Our acting option in the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in theatre is an outstanding undergraduate-only, pre-professional training program within a liberal arts education. It was named one of the top 10 BFA in acting programs in the country by leading industry observer OnStageblog.com. This demanding option consists of innovative and varied course work, with a strong foundation in movement-based approaches, and an emphasis on synthesizing the body, voice, and mind. 


Ball State University is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and National Association of Schools of Dance.


The acting course work focuses on the whole theatre artist, allowing you to train as a creator of new material as well as an interpreter of existing material to help you discover the best version of yourself and the stories you want to tell. 

  • Teaching methodologies are influenced by Lecoq, Linklater, Grotowski, Suzuki, and Stanislavski, along with coursework in Alexander, Viewpoints, clown, devising, dialects, Shakespeare, and stage combat.
  • The curriculum allows you to participate in exciting immersive learning opportunities.
  • You will have numerous on-campus workshops with professional casting directors and other industry professionals throughout your four years of training.
  • You will have the opportunity to audition for showcases in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
  • We are an active, award-winning participant in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).
  • The acting option in our BFA in theatre requires 86 credits, along with an additional 33 credits of core courses and two general electives that are part of the University Core Curriculum.

Download SAMPLE 8 SEMESTER PLAN (PDF)  View Catalog

Senior Capstone

Senior capstone projects are the culmination of four years of education in the Department of Theatre and Dance. As an acting option student, the typical capstone would be a one-person show performed live. Spring 2021 held new challenges for the BFA acting option students. Just as the students had to adapt to theatre training during a global pandemic, so too did the traditional capstone project. Instead of original one-person shows performed live, each actor created a short film under the guidance of acting faculty member Veronica Santoyo in the One-Person Show class. The films were streamed on YouTube and a talkback was hosted on the night of the premier. As is always the case with the acting option capstone, each actor’s unique style and voice shined, while mystifyingly complimenting every other piece. Isolated Visions, the collective title for the project, epitomized the dissonance and harmony that can only be achieved after four years of intensive ensemble exploration.

View Solo Short Films


Our welcoming acting faculty will inspire you to approach learning with curiosity, empathy, courage, and joy. We challenge our actors to be thinkers, athletes, responsible citizens, and motivated theatre artists who will lead the charge to create the next generation’s voice.

  • Our low student-to-faculty ratio will allow for your personal development as an individual artist.
  • You will receive hands-on advising and mentoring from a faculty of working artists with extensive experience in the professional world.
  • Every year, we host a number of distinguished guest artists.
Jonathan Becker teaching a student

Get to Know Our Faculty

Our dedicated, caring faculty will immediately welcome you into our community and guide you throughout your entire experience at Ball State. Our acting faculty have worked professionally in New York, Chicago, and regional theatre.


Performance and Work Opportunities

You will always have opportunities to work—both in and out of the classroom—to get you ready for the real world of professional theatre.

  • With as many as 20 performances each year in our mainstage, studio, and workshop spaces, you will have numerous opportunities to audition for classical and contemporary plays, musicals, and devised and original works.
  • You will be eligible to audition for productions the second semester of freshman year.
  • Your professors will assist you in finding internships, professional work, and summer training opportunities all over the globe. Recent placements include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Drury Lane Theatre, National High School Institute at Northwestern University (Cherubs), and Mind the Gap in the U.K.


Ball State acting alumni are ready to enter the professional world of theatre as soon as they graduate, and they love nothing more than helping each other and future graduates of the program.

  • Ball State alumni are working all over the country—on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in Chicago, on national tours, in regional theatre, and in film and television.
  • Ball State has active and supportive alumni networks in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and other major cities.

Alumni Achievements 

Recent acting alumni credits include the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Roe at the Goodman, Hamlet at the Old Globe, This is Our Youth at Steppenwolf, Dry Land at Rivendell, The Christians at Mark Taper Forum, The Glory of the World at BAM, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway, and television appearances on The Good Wife, Elementary, Madam Secretary, and Chicago Fire.


Guest Artists

In addition to faculty who are working theatre professionals, we bring in distinguished guest artists on a regular basis to work with you—in classes, workshops, and the production season. These seasoned practitioners will enrich your educational experience immeasurably, while also allowing for professional networking opportunities.


Paying for Your Education

Departmental Scholarships

On top of the many forms of financial aid Ball State offers, the Department of Theatre and Dance offers a wide variety of merit and need-based scholarships to our own students at all levels and in all areas. We provide tens of thousands of dollars in support to make the college experience more affordable.


Apply to the Program

Are you interested in the acting option of our BFA in theatre? You must audition for admission into the program. We hold on-campus auditions, and we participate in the National Unified Auditions in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

You must apply for admission to the university prior to scheduling your audition. Audition requests are made by filling out the supplemental theatre application that is part of the online application to the university.

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