Aspiring actors in Minnesota have a wide variety of education options. Several 2-year colleges and 4-year universities offer associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs that are designed to prepare students for the profession. Programs may offer concentration areas.
Students have opportunities to hone their acting skills through capstone experiences, practicum courses, performance labs and theatre internships. The ten largest private not-for-profit and public educational institutions that are profiled below offer programs in acting, theatre performance, theatre arts and fine arts in theatre.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
This community college in Coon Rapids offers a 2-year program in theatre. Required acting classes include training in movement, vocal performance and successful auditioning. In addition to acting, students also gain experience in stage production, directing, design, stagecraft and theatre makeup.
Metropolitan State University
Saint Paul's Metropolitan State University has a bachelor's degree program in theater where students can earn credits for previous experiences and take part in area theatre internships. This school's program is organized as a collaboration with Minneapolis Community and Technical College or other similar 2-year programs. Students complete courses in directed theatre readings, theatre history, acting, performance lab and multicultural acting.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Located in Minneapolis, this school provides an associate's degree program in theater arts, and graduates will be able to transfer to a 4-year degree program. An emphasis in acting is available, and there are 3 production opportunities on campus each year. Students take courses in acting, public speaking, stagecraft and theatre capstone. Faculty members are theatre artists with advanced degrees and experiences in the profession.
Minnesota State University - Moorhead
Moorhead's university offers a bachelor's degree with an emphasis in acting. Acting training presented by the faculty of approximately 5 members involves drama, acting principles, scene study, movement for actors, voice for actors and acting styles. Acting students have experience opportunities through the Straw Hat Players and the university's theatre series.
Minnesota State University - Mankato
This Mankato-based university asks that bachelor's degree program applicants submit records of prior experience and take part in auditions. The acting concentration includes instruction in movement, dance, acting techniques/styles, musical theatre, audition methods, speech, dialects, scene studies, radio/TV acting and stage combat.
The 3-year master's degree program in performance offers an acting track and requires that applicants have a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in the field and submit an audition DVD. The school provides a proscenium theatre, a black-box theatre and opportunities to act in major productions.
Normandale Community College
Bloomington's Normandale Community College offers an associate's degree accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). Applicants to this program take part in auditions and interviews. Theatre classes are comprised of voice/movement, stage makeup, acting, script analysis and training in audition techniques. Students can take up to 4 practicum courses for acting experiences.
Saint Cloud State University
Located in Saint Cloud, this university's bachelor's degree program offers an emphasis in acting/directing and is accredited by NAST. Classes related to acting are taught by approximately 4 faculty members and include script analysis, acting, voice production and instruction in stage movement. A creative theatre project is also required, along with theatre electives. A proscenium theatre and an arena stage are housed in the performing arts center, where students may gain acting experience.
University of Minnesota - Duluth
This university in Duluth offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts program with an acting emphasis and is designed specifically for aspiring professional actors. The program includes courses in stagecraft, acting speech, audition techniques and stage combat. Students participate in practicum experiences and pass a qualifying presentation in their sophomore year. This school's facilities include a performing arts center, a proscenium theatre, acting studio spaces, a black-box theatre and recording studios.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Located in Minneapolis, this university offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts program for actors. The program is accredited by NAST and requires admission auditions. Students gain acting experience in this school's 6 performance spaces. Courses include voice/speech, play analysis and acting.
Winona State University
Winona's university has a NAST-accredited Bachelor of Arts program with acting classes such as play reading, performance and rehearsal. A theatre senior seminar and a capstone production project are also required. Several theatres comprise this school's performing arts facilities. Bachelor's degree students are required to complete a minor. The university houses a black-box theatre and a main stage theatre. Students may participate in several theatre productions.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Acting Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Fine Arts in Theatre||$5,073 (undergraduate)*|
|Metropolitan State University||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts|| $7,879 (undergraduate in-state)
$14,980 (undergraduate out-of-state)*
|Minneapolis Community and Technical College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Fine Arts in Theater Arts||$5,396 (undergraduate)*|
|Minnesota State University - Moorhead||4-year, public; midsize suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts (Emphasis in Acting)|| $8,496 (undergraduate in-state)
$15,906 (undergraduate out-of-state)*
|Minnesota State University - Mankato||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting,
Master of Fine Arts in Performance
| $8,184 (undergraduate in-state)
$16,235 (undergraduate out-of-state)
|Normandale Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance||$5,791 (undergraduate)*|
|Saint Cloud State University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre (Emphasis in Acting/Directing)|| $8,265 (undergraduate in-state)
$16,499 (undergraduate out-of-state)*
|University of Minnesota - Duluth||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre (Emphasis in Acting)|| $13,366 (undergraduate in-state)
$18,484 (undergraduate out-of-state)*
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting|| $14,760 (undergraduate in-state)
$30,438 (undergraduate out-of-state)*
|Winona State University||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre|| $9,425 (undergraduate in-state)
$15,348 (undergraduate out-of-state)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator