Acting Classes in Philadelphia, PA with School Overviews
The Philadelphia area has five schools that offer acting programs. Learn about three of these degree programs, admission info and program requirements to make an informed education decision.
Comparison of Philadelphia Acting Schools
Aspiring acting students in Philadelphia have several undergraduate and graduate education options in the city limits. Temple University has a theater program with undergraduate and graduate degrees with acting concentrations. Students have several theaters and rehearsal spaces at their disposal at this university. The University of the Arts is located nearby several arts venues, like the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Merriam Theater and six additional theaters that are within walking distance. The university's Ira Brind School of Theater Arts includes prestigious professors, like a Tony Award nominee, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a Barrymore Award winner. At the University of Pennsylvania students can take part in extracurricular activities and theater productions. Students can choose to focus on theory or practical aspects of acting.
|Temple University||The University of the Arts||University of Pennsylvania|
|Acting Programs Offered||Bachelor of Arts in Theater with Acting Concentration|
Minor in Theater
Master of Fine Arts in Acting
|Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts |
Theatre Arts Minor
|Related Programs Offered||Bachelor of Arts in General Theater, Design/Technology, Directing, Musical Theater or Theater Education||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater or Theater Design and Technology||Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema Studies|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|Total Enrollment (2011)||36,855*||2,246*||24,832*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2011-2012)||$13,596 in-state; $23,422 out-of-state*||$33,500*||$42,098*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011)||90%*||100%*||63%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2011)||63%*||67%*||12%*|
|Retention Rate (2011)||87% for full-time students; 61% for part-time students*||80% for full-time students*||97% for full-time students; 83% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (2011)||68% (20% transfer-out rate)*||62%*||96%*|
|Relevant Facilities||Rehearsal halls and studios, two fully equipped theaters, costume and scene shops, recording studio, and light lab||Seven performance venues for large or small productions and performance spaces for students||A center for the performing arts for both students and professionals|
|Noteworthy||Temple's Department of Theater is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre||Alumni have starred in television shows like Ugly Betty and Law and Order||Selected students can perform in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|Distance from Downtown (Driving Time)||Main Campus: 2.7 mi. (10 min.)||N/A - located downtown||3.7 mi. (11 min.)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Programs at Temple University
Temple University is member of the University/Resident Theatre Association, an organization that promotes the interaction of theater schools and professional theaters. Many of the faculty members have worked professionally in the industry and actively participate in the Philadelphia theater scene. Students in the theater program can choose to concentrate in acting.
Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Acting Concentration
In the bachelor's degree program, students complete both foundational and acting concentration work. Foundation courses include topics in the theater process, theater history, acting and a production practicum. In order to take advanced courses in acting, student must audition. Advanced courses include speech and voice for actors, basic movement, thesis projects and theater workshop.
Minor in Theater
This minor program is geared towards students majoring in another field of study. Students must complete 20 credit hours of courses that cover all aspects of theater, including acting, directing and productions. Undergrads can choose electives in acting, improvisation and creativity.
Master of Fine Arts in Acting
This 3-year acting program is for professionals who wish to receive further education to hone their skills or for those who want to become teachers. Temple University provides assistantship opportunities with tuition remission for theater and acting graduate students. Students take courses in acting, rehearsal and performance, and complete acting projects and a research thesis.
Programs at the University of the Arts
The College of Performing Arts at the University of the Arts provides students with opportunities to work in productions. Students learn about theater methods, such as those developed by Meisner and Stanislavski. Students can choose to study abroad at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
Students train in speech, improvisation and emotional acting. Classical performance, monologues, scene study, audition techniques and stage combat are some of the topics that are covered in this program. Students also complete electives and liberal arts courses. At the end of the program, students should be able to analyze scripts, act authentically and collaborate with fellow actors.
Programs at the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania offers a bachelor's degree and a minor in theatre arts. Students are encouraged to participate in workshops, performing arts outings, production discussions and opening nights.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts
Students are required to complete foundational courses in acting, directing, theater culture, scene design and play productions in addition to elective courses and a practicum requirement. In order to fulfill the practicum requirement, students must participate in a theatre arts production.
Theatre Arts Minor
In this program, students must take six course units. Three course units are selected from the areas of theory, literature and history, and three are in practical applications, such as in design, acting or directing.
Other School Options
There are two more schools within Philadelphia that offer acting classes. Saint Joseph's University is a private university that is 4.4 miles away from downtown. The Community College of Philadelphia is only 1.9 miles away from the center of Philadelphia.
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