freelance actor or you’re considering teaching, you can gain additional career skills and learn to promote yourself by adding to your BFA in Theatre Performance from UCM:
Explore programs related to theatre performance.
If you’re interested in theatre classes and performance but not sure what you’d like to major in at UCM, consider these related undergraduate programs:
● Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
● American College Dance Association
● Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri
● Southeast Theatre Conference
● U/RTA Auditions and Portfolio Reviews
●Theta Alpha Phi
● UCM Dance Club
● Film Makers And Actors' Coalition
The Theatre Learning Community located in Nickerson Hall is designed for students minoring or majoring in theatre. This living space for first year students provides close proximity to the department’s Black Box Theatre, a lounge to rehearse lines and blocking, a fully equipped dance studio and access to dining facilities.
● KCACTF Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions
● KCACTF Professional Auditions
● KCACTF MTI Auditions
● Midwest Theatre Auditions
● UCM Main Stage Production Program
● Studio Theatre One-Act Series
● Richard Herman Black Box Theatre Program
● Film Makers And Actors' Coalition
● Highlander and Kansas City Senior Showcase