Bachelor of Fine Arts
Degrees in Theatre
The Hartt Theatre Division prides itself on its commitment to offer a theatre education of the highest quality for talented undergraduates pursuing a performance-oriented theatre experience. Hartt's theatre curriculum has created a focused studio experience designed to support a young actor's needs. A solid foundation of fundamentals is laid in the freshman year. The two tracks begin to diverge in the second year, with each concentrating on its area of specialization. Hartt juxtaposes the traditional theatrical repertoire with the performance of new works through its annual Festival of New Plays and Musicals.
Training in the Theatre Division is a challenging and stimulating combination of classes and performance. The faculty firmly believes in the unique imagination that drives each actor to give an intensely personal performance.
The Hartt School Theatre Division is distinguished by its professional connections. All members of the faculty are artists who maintain their contacts with regional theatres, Broadway, film, and television. The School regularly invites guest directors, agents, managers, and casting directors to enhance the work done in each of the programs. It also has a unique "Partnership in Training" with the Tony Award-winning theatres, Hartford Stage
and Goodspeed Musicals.
The Theatre Division employs many guest teachers and directors who provide coaching and stage our productions.
Degrees in Dance
The Hartt School Dance Division offers an unparalleled opportunity to dancers who wish to seriously pursue a career as performing artists or dance educators in a conservatory-style curriculum while, at the same time, earning a college degree. Hartt offers the only dance programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) in Connecticut. At the core of the program is a system of rigorous technical studies in Classical Ballet, Modern Dance and Contemporary Techniques designed to prepare the aspiring professional dancer to become a leader in the field of dance in the 21st century. In addition, there are courses in specific dance academic subjects as well as the considerable resources of academic excellence available through the University of Hartford. The program allows aspiring professionals the opportunity to work with world-renowned faculty who guide their work in the studio and on stage throughout their training. This program offers future dance performers and teachers the opportunity to develop their craft and artistry in a challenging yet nurturing environment while expanding their ability to function as engaged and educated citizens throughout their careers.
In the first year students are placed in technical levels according to their ability and experience. Their progress is frequently and carefully assessed to insure they are properly challenged and functioning at their best. After their first year, students choose between a Performance or a Pedagogy emphasis. Students in both branches perform in the division's many productions throughout the year and Performance majors also take some pedagogy classes. The curriculum includes course work in music, dance composition, performance techniques, kinesiology, repertory, technology for dance and dance history. It is our goal to graduate technically competent, knowledgeable artists, capable of adapting to the varied demands of a career in dance and prepared to lead the field into the future.
The Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center
Theatre and dance classes are held at the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center. It was converted from an industrial building designed in 1929 by pioneering industrial architect Albert Kahn. This vibrant new center for performing arts education serves as a resource for the entire community. The 56,000-square-foot building provides performance and rehearsal spaces, classrooms, studios, and a cafe for students in The Hartt School's dance, theatre, and community divisions. Housed in the Handel Performing Arts Center are the 184-seat Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation Black Box Theater and the 96-seat McCray Theater, given through the generosity of Kent ('51) and Susan McCray. Each theater is equipped with a state-of-the-art computerized light board and sound equipment. The north wing includes four rehearsal spaces with mirrors and Robbins floors, a conference room, three voice studios, artistic and production offices, and dressing and shower facilities. The south wing includes five spacious dance studios. The 9,000 square feet of dance studios have high ceilings, hallway observation windows, wooden barres, mirrors, and Gerstung multilayered dance floors.