Theatre & Dance
The Samford University Department of Theatre and Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. We aspire to be a leader in undergraduate theatre and dance education with a commitment to the artist as a community partner and contributor. At the core of the department’s mission is a commitment to character, ethics, and artistic excellence. Specifically, the department’s mission is to nurture persons by developing artistic skills, knowledge, and understanding appropriate to their academic development, vocational objectives and personal needs, within the framework of curricula and cocurricular activities provided at this institution, and to contribute to the fulfillment of the broader mission of the University. The newly launched Catalyst program strengthens our ability to prepare talented students for the workplace and a lifetime of creative contribution.
The Department enacts its mission through the B.A. and B.F.A. degrees. In the Bachelor of Arts Theatre degree, training is accomplished by practical and lecture/lab classroom experiences that prepare the student in the specific curricula for a Directing/Acting track, a technical/design track and a general theatre studies track.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Musical Theatre is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in musical theatre. The program provides interrelated educational experiences in music, theatre, and dance that prepare students for the production of musical theatre in the professional environment.
Samford Theatre and Dance offers a new degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth. The B.F.A.. in Theatre for Youth provides students with comprehensive training experience including academics, studio training, performance opportunities, and outreach. According to Laura Byland, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, Samford University is uniquely positioned for success with this new degree. “As one of the only Christian universities in the country to offer this degree, we will be able to help students integrate their passion for theatre with their calling to work with young people.”
The department also offers minors in dance and theatre and, in cooperation with the Division of Art & Design and the Division of Music, offers an interdisciplinary minor in the arts. In cooperation with the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, the department also offers a minor in film production.
In addition to the course and laboratory work the department provides a valuable cultural component to the broader campus and Birmingham community. Our work includes main-stage theatre productions, experimental plays, workshops, visiting artists, and sponsorship of many theatre productions. Students seeking admission to either the BA in theatre degree program must arrange for an audition and interview.
Samford University theatre majors find their degrees are respected by a wide range of potential employers. Theatre majors are creative individuals with a broad range of problem-solving and communication skills. Our students have become professional actors and actresses, teachers, nurses, photographers, choreographers, managers of theatre companies and graduate students at schools such as New York University, Columbia University, Louisiana State University, University of Georgia and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Career opportunities are endless because of the practical experience gained through working in the theatre and the liberal arts curriculum offered by Samford University.
- Acting for Theatre, Film and TV
- Directing for Theatre
- Stage Management
- Scenic, Lighting & Costume Design
- Technical Direction
- Theatre for Young Audiences
- Theatre Education
- Film Production
- Arts Management
- Fashion Design
- Writing and Publishing
- Public Relations
The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.
The Samford community values lifelong:
- belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
- engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus
- learning and responsible freedom of inquiry
- personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility
- vocational success and civic engagement
- spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being
- integrity, honesty, and justice
- appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions
- stewardship of all resources
- service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.
Many Samford theatre students spend a semester at Daniel House, the university's Victorian home in London's legendary West End. Discussions of theatre history, costume history and contemporary drama come alive in this theatre capital of the world. Students become more universally aware, more prepared for a career in the theatre and they gain many invaluable experiences.
Samford students may also go to London for a January term course, which covers a wide range of subjects from all areas of the university. A student could fulfill a general education requirement while in London during Jan Term as well as a theatre requirement.