Circle in the Square/Eckerd College BFA

Combine a liberal arts education with conservatory training.

The BFA degree program offers qualified students the opportunity to combine a liberal arts education at Eckerd College with two years of professional conservatory theatre training at Circle in the Square Theatre School, located in the Broadway district of New York City.

The Eckerd Theatre Discipline offers a unique 2 + 2 program through an agreement with Circle in the Square Theatre School. Candidates may earn one of two degrees granted by Eckerd College: either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre or a BFA in Musical Theatre.

A student will follow one of two paths to earn a BFA in Theatre / BFA in Musical Theatre.



Start at Eckerd,
transