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Scenes from different theatre performances

Performance Track

The performance track is centered in Stanisklavski's late work with physical actions. The training also includes voice work with Linklater and Fitzmaurice techniques, and movement work in disciplines such as Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Butoh. We know that learning is experiential; actors grow by working on stage. That is why we produce four mainstage productions and sixteen studio productions a year. During their senior year, actors take a Senior Audition class taught by a professional New York City casting director to provide them with the knowledge to start a professional career. This is followed by a showcase of scene work for agents and casting directors that exposes them to contacts in the industry.

Learning Goals

We intend that prior to graduation the response for each actor to the questions below will be a resounding yes:

  • Does the actor understand how to play an objective?
  • Does the actor physically embody the objective?
  • Does the actor open to his/her partner?
  • Does the actor’s imagination respond to changing circumstances?
  • Does the actor have the ability to transform?
  • Does the actor understand the definition of a beat?
  • Does the actor know how to research a character?
  • Does the actor know how to rehearse?
  • Does the actor bond with an ensemble?

Track Requirements

View Performance Track Requirements here.

In addition to these course requirements, every First Year, Sophomore, and Junior is expected to complete 52 Lab hours (a form of theatre community service) each semester. For more information about the Lab Hour policy, and other Theatre Program processes, please visit our Policies and Practices Page.

For information about Fordham University's Core Curriculum requirements for students located at the Lincoln Center Campus, please go to this page.

Elective Courses

THEA 2750 - Performing Italian
THEA 3017 - Song As Scene
THEA 3095 - Stage Combat
THEA 3232 - Shakespeare: Text and Performance
THEA 3563 - French Theatre and Performance
THEA 4000 - Creating a Character
THEA 4010 - Creating a Character II
THEA 4025 - Flying Solo
THEA 4100 - Acting Shakespeare
THEA 4250 - Acting for the Camera
THEA 4302 - Russian Theatre Workshop
THEA 4305 - Clown and Improvisation
THEA 4400 - Senior Audition I
THEA 4410 - Senior Audition II
THEA 4500 - Theatre, Creativity, and Values
THEA 4600 - Projects: Acting

The following sequential pair of two-credit courses, when completed successfully, will count as one course toward satisfying the graduation requirement of 36 courses.

THEA 4400 - 4410-Senior Audition I and II

Visiting Artists

Denzel Washington Endowed Chairs
Phylicia Rashad 2011
Joe Morton 2012
Christine Jones 2013
Kenny Leon 2014
Joanne Akalaitis 2015
Stephen McKinley Henderson 2016
Regina Taylor 2017
Michael Potts 2018
LaTanya Richardson Jackson 2019

Beau Bridges
Patricia Clarkson, Alum
Willem Dafoe
Marcia Gay Harden
John Benjamin Hickey, Alum
Spike Lee
Robert Sean Leonard
Fiona Shaw
Denzel Washington, Alum
Julie White


Many of our performance graduates have especially distinguished themselves since their time at Fordham. Please see examples below:

Rebecca Ballenger - Alabama Shakespeare Festival 2016 Rep Season, Steel Magnolias (Idaho Shakespeare Festival) directed by Sari Ketter, the premiere of Tony Glazer’s American Stare (New Jersey Rep), The Tempest (Idaho Shakespeare Festival)

Soraya Broukhim - Wintertime by Charles L. Mee at San Jose Rep, and Woyzeck at the Culture Project in New York City.

Marjuan Canady - off off-Broadway: her one-woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls. was featured at the United Solo Festival, The New Orleans Fringe Festival, and more than 50 colleges and community organizations.

Patricia Clarkson - Emmy award-winning actress for HBO's Six Feet Under; more than 30 movie credits; academy award nomination as best supporting actress in Pieces of April.

RJ Foster - RJ Foster TV: Damages, Blue Bloods, Fringe; Theatre: Edward II at Bank Street Theatre, Hamlet with The Pearl Theatre Company.

