What makes PBA’s Theatre Department special? What would draw me to make this department my home for four years?
If you are looking for a place to work toward theatrical excellence in study and performance but have had difficulty finding a place that respects your Christian faith, PBA Theatre may be what you need and want. In many theatre departments across the country, young students find themselves put in a position where they feel that their Christian values are being compromised.
We do not put our students in a “protective bubble,” but we do support and nurture their Christian faith. Our faculty care deeply about each student and about each other. We have high standards that compel us to move toward professional excellence, but we do not find it necessary to erode the faith of our students in order to achieve these goals.
While this doesn't mean we avoid tough questions or the rigorous examination of our discipline and our faith, it does mean we feel our students’ love of Christ makes them better theatre artists. In following His example, they are compelled to work honestly, to practice humility (rather than allowing ego to get in the way of their work) and to live in love.
We are very open about our commitment to Jesus. We openly seek redemptive values in everything that we study and every play that we put on our stage. If PBA Theatre sounds right for you, we look forward to having you join us and will welcome you into our community with open arms!
Our full-time faculty all have terminal degrees in theatre from major universities, such as FSU and UT Austin, and professional experience at theatres such as Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Walt Disney World and Cortland Repertory Theatre.
Admission to the department is by audition only. Auditions for the department are held four to five times per year. For more information about auditions, reference our audition process. It is important to note that you may be admitted to the University without being admitted to the department. In order to be admitted as a Theatre major, you need to prepare the following depending on the track within the department that you are interested in:
Two contrasting monologues of one minute each. If possible, we would prefer that you prepare one classical monologue and one contemporary monologue, but if you do not feel comfortable doing this, then we ask you to prepare pieces that will show us different aspects of your acting ability.
One song and one monologue. (Each piece need be no longer than one minute). In addition to demonstrating to us your singing ability, please show us a character who is responding to the circumstances of the story that you have chosen. Please bring sheet music in your chosen key.
We recognize that auditioning can be nerve-wracking, and we want to create a situation that will allow you to give us your best. For this reason, we try to keep things well-organized. We will have a stage-manager present who will help you understand the process and keep things moving. You can ask this person any questions that you may have, and they will do their best to assist you.
You will audition for two or more faculty members. They may ask you questions about your abilities and experience in addition to watching your audition. Please remember that if you are singing, we ask that you provide your own sheet music in your chosen key. Parents are welcome to accompany you on your trip, but we ask that they wait outside the room when you actually give your audition. There will be a question-and-answer session for parents and students with the faculty following each audition session.
Studying theatre is a captivating way to explore the liberal arts! This discipline naturally forms a community of learners who are curious about what it has meant to be a human being in many of the various epochs of history. Students who have graduated with a degree in theatre from PBA have been successful in professional theatre and many other fields including the ministry, business and communications-related fields, to name a few. With the qualifications of our faculty, the quality of the training we offer and the production schedule that we maintain, we are one of the strongest theatre departments in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.
We will not “beat around the bush” and tell you that theatre is easy! Ultimately, you should only commit yourself to it if you really feel passionately about it. We can tell you that many prospective employers are impressed when they see “theatre” on a resume. They know that they are interviewing a bright, communicative and creative person who will work hard and not be afraid to overcome obstacles. No one can promise you a successful career in any field, and certainly not in professional theatre or film! If you choose to continue in professional theatre following undergraduate study, your success will largely depend upon your own inventiveness and work ethic. You will be much more likely to get a good job and one that pays decently with a four-year degree.
You do not have to be a Theatre major or minor to be involved in productions. Auditions are open to entire PBA community. (We have even been known to cast faculty members, alumni or members of the larger community on occasion, when student roles would not be affected.) We should note, however, that the acting and technical skills that our students develop in classes tend to make them more likely to have the abilities that fit a particular production.
Performances are conducted in The Fern Street Theatre, a nearly 12,000-square-foot, two-story building on Fern Street, which includes a “black box” theatre and houses offices, classrooms and performance space. It helps elevate students to the next level of skill and performance.