FSU School of Theatre ranked among the Top 25 College Drama Programs by The Hollywood Reporter

"Dead Man’s Cell Phone." Photo by Frank Atura.
Cast of "Dead Man’s Cell Phone." Photo by Frank Atura.

The Florida State University School of Theatre graduate acting program has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Best College Drama Programs around the world by The Hollywood Reporter, a well-established online trade journal.

The list is compiled through surveys of academic professionals, graduates of drama programs and industry professionals.

“It is wonderful to see the School of Theatre alongside other nationally and internationally recognized programs,” said James Frazier, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “This latest recognition signifies the high standards set by the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, our graduate acting program in Sarasota. We are proud of this acknowledgment and of the education that all of our students receive, as evidenced by the success of our alumni.”

Considered to be one of America’s leading acting schools, the FSU/Asolo Conservatory is part of the School of Theatre and offers a Master of Fine Arts in acting where actors of the highest caliber are trained in a professional theatre environment through classroom work and production experience.

“We are thrilled to be singled out by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the best actor training programs in the country,” said Greg Leaming, director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. “Our unique relationship with Asolo Repertory Theatre and our internationally renowned faculty have combined to make such a valuable program that attracts some of the best young artists from around the world. It’s so gratifying to see our work be recognized in this way.”

FSU/Asolo has also been recognized by The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review through national rankings and articles of top graduate-level training programs in past years.

Annually, the Conservatory auditions more than 1,000 actors in four locations nationwide for 12 spots in the program. MFA candidates receive a full tuition waiver from FSU as well as an assistantship stipend from the Asolo Repertory Theatre. The Asolo Repertory Theatre also funds the second-year students’ study in London.

This past year, students and faculty utilized virtual spaces for performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were forced to learn how to use technology to their advantage and create performances that still engaged an audience, even if that audience was on the other side of a computer.

“This ranking is a huge deal, particularly during the time when the performing arts have been severely injured, and when we all need affirmation,” said Kris Salata, chair of the School of Theatre.

Because of their work with the Asolo Repertory Theatre, each student also graduates eligible for membership in the Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing live theatrical performance.

“It is an incredible honor for the School of Theatre to be recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as a Top 25 training program,” said Brad Brock, director of the FSU School of Theatre. “This recognition speaks to the caliber of our faculty and the education that our students receive in the MFA Acting program. We are very proud of our program in Sarasota and our continued partnership with the Asolo Repertory Theatre.”

For more information, visit theatre.fsu.edu or asolorep.org/conservatory.