Peter Gil-Sheridan - received a Jerome Fellowship in playwriting, and the national new Play Network Smith Prize for Outstanding Political drama for his play Topsy Turvy Mouse. His work has been seen at the Guthrie, Soho Rep, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Betty Gilpin - off-Broadway: We Live Here at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Language Archive at the roundabout, Good Boys and True at Second Stage.

Morgan Gould - Associate Artistic Director of the Obie award-winning young Jean Lee’s Theater Company; directing work at new Georges, ensemble studio Theatre, The Culture Project, Ars Nova, and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Zabryna Guevara - Off-Broadway: The Public Theater, Intar, Urban Stages; Regional theatre: Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theatre Center.

John Benjamin Hickey - Broadway: The Normal Heart (Tony award for best featured actor in a play), Mary Stuart, The Crucible, the Tony award-winning revival of Cabaret, and Terrence Mcnally’s Love! Valour! Compassion!, in which he also appeared off-Broadway, winning an Obie for that performance.

John Johnson - Broadway producing credits include: A View from the Bridge, Skylight, Fish in the Dark, A Delicate Balance, This is Our Youth, A Raisin in the Sun, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Betrayal, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Jeffrey James Keyes - MFA in playwriting, Columbia University. Program Assistant, Theatre Program, Columbia University School of the Arts

Emily Kunkel - Regional includes: Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare Theatre of new Jersey, All My Sons at Barrington Stage Company. TV/Film: Nurse Jackie, OSTRANDER

Christopher Larkin - AJ Hawkes on the CW pilot Cooper & Stone; Kafka on the Shore at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

Taylor Schilling - Piper Chapman on Orange Is The New Black. Film: The Lucky One, opposite Zac Efron; Atlas Shrugged; Dark Matter; TV: NBC’s Mercy (Veronica Callahan); Regional Theatre: Uncle Vanya (Bard Summerscape).

Amihar Vann - Ernestine: In Underground (a series), by WGN America, appeared in the Off-Broadway premiere of Matthew Maguire’s Instinct. Other theatre: The Brother/Sister Plays workshop (McCarter Theatre Center/The Public Theater); MFA, New York University’s Graduate acting Program; Princess Grace Fellow.

Denzel Washington - Two Golden Globes, two-time Academy Award-winning actor; films include Training Day, The Taking of Pelham 123, American Gangster, Man on Fire, The Preacher’s Wife, Courage Under Fire, Malcolm X, Glory, and A Soldier’s Story; Broadway: Tony award for portrayal of Troy Maxson in Fences, played Walter Younger in Raisin in the Sun, Brutus in Julius Caesar.

Sample Program

Freshman Year





THEA 2010 Acting I


THEA 2700 Acting II


THEA 2080 Collaboration I


THEA 2090 Collaboration II


Sophomore Year





THEA 3000 Acting III


THEA 3100 Acting IV


THEA 3050 Movement I


THEA 3060 Movement II


Junior Year





THEA 3001 Theatre History I


THEA 3002 Theatre History II


THEA 3030 Vocal Technique I


THEA 3040 Vocal Technique II


THEA 2011 Text Analysis


THEA 4100 Acting Shakespeare


THEA 4000 Creating a Character


THEA 4025 Flying Solo*


Senior Year





THEA 2003 Theatre History III


THEA 3090 Stage Combat*


THEA 4305 Clown & Improvisation


THEA 4250 Acting for the Camera


THEA 4400 Senior Audition


THEA 4410 Senior Audition II


Theatre majors satisfy Advanced Literature by completing 3 semesters of Theatre History.  Each semester at least one section of Theatre History has an EP3 designation.  


* Potential Elective


Performance Track Required Courses: 

Acting I, II, III and IV 

Actor’s Vocal Technique I and II 

Movement for the Actor I and II

One advanced acting course taken from the following: 

Creating a Character** 

Acting Shakespeare** 

Acting for the Camera** 

Clown and Improvisation**


**These courses are advanced acting courses and are open to performance majors only. During junior and senior year, many theatre majors take more than the required number of electives for their particular track. This is permitted as long as all Fordham College Core requirements have been completed.

Production photos from Fordham Theatre