BA Theatre Arts (Performance Emphasis)

BA Theatre Arts (Performance Emphasis)

Our BA Theatre Arts (Performance emphasis) degree prepares students for excellence in every aspect of theatre with a myriad of performance opportunities! Our program is structured to involve students in all aspects of theatre, while giving the flexibility to students to choose their own path of discovery. Within this degree you can train in acting, musical theatre (classes available by audition), or your own combination of both. For those interested in focusing exclusively on Musical Theatre, please visit B.A. in Musical Theatre degree for more information.

Performance students hone their foundational acting skills in our core Acting 1, 2, and 3 courses, as well as Voice and Movement at the upper and lower division. Our wide array of electives allow students to add to their professional toolkit with training available in:

Theatre majors are part of the School of Theatre, Television, and Film. In addition to opportunities to work in production in most areas of theatre, there are also ample opportunities to work in Television and Film productions, behind and in front of the camera. Performance students are also encouraged to branch out in their elective studies to explore such topics as Stage Management, Design, and Playwriting. 

Theatre is an immensely rewarding major. Through the art of theatre, we experience works of some of the greatest writers, thinkers, and artists our civilization has ever known. Employers actively seek the skills offered by a theatre degree: creative thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, a goal-oriented approach to projects, superior communication skills, an ability to handle deadline pressures, effective time-management, and independent thinking and initiative.

Review the Undergraduate Degree Learning Outcomes

How to Apply

Cal State Application Deadline is November 30, 2023

Acceptd Application Deadline is December 31, 2023

Prospective students wishing to major in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Performance must audition. Students who wish to apply to SDSU with a general Theatre Arts emphasis are not required to audition.

For prospective performance majors, the application is a two-step process:

  1. First you need to apply to SDSU using the Cal State Apply application during the SDSU filing period between October 1- November 30. At the time of the application, select your Pre-Major as “Theatre – Performance (662595).” Visit the Office of Admissions website for information about applying to the school. There is a non-refundable filing fee of $70 that must be paid at the time of your SDSU application.
  2. Next you need to upload your audition through the Acceptd audition website platform between October 1- December 31. There you will asked to upload a headshot, a resume and one of two video audition packages, based on whether your focus of training will be acting or musical theatre. Visit the Acceptd audition website.

Each piece should be uploaded as a separate piece of media. No continuous videos. Students are encouraged to use standard technology/recording devices that are available to them (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc).

There should not be a separate introduction or “slate” video. Instead, “slates” are to appear at the beginning of each piece and included as part of the time allotment.

  • The proper slate for a monologue is to share your name, the title of the play, and the playwright. No need to mention act or scene numbers, even with classical pieces. 

What to Prepare
Prospective Performance Emphasis Students should prepare 2-contrasting monologues

  • One monologue should be contemporary realism and the other a classical or heightened language piece. Introduce each monologue at the beginning of each video. 
  • Total audition time for both monologues: 3 minutes.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $35 that must be paid at the time of your Acceptd audition upload.

If the $35 application fee is burdensome, there is a limited amount of scholarship assistance to help defray this cost. Please contact Peter Cirino for more information at

If you are denied admission based on your performance audition, you cannot apply to SDSU again until the following academic year.

For questions about the audition process, please contact:

Prof. Adrian Alita -

For more information contact the Academic Advisor:

Academic Advisor
DA 204B


The Theatre Arts major is an impacted program. Students are admitted as Performance pre-majors, and must complete the following requirements before advancing into the major:

Students must satisfy the following requirements before advancing from pre-major into the major:

  • Performance majors are required to participate in Musical Theatre Auditions each semester, attend callbacks, and perform as cast in Department productions
  • THEA 111, 120, 130, 231, and 240 must be completed with a grade of C or higher
  • THEA 111, 130, and 332 must be completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Check for prerequisites: You must have completed the prerequisites for the course for which you are registering

PREPARATION for the Major

- TFM 160 - Cinema as Art, 3 units
- THEA 111 - Voice and Movement, 3 units
- THEA 120 - Heritage of Storytelling, 3 units
- THEA 130 - Acting I, 3 units
- THEA 205 - American Musical on Stage & Screen , 3 units
- THEA 231 - Acting II, 3 units
- THEA 240 - Design and Technology for Theatre, 3 units

MAJOR Upper Division Requirements

- THEA 325 - Script Analysis , 3 units
- THEA 332 - Acting III, 3 units
- THEA 355 - Movement for the Theatre , 2 units
- THEA 446 C - Practicum in Performance (Cast Member main season production), 2 units
- THEA 460 A - History of Theatre, 3 units
- THEA 446A - Practicum in Performance (Running Crew-Sets, Lights), 2 units
- THEA 446B - Practicum in Performance (Running Crew-Costumes), 2 units
- THEA 460 B - History of Theatre, 3 units

AND twelve units (12) to be selected from:

- THEA 320A - Advanced Voice & Text for Actors, 3 units
- THEA 350 - Musical Theatre Performance I , 3 units
- THEA 351 - Musical Theatre Performance II , 3 units
- THEA 359 - Directing I, 3 units
- THEA 431 - Workshop in Improvisational Acting, 3 units
- THEA 434 - Audition & Business Skills for the Actor, 3 units
- THEA 435 - Acting on Camera , 3 units
- THEA 450 - Musical Theatre Performance III , 3 units
- THEA 451 - Musical Theatre Performance IV , 3 units
- THEA 532 - Advanced Topics in Stage and Screen, 3 units
- THEA 533A - Theories & Styles in Acting and Directing, 3 units

AND the International Experience Requirement. This is a study abroad or experience abroad, may not be satisfied with a domestic class.
NOTE - THEA 465 may be used to satisfy this requirement when financial or personal hardships prevent travel. Please see the head of Performance for approval on a case-by-case basis.

To be selected from:

___ an SDSU faculty-led trip from the College of Extended Studies
___ CSU/SDSU Study Abroad Program
___ ISEP Exchange Program
___ SDSU Semester Abroad Program
___ SDSU Study Travel Program
___ Theatre Independent Study Abroad, offered by an accredited institution (i.e., BADA, LAMDA, RADA)

Visit the Study Abroad page to learn more.

For additional curriculum details, please consult the following:
Undergraduate Catalog