General FAQs

School of Performing Arts Frequently Asked Questions

What programs does the Pace School of Performing Arts offer?

Pace Performing Arts currently offers five BFA degrees: Acting; Acting for Film, Television, Voice-overs & Commercials; Musical Theater; Commercial Dance; and Production & Design for Stage & Screen. We also offer three BA degrees: Acting and Directing – both part of the International Performance Ensemble – and a BA in Stage Management.

What is the International Performance Ensemble?

The International Performance Ensemble incorporates the BA Acting and Directing programs into ensembles – or companies – that enter into a year-long process of collaborative development and production of full-length plays. Students take Performance Ensemble courses in their first and third years, alongside other core program requirements such as Acting, Movement, Vocal Production, etc. This is a highly individualized and professionally guided program, unique in the landscape of performing arts programs in the U.S. Students have a special travel abroad experience in the second year of the program to present their work.

What is the most important factor when admitting a student into the program?

As an undergraduate training program, our applicant pool is diverse in experience, education, and exposure. We look for applicants who demonstrate talent and potential as well as a readiness to study their craft in New York City. Many factors in the audition and interview process contribute to our decision.

How many dance/theater/musical theater shows does Pace put up a year?

There are between 40 and 50 performance opportunities for Pace students each year. On the mainstage every year, Pace Performing Arts produces 4 full-length musicals, at least 4 full-length plays, 2 major dance concerts, as well as the Directors' Fest and Pace New Musicals. The School also supports three student-run theater organizations that produce 12-18 performing opportunities each year. Additional programming each year includes: New Works Initiative (NWI), Pace Performing Arts Masters Series, and numerous readings, workshops, and other special performances.

How many new students are you looking for each year?

Each program has an individualized audition/interview process and selects a limited number of incoming (new freshman and transfer) students per year. The International Performance Ensemble (BA Acting and BA Directing programs) incoming class consists of 20 actors and 6-8 directors.  The BFA Acting, BFA Acting FTVC, and BFA Musical Theater programs each have an incoming class of 26-28 per year.  The BFA Commercial Dance incoming class is 30-32 per year.  The BFA Production & Design's incoming class consists of technical directors, sound designers, lighting designers, scenic designers, and costume designers for a total of 16-20 per year.  The BA Stage Management major has an incoming class of 6-7 per year.

Is double majoring an option?

Double majoring may or may not be an option and ultimately depends on your program. Each program has sequential curriculum (particularly the BFA degrees) and may not allow time for classes in other majors. Many BFA and BA students manage to fit an academic minor into their schedules; Arts & Entertainment Management is a popular choice for many Performing Arts majors. Double majoring is not permitted with another Performing Arts major.

Are voice lessons available to students not enrolled in the Musical Theater program?

Our private voice faculty serves the Musical Theater students only, but there are many opportunities to study voice in New York City outside of the Pace curriculum.

Does Pace have a cut system?

We do not have a cut system, though we have a GPA requirement to stay in the program and to progress from course to course.  Each student also receives continual evaluation on his or her performance in the program.

As far as performance experience, when is a student allowed to audition and/or be in a theater or dance production?

Although it varies per program as to when a student can be cast in a mainstage show, BFA students are required to audition for campus productions beginning in the first semester of the freshman year. BA students in the International Performance Ensemble are required to participate in the shows they develop in the first year, resulting in multiple performances and the possibility of traveling internationally with their work. With faculty approval and support, sophomore-level students and above are allowed to seek opportunities outside of school.

Is there a freshman or senior showcase?

Yes. Musical Theater students perform a freshman cabaret at the end of their Spring semester. Freshman BFA Acting students will perform in a scene festival at the end of their Spring semester. The students in the International Performance Ensemble will create and produce a traveling show at the end of their first year. Dance majors will have the opportunity to perform is the annual spring dance show “Dance Out Loud.” In addition, each major organizes its own senior showcase which attracts agents, directors, managers, and designers from New York and Los Angeles.

What is the dance program for MTs like? How often do MTs dance? What classes do they take?

Musical Theater students have their own sequence in dance that is separate from the Commercial Dance program.  They take courses in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre dance, and hip hop to name a few. There are a total of 9 required dance courses (at least one every semester) that Musical Theater students must complete over 4 years. Advanced dancers may also become part of the Commercial Dance minor which requires them to take dance courses in the BFA Commercial Dance program.

How long will my interview for Production & Design or Stage Management take?

Interviews are scheduled for 30 minutes. Please arrive ½ hour early and be prepared to stay ½ hour later if your interview runs long.

If I am a Production & Design or Stage Management major, can I audition for mainstage shows?

Unlikely. Your time will be committed to working on production and design and PSM or ASM assignments.