Students praying in chapel

ACU Theatre

Department of Theatre

The Abilene Christian University Department of Theatre is committed to providing quality training and opportunity for the disciplined theatre artist in a nurturing environment that models Christian values. The ACU Theatre makes use of several performance spaces.

The Williams Performing Arts Center has two performance areas: the Fulks Theatre, a 320-seat thrust theatre and the Culp Theatre, an intimate multi-form space. Large-scale musicals are presented in the 2,100-seat Abilene Civic Center. The Abilene Shakespeare Festival is produced each summer through the Department of Theatre.

ACU's faculty of Christian scholars and professionals are the foundation for student success. Each faculty member is an expert in their field, and at building supportive relationships with ACU students.

NOTE: An audition is required for admission. To schedule an audition, click on the "Future Students" tab and select "Auditions and Interviews."

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Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Theatre is committed to providing quality training and opportunity for the disciplined theatre artist in a nurturing environment that models Christian values.

  • Theatre BFA Major
    • Acting Track
    • Design/Technical Track
    • Directing Track
    • Musical Theatre Track
    • Theatre Education Track
    • Theatre Ministry Track
  • Theatre Minor

Our Mission
 

To provide quality training and opportunity for the disciplined theatre artist in a nurturing environment that models Christian values.

The ACU Theatre has at its base a system of values anchored in the Judeo-Christian God. We believe each individual who comes to us is God-created and carries his image in unique, creative ways. We believe in an integrated life in which spiritual depth, intellectual pursuit, artistic excellence, emotional stability, and physical soundness are bound together in a total approach to work and play.

Vocation, Discipline, Community and Christian Values

  • As artists we participate with God to incarnate the word - to give it life and meaning. Madeleine L'Engle says,
    "I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.' And the artist either says, ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord,' and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses."
    No matter what path in life we assume to earn our living, we have been called into the vocation of theatre.
  • Discipline is the path to freedom in any craft. Fear, mental laziness, tension, dishonesty, physical blocks, lack of accountability, and all other obstacles to expression, growth, and artistic service must be eradicated, and the means of that process is discipline. Freedom within craft should be the goal of any student in the arts, because it is this freedom that allows the vision of the artist to be fully released.
  • Every theatrical endeavor pursued by the ACU Theatre belongs to the community as a whole. From the lighting operator to the lead actor to guest artists, we are all essential to the creative process. We encourage our students and staff to take ownership of every production regardless of their involvement.
  • As Christians, the sources of our values are God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We believe the scriptures to be the word of God, inspired, and to contain truth that can be reasonably grasped as well as truths that are deep mysteries. And while those at work in the Department of Theatre may differ on some issues of doctrine, there is agreement in the Lordship of Jesus.

Our Task

It is no easy task to comprehend such a calling, nor is it easy to walk such a path. However, we seek the integration of faith and artistic life, and we believe it must be stated clearly that the basis of our life and work (whether in the selection of plays, the building of syllabi for classes, the completion of homework, casting, rehearsals, or crew work) is found in the spiritual values of historic Christianity.

Why study theatre at Abilene Christian University? Here are a few reasons:
 

  • We produce quality theatre influenced by our Christian worldview.
  • A maximum of 12 freshmen/transfer students are admitted each fall, determined by audition/interview.
  • Limited total enrollment of 50 students provides more performance opportunities for each student and smaller faculty/student ratios.
  • Training reflects cutting-edge, contemporary curriculum including the Alexander Technique, the Linklater Vocal Technique, and concepts of actor training from Robert Cohen, Michael Shurtleff, the Atlantic Theatre Company, and Stanislavski.
  • The Williams Performing Arts Center, a $17 million facility opened in 2003, features the Fulks Theatre (a 325-seat theatre) and the Culp Theatre (a multi-form theatre).
  • Senior Showcase in NY for industry casting directors and agents.
  • Study in NY during spring of the senior year through the Tepper Semester.
  • The Homecoming Musical is performed annually in the 2,100-seat Abilene Civic Center.
  • Theatre students’ academic awards have included Dean’s Honor Roll (more than 50 percent regularly), Valedictorian, Trustees’ Award, B. Sherrod, Dean Adams, Servant Leader, Who’s Who, University Scholar and Honor Student.
  • B.F.A. is awarded in seven different tracks.
  • Alumni are successful in grad school as well as in professional employment.

