Refine Your Instinct And Instrument… Then Launch Your Acting Career.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting is designed for talented actors as preparation for a professional career in theatre. You’ll experience a balance of hands-on theatre studies along with a strong base of liberal arts studies which will hone your ability to think critically, perform creatively and communicate effectively both as theatre professionals and as members of a diverse society. Our curriculum ranges from theatre and musical theatre history to acting and improvisation techniques. Students will also perform a variety of repertoire in diverse settings, and will have numerous opportunities to attend public performances and events.
You will learn from Larry Silverberg, world-renowned author and master teacher of the Meisner Technique. Together, he and our world class faculty enable you to tell stories in ways that will transform the hearts and minds of your audiences.
Unique to our program is the process by which you are taught to apply your skills to assess any performance forum and create meaningful quality experiences for the intended audience. We offer innovative simulation training, allowing you to work inside live action experiences with commercial, medical, police and military partners, among other training industries.
You will also have a private acting coach from your sophomore to senior years of study.
During your four years in the acting program, you will network and workshop your skills with agents and casting directors from some of the largest markets in the country. As part of your professional package, you will also leave with a voiceover reel as well as a reel for film and television.
Hear More About Acting
Shenandoah Conservatory’s acting program is training the next generation of actors to work in today’s burgeoning video, television and film industries.
Learn More About This Program
Our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program is the next generation in acting training. We use effective contemporary techniques to prepare you for a professional career and our rigorous process refines both your instinct and skills.
Shenandoah’s Acting Program, alongside Mass Communication majors and the Music Production and Recording Technology Program, are participating in an annual cross disciplinary campus film project, where students bring together their interests and abilities from each of their disciplines to create a motion picture.
The first of its kind, Shenandoah’s new acting program incorporates realistic acting with application in real world training exercises.
Sally Anderson, as our program coordinator in simulation and training, has considerable experience with simulation at many levels: in the medical field, both as a standardized patient and as a standardized patient educator; in the area of first responders (police, SWAT, and EMT training divisions) as a trainer and reenactor; and several years working with the Virginia Department of State, also as a trainer and re-enactor.
Military, Law Enforcement, and Medical Partnerships include:
The Department of State, Diplomatic Security Division
- US Embassy attack simulations
- Created five training films & three self-defense films.
Global Emergency Group- Simulations for United Nations Members
- UN members traveling to Southern Sudan
- Roadside market land mine explosion
- Medivac lifting of wounded
US Border Patrol at Harpers Ferry, WV
- Green screen filming for training scenario
- 300º Simulator interaction with weapons
Winchester Police SWAT team: Hostage Situational Simulations
- Airport with active shooter
- Hotel drug bust
- School bus hostage situation
- Train with elderly passengers
- Domestic disputes
- Home invasions
Winchester Police EMTs- Fire and Rescue
- Department School shooting scenarios
- Moulage (gunshots, lacerations, bruises & fractures)
Frederick County EMTs
- Role-play for final training exercises
The Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy
- Final exams for VA police officers
Winchester Medical Center
- Disaster Drill
Shenandoah University Medical Programs
- Physicians’ Assistant
- Respiratory Care
- Athletic Training
- Department of Psychology
Frederick County Legal System
- Voir Dire– Jury Selection
- Witness Interrogation
Minor in This Program
Shenandoah Conservatory offers minors in Music, Theatre, and Dance for all Shenandoah University students. Acceptance into conservatory minors must be approved by the Division/Department Chair, and some minors require an audition.
Declaring a Minor
Shenandoah students work with their Academic Advisor to declare a minor. Academic Advisors will continue to work with students to ensure that they fulfill all of the requirements to complete the minor.
Incoming students should not indicate their intended minor on their Shenandoah application. Applications are for intended majors only.
You will join a small class of 12 to 16 peers (selected from hundreds of auditions) and learn the complete Meisner Technique as you progress through the levels of Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman and Adept. Along with movement, voice, speech and acting training, you will have extensive study in improvisation, period styles and application of acting for the camera.
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
Performance Opportunities and Ensembles
You will practice your craft in front of audiences and develop a plan for your professional launch into the industry that focuses on your personal desires and aspirations.
