William Carey University offers new theatre BFAs in fall 2022

Published 2:14 pm Monday, January 10, 2022

William Carey University’s theatre department will offer two new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs this fall – one in Script Writing, one in Theatre for Young Audiences.

“The last couple of years have been difficult for everyone. In theatre, the pandemic made performances a challenge, but we found ways to present plays virtually or with smaller, socially distanced audiences. We also used this unusual time to re-evaluate who we are and what makes us different,” said Tim Matheny, chair of WCU Theatre & Communication.

“Being a theatre program at a Christian university is a defining factor. Our commitment to family-friendly theatre is another. We decided to focus on two new BFA degrees. Both script writing and theatre for young audiences are already strengths in our productions. After some research, we also found these two areas are not taught in our state, and in only a few programs in our region.”

Script Writing

Focus is on creating dialogue for stage, film, TV, commercials, video games, podcasts, and more. The need for script writers is not only widespread but largely COVID-proof. Much of the entertainment industry ground to a halt during the pandemic, but in areas that could be presented remotely, the need for storytellers who could generate compelling dialogue only increased.

With that in mind, WCU theatre decided to offer this degree fully online – allowing students from across the country, or around the world, to develop their skills and prepare for a career in script writing.

The application process includes writing samples (10-25 pages) and/or digital sites.

Theatre for Young Audiences

Focus is on bringing the world of theatre to the next generation. Studies show the impact arts programs have on students – improving grades, heightening community awareness, and deepening empathic concern for others. Graduates of this program will have the skills to effectively serve in any children’s theatre company or start their own.

For actors, the application process includes two contrasting monologues or scene work with another actor. Singers and dancers may include either or both in their auditions. For designers, technicians, and playwrights, the application includes photos/renderings of theatre work or writing samples.

What is a BFA?

The Bachelor of Fine Arts is a degree for students seeking a professional education in visual, fine, or performing arts.

“We decided that both degrees worked best under a BFA structure. In a practical sense, the degree forgoes the traditional degree minor and students dedicate more of their coursework to their future career. It is much like other professional degrees, but specifically geared to the arts,” Matheny said.

The WCU Theatre Department will also continue to offer a traditional Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre with three areas of concentration – performance, design, and musical theatre.

For information about how to apply, email thecom@wmcarey.edu or call (601) 318-6218.