Samford's Department of Theatre and Dance offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth: Performance and Teaching Artistry. Approved by NAST, the BFA 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.”

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Career Preparation

Career Opportunities

Graduate School

  • MFA in Theatre for Youth
  • MA in Drama Therapy
  • MA in Creative Arts Therapy
  • MS in Education

Professional Children’s Theatre

  • Professional performance
  • Fellowships/internships in acting, directing, assistant directing, teaching
  • Resident teaching artists: acting, musical theatre, playwriting
  • Arts Administration
  • Artistic Director
  • Education Director
  • Assistant Education Director
  • Community Engagement director/coordinator/assistant
  • Playwright

Professional Theatre

  • Internships in performance, assistant directing, teaching
  • Education Director
  • Teaching artist: acting, musical theatre, directing,playwriting, camp coordinator


  • Registered Drama Therapist
  • Registered Creative Arts Therapist
  • Registered Expressive Arts Therapist
  • College Theatre for Youth Professor
  • K-12 Drama Teacher


  • Youth Drama ministry
  • Camp Ministry
  • Education Director of Camp Ministry
  • Playwright, director, actor


Hope and Light: Indonesia 2018

In January 2018, a small group of Theatre, Theatre for Youth and Education students traveled with two advisors to Jakarta, Indonesia to be hosted by the Pelita Harapan Yayasan.  This is a network of Christian schools and universities the Westmoreland’s have been associated with for over twenty years.  This organization is made up of energetic Christians, who use education and health care to meet the needs of their country.

As theatre artists we were seeking the intersection of faith and art, as we worked with the Samford Education majors to bring creative storytelling to life and support ESL in the classroom.  In addition, this cross-cultural art experience afforded the Samford Theatre students opportunity to present seven performances in a variety of chapel services at several schools. In addition, the Theatre students assisted the Education majors with ESL activity, and engaged with village children in active drama game playing. 

Additionally, theatre for youth students have performed for The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, Alabama Baptist Children's Home, King's Home, local Elementary Schools and Unless U, a program for adults with special needs.  

Recent Productions

  • Orphie and the Book of Heroes
  • Tinker Bell
  • Ella Enchanted, The Musical
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
  • How I Became a Pirate
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Jungle Book
  • Wake-up, Brother Bear
  • The B.F.G.
  • The Wind in the Willows

Audition Information

Auditions will be held at the regularly scheduled auditions for Samford Theatre and Dance. For more information, contact Professor Byland at:

Theatre Admission