BFA in Theatre: Performance

Students during stage performance.

UB’s Department of Theatre and Dance offers a BFA in Theatre with a Performance Concentration for students interested in focused, comprehensive training in acting, voice, movement, and performance studies. Our Performance Concentration integrates technique training with interdisciplinary study to transform students into flexible, engaged, and proficient theatre artists prepared for a global performance landscape.

Course of Study

Performance students complete a four year sequence in acting, which includes courses in scene study, Method, Meisner, Voice and Speech, Shakespeare, Mime and Movement, Audition Technique, as well as a selection of performance electives that supplement the core curriculum of technique training. A well rounded theatre artist has knowledge not just in technique but also of the field of theatre study. With this in mind BFA students complement their performance courses with classwork in script analysis, theatre history, theatre literature, directing, and design. 

Performance opportunities. Experiential learning is at the core of the BFA Theatre program. For Performance majors, this includes participating in the department’s production season, which includes two fully produced drama shows in addition to two musicals and four dance concerts. In addition to main season productions, students have the opportunity to participate in our funded Student Directed Series as actors, directors, designers, dramaturgs, and managers. Additional performance opportunities occur throughout the year as part of special workshops, staged readings, and collaborative projects.

  • Please note that our main stage productions are credit-bearing performance opportunities. Students that are cast in a production must register for a 3-credit course. Student Directed Shows are not credit bearing. While performance courses are required for the BFA program, any UB undergraduate in good academic standing is eligible to audition. Casting occurs in the semester prior to production (fall shows audition at the end of the previous spring; spring shows audition at the end of previous fall). 
  • All BFA students are required to audition for departmental productions. Students must maintain good academic standing to be cast. 
  • Any undergraduate student is eligible to audition for the Student Direct Series. 
  • For more questions about performance opportunities, please email

Supported development. Performance students have the opportunity to work for credit outside the department, including internships and roles at Buffalo professional theatres, as well as to design individual projects and courses of study to complement the department’s offerings. Students can also get internship or additional experience both in the department and in the professional community as dramaturgs, assistant directors, and arts interns. 

Professional Connections. Our department has a strong network of alumni and professional faculty that work with students through workshops, guest artists and directors, and our International Artistic and Cultural Exchange Program Alumni Lectures. 

Application Requirements

UB’s BFA in Theatre, Performance Concentration program requires an audition for admission. All students must successfully audition through the Department of Theatre and Dance in order to register for advanced theatre courses. Interested students are encouraged to audition prior to matriculation at UB; current students who audition should contact the department to discuss time to degree completion. 

Current Students or those who have not yet auditioned, can enter the BA in Theatre program, and explore the following introductory courses: 

TH 101: Intro to Theatre 
TH 106: Intro to Technical Theatre (must be taken with TH 135 or TH 136 practicum) 
TH 108: Basic Acting*

*Please note that our acting courses are sequential in nature. Students must complete the following in order to register for upper level courses: TH 108 (Basic Acting 1), TH 109 (Basic Acting 2), TH 208 (Method 1), TH 209 (Method 2). Our level one courses are typically offered in the fall, and our level two courses in the spring. Students interested in exploring this path, may wish to start on their level one’s in the fall in order to stay on track with an acting sequence. 

Contact Us

Vincent M. O’Neill.
Director of Theatre Performance
Associate Professor
Department of Theatre and Dance
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Topics: Acting and Mime