Division of Fine and Performing Arts
To inquire about this program:
Theatre Office | 212-774-0760 | E-mail
Read more about interviews and auditions.
The MMC Advantage
For the performing arts student, New York City is the place to begin, to learn, to grow, and to be seen. The student who chooses the Theatre Arts programs at Marymount Manhattan College wants something special: professional theatre training combined with a strong liberal arts education in Manhattan.
The Theatre Arts programs offer students individualized attention and a strong faculty advisement program. This enables qualified students to take on substantial projects and roles beginning with their first year. The Theatre Arts programs can be augmented by choosing a minor in Musical Theatre, Arts Management, Drama Therapy or Arts for Communities, as well as in many other areas within the college. Independent Study courses provide opportunities for specialized training and performance experience. Junior and senior level students may also study abroad for credit at schools such as the British Academy of Dramatic Arts (BADA), the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London) or the Accademia dell'Arte (Tuscany, Italy). Internships in a variety of settings (Broadway, Off and Off-Off Broadway, television, dance) assist students in developing experience and potential employment networks in the NYC performing arts community.
Learning Goals for the Major in Theatre Arts
BA in Theatre Arts
Upon completing the major in theatre arts, students will be able to:
- Recognize and appreciate achievements in drama and theatrical production across a range of periods and cultures.
- Understand the interdisciplinarity of theatre study and the collaborative nature of theatre production.
- Acquire writing, research, performance, and technical skills as a foundation for building specific expertise in selected secondary areas of concentration.
- Learn to draw on external resources for further study and work experience by utilizing museums, theatres, performing arts organizations, libraries, and other institutions in New York City and abroad.
Currently, the Theatre Arts programs enroll 420 full-time students and have a faculty of 50, 16 of whom are full-time. Because of MMC's location in New York City, our faculty are working professionals, connected with such theatres as The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The McCarter Theatre, Irondale Project, Theatreworks/USA, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The La Jolla Playhouse, The National Theatre (London), The Signature Theatre Company, The Women's Project & Productions, The Actor's Studio, The New York Shakespeare Festival, The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Saturday Night Live, HB Studios, The Actors' Theatre of Louisville and Manhattan Theatre Club. The student-faculty ratio in performance and production classes is 12:1 and each theatre student is assigned a full-time faculty advisor.
Performance and Production
Performance and Production Performance opportunities include two fall and two spring mainstage productions per year which are fully produced with sets, lights and costumes often designed and stage managed by current students. Past productions include Our Town; Native Son; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Thoroughly Modern Millie; The House of Blue Leaves; Rags; She Stoops to Conquer; The Good Soul of Szechuan; Reckless; Bright Lights, Big City; Major Barbara; Sweet Charity; and The Grapes of Wrath.
The MMC Directing Projects are produced each semester and are performed in the Box Theatre. These plays are directed by advanced students in our directing concentration and are cast with acting students. Staged readings of new plays provide student playwrights with an opportunity to hear and see their works-in-progress. Senior BFA and BA students perform an Acting Showcase for professional agents and casting directors.
The performance facilities serving the Theatre Arts program include: The Theresa Lang Theatre, a 249 seat proscenium house and an urban Off-Broadway showcase for professional theatre, dance, and music; The Box Theatre, a 40 seat lab space which offers intimacy and flexibility; and the Great Hall, a high ceilinged, open performance space which seats 435. These spaces are also used for classes and rehearsals in addition to other studios and classrooms. Technical areas are designed and stocked to provide students with maximum exposure to professional quality equipment used in standard theatrical practices in a safe environment.
The Marymount Manhattan Theatre program is unique in offering specialized opportunities to qualified students. In addition to their fields of concentration, students receive a well rounded theatre education which increases their marketability. Students at the junior and senior levels are encouraged to complete several internships of increasing responsibility under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
Students have been placed at a variety of institutions such as Jim Henson Productions, The Public Theater, Saturday Night Live, Circle Repertory Company, Meg Simon Casting, The Dramatists Guild, Mabou Mines, Big Apple Lighting, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, The Negro Ensemble Co., INTAR, Theatre Technology, The Women's Project & Productions, and the Broadway productions of On The Waterfront, Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk, The Lion King, Wicked, Avenue Q and The Drowsy Chaperone.
Student and Alumni Credits
MMC Theatre Arts students enter the professional theatre world with viable, competitive portfolios and audition materials. Students of MMC have gone on to prestigious graduate schools including: The Juilliard School, Yale School of Drama, Harvard/American Repertory Theatre, Columbia University, Old Globe/University of San Diego and New York University. Selected film credits include: Sex and the City, Chaplin, Field of Dreams, Little Odessa, Scenes From A Mall and The Edge of Seventeen. Selected television credits include: Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Mad Men, True Blood, The Good Wife, The Office and So You Think You Can Dance. Selected Broadway and National Tour credits include: War Horse, Bring it On: The Musical, Leap of Faith, Next to Normal, Peter and the Starcatcher, Wicked, Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, Rock 'n' Roll, The Lion King, Little Shop of Horrors, Aida, Dreamgirls, Fosse, Guys & Dolls and Showboat. Off-Broadway credits include such companies as: Lincoln Center Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, Krane Theatre, American Place Theatre, Mabou Mines, La Mama Theatre and the Labyrinth Theater Company.
Others have been hired as stage managers, lighting designers, directors, playwrights and arts managers in performing arts venues such as The Dallas Theatre Center, Second Stage Theatre, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, VH1, NBC-Universal, The Walt Disney Company and Touchstone Pictures. Still others have gone on to careers in architecture, education, law, medicine and business.
Admissions and Competitive Scholarships
All applicants are required to audition or present a portfolio depending on their area of interest. Students auditioning for the BFA in Acting or the BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Theatre Performance are asked to prepare a short, contemporary monologue for an audition/interview. Students interested in other concentrations should prepare the appropriate portfolio material for review. Theatre scholarships for both BA and BFA programs are based on auditions and portfolio reviews. Read more about interviews and auditions.
B.A. in Theatre Arts
There are six areas of concentration which develop specific expertise within the Theatre Arts curriculum:
Design & Technical Production
Producing and Management
Writing for the Stage
This flexible 42-credit BA program can be pursued full or part-time and is suited to transfer students and those applying for Prior Learning Assessment credit.
B.F.A. in Acting
An intensive, 60-credit program focusing on acting techniques and performance work, acting students complete four full years of acting training ranging from contemporary techniques to period styles. Students are evaluated each year by the entire Acting faculty and their strengths and weaknesses are assessed and recommendations for further work are made. BFA students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in Theatre Arts classes to remain in the BFA program.
Musical Theatre Minor
The Musical Theatre minor is comprised of 24 credits and is designed to best complement the BA Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Theatre Performance, although BFA in Acting students may also pursue the minor. Broadway professionals participate in our Musical Theatre program by teaching master classes and appearing as guest speakers. Previous professionals include: Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Jeff Calhoun, Donna McKechnie, Tommy Tune and Elaine Stritch. Visit our Musical Theatre webpage for more information.
Minor in Theatre Arts
A Marymount Manhattan minor is designed to assist students in developing a marketable competency in a field of interest which complements their more broadly-based major and helps students prepare either for entry into the job market or for specialized graduate programs. Students pursuing the minor in Theatre will have access to MMC's dedicated and talented faculty in the performing arts, as well as professional quality performance and production experience.