Receive a Well-Rounded Education for a Versatile Acting Career

Our program is designed for acting students to pursue career paths as unique as them and is dedicated to the training of exceptional actors who are ready to use their skills to impact culture for Christ. With the Bachelor of Science in Communications Media with emphasis in Acting, students are able to venture out into careers within theatre, television, film, and beyond.

Acting Curriculum

Acting Core

Become a well-rounded performing artist with a foundation in performing techniques, voice, speech, movement, character development, and the business of acting.

  • Acting I: Foundations
  • Acting II: Action and Text
  • Acting III: Character Building and Development
  • Scene Study
  • Voice and Speech
  • Movement for the Actor
  • Acting Practicum I

Choose a track

(or mix and match between them)

Acting for Screen

Prepare for a career in film and television acting, with courses on cold reading, screen acting techniques, voice acting, film directing, and motion capture performance.

  • Acting I: Foundations
  • Screen Acting
  • Cold Reading
  • Screen Acting Lab I & II
  • Motion Capture Performance
  • Voice Acting
  • Fundamentals of Production
  • Directing I & II
  • Acting Practicum II

Acting for Stage

Sharpen your craft through regular stage performances, along with a deep study of playwrights such as William Shakespeare, Thornton Wilder, and Noel Coward.

  • Acting I: Foundations
  • Screen Acting
  • Cold Reading
  • Theatrical Production I, II, III, & IV
  • Playing Shakespeare I & II
  • Shakespeare
  • High Style in Comedy
  • Ancient Greek Drama
  • Acting Practicum II

Musical Theatre

Prepare for a career in musical theatre with disciplined training in singing, dancing, and annual musical productions.

  • Acting I: Foundations
  • Screen Acting
  • Cold Reading
  • Musical Theatre Production I, II, III, & IV
  • Vocal Techniques I & II
  • Shakespeare
  • Dance Techniques I & II
  • Ancient Greek Drama
  • Acting Practicum II

General Education

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Theology & Philosophy

Impact culture for Christ and grow in faith and understanding through a rich sequence of Scripture based Theology courses and Philosophy courses.

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Business

Prepare for your career in acting with foundational skills in contract negotiation, marketing, career planning, and leadership.

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Humanities

Study the human condition by actively engaging in an exploration of art, literature, culture, politics, economics, and more.

Envision your future at JPCatholic

Student Holding Camera

Culture of Production

Whether your focus is on stage or screen, our collaborative campus culture provides abundant opportunities for developing your craft. You can audition for quarterly stage productions, building up a diverse repertoire of shows starting in their freshman year. And with multiple film shoots happening on any given week, you get to benefit from collaboration with the film program and build up your acting reel.

See Theatre Season See Student Films

Culture of Production

Whether your focus is on stage or screen, our collaborative campus culture provides abundant opportunities for developing your craft. You can audition for quarterly stage productions, building up a diverse repertoire of shows starting in their freshman year. And with multiple film shoots happening on any given week, you get to benefit from collaboration with the film program and build up your acting reel.

See Theatre Season See Student Films
Two Students Directing in Film Production

Audition for Feature Length Films

JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program provides a revolutionary model of education that integrates feature film productions into the curriculum. This platform provides film students the opportunity to collaborate with alumni and professors each year in bringing a new film to life. In addition, acting students may audition for suitable roles, or receive valuable perspective by assisting in the casting process.

See How it Works

Audition for Feature Length Films

JPCatholic’s Feature Film Program provides a revolutionary model of education that integrates feature film productions into the curriculum. This platform provides film students the opportunity to collaborate with alumni and professors each year in bringing a new film to life. In addition, acting students may audition for suitable roles, or receive valuable perspective by assisting in the casting process.

See How it Works
Motion Capture

Voice Acting & Motion Capture

In addition to the highly active film culture on campus, acting students can also collaborate with our Animation and Game Development students in bringing animated characters to life through motion capture and vocal performance. You’ll have the opportunity to take coursework on using a motion capture suit and how to integrate those performances with a game engine.

Learn More

Voice Acting & Motion Capture

In addition to the highly active film culture on campus, acting students can also collaborate with our Animation and Game Development students in bringing animated characters to life through motion capture and vocal performance. You’ll have the opportunity to take coursework on using a motion capture suit and how to integrate those performances with a game engine.

Learn More
Students in Film Production

Double Emphasis in Acting & Film

Pursue your passion both behind the camera and in front of it. If you’re interested in further diversifying your skill set you can simultaneously pursue an emphasis in Film Production & Directing.

See Film Program

Double Emphasis in Acting & Film

Pursue your passion both behind the camera and in front of it. If you’re interested in further diversifying your skill set you can simultaneously pursue an emphasis in Film Production & Directing.

