Florida State University ranks No. 19 in The Hollywood Reporter’s top 25 drama schools worldwide, reaffirming the School of Theatre as a mainstay in the publication’s annual list of best schools for an acting degree.
The recognition adds to a long list of honors the university has received over the years.
“We are thrilled to be included in The Hollywood Reporter’s top 25 programs yet again,” said Brad Brock, director of the School of Theatre. “Our main goal is to provide our students with the comprehensive training they need to build a career. Recognition like this, along with the accomplishments of our alumni, shows that we are succeeding in this mission.”
The publication attributed a “creative reset at many of the world’s best drama programs” to the COVID-19 pandemic and said its staff consulted with educators, alumni and industry executives to compile its annual rankings.
“The consistent recognition of our theatre programs is a testament to the hard work of our faculty and staff and the incredible talent and determination of our students and alumni.”
— James Frazier, dean of the College of Fine Arts
“We are incredibly proud to see the School of Theatre ranked among the best college drama programs in the world,” said James Frazier, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “The consistent recognition of our theatre programs is a testament to the hard work of our faculty and staff and the incredible talent and determination of our students and alumni.”
FSU’s theatre programs immerse students in a repertoire of skills that prepare them for professional careers both onscreen and on stage.
The School of Theatre offers graduate programs focusing on costume design, directing, technical production, theatre management, theatre and performance research and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting offered through the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota. Only 12 students are chosen annually for this program, which combines rigorous classroom training with guest artist workshops and professional production experience through its partnership with Florida’s largest Equity theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre.
“Working with FSU’s MFA acting students at the conservatory since 2006, I think it is excellent to see our program recognized in this way,” said Andrei Malaev-Babel, director of the conservatory. “I consider it our job to help our students become better artists and to help them become professionals who can bring positive change to the world. We all did this together.”
FSU also offers three undergraduate programs: a B.A. in theatre, a BFA in acting and a BFA or B.M. in music theatre, which is offered jointly with FSU’s College of Music.
“The partnership between the FSU School of Theatre and College of Music provides students with a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of the musical theatre profession from world-class artists and teachers,” said Todd Queen, dean of the College of Music.
“I consider it our job to help our students become better artists and to help them become professionals who can bring positive change to the world. We all did this together.”
— Andrei Malaev-Babel, director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training
“Our music theatre program is unique in that we are very small, so students receive a lot of individual attention and guidance throughout their training,” said Alisa Hauser, an assistant professor of music theatre. “Students have many opportunities each year to perform in musicals, plays, dance concerts, operas and student films.”
“Our network of alumni is extensive and exemplifies a true FSU community of support for our students and program,” said Kate Gelabert, an associate professor who has served as director of music theatre since 1986. “Through the talents and cooperation of the faculty and staff from the School of Theatre, College of Music, School of Dance and College of Motion Picture Arts, we are able to offer our students a top-level training experience.”
By encouraging students to move confidently between their talent, potential and professional endeavors, FSU has produced successful alumni who span all corners of the acting world, including 2003 BFA acting alum Mekia Cox, who has played Nyla Harper in ABC’s “The Rookie”; 2008 MFA acting alum Juan Javier-Cardenas, who is starring in HBO’s new family comedy “Gordita Chronicles”; and recent 2021 musical theatre graduate Ramone Nelson, who made his Broadway debut this year in “MJ the Musical.”