2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Visual and Performing Arts, BFA; Theatre Concentration - Specialist in Performance

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Description of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual and Performing Arts Degree Types

The Specialization in Performance and Specialization in Design and Technology concentrations are pre-professional degrees designed for students who, upon graduation, wish to work in the professional theatre as performers, designers, or technicians, or who want to prepare for application to MFA programs in graduate schools. Performance and Design & Technology students work closely with the performance or design and technology faculty and staff, who act as mentors. Performance specialists are required to audition each semester for each main stage production. Design & Technology students are required to work in all design and technology areas each semester. Both tracks are selective and competitive; students’ work and capabilities are reviewed each semester.

Student Assessments

  1. Communication Skills: Develop and employ the ability to write and speak about theatre and body of work with clarity and logic, and be able to form and support critical judgements about theatre and body of work.
  2. Formal and Technical Skills: Acquire and demonstrate mastery of the relevant performance of technology techniques, methodology and skills, and the terminology and practices relevant to the student’s area of concentration as represented in body of work.
  3. Conceptual Skills: Develop and demonstrate the ability to generate, support, and utilize individual thoughts, ideas, and artistic choices within student’s body of work.
  4. Critical Thinking and Research Skills: Develop and demonstrate the ability to do research and effective, specific preparation and the competence and knowledge to analyze and think critically.
  5. Thematic Body of Work: Conceive, design, and create a coherent, high-quality body of work in the student’s area of concentration.
  6. Professional Skills: Develop competencies in professional practice of the student’s field of study.

As a graduation requirement, all students must participate in, and pass each of the four levels of the Theatre Program’s Performance or Design & Technology assessments. At each of the four assessment levels, students must present work that is predetermined by the faculty. The assessment evaluations are scored as either pass, no-pass, or conditional no-pass. See “Evaluation scores explained” for definitions of each evaluation score.

Each student must register for the appropriate zero-credit class for each level of assessment. The zero-credit classes are used to prevent students who have failed an assessment from continuing in the student’s area of concentration (Performance or Design & Technology). Since the class is zero credit, it does not affect the student’s GPA. Each student will register for the appropriate zero-credit class when they register for classes in each of their Assessment semesters.

Zero-credit Class Schedule

THEA 196 - BFA First Year Assessment  Zero-Credit Course
THEA 296 - BFA Second-Year Assessment  Zero-Credit Course
THEA 396 - BFA Third-Year Assessment  Zero-Credit Course
THEA 496 - BFA Fourth-Year Assessment  Zero-Credit Course

Transfer students must contact the Theatre, Art and Graphic and Animation Design Department Chair, who will route them to the appropriate faculty, who will determine what assessments the students must complete for graduation. This contact is the responsibility of the student and should occur shortly after the student is admitted into a Longwood program. A review of the transfer student’s portfolio may be required to determine which assessment is the appropriate placement for the student.

Each of the four assessment levels usually takes place in mid-March after Spring Break.


  • Progress in completing course requirements
  • Academic achievement and progress
  • Student’s potential for continuing in field of choice
  • General attitude as displayed in the ability to work collaboratively within field
  • Attending theatre auditions and honoring callbacks (Performance Specialists only)
  • Fulfilling obligations outlined in all appropriate production contracts (actor, technician, etc.)
  • Abiding by theatre policies as outlined in the theatre production handbook
  • Attending all meetings and required events, including production strikes

For each assessment level, Performance and Design & Technology specialists must provide four copies of the following:

  • Resumes (Performance or Design & Technology)
  • Letter stating education and career goals and artist’s philosophy statement
  • Headshots (Performance Specialists only)
  • Portfolio (Design & Technology specialists only)

Evaluation scores explained

  • A pass permits the student to progress to the next level and continue enrollment in the BFA in Visual and Performing Arts degree.
  • A conditional no-pass is granted only if the assessing faculty members believe the problems with the work can be improved in the remaining weeks before the end of the semester. If a conditional no-pass is granted, the student will be reassessed. The student will be informed as to what must be improved, and a date and time for the reassessment will be set. The reassessment will take place within the remaining weeks before the end of the semester and by the original assessors.
  • A no-pass stops the student from advancing to the next level in the BFA in Visual and Performing Arts degree. Only one no-pass assessment is permitted. If a student receives a no-pass assessment, he or she will be transferred to the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual and Performing Arts: Generalist Concentration.

All students majoring in the BFA in Visual and Performing Arts program must participate in, and pass, four annual assessments.

Every attempt has been made to state the major and minor requirements as clearly as possible. However, it is strongly recommended that every student maintain close communication with the academic advisor assigned in order to plan their program in a fashion best suited to the student’s individual goals and needs. The faculty stands ready to assist any student in this regard.

Civitae Core Requirements (39-40 credits)


Theatre majors may count Civitae Core courses satisfying major requirements as also satisfying their respective Civitae Core requirements, up to two Pillar courses and one Perspectives course.  

Courses satisfying major requirements that are designated as Civitae Core courses subsequent to the print deadline of this Catalog will be eligible to also satisfy Civitae Core requirements, subject to the above rules.  (If doing so would otherwise decrease the total credits required for the degree below 120, General Elective credit must be substituted to restore the total.)


Additional Degree Requirements (3 credits)

In addition to the courses required for the Civitae Core , student are required to take an additional course to earn a degree.  They may choose one course in Humanities, Foreign Language, or Social Science. 

Major Requirements (65 credits)

General Electives (12-13 credits)

Visual and Performing Arts Specialist in Performance (120 credits)

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