Department of


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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 “I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.’ And the artist either says, ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord,’ and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses…”

— Madeleine L’Engle

Video overview for ACU's BFA in Theatre program

Why ACU Theatre?

Our Degree Program

We offer a single Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in theatre with the empowering choice of seven tracks tailored to your interests. If you are majoring in another field of study but would like to add theatre credentials to your degree, we also offer a minor in theatre. Contact us to learn more!

Explore a BFA in Theatre

Available Theatre Tracks

The Acting Track is designed to provide pre-professional training within a liberal arts education. Curriculum and performance opportunities prepare students for careers in acting and/or advanced training at the graduate level. A variety of training techniques from Stanislavski to Viewpointing help students hone their approach to character and acting choices.

The Musical Theatre track students learn singing techniques to support all styles of theatre music from Jason Robert Brown to Rodgers & Hammerstein. This training combined with intensive acting and dance training work together to develop a proficiency enabling students to compete in the marketplace.

The Directing Track creates opportunities for a range of exposure to a variety of styles and genres including contemporary, period styles and musical theatre directing. Students in this track create directing portfolios and interview to direct a main stage show which is mentored by a faculty member. Faculty work to guide students to explore their own vision of a piece and bring it to fruition.

The Dance Track has a rigorous curriculum with classes in ballet, tap, jazz and modern as well as dance conditioning. Classes focus on technique, composition and performance. In addition to a dance show performed each year, dancers perform in musicals as well.

The Design/Technical Track offers students hands-on opportunities to develop their rendering skills in all design areas as well as training in executing their designs. This track provides training to express students’ artistic visions along with practical applications with show crews and practicum hours.

The Theatre Education Track is a hybrid track that prepares students in areas of theatre including directing, design, acting and children’s theatre. This track combines classes required by ACU’s Department of Education to prepare the student for teacher certification.

The Theatre Ministry track prepares students for ministry positions in a wide variety of fields, e.g., drama ministries for camps, missions or churches; leading and designing worship services, etc. The track seeks to develop practical ways to explore the intersection of faith and art. Students have opportunities to lead Theatre chapel; dramaturgy, interning at one of Abilene’s many churches or participate in prison and other outreach ministries.

Our Students

A maximum of 12 students are admitted each fall after a rigorous application and audition process. Our total department enrollment never exceeds 50 students to provide each student with more performance opportunities and rich mentorship. More than 50% of ACU’s Theatre students regularly make Dean’s Honor Roll, and many have been awarded academic and service honors.

ACU Theatre alumni are successful in graduate school and professional employment, with names on Broadway and Hollywood marquees.

Explore Student Opportunities

Senior Showcase 2023 ACU Theatre

2023 graduating BFA performance track seniors from the spring ‘23 Senior Showcase

2023 graduating BFA performance track seniors from the spring ‘23 Senior Showcase

2023 graduating BFA performance track seniors from the spring ‘23 Senior Showcase

ACU Theatre alumni, now industry professionals (l-r): Peter Hargrave (’12) currently on the national tour of The Lion King; Kat Hargrave (’11) Senior Agent at DGRW Agency, NY; Ashley Parizek (’12) Agent at Avalon Artist Group, NY; Ally Beans (’14) Casting Director with Eisenberg/Beans, NY, Dallas; Owen Beans (’14) Equity Actor, Producer, Dallas

Ally Beans (’14) Casting Director with Eisenberg/Beans, NY, Dallas; Ashley Parizek (’12) Agent at Avalon Artist Group, NY; Michael Cassara, CSA, Casting Director with Michael Cassara Casting, NY

Our Training & Faculty

Our faculty is comprised of masters in their field who are dedicated to providing exceptional instruction in both theory and craft. Our collective training reflects cutting-edge, contemporary curriculum that includes:

  • Alexander Technique
  • Linklater Vocal Technique
  • Concepts of actor training from
    • Stanislavsky
    • Uta Hagen
    • A Practical Handbook for the Actor (Atlantic Theatre Company) Improvisation

Our Facilities

Williams Performing Arts Center

The home of ACU’s departments of music and theatre, it includes the following:

The 325-seat Lewis and Jerry Fulks Theatre, is a thrust-stage facility designed to the theatre department’s specifications with the help of acoustical and theatre consultants.

The Clara and James Culp Theatre is a multi-form facility that allow multiple stage/audience configurations. The only physical restrictions in this black box space are the fixed locations of the walls, ceiling and floor.

The $9.5 million renovated Boone Family Theatre is a tremendous enhancement to the performing arts at ACU, providing an acoustically redesigned hall and state-of-the-art theatrical equipment that supports a variety of full-scale productions.

Established in 1929, Sewell Theatre is the former home of the ACU Dinner Theatre and now functions as the base for scenie design and construction, costumes and properties.

  • A 282-seat Recital Hall that is acoustically “tuneable” to accommodate the performing artist(s) and number of patrons.
  • Spacious, modern dressing rooms
  • Large instrument and choral rehearsal halls
  • A computer lab featuring Macs, PCs and 16 electronic pianos
  • Forty-four acoustically treated practice rooms and faculty studios
  • Faculty offices and meeting rooms
  • State-of-the-art classrooms
  • Choral and band libraries
  • A box office, courtyard and sculpture garden

Periodically the ACU Theatre uses the Abilene Convention Center for the annual Homecoming Musical. The exceptional acoustics have drawn praise from the most veteran entertainers, and the vast amount of fly and wing space allow elaborate set changes. The 70×72 ft. stage (which includes a hydraulically operated orchestra pit) faces 2,091 seats.

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Quality Education with a Christian Worldview

As artists, we participate with God to incarnate the word – to give it life and meaning. No matter which path we take to earn our living, we have been called into the vocation of theatre. Every theatrical endeavor pursued by ACU Theatre belongs to the community as a whole. From the lighting operator to the lead actor to guest artists, we are all essential to the creative process. We encourage our students and staff to take ownership of every production regardless of their involvement.

As Christians, we believe each individual who comes to us is God-created and carries his image in unique, creative ways. We seek the integration of faith and artistic life, and we believe it must be stated clearly that the basis of our life and work is found in the spiritual values of historic Christianity.