Professional Actor Training

BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Professional Actor Training

About the concentration

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a professional actor? In our program, you will undergo rigorous conservatory-style training in preparation for a lifetime of work in film, television and the stage.

You will experience two years of intensive coursework in Meisner technique, one of the most effective methods for instilling in actors an organized and practical approach to the creation of real and truthful behavior within the imaginary circumstances of the theater.

In addition to acting classes, your conservatory-style training consists of classes in voice and speech, dialects, directing, acting for TV/film and professional preparation/audition technique. You will undergo intensive movement training that includes classes in physical characterization and stage combat (unarmed, rapier/dagger and broadsword), where you will have the opportunity to participate in annual skills proficiency testing for Actor/Combatant certification with the Society of American Fight Directors. You will also receive a comprehensive education in many other aspects of theatre arts, including theatre history, costuming, stage scenery, lighting design, and stage management, and be afforded the opportunity to expand your skill sets in more specialized classes, such as writing for solo performance and dance. Upon graduation, you will be well prepared for a career in both theatre and TV/film, or for further training in graduate school.

In the Professional Actor concentration, you will have the opportunity to perform in four fully-mounted, mainstage productions per year in the 600-seat, state of the art proscenium McGinnis Theatre. You will also have the opportunity to perform in ECU Storybook Theatre productions and others, including student-run productions.

Student experiences

In addition to mainstage productions, you can be actively involved with student groups such as East Carolina Theatre Association, Fifth Street Players, SWISH Improv and Reader’s Theatre. You may additionally participate in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity award projects.


How do I learn more about the program?

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 252-328-2110.


Jill Matarelli Carlson, acting/movement/stage combat

John Carlson, theatre studies and global theatre

Patch Clark, Theatre for Youth/Theatre Arts Education coordinator

Bryan Conger, acting/directing

Tracy Donohue, acting/voice and articulation

Gregory Funaro, acting/Meisner Technique

Jen-Scott Mobley, theatre history

Natalie Stewart, voice and articulation/Professional Acting area coordinator

Michael Tahaney, acting/Musical Theatre area coordinator