Shenandoah Conservatory produces more than 400 performances each year. Enroll in a dynamic curriculum and start preparing for a meaningful career in the arts. You will practice your craft in front of audiences and develop a plan for your professional launch into the industry that focuses on your personal desires and aspirations.
Embrace extensive performance opportunities with top-tier facilities from theatres, concert halls and dance studios. Unite with fellow artists and join an alumni family that takes center stage from Broadway to the concert halls of Europe.
Shenandoah Conservatory is home to more than 20 instrumental, vocal, and dance ensembles that present numerous performances every year. These performances take place throughout Shenandoah University’s vibrant campus on its various stages, including a concert hall, recital hall, proscenium stage, black box studio, outdoor amphitheater and more, to venues and performance spaces in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and around the world. Ensembles constantly engage with Shenandoah’s dynamic faculty and an array of distinguished guest artists through residencies, workshops and unique performance opportunities.
Experience the world-renowned Shenandoah Conservatory. Study with master teachers – more than 100 professionals in music, theatre, dance and arts management.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s prestigious faculty is dynamic, creative, and passionately committed to the highest levels of artistic excellence. A deeply caring community, they mentor students with a wealth of professional expertise, balancing rigorous expectations with compassion and wisdom. At Shenandoah, you will study with, and perform for, award-winning composers, Metropolitan Opera singers, Grammy Award winning conductors and international competition winners. You will learn from leading scholars in music and premiere works created by accomplished dance artists and cutting-edge directors. Shenandoah Conservatory’s faculty embodies the highest levels of professional accomplishment and the deepest commitment to furthering the artistic growth and creative aspirations of students in every discipline.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, TheatreFull Biography
Adjunct Assistant Professor, TheatreFull Biography
Associate Professor, TheatreFull Biography
Adjunct Assistant Professor, ActingFull Biography
Director of Acting; Associate Professor, TheatreFull Biography
Adjunct Lecturer, TheatreFull Biography
Master Teacher in Acting; Professor, TheatreFull Biography
Professor, TheatreFull Biography
Students interested in this program should also look into these other majors, graduate degrees, minors, and certificates.
These minors complement this program well:
Most students in this program choose to continue their education by earning a graduate degree:
Application and Audition Information
Admission to Shenandoah Conservatory is highly competitive. Not only must students be academically admissible, they must also complete and pass the mandatory audition/portfolio review and interview process. Audition dates are limited and may fill and close well in advance of the audition date.
Undergraduate Applicant Materials
- Complete the Undergraduate Application
- Submit official high school transcripts from each institution attended
- Submit official SAT or ACT test scores
- Register for an Audition and Interview
Learn more about Shenandoah Conservatory Audition Requirements
Prospective acting majors must have two memorized monologues, one from a Shakespeare play, 20-28 lines in length; the second from a contemporary play, two minutes maximum, reflecting the applicant’s age. Bring a standard 8 x 10 headshot and résumé to the audition.
Make studying abroad the highlight of your college experience! Whether you go for a year, a semester, or just a few weeks, You will never forget learning in another culture! The Center for International Programs is here to help you plan your study abroad experience. Start your planning early to ensure the courses you complete abroad count toward your degree and you graduate on time.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. These short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs are offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If a course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year at other member campuses abroad. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take classes taught in English abroad while receiving Shenandoah credit.
Shenandoah University also maintains direct partnerships with several universities around the world. These relationships allow students from SU to study abroad as exchange students and students from these universities to study at SU. All partner universities offer courses taught in English.
Fast-Track to Arts Management
4 + 1 PALM Option
The Master of Science in Performing Arts Leadership and Management is designed to provide future performing arts executives and artistic leaders with the industry skills required in the 21st century.
The accelerated program in Performing Arts Leadership and Management is available for current Shenandoah Conservatory undergraduates who, upon completion of their undergraduate degree, wish to obtain a Master of Science in Performing Arts Leadership and Management in just one year. Students who are accepted into the accelerated program will begin to take arts leadership and management courses during their undergraduate studies and register for internship during the summer between senior year and their final year of graduate study.