Facilities

Williams Performing Arts Center
The 92,000-square-foot WPAC is the second largest building on campus and one of the top performance venues among colleges and universities in the Southwest. It was part of the $100 million "To Lead and To Serve" campaign that raised more than $114 million for ACU. Designed to be the home of ACU's departments of music and theatre, it includes:

  • A 282-seat Recital Hall that is acoustically "tuneable" to accommodate the performing artist(s) and number of patrons.
  • Spacious, modern dressing rooms and laundry rooms
  • Large instrument and choral rehearsal halls
  • A computer lab featuring Macs, PCs, and 16 electronic pianos
  • Forty-four acoustically treated practice rooms and faculty studios
  • Faculty offices and meeting rooms
  • State-of-the-art classrooms
  • Choral and band libraries
  • A box office, courtyard and sculpture garden
Lewis and Jerry Fulks Theatre
The 325-seat Lewis and Jerry Fulks Theatre, a thrust-stage facility designed to the theatre department's specifications with the help of acoustical and theatre consultants.

Clara and James Culp Theatre
The Clara and James Culp Theatre is a multi-form facility designed to allow multiple stage/audience configurations. The only physical restrictions for performances in this black box space are the location of the walls, ceiling, and floor.
WPAC Fulks Theatre Culp Theatre

What steps do I take to audition for the ACU Theatre?
 

  • Step 1: Contact Abilene Christian University Admissions here
  • Step 2: Apply to ACU here
  • Step 3: Apply to the ACU Theatre by uploading audition or interview materials to Acceptd.
  • Step 4: After an invitation from the department is extended, arrange for an audition or interview. 
  • Step 5: Audition or interview on campus. 

Audition dates are November 16, 2018 (open audition - no screening video required), January 25, 2019 and February 15, 2019. All prospective students should be admitted to the University before they come to their audition.

Contact us at:
325-674-2065 or theatre@acu.edu

What can I study at ACU Theatre?
Areas of study include the following tracks: Acting, Directing, Musical Theatre, Dance, Design/Technical, Theatre Ministry or Theatre Education.

What kind of opportunities will I have?
A typical ACU season consists of five or more productions including a large scale musical, classical productions, a Cornerstone production, student-directed works and a summer Shakespeare Festival. Students have opportunities to act, sing, dance and direct; to design costumes, sets, lights, makeup and hair; to stage manage, dramaturge, engage in stage combat and dialect work, and more!

Can I really make a living in theatre?
Absolutely! See examples of alumni who have done just that.

Why should I choose ACU Theatre?
Other universities might offer this kind of quality. But what makes ACU unique is the added dimension of the Christian worldview that defines our work as artists. At ACU Theatre you will find a group of believers who are dedicated to exploring the issues of faith and art.

If you are searching for a place to experience quality theatre, prepare yourself for a life work, and work alongside other believer-artists, ACU could very well be the school for you!

Auditions & Interviews


The ACU Theatre program offers a BFA in seven different tracks: Acting, Dance, Design/Tech, Directing, Musical Theatre, Theatre Education, and Theatre Ministry. You may audition for up to two tracks at the same time. 

Admission to the ACU Theatre Department is by audition (performers, directors, education and ministry tracks) or interview (designers/technical theatre).

Open auditions (no screening video required) for a place in the August incoming class for both new students and currently enrolled ACU students considering a theatre major will be held November. Admission to the University is required before your audition. Please register for an audition. 

To be considered for an invitation to a callback on-campus in January or February for a place in the incoming class, please submit a short audition video of your work. Instructions for composing your audition video will be emailed to you after you have completed the audition registration information. 

You will hear back from us by the first week in January to know if you have been selected for an on-campus callback audition and interview.
 

