Acting Classes in Denver, CO with School and Program Descriptions

Those hoping to establish an acting career can find classes at four schools within 30 miles of downtown Denver, CO. To find out which option is the right one for you, read an overview of program requirements for three of these colleges.

Denver Acting Schools

Aspiring actors can study their craft at three, 4-year schools located in and around the city of Denver. This article covers the coursework requirements and experiential opportunities available at these institutions. There is also a table of additional school information as well as details about another area school with relevant academic programs.

  • The Metropolitan State University of Denver provides theatre bachelor's degree and minor programs. The campus is located right in the downtown area.
  • The University of Colorado - Boulder, located roughly 29 miles from Denver in Boulder, CO, offers bachelor's and master's degree programs that focus on theatre and performance.
  • Situated only around seven miles from the city center, the University of Denver provides a minor and a bachelor's degree program in theatre.

Comparison of Schools

Deciding where to study acting requires more than just learning about the program offerings; factors like enrollment numbers, acceptance rates and costs can affect your choice as well. Look over this table of stats to find out more about the three institutions.

Metropolitan State University of Denver University of Colorado - Boulder University of Denver
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; private-not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 20,304* 35,338* 11,434*
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $7,352 in-state; $20,149 out-of-state* $12,086 in-state; $36,220 out-of-state* $48,669*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 71%* 63%* 87%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 64%* 80%* 58%*
Retention Rate (2017) 63% for full-time students; 47% for part-time students* 87% for full-time students; 63% for part-time students* 87% for full-time students; 45% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began their studies in 2011) 28%* 69%* 75%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Metropolitan State University of Denver

While this school is known for its program in musical theatre, it also provides a minor and a general theatre program that could appeal to aspiring actors. Most students take acting courses and a theatre practicum to gain experience. Those applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program must audition.

Theatre Minor

Students in this program take a minimum of 25 semester hours. Required courses can help students learn about the basics of stagecraft, acting, theatre and stage directing. They can also choose from electives covering such topics as acting and improvisation techniques.

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

This program is comprised of 120 semester hours of coursework, 42 of which are devoted to the theatre major. In addition to acting techniques, students can learn about theatre history and criticism, vocal performance and theatre career development. Students choose from several electives like advanced acting, acting for the camera and stage combat.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre

Rigorous training in performance is integrated into this program's curriculum. Students take courses in acting, stagecraft and theatre history. Those who select a musical theatre concentration are also required to take courses covering such topics as music theory, tap dance, private instruction and/or ensemble. Additionally, all students participate in an internship and at least two productions per academic year.

University of Colorado - Boulder

This university provides a variety of programs for aspiring actors. Those who wish to enroll in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program must audition, while those who enroll in the Bachelor of Arts program can still take acting courses as part of a broad liberal arts-based curriculum. Students also have the option to take graduate-level acting courses by pursuing a Master of Arts in Theatre.

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

Students enrolled in this program can also focus on another academic area. They're exposed to a broad overview of theatre topics like acting, costume technologies, theatre design, American theatre and modern theatre. They also can choose from electives such as advanced acting, acting for the camera and audition techniques.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with a Concentration in Performance or Musical Theatre

This program provides two pertinent concentrations for aspiring actors: performance and musical theatre. Students must demonstrate exceptional acting and motivation to be accepted into one of these concentration areas. Performance coursework includes character building, voice for the stage, actor movement, Shakespeare and playing with styles. Musical theatre students take courses in acting, voice for the stage, music theory and aural skills.

Master of Arts in Theatre

Students in this program select from a thesis and a non-thesis track. The thesis track is suited for students who plan to enroll in a PhD degree program, while the non-thesis track is for those who plan to conclude their studies with the master's degree. Both tracks include a final exam. Students take 30 credit hours of coursework in areas such as theory/criticism, research strategies/techniques and on-stage studies. They can complete practicum or research courses in acting.

University of Denver

This university offers a minor and a bachelor's degree program in theatre, both of which include acting courses. Theoretical courses in theatre history and literature can help students develop aesthetic skills, while classes in stage movement and acting can provide practical experience.

Minor in Theatre

To earn this minor, students must complete 24 quarter hours of coursework. Required classes include theatre imagination, acting, dramatic literature and performance aesthetics. Students also select an elective such as sound or scene design.

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

This degree program provides course selections in theatre imagination, acting, dramatic literature, vocal preparation and Shakespeare. Those interested in acting can take advanced courses in the field. All students participate in a seminar, a practicum and university ensemble performances.

Other School Options

Acting courses are also offered as part of the theatre, film and television degree programs at the University of Colorado - Denver, located in downtown Denver.


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