University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee


Theatre Degrees & Admission
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Theatre BFA

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre is a 130-credit program providing intensive specialized course work for students seeking professional training in one of five separate tracks: Acting, Musical Theatre, Stage Management, Costume Production, or Technical Production. The BFA uncovers the potential of each student to develop personal performance and/or production practices. Admission to each BFA track is selective and competitive. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts curriculum will gain practical experience through participation in classroom projects, workshops, performance activity in the department, and related activity developed in conjunction with other disciplines in the Peck School of the Arts and the Milwaukee theatre community.

Each track follows an integrated curriculum based on an intensive, specialized array of courses and endows students with a sense of their identity as artists while preparing them for advanced graduate study or entry into the profession of theatre practice. Students must continue to show artistic growth and progress and meet academic grade requirements to continue the program. Progress reviews are conducted each semester.

Requirements, Curriculum & Course Descriptions

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre is a 130-credit program. BFA Theatre majors are required to fulfill the department’s core then focus their study on one of the following tracks:

  • BFA Acting: The program builds on the department’s core curriculum to develop within the student a deepened, strengthened, and professional level of competency in acting and a sense of identity as a performing artist.
  • BFA Stage Management: The program develops students’ practical management, communication, and technical theatre skills and techniques to successfully manage rehearsals and performances of theatrical and related entertainment events.
  • BFA Costume Production: The program teaches the art and craft of creating costumes for the stage, developing skills that will place students in professional theatre costume shops in the United States, or on the path to higher education in costume design and construction.
  • BFA Technical Production: The program provides students with education and skills in many technical areas of theatre including scenery production, properties production, lighting and sound. Students will be prepared for careers in the professional theatre shops or continued study at the graduate level.
  • Musical Theatre: Provides students with the opportunity to train and develop the necessary skills to succeed in a collaborative art form that encompasses three areas of performance: Music, Dance, & Theatre.

Please refer to the Theatre section of UWM's online undergraduate bulletin at:

Application Process

Application to the BFA Theatre Program occurs after a student has successfully completed the following (or equivalent) course work with a GPA of 2.0 over-all and 3.0 in the major. Please remember that All Theatre students must pass their Math and English Proficiency before being allowed to register for any theatre course numbered above 305.

Math Proficiency
English Proficiency
Theatre 110  Acting I
Theatre 230 Acting II
Theatre 214 Stagecraft
Theatre 225 Costume Construction
Theatre 305  The Theatrical Experience

Prospective transfer students and incoming Freshman must be admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee BEFORE applying to the BFA program in Theatre.

Apply to University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee online at:

BFA program applicants (including transfer students) must:

  • Undergo an in-person interview. Actors must also audition. Reservations for auditions and interviews will open October 6. If you have questions before then please contact

  • High School students are encouraged to pre-apply for all BFA Programs during their senior year of high school. Accepted students will gain full admission to the BFA Program upon successful completion of the Theatre Core classes.


  • A statement of intent. (Why are interested in the studying Acting? What do you hope to achieve?)
  • A current resume (must include name, address, phone and email)
  • A current photo
  • Two letters of recommendation


Auditions are held on campus at UWM. The first hour will be a workshop for all those auditioning. Please wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. You must attend the workshop portion of the audition.

Individual auditions/interviews will follow for which you will need one 90 second monologue of any kind. Assigned slots will be provided. Your audition is complete once you perform your monologue/interview.


  • A statement of intent. (What area of production are you most interested in studying and why? What do you hope to achieve?)
  • A current resume (must include name, address, phone and email)
  • Two letters of recommendation


Interview dates for entrance into the BFA Costume Production, BFA Technical Production and BFA Stage Management are by arrangement and on-going. BFA Costume Production, Technical Production and Stage Management candidates are encouraged to bring examples representing their past production work to the interview, demonstrating present level of skills.

Important Dates

Audition dates for entrance into the BFA Acting Program for Fall 2016 are listed below. Reservations for auditions will open October 6, 2016. If you have questions before then please contact

Friday, November 18, 2016

Saturday March 4, 2017

Saturday April 22, 2017

Laptop Requirement

Upper level students within specific program areas in the Department of Theatre (Technical Production) will be required to have an Apple PowerBook laptop computer for their course work by the first day of class.

More information on the laptop requirement.

BFA Opportunities

Beyond the curriculum, the production and performance activity of the department serve to expand the classroom education. It is a vital resource for our students and allows for the practical application of all curriculums.


More information at:

New Directions

These student productions are performed in the Kenilworth 508 space. They offer opportunities to students in all areas of theatre, playwriting, directing, acting, and designing. Students have a chance to test their expertise, to experiment, to produce and perform, and to develop their own ideas as artists.

Study Beyond

The department offers several courses that take students further out in to the world. Students have traveled to New York, Shanghai, New Zealand, Italy, Paris, London and Dublin on study tours.


Practicum credits in the major are a deliberate way to encourage students to engage in the professional community. UWM students have earned practicum credits of many of the professional companies in Milwaukee. UWM is the only urban university that can draw on the rich and thriving resources of a professional community.