See Film Program
Students Discussing

Communications Media Core

Receive a well-rounded education that provides insights into the entertainment industry, career strategies, and visual storytelling through the Communications Media classes.

See Media Core

Communications Media Core

Receive a well-rounded education that provides insights into the entertainment industry, career strategies, and visual storytelling through the Communications Media classes.

See Media Core

Our Authentically Catholic Community

Our campus is a place where students can grow both professionally and spiritually. We’re a unique community of artists and innovators, centered around our faith in Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic faith. Immerse yourself in an abundance of opportunities for spiritual growth, including Daily Mass, Confession, Adoration, Rosary, Retreats, and Service Projects.

Learn More

Our Authentically Catholic Community

Our campus is a place where students can grow both professionally and spiritually. We’re a unique community of artists and innovators, centered around our faith in Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic faith. Immerse yourself in an abundance of opportunities for spiritual growth, including Daily Mass, Confession, Adoration, Rosary, Retreats, and Service Projects.

Learn More

Our Small Campus Environment

With a total student body under 300, JPCatholic offers a warm, tight-knit campus community. Foster lifelong friendships, form creative partnerships, and surround yourself with a supportive environment that encourages your growth in both virtue and artistic excellence.

See Student Life

Our Small Campus Environment

With a total student body under 300, JPCatholic offers a warm, tight-knit campus community. Foster lifelong friendships, form creative partnerships, and surround yourself with a supportive environment that encourages your growth in both virtue and artistic excellence.

See Student Life

Generous Scholarships Available

At JPCatholic, we’re committed to making a quality Catholic education affordable for every student. 99% of our students receive a scholarship, and packages take both need and merit into account. Our personalized financial counseling process assists you in identifying all awards you might be eligible for.

Learn More

Generous Scholarships Available

At JPCatholic, we’re committed to making a quality Catholic education affordable for every student. 99% of our students receive a scholarship, and packages take both need and merit into account. Our personalized financial counseling process assists you in identifying all awards you might be eligible for.

Learn More

Graduate in 3 Years

Our unique academic model prepares students for the real-world pace of professional life in the industry, with a focus on hands-on projects, internships, and portfolio preparation. The program is structured on a year-round quarter system, and you graduate with your Bachelors Degree in just 12 quarters. Each quarter is 10 weeks long, with about 3 weeks of break between each quarter.

Learn More

Alumni Success

JPCatholic alumni have found success in a variety of paths, ranging from Hollywood to independent media organizations, and from large corporations to nonprofits to their own entrepreneurial start-ups. View our placement rate and alumni jobs by clicking below.

Learn More

Alumni Success

JPCatholic alumni have found success in a variety of paths, ranging from Hollywood to independent media organizations, and from large corporations to nonprofits to their own entrepreneurial start-ups. View our placement rate and alumni jobs by clicking below.

Learn More
San Diego

Located in San Diego County

John Paul the Great Catholic University is centered in north county San Diego, just a 35-minute drive from downtown in America's Finest City. Southern California is famous for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches and mountains, and bustling metropolitan areas. Our campus is just 15 miles from the beach, a short trip by car or train. And with Los Angeles and Hollywood within striking distance, students have even more opportunities for internships, networking, and auditions.

Learn More

JPCatholic Theatre Productions

Make audiences laugh, cry tears of joy and sorrow, and think deeply; make an impact by showing the human experience through productions that span genres and time. Each JPCatholic Theatre Productions season includes four shows performed at the historic Ritz Theater or our soundstage. Watch behind the scenes videos below.

Meet the Faculty

JPCatholic’s professors have a wealth of experience, and many still actively work in the industry.

Lee Eskey

Lee Eskey

Professor & Chair of Acting

Monique Gaffney

Monique Gaffney

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Rebecca Huber

Rebecca Huber

Adjunct Faculty for Vocal Performance

Dr. Robert Giracello

Dr. Robert Giracello, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Music

Steve Kramp

Steve Kramp

Professor & Chair of Theology and Humanities

Kathryn Smith-McGlynn

Kathryn Smith-McGlynn

Adjunct Professor of Acting

Courtney Balaker

Courtney Balaker

Adjunct Professor of Film and Acting

Tonnie Sammartano

Tonnie Sammartano

Adjunct Professor of Dance

Get an Inside Look

The Acting Practicum at JPCatholic

Making an ASL Film | Acting Thesis Project “Rose and Raven”

Love What You Do | Acting Professor Evangeline Angie Bitsko

Prof. Rebecca Huber: Mastering Vocal Techniques | Faculty Spotlight

Margie Curran: Learning Virtue from Your Characters | Why We Create

Prof. Lee Eskey discusses the Acting program

Planning Fight Scenes with Codename Leto | Behind the Scenes

JJ Schindler: Revealing Beauty to Audiences | Why We Create

Hear from Alumni & Students

Nicholas Haren

Nicholas Haren

Class of 2022

“Connecting my humanity to the humanity of my character gives me the chance to explore different aspects of my own self. We all hold the power within ourselves to be a hero, or to be the villain; to be the loyal companion, or to be the traitor. With every character I play, I understand more about myself, and I understand more about the people around me. The more you know someone, the more you're able to love them. That's why I love acting.”

Mary Wenner

Mary Wenner

Class of 2023

“Acting classes, especially Acting 1-3, really drive home this understanding that being human, openly and wholeheartedly living the human experience, is what one needs in the quest for being a great artist. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to work with supportive, capable artists from every major and emphasis. Such a plethora of said opportunities to act equates to the chance of continuously experimenting, failing, developing, and growing. Having the chance to be hands-on (whether it be in class, in productions, or on film shoots) is immensely valuable, and has pushed me to be involved; practice makes progress. Like the faith, it is an encouragement to strive for greatness.”

Mary Truelson

Mary Truelson

Class of 2023

“Studying here at JPCatholic has been absolutely life-changing. Since coming here I have grown in my faith, made life-long friendships, done Californian things like riding a longboard, and have had incredible opportunities to act on film sets and in theatre productions. Acting is defined as 'living truthfully under imaginary circumstances'. The acting program here incorporates Theology of the Body so that we may pursue truth, beauty, and goodness through and awith our acting. Professor Eskey and Katelyn Slater are wonderful professors who dedicate so much of their time to helping us students grow as actors and as people. Every quarter there are opportunities to act, whether it be in one of the quarterly stage productions or on film sets. Studying the craft of acting here at JPCatholic has been a 12/10 experience; I couldn’t recommend it enough!”

Paul Bonner

Paul Bonner

Class of 2025

“I didn’t realize the abundance of acting knowledge there was for me to learn before coming to JPCatholic. The skills my classes and teachers have given to me is pretty extraordinary. It’s really great to rehearse with my friends who are passionate and willing to be vulnerable and open to the complicated process of finding their character's voice and objectives in a scene - even though it can be mentally and emotionally straining. Despite how challenging it is, when you find yourself doing truthfully under imaginary circumstances, it is the most rewarding and beautiful feeling in the world.”

Nicholas Haren

Nicholas Haren

Class of 2022

“Connecting my humanity to the humanity of my character gives me the chance to explore different aspects of my own self. We all hold the power within ourselves to be a hero, or to be the villain; to be the loyal companion, or to be the traitor. With every character I play, I understand more about myself, and I understand more about the people around me. The more you know someone, the more you're able to love them. That's why I love acting.”

Mary Wenner

Mary Wenner

Class of 2023

“Acting classes, especially Acting 1-3, really drive home this understanding that being human, openly and wholeheartedly living the human experience, is what one needs in the quest for being a great artist. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to work with supportive, capable artists from every major and emphasis. Such a plethora of said opportunities to act equates to the chance of continuously experimenting, failing, developing, and growing. Having the chance to be hands-on (whether it be in class, in productions, or on film shoots) is immensely valuable, and has pushed me to be involved; practice makes progress. Like the faith, it is an encouragement to strive for greatness.”

Mary Truelson

Mary Truelson

Class of 2023

“Studying here at JPCatholic has been absolutely life-changing. Since coming here I have grown in my faith, made life-long friendships, done Californian things like riding a longboard, and have had incredible opportunities to act on film sets and in theatre productions. Acting is defined as 'living truthfully under imaginary circumstances'. The acting program here incorporates Theology of the Body so that we may pursue truth, beauty, and goodness through and awith our acting. Professor Eskey and Katelyn Slater are wonderful professors who dedicate so much of their time to helping us students grow as actors and as people. Every quarter there are opportunities to act, whether it be in one of the quarterly stage productions or on film sets. Studying the craft of acting here at JPCatholic has been a 12/10 experience; I couldn’t recommend it enough!”

Paul Bonner

Paul Bonner

Class of 2025

“I didn’t realize the abundance of acting knowledge there was for me to learn before coming to JPCatholic. The skills my classes and teachers have given to me is pretty extraordinary. It’s really great to rehearse with my friends who are passionate and willing to be vulnerable and open to the complicated process of finding their character's voice and objectives in a scene - even though it can be mentally and emotionally straining. Despite how challenging it is, when you find yourself doing truthfully under imaginary circumstances, it is the most rewarding and beautiful feeling in the world.”