Northern Illinois University

School of Theatre and Dance

Bachelor of Fine Arts Emphases

Emphasis in Acting

All students are accepted by successful completion of an audition and interview to begin the program and are evaluated yearly to retain their position.

During the first two years, students study different facets of the theatre including acting; theatre history; script analysis; dance; mask work; and theatre design and technology. Many of the University's general education requirements are completed during this period as well. The second semester of the freshmen year students start the professional block of training in movement, voice, and acting.

Training in Shakespeare, dialects, stage combat, contemporary and period plays, musical theatre, and on-camera techniques are also offered.

For all BFA in Acting students, the fall semester of the junior year will be spent in Moscow, studying acting, movement, singing, dance, theatre history, script analysis and Mikhail Chekhov technique at the legendary Moscow Art Theatre. In addition, students will also tour museums and theatres, attend performances, and meet with a number of prominent Russian theatre artists in order to better understand the Russian theatre and its effect on contemporary acting and literature. At the end of the senior year, successful students appear in a Chicago Showcase for an invited audience of agents, directors, and producers.

This program offers intensive training with a personalized approach aimed at ensuring that graduates are prepared for the artistic and business demands of an acting career.

Students interested in the BFA in Acting emphasis should contact Professor Stanton Davis, 815-753-8278.

Emphasis in Dance

The emphasis in Dance Performance is a program for students interested in a career in dance or in continuing their dance training at a University. The program emphasizes equal training in ballet and modern techniques, and also provides numerous and varied performance opportunities. Students in this emphasis can choose from a wide variety of course offerings in dance and dance related subjects. Northern Dance Theatre presents original works by renowned NIU faculty as well as masterworks from the standard classical ballet repertoire. Majors are required to take between ten and seventeen technique classes per week.

Emphasis in Design and Technology

This emphasis provides course work and hands on theatre experience in design and production, including costumes, lighting, and scenery. Students gain an understanding of the artistic, social, and cultural importance of theatre arts while developing creative and technical skills. Study involves design (including drawing and painting) as well as course work in theatre history, period styles, and directing. Specialized classes in theatre technology (such as scene painting and pattern drafting) as well as computer assisted design (CAD) and computer rendering are also offered. The BFA in Design and Technology emphasis aims to be pre-professional within the context of a liberal arts education and to provide strong foundations for professional careers in theatre, communication, and allied entertainment fields.

The School of Theatre and Dance has specialized shops and laboratory facilities where students can apply the design and technology skills they learn in the classroom. The Stevens Building houses a scene construction shop, lighting shop and laboratory, and a costume construction shop. There are specialized storage areas for costumes, props, and scenery. Students in the design and technology emphasis are regularly given responsible and supervised assignments in the School production program, which offer significant practical experiences. Internships and other off campus programs with theatre companies, production groups, arts organizations, and performing arts centers further broaden expertise and serve to integrate the student into the professional and commercial theatre. This course of study and practical experience provides a strong foundation for professional careers in theatre communication and allied entertainment fields, whether in costume, lighting, or scenery.

Acceptance into the BFA in Design and Technology emphasis is based on Northern Illinios University admission and completing a successful interview and portfolio review with members of our design and technology faculty.

Students interested in the BFA in Design and Technology emphasis should contact Professor Tracy Nunnally, 815-753-9342.