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The Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens College

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Due to the ongoing challenges with FAFSA we have pushed back our decision deadline to June 1. 

The submission links for Technical Theatre/Stage Management, Theatrical Costume Design, and Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies have been re-opened.  

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

Conservatory faculty determine admittance based on submitted materials. 

Follow the guidelines below to submit your audition or portfolio: 

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

How to Apply:

1. Submit Audition/Portfolio

Auditions are required for BFA Acting and Musical Theatre. Design portfolios are required for BFA Theatrical Costume Design and Technical Theatre + Stage Management.  The Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies BFA requires a resume submission.

Submit your media for the program of your choice.

Financial Aid 

  • Submit your your FAFSA to The Conservatory at Stephens College for a renewable $1,000 scholarship (code 002512)
  • All applicants are considered for Stars Talent Award scholarships
  • The Promise Program - will provide up to four years of tuition funding for eligible full-time students whose adjusted family income does not exceed $75,000 annually.  Learn more here


The Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens College prepares artists to succeed in the highly competitive world of theatre, television and film.

Train with working professionals who have appeared on Broadway, in national tours, regionally and in film and television.  These intensive programs offer opportunities for aspiring actors, designers, technicians and stage managers to build a strong technical skill set in their respective discipline and garner extensive practical knowledge to navigate the current industry. This expedited program enables students to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in three years and two summers.  Experience multiple performance and production opportunities on our mainstage, in our black box, and at our summer stock theatre in Okoboji, IA.   


  • 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 (AEA) -- 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 (USA829) -- Scenic Designer for more than 90 productions across the U.S. | Assistant Professor of Scenic and Lighting Design

Full Faculty Bios >

The Conservatory for the Performing Arts is located on the Stephens College campus 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. 

Some 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
  • Annie Potts -- Young Sheldon, Ghostbusters and Pretty in Pink
  • Stephanie Beatriz -- In the Heights and Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Mark Taylor -- High School Musical, NCIS, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, Grey's Anatomy 
  • Elizabeth Mitchell - Once Upon A Time, The Expanse, The Purge: Election Year,  The Santa Clause
  • Susie McMonagle -- Multiple productions of note 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 -- Oregon Shakespeare, Guthrie Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Karyn Meek -- Stage Manager: The Lion King, Hello, Dolly! National Tour
  • Dawn Wells -- Gilligan's Island
  • Carlos Carrasco -- Film, Television and Video Game Actor
More Performing Arts Alumni >