Auditions Dates:

  • Friday, November 16, 2018 (open audition - no screening video required)
  • Friday, January 25, 2019 (callback audition)
  • Friday, February 15, 2019 (callback audition) Steel Magnolias in production


Schedule an Audition

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Competitive Entry: 

  • All students must audition/interview to be accepted as Theatre majors. 
  • Up to twelve freshmen will be admitted to the program each fall.
  • If you are not accepted, you may still enroll in ACU and take some specific theatre classes; you may audition again in November of your freshman year.


Requirements:

To be accepted into the Theatre major program at ACU, you must:

  • Complete the audition/interview registration application
  • Gain clear admission to ACU
  • Maintain a full course load (12 hrs per semester or more)
  • Complete an audition/interview and be selected as a Theatre major
  • Maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA


The audition/interview registration application requires the following:

  • High school GPA and class rank
  • One-page resume of theatre experience
  • Two short-answer paragraphs (questions on registration page)
  • Two reference letters


For open auditions in November, students desiring Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre, Theatre Education or Directing should prepare one 60-second monologue. A scene will be provided in advance and will be coached at the audition. Singers (required for Musical Theatre, optional for other tracks) should prepare a verse and chorus of a Broadway-style song along with the 60-second monologue. An accompanist will be provided, but please also bring recorded accompaniment to the audition. Bring your sheet music mounted on card stock or in a three-ring binder. A dance audition (musical theatre/jazz combo) will be required for Musical Theatre students and is optional for the Acting track. Bring appropriate dance clothes and shoes. 

Designers, Directors and Theatre Education and Theatre Ministry tracks should prepare a portfolio including drawings, photos, press articles, etc. demonstrating your work or showing your dreams. Be prepared to discuss your experience and goals during your interview. 

Details on composing an audition Screening Video in consideration of a callback on-campus in January or February will be emailed to you when your audition registration is received. We look forward to hearing from you!

Student Opportunities

ACU Theatre's limited enrollment provides extensive performance opportunities and close faculty mentoring for each student. Training reflects cutting-edge, contemporary curriculum including the Alexander Technique, the Linklater Vocal Technique, and concepts of actor training from Uta Hagen, Michael Chekhov, Robert Cohen, Meisner and Stanislavski. This training equips students for ACU Theatre's range of stunning productions each season, including both faculty-directed and student-directed works.

Current theatre majors may now access forms and applications in the following formats.

Applications:

Theatre Forms:

Single & Season Tickets

Buy Tickets

Purchase ACU Theatre tickets online now or call 325-674-ARTS (2787). The Box Office is open weekdays 1-5 p.m. during the academic year (Sept-April).

It is our pleasure to offer an array of plays to capture your interest. The ACU Theatre produces shows that we feel will educate our students in their theatre training and engage our audiences. Consistent quality and professionalism are the hallmarks of ACU Theatre. You may purchase tickets for a single show, or select a season ticket plan that best suits your interests.

Single Show Tickets

Box Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 325-674-ARTS (2787)

Mailing Address:
ACU Theatre
ACU Box 27843
Abilene, TX 79699

Physical Location:
Williams Performing Arts Center
Corner of E.N. 16th and Judge Ely Blvd. on the ACU campus

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, checks, and cash. It is not our policy to refund or exchange tickets, except in the case of season tickets. Prices vary for individual shows. A discounted student-rush price is available 30 minutes prior to show for any remaining tickets. 

To purchase tickets, stop by the box office where our warm and friendly staff is happy to provide personal attention. Or, if you prefer the convenience of online ticketing, feel free to do so below.

It is our desire that our patrons have a wonderful theatre experience. Please be considerate of others and do not bring children under 4, or use electronic devices during the show.


Season Tickets 

Why become a Season Ticket Holder?

  • Significant savings over individual ticket prices!
  • Reminders of upcoming productions! So you never say, "I meant to go see that."
  • Convenience! You'll have your tickets well in advance with one easy step - no more trips to the box office for individual tickets.
  • Choice seating selections! Season subscribers have priority in reserving the best seats in the house.
  • Exchange privileges! Subscribers enjoy the exclusive opportunity to exchange tickets for alternate performances when unable to attend their regular performance (best available seating).
  • Annual renewal! Have the security of knowing we'll put your name on these same seats year after year!

 

Download the brochure or contact Box Office to order.

Download the mail-in card