Connecticut has over 10 public and private colleges and universities that offer acting or theatre degrees. Thespians can earn an associate's, bachelor's, or even master's degree at one of these Connecticut schools. Some schools offer specializations within the field of acting. Auditions are common for admission into performing arts programs.
Many theater programs incorporate productions throughout the year in order to provide students the opportunity to perform for audiences; separate auditions are necessary for each production. Study abroad opportunities are offered by some of the following schools. Profiled below are the state's largest schools that offer acting and theatre degree programs.
Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State University is located in the city of New Britain. The school has a student population of more than 12,000. The school offers an undergraduate program in theatre. Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre program can choose one of several specializations, one of which is performance. CCSU's Department of Theatre produces four mainstage productions a year, as well as a number of second stage productions, and acting students will have ample opportunity to take part in these. Acting students will study high impact theatre and Shakespearean production, and take classes in acting and voice development.
Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University is located in Willimantic. The school enrolls more than 5,500 students. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre program for students interested in acting. Theatre students will need to complete 24 core theatre credits and 18 credits in their chosen concentration. Students who wish to pursue an acting career can choose a concentration in acting. Acting students will take courses in voice, musical theatre performance, and directing, among other courses.
Fairfield University is a private institution located in the city of Fairfield. The school serves under 5,000 students each year. Fairfield students who are interested in acting can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Theatre majors can choose a comprehensive concentration, a performance concentration, or a design and technical concentration. Students who choose the performance concentration will take advanced performance classes like acting for the camera and technique and art in directing in addition to the core theatre courses. Acting students at Fairfield will also participate in Theatre Fairfield productions.
Housatonic Community College
Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport is a two-year college. The school has an enrollment of almost 6,000 students. Students who desire a career in acting can enroll in the college's Associate of Arts in Theatre Arts program. This program will prepare students for transfer to a four year institution, or to go directly into the workforce. Acting students will take courses in acting, voice and diction, and stagecraft in their first year. In the second year, theatre history, modern dance, and directing are covered. Students will need to earn between 60 and 64 credits to successfully complete the program.
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University is located in New Haven The school has a student population of more than 11,500. The school offers one degree program for students interested in acting: the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Students enrolled in the theater program can concentrate in acting and directing or musical theatre, as well as design and technical theatre and theatre education. Students will take courses in performance, stage speaking, and forms of drama. Students will need to complete at least 40 credits in classes offered by the theatre department.
University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut is a four-year institution located in Storrs. The school enrolls over 25,000 students a year. Students at the University of Connecticut can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in acting. Students must audition for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program by performing two 4-minute monologues, one Shakespearean and one contemporary. Students focus on classes involving acting, movement and voice. Acting courses are largely based on the ideas of Konstantin Stanislavski, while Suzuki techniques are employed in voice and movement training. Students in the 3-year Master of Fine Arts in Acting conservatory program often claim top roles at the school's Connecticut Repertory Theatre. Students receive in-depth training in acting, movement, voice and speech and history and literature. The remainder of the required 60 credits can be filled with general electives from the Dramatic Arts Department. Graduates are prepared to begin careers in theatre, film and television.
University of Hartford
The University of Hartford is a four-year, private research institution in West Hartford. The school has an enrollment of over 7,000. Students in the actor training program collaborate with ballet, dance and musical theater students in productions at the Hartt School Theater. After a first year of introductory courses in acting theory, voice and movement techniques and information literacy, students begin studio classes during their sophomore year. Third year students begin to work with increasingly complex, innovative and even student-produced theatrical material. Third year students also have the opportunity to study British theatre in England. Students learn how to analyze scripts for meaning and employ industry techniques for improved performances in voice, speech and movement.
Wesleyan University is a private college in Middletown. The school serves over 3,200 students. Wesleyan students interested in acting can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. The theatre program includes courses in production, theatre history, and acting. Students will also study topics like contemporary literature, visual literacy, and theory. Wesleyan students will also have the opportunity to study abroad. Students can attend approved programs in London, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Chile, or Ghana.
Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University is located in Danbury. The school has a student population of over 6,000. The school offers one program for students interested in acting, the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. Theatre Arts students will need to complete at least 122 credits to complete the program successfully. Core courses include history of theatre, acting, and directing. Students will need to choose one of four options to specialize in: the design and technical option, the theatre arts management option, the drama studies option, or the performance option. Performance students will take courses in creative dramatics, acting for the camera, and auditioning techniques.
Yale University is a private, Ivy League research university in New Haven. The school enrolls over 11,800 students. Students at Yale who are interested in acting can enroll in Yale's Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies degree program. Some of the theatre studies classes offered by Yale University include a survey of theatre and drama, musical theatre performance, and medieval drama. Students will need to complete a senior project or take a senior seminar. Students who choose the senior project can fulfill the requirement in several ways, including directing a play or performing a role.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Acting Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Central Connecticut State University||Four year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with Performance Specialization||In-state: $10,616, out-of-state: $23,124 (undergraduate)|
|Eastern Connecticut State University||Four year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre||In-state: $11,356, out-of-state: $23,864 (undergraduate)|
|Fairfield University||Four year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre||$48,350 (undergraduate)|
|Housatonic Community College||Two year, public; midsize city||Associate of Arts in Theatre Arts||In-state: $4,404, out-of-state: $13,172 (undergraduate)|
|Southern Connecticut State University||Four year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre||In-state: $10,954, out-of-state: $23,464 (undergraduate)|
|University of Connecticut||Four year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting,
Master of Fine Arts in Acting
| In-state: $15,730, out-of-state: $38,098 (undergraduate);
In-state: $15,350, out-of-state: $36,962 (graduate)
|University of Hartford||Four year, private, not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting||$40,694 (undergraduate)|
|Wesleyan University||Four year, private, not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre||$54,944 (undergraduate)|
|Western Connecticut State University||Four year, public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts||In-state: $10,859, out-of-state: $23,367 (undergraduate)|
|Yale University||Four year, private, not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies||$53,430 (undergraduate)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.