Backstage Magazine Ranks Santa Fe University of Art and Design Theatre Program Among Top Five in the U.S.

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Performing arts trade publication recognizes five universities outside of L.A. that offer a “solid performing arts education”

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Backstage Magazine, a performing arts trade publication, has named Santa Fe University of Art and Design(SFUAD) one of five universities offering a top theatre program in the U.S.

According to the magazine, SFUAD offers a top performing arts education for those seeking careers in film or television and “puts students on the scene when it comes time to film next year’s blockbuster or indie hit.” Also named among the top five were Emory University, Tulane University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and University of Texas at Austin.

“It’s an honor for our program to be recognized in this fashion,” said John Weckesser, chair of SFUAD’s Performing Arts Department. “Here at SFUAD, our faculty members are not just academics—they are practicing professionals who happen to also be really good teachers. Because of our celebrated faculty, wealth of internship opportunities and strong core curriculum surrounding all facets of stage production, our theatre graduates are known and respected around the country for their knowledge and professionalism.”

Along with Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre design, theatre performance and acting, the Performing Arts Department at SFUAD also offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in acting, music theatre, dance and a design/technical specialization.

Performing arts students have the opportunity to perform at the Greer Garson Theatre on campus, a 514-seat proscenium-style venue dedicated to the late actress. Four productions are planned each year, the next of which is Count Dracula, debuting on Nov. 30.

In addition to mainstage productions, for which freshmen are also encouraged to audition, students perform in studio shows, recitals, workshops, music forums and student films. National and international theatre professionals, including actor Alan Arkin and Martin Markinson, owner/operator of Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway, also visit regularly as guest artists who lead classes and special seminars.

The interdisciplinary nature of programs offers SFUAD performing arts students a range of opportunities in arts-related fields. The university’s prominent Film School, for instance, is connected to the campus’s Garson Studios—professional soundstages where students have an opportunity to intern. Award-winning films like True Grit, No Country for Old Men, and most recently, the A&E television show Longmire, have been filmed in the studios. Cross-departmental collaboration is further emphasized in classes such as “Acting for the Camera,” which brings acting students together with students interested in directing, giving them a deeper appreciation and understanding of various industry roles.

For more information about these programs, visit the Performing Arts Department page or the Film School page on the SFUAD website.

About SFUAD’s Performing Arts Department:

The Performing Arts Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design introduces students to all facets of stage production, giving them the opportunity to perform, design and build sets, develop and produce costumes, devise and execute lighting schemes, and create and stage sound effects. Because of this strong foundation, SFUAD theatre graduates are known and respected around the country for their knowledge and professionalism. Each year, the department produces three plays and one musical in the Greer Garson Theatre, a proscenium-style venue dedicated to the late actress, who is remembered for her philanthropy and distinguished career on the stage and screen.

About The Film School at SFUAD:

The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design offers a comprehensive, hands-on, four-year curriculum that integrates film, video and digital production with critical studies and writing. Students also have the opportunity to intern on professional sets to hone their craft. Films such as True Grit and Cowboys & Aliens and TV dramas such as Longmire have been shot at the university’s Garson Studios, where students have the opportunity to intern on professional productions. Garson Studios is part of the Garson Communications Center, which features a 65,000-square-foot production and postproduction facility. The Screen, a popular destination within the Garson Communications Center, shows some of the greatest works of world cinema daily for students and the public.

About Santa Fe University of Art and Design:

Santa Fe University of Art and Design is an accredited institution located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the world’s leading centers for art and design. The university offers degrees in arts management, contemporary music, creative writing, digital arts, graphic design, moving image arts (filmmaking and video production), performing arts, photography and studio art. Faculty members are practicing artists who teach students in small groups, following a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines hands-on experience with core theory and prepares graduates to become well-rounded, creative, problem-solving professionals. As a Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Art, Architecture and Design, the university boasts an international student body and opportunities to study abroad, encouraging students to develop a global perspective on the arts. Santa Fe University of Art and Design is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association,

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