Whether your goal is the stage, film or television, if you have a strong drive to perform, the best place to start is the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts.

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the Brind School, you'll be taught by professional, working actors. You'll attend classes in the middle of one of the nation's largest thriving artistic communities–Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts–steps away from the Kimmel Center, Merriam Theater and the Academy of Music, and within easy reach of more than 100 theater and performing arts companies.

In the Acting program, you'll collaborate with other UArts students on projects like films and student-directed theater. And you’ll have a chance to gain international inspiration through our student exchange program with the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in England. Acting majors get both experience and exposure through a variety of performance opportunities–from UArts productions and audition showcases to small, experimental theater and huge Broadway-style productions.

Frank Jimenez Headshot
Frank Jimenez


Theater - Acting
Hometown: West New York, New Jersey
Nina Rivera Headshot
Nina Rivera


Theater - Acting
Hmetown: Leesburg, Virginia
Shaun Morgan Headshot
Shaun Morgan


Theater - Acting
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
My freshman year, I did a voice-over for an animation student, sophomore year I got to direct a show and this year, I'm going to take master classes at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
— Lani Skelley BFA '18 (Acting)

Experience the passion and creativity of young artists on the threshold of professional success. See this season's lineup of shows.

On Stage

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Krista Apple

Theater - Acting
Barrymore Award-winner, contributing writer for "American Theatre" magazine
Alex Bechtel head shot
Alex Bechtel

BFA '08

Theater - Acting
Barrymore Award Winner, The Light Princess 2017
David Howey headshot
David Howey

Director, Ira Brind School of Theater Arts

Theater - Acting
Performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theater Company
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Bill Buddendorf

BFA '98

Theater - Acting
Freelance director, sound designer, singer-songwriter/recording artist
Sample Courses in the Acting Major

First Year
Acting Studio I/II
Movement for Actors I/II
Voice and Speech for Actors I/II
Stage Combat I
Neutral Mask
Scenery & Prop Tech
Script Analysis

Second Year
Acting Studio: Technique I/II
Movement for Actors III/IV
Voice and Speech for Actors III/IV
Voice Lab for Actors
Theater History I/II

Third Year
Acting Studio: Poetic Realism
Acting Studio: Verse Drama
Movement for Actors V/VI
Voice and Speech for Actors V
Acting on Camera
Directing I
Audition Techniques

Fourth Year
Business of Theater
Electives: Contemporary Scene Study, Voice Acting, Acting on Camera II, Film Forum
Theater Internship


About the Curriculum

The Acting Program prepares our students for professional careers in theater and film/TV, as well as for continued study at the graduate level. And most importantly the training offers breadth and depth in a variety of studies and practices, which enables students to function successfully as active and productive members of society at large.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Acting are expected to:

  • Demonstrate a capacity for creative risk-taking, engaging their unique imaginative impulses and contributing strong generative proposals in both devised and scripted work with trust in themselves and the ensemble;
  • Fully integrate an active imagination with an active and dynamically aligned body, and a strong, supported voice, all capable of meeting the demands of text, character and given circumstances;
  • Effectively analyze scene and play structure, identify dramatic conflict, and shape specific choices of objective, obstacle and tactic that serve both the needs of the script and the artist’s imaginative impulse.

To earn the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting, students will complete a total of 129 credits as follows:

  • 60.5 credits in the Acting Major
  • 3 credits in Collaborative Studio
  • 9 credits in Theater History
  • 33 credits in the Liberal Arts
  • 23.5 credits in free Electives

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Aimé Donna Kelly

BFA '09

Theater - Acting
Barrymore Award winner for Disgraced, TV appearances Iron Fist, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Matteo Scammell head shot
Matteo Scammell

BFA '11

Theater - Acting
Barrymore Award-winning actor, funk/R&B musician
Head shot image of Jennifer Childs with red hair in black shirt and purple jacket
Jennifer Childs

BFA '90

Theater - Acting
Founder of 1812 Productions, Philadelphia's top comedy theater troupe
A Little More Spring


Folk Wandering
Folk Wandering
Mr. Marmalade

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