Acting Concentration

For information about the Acting concentration contact:

Paul Draper
Director of the Acting Program
(707) 664-3904


Sonoma State University Acting Program offers a conservatory-style approach to acting designed to prepare the student actor for the professional world through the development of a personal acting process, systematic skills training, performance in productions, and the study of theatre traditions and styles.  Students graduate ready to make choices about their careers and, more importantly, believe they are artists who hold an important and responsible place in society.
Acting majors are accepted into the program without an audition as a freshman or sophomore. As a transfer sophomores or juniors, students must do a placement interview/audition.

Talent scholarships are available annually. Applications for the coming year are due in early February and scholarship auditions are held in March.  These Evert B. Person Scholarships are granted only to those students who have been admitted to the University and are declared theatre majors.

Acting Concentration Degree

Acting Courses


We aim to:

  • Nurture individual artistic process
  • Expand technical skill and artistry
  • Develop performance skills
  • Offer an effective range of physical and vocal training approaches
  • Introduce a broad range of genres and dramatic writers
  • Provide a safe learning environment where risk-taking is possible and encouraged
  • Inspire passion and discipline for the art and craft of acting and theatre

We offer:

  • A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theatre with a Concentration in Acting
  • An innovative curriculum, that includes contemporary writing, physical acting styles, American Realism, Scene Study, on-camera, improvisation, Chekhov and characterization, Shakespeare and verse acting, voice and speech, dance styles, and music theatre
  • Close connection with a supportive faculty
  • Ample opportunities to perform dramas, comedies, musical theatre, experimental works, student writing and improvisation in a variety of venues from the first-year through graduation
  • Class sizes that allow for personal attention and individual feedback
  • A community of theatre students in acting, dance, technical theatre and theatre studies majors who work together and support one another
  • Regular instruction through course work and residencies with Bay Area professional actors and directors supported by the Evert B. Person Endowment Fund
  • Acting scholarships available through Evert B. Person Endowment Fund
  • State-of-the-art facilities including a 475-seat proscenium theatre, a large acting studio with smart-classroom capacities, costume and prop stock, a black box studio theatre, two dance studios, and an outdoor amphitheater
  • Opportunities to collaborate with playwrights, dramaturgs, directors, dancers, musicians, singers, and technicians
  • A foundation for professional acting career, graduate studies, creative work, or the teaching careers in theatre, acting and the arts
  • A life broadened and enriched through personal immersion in the art and craft of acting

We welcome your interest in our program, invite you to visit the campus, meet with instructors, and see our work on stage and in the classroom.

Mission of the Acting Concentration:

We teach that theatre occurs as a part of a social process and context. We help our students to understand that the theatre artist is more than an entertainer, and is also an integrated human being who is a creative member of a community. We teach that actors are valued for what they offer society, and are deeply important to the expression of society’s relevant issues.  We hope to instill in our actors a sense that each actor is an individual possessing a unique expressive voice.

Outcomes for actors majoring in our program:

  1. The actor takes artistic risks and is competent in a variety of styles and genres, including American realism, classical verse style, on-camera, and working collaboratively.
  2. The actor’s instrument (body, voice, imagination) is expressive, responsive, bold, confident, present, able to create believable characters, and to communicate with an audience. 
  3. The actor balances freedom and play with discipline and rigor toward craft.
  4. The actor has a broad understanding of theatre history and dramatic literature.
  5. The actor can analyze and break down a prose or verse text from an actor’s point of view. 
  6. The actor develops an acting process that is specific that will ground the student in all his/her current and future stage work.
  7. The actor is familiar with the process, vocabulary and tools of the directors, writers, dramaturgs, designers, stage managers and technicians.
  8. The actor is ready to move to the next phase of his or her career with confidence and expertise, including auditioning and competing for acting jobs, gaining acceptance to graduate school programs in acting or teaching of acting in K-12 programs, and producing his or her own work.