Acting Classes in Illinois

Looking for acting classes in Illinois?

Browse these listings of acting schools and liberal arts colleges in Illinois.

Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Theater Arts

Acting classes available to theater majors at Illinois Wesleyan includes acting technique, Shakespeare, training in voice and speech, movement, dance, stagecraft, costuming, design, stage management, directing, theory and drama history.

Electives include playwriting, makeup, and stage lighting.

Musical theater students take a range of acting, theater and music classes, along with training in jazz, modern dance, tap, ballet, and musical theater voice.

Performance opportunities: The school of theater produces several shows each year in two theaters, which often give students the chance to participate in a real theater production.

Career preparation: Among theater colleges in Illinois, this program invites guest artists from time to time.

BFA in Theater Arts (for Acting). BFA in Music Theater.
There is also a BA in Theater Arts (for broader focus).

Financial Aid: Both talent and academic scholarship up to $10,000 are available and renewable each year, but cannot be combined.

What you’ll need to apply:

Application, transcripts, test scores, picture, resume, interview and audition at the college in Illinois. Students applying for the BFA in Acting need 2 contemporary monologues. In addition to the monologues, Musical Theater applicants also need 2 prepared songs and a dance audition. If you want to get a degree in Theater Arts and apply for a scholarship, auditions are encouraged too.


Illinois State University – School of Theatre

Among acting schools in Illinois, this university is known for its program training theater teachers, but students can also major in acting and theater studies. Actually, some well-known actors have come here, including John Malkovich.

This is also one of the liberal arts colleges in Illinois that offers a conservatory-style training for aspiring actors.

The low student to faculty ratio with experienced teachers allows actors to get the most out of each of their acting classes in Illinois as a theater major.

Students train in acting techniques, improvisation, mask, acting styles (Shakespeare, Chekhov, Tennessee Williams, etc.), voice, musical theatre, movement, stage combat, makeup, stagecraft and more.

Performance opportunities:

Acting students audition for all of the 10 major shows produced each year at the school’s 500-plus seat theater and are required to accept roles offered.

In addition, there are plenty of other performance opportunities: smaller plays at the school’s 150-seat theater, staged improv, theater festivals, etc.

This is one of the colleges in Illinois with a lot of performance venues, including an experimental theater space and a 450-seat outdoor stage.

Career preparation:

During the senior year, the focus is on career preparation: auditioning technique, screen acting and the acting business.

There is also an opportunity to work with directors from the MFA program, a good way to start building professional relationships.

Seniors appear in a casting director and agent industry showcase at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.

Degree: BA in Acting. One can also get a degree in Theatre Arts or Theater Education.

Financial Aid: All actors who audition are considered for one of the talent scholarships. There are also special awards for continuing students.

What you’ll need to apply: College application, audition form, headshot and resume, audition (2 contrasting monologues) and sometimes an interview after the audition.


More Acting Classes in Illinois

Chicago acting schools

Other liberal arts colleges in Illinois offering a BFA in Acting:

Northern Illinois University School of Theater and Dance –
Located in DeKalb, about an hour and a half from Chicago.

University of Illinois Department of Theatre –
Located in Urbana.

Western Illinois University –
Located in Macomb, IL. Also offers a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre.

Colleges in Illinois offering a BA in Theater

Southern Illinois University –
Among acting schools in Illinois, this college offers a degree in Theater and Dance with Emphasis on Performance. Located in Urbana

Knox College –
Located in Galesburg, IL.

Augustana College –
Located in Agustana, IL.

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