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CCU theatre program ranked No. 1 in South Carolina

May 29, 2019
The 2019 production of "Steel Pier."The 2018-2019 production of "She Kills Monsters."The 2018-2019 production of "A New Brain."

Coastal Carolina University’s widely renowned theatre program continues to shine in a national spotlight.

In May 2019, OnStage Blog named CCU’s theatre program “The Best Undergraduate Theatre Program” in South Carolina. The listing highlights CCU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in physical theatre — the only program of its kind in the United States — which features a regimen of acting technique, script analysis, theater history, criticism, voice and movement and includes a yearlong residency at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy.

This OnStage Blog listing follows last year’s recognition of CCU’s B.F.A. in musical theatre, which ranked among the top 25 programs in the nation, and its B.A. in design and production, which appeared at No. 13 in a national listing, both for the 2018-2019 academic year. OnStage is a New Haven, Conn.-based blog that reviews and covers theater events, design and culture. Its 2019-2020 list will be released in late summer.

Chloe Belongilot, CCU musical theatre major and student recruitment coordinator for the Department of Theatre, is proud of these recognitions but hardly surprised that CCU is making a name for itself on a national stage.

“We are not a cookie-cutter program,” said Belongilot. “Each student’s education in theater is approached from an individual perspective. This program sees its students as developing artists, not products.”

These top-tier rankings from OnStage are a testament to the quality of education provided at CCU and the caliber of art created by CCU students and faculty, particularly considering that CCU’s B.F.A. theatre program is just 10 years old.

“Within this time frame, our reputation has gone from nobody knowing who we are to having a national reputation,” said Ken Martin, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre, who was instrumental in establishing the program.

The B.F.A.’s recruitment statistics reinforce this sentiment. In 2009, the first year of the B.F.A. program, CCU received about 35 applications. In 2019, that number grew to more than 700 applications for 48 spots in the program.

Belongilot credits this growth to the dedication and expertise of CCU faculty.

“CCU’s theatre program is constantly changing and improving because our faculty goes out and works in the industry and brings back their updated knowledge,” said Belongilot. "We strive to grow with the industry and to modify our program based on the needs we see.”

Additional information:

CCU theatre's OnStage ranking in 2018