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Stephens College Conservatory for the Performing Arts

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The Conservatory at Stephens College continues to accept applications and submissions.  

The Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens College welcomes all gender identities.  

You'll need to send your audition or portfolio following the instructions below, and also submit your free application to Stephens College.  

Our accelerated BFA degrees are completed in three years/two summers (eight semesters).

How to Apply:

1. Submit Audition/Portfolio

We require auditions for the BFA programs in Acting and Musical Theatre, and portfolios for the BFA programs in Costume Design and Technical Theatre + Stage Management.

Submit your audition or portfolio for the program of your choice.

2. Apply to Stephens College

In addition to submitting your audition or portfolio, you must complete the free application to Stephens College

Financial Aid Bonuses

  • Have your FAFSA sent to Stephens for a renewable $1,000 scholarship
  • Visit campus, either virtually or in person, for a first-year $1,000 scholarship 
  • All applicants are considered for Talent Award scholarships



Performing Arts News

- Professional Vocalist joins Conservatory faculty
- Broadway actress, Lisa Brescia joins Stephens College Conservatory
- Almost Maine wins awards at KCACTF
- John Bucchino to teach virtual master class for Stephens students 

The Stephens College Experience

Stephens College is all about experiential learning and professional connections. You'll help produce 7-9 shows in 9 weeks at Okoboji Summer Theatre, our summer stock theatre company in Spirit Lake, Iowa. You'll produce and perform alongside professional actors and creatives at Okoboji as well as the Macklanburg Playhouse in Columbia and the student-run Warehouse Theatre. You'll receive conservatory training in our boutique program and earn your BFA in three years (including two summers).

The performing arts faculty at Stephens includes Broadway professionals, regional theatre managers and artistic directors, New York City audition accompanists, professional lighting and design artists, and much more. Your professors will help you hone your individual strengths, while providing key connections and mentorship in the practical aspects of the business.


  • Jennifer Hemphill (AEA, SDC) -- Broadway: Mamma Mia!; National Tours, concerts, regional theatre | Dean of the Conservatory for the Performing Arts
  • John Hemphill (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) -- Broadway: Mamma Mia! and School of Rock; First National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; numerous national commercials and TV shows | Assistant Professor of Acting
  • Lisa Brescia -- (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) Broadway: Dear Even Hanson, Mamma Mia!, Wicked, Aida | Associate Professor of Acting
  • Darren Gibson (AEA) -- Feld Ballet NYC, Broadway: Movin’ Out, On the Town, Fosse | Assistant Professor of Dance
  • Jamey Grisham (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) -- Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Eugene Onegin, resident acting company member and director/choreographer with the historic Barn Theatre | Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre
  • Brett Olson -- Associate Artistic Director North Dakota Shakespeare; specialist in classical theatre and stage combat | Assistant Professor of Theatre
  • Nollie Moore -- Classic vocal specialist; member of Kentucky Harmony and Vox Nova | Associate Professor of Voice
  • Michael Burke (AEA) -- Stage manager and company manager, 5th Avenue Musical Theatre in Seattle | Chair of Technical Theatre and Costume Design; Director of Production and Operations for Okoboji Summer Theatre
  • Martha J. Clarke -- Costume Director, Sonoma State University; Cutter/Draper, Utah Shakespeare Festival | Assistant Professor of Costume Design
  • Brandon PT Davis -- Scenic Designer for more than 90 productions across the U.S. | Assistant Professor of Scenic and Lighting Design

Full Bios and Faculty Interviews >

Stephens is located in the arts-immersive environment of Columbia, Missouri, home to more than 36,000 students and rated one of the best college towns in the country. 

Our beautiful, historic campus is known as one of the pet-friendliest colleges in the country.  Our programs prepare you intellectually, artistically and practically to be leaders on stage, in film, television and behind the curtain. 

Notable Alumni

  • Heather Ayers -- Broadway: Groundhog Day, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, A Little Night Music, Young Frankenstein
  • Becca Ayers -- Broadway: My Fair Lady, The Addams Family, South Pacific, Les Miserables, Avenue Q
  • Susie McMonagle -- Many shows in the Chicago market and national Broadway tours
  • Brianna Firestone -- Director of Marketing, Insights & Strategy at Denver Center for the Performing Arts
  • Jacob Sampson -- Props Artisan, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA
  • Brandy Lee Hatcher -- Entertainment Documentation & Auditing Manager at Disney Parks Live Entertainment
  • Jennie Greenberry -- Actor, Oregon Shakespeare, Guthrie Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Stephanie Beatriz -- In the Heights and Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Annie Potts -- Young Sheldon, Ghostbusters and Pretty in Pink
  • Karyn Meek -- Stage Manager: The Lion King, Hello, Dolly! National Tour
  • Ginny McSwain -- Voice Actress
  • Judith Chapman -- Television Actress
  • Dawn Wells -- Gilligan's Island
  • Carlos Carrasco -- Film, Television and Video Game Actor
More Performing Arts Alumni >