When Elizabeth Scollan first entered Towson University’s theatre program more than a decade ago, she knew the acting track was something special.
“There was always a level of professionalism within the department and the kind of desire to push students to a professional level,” said the Towson senior.
Life got in the way of Scollan’s degree, and after more than a decade away from TU that included time working in Los Angeles, she’s back to finish the program. The department has evolved too, with the addition this semester of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting.
There are currently 35 students seeking the B.F.A., which will replace the current acting track within the theater major, said Robyn Quick, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts.
“It was clear that the national accreditors [who visited in 2008] thought the quality of the students, quality of the faculty and the quality of the work the students were doing were appropriate of a B.F.A.,” Quick said.
In fact, acting track coordinator Peter Wray said, the department only added one course (Studio to Stage) and required two others: intermediate scene study and senior acting seminar. Those two were already listed as electives, so the department simply moved them to the requirements list for the degree. The new program is sequential so that students can develop their craft along a trajectory.
“Towson has one of the largest theatre programs in Maryland,” said Wray. “That was part of our desire to include the B.F.A.”
“[Senior acting seminar] teaches what the difference is between being in a school setting versus working in the real world,” said Scollan, who is taking the course this semester. “Plenty of students who have taken the course say it’s one of the most valuable things they’ve done at Towson, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
Wray noted that Towson’s theater program had long had a great reputation regionally and nationally, with alumni including actors John Glover and Charles S. Dutton, comedian and actress Amy Schumer and even University President Maravene Loeschke.
Admissions for the acting program include an audition and interview process. Dates and information about the admissions process are available on the department website.