Dawne Meeks, Chair
ACU Box 27843
Abilene, Texas 79699-7843
Williams Performing Arts Center, Room 124
Catherine Baumgardner, Assistant Professor
Jake Harbour, Assistant Professor
Kari Hatfield, Associate Professor
Adam Hester, Professor
Dawne Meeks, Associate Professor
The Department of Theatre offers seven tracks within the Bachelor of Fine Arts: Acting, Directing, Musical Theatre, Design/Technical, Dance, Theatre Ministry, and Educational Theatre. The department works with the Department of Teacher Education to offer teacher certification within the theatre education track. A minor in theatre may be added to other majors.
The Abilene Christian University Department of Theatre is committed to providing quality training and opportunity for the disciplined theatre artist in a nurturing environment that models Christian values.
Acceptance into Department
The Department of Theatre accepts up to 12 freshmen each year through an audition/interview process. Students interested in the design/technical track will present a portfolio in lieu of auditioning. Students who come to the first audition time in November do not have to go through the video screening process. All other prospective students will submit videos and documents through the Acceptd Audition site on our website. Students interested in one of the other six tracks will audition. Students pursuing tracks in directing, education, or ministry will also present a portfolio. Details for this process are on our website. Transfers or current students wishing to change to a Theatre major must go through this same process and will be accepted only as space allows. A three-year commitment is required for students transferring into the program. The department has capped the number of majors in the program to increase opportunity and training. The first year is considered a probationary year. Students are evaluated at the end of the year and must complete barriers to continue in the major. See the theatre website to register for an audition/interview.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a studio-intensive course of study designed for students with a strong commitment to a professional career in performance, directing, design, teaching, or theatre ministry. Those who are admitted to the major are expected to exhibit a high level of competence and motivation.
This ACU program is highly competitive with larger universities because it offers its students greater opportunities resulting in an impressive résumé upon graduation. Theatre students compete well in unified auditions for graduate schools and professional theatres. The curriculum is geared for a well-rounded theatre education with hands-on experience in all phases of backstage work, multiple performance opportunities, small classes, and one-on-one mentoring faculty. Our senior showcase is performed each spring in NYC for casting directors, and agents. Students in performance, directing or design tracks have the opportunity to spend their final semester studying with industry and Broadway professionals at the Tepper Semester in NYC. In addition, casting agents and directors from regional theatres hold workshops in various techniques and audition ACU Theatre students throughout the year.
The ACU Theatre makes use of several performance spaces. The Williams Performing Arts Center (WPAC) has two performance areas: the Fulks Theatre, a 320-seat thrust theatre, and the Culp Theatre, an intimate multi-form space. Large-scale musicals are presented in the 2100-seat Abilene Civic Center. The Abilene Shakespeare Festival is produced each summer through the Department of Theatre.
Study Abroad Expectations
All students are encouraged to participate in ACU’s Study Abroad Program. Classes offered at Study Abroad sites vary depending on the site. Academic advisors can assist students in planning ahead for their Study Abroad experience and should be consulted during the freshman year. The department is supportive of ACU’s Study Abroad experience, LA Film Studies semester, and the Tepper Semester in NYC.
Before being admitted to this program, a student must satisfy the requirements listed in the ACT/SAT Placement Information section of this catalog and complete an audition and interview and be selected.
ProgramsBachelor of Fine Arts
- Theatre, Acting, BFA (THEA-THAC)
- Theatre, Dance, BFA (THEA-THDN)
- Theatre, Design/Technical, BFA (THEA-THDT)
- Theatre, Directing, BFA (THEA-THDI)
- Theatre, Musical Theatre, BFA (THEA-THMT)
- Theatre, Theatre for Teacher Certification, BFA (THEA-THED)
- Theatre, Theatre Ministry, BFA (THEA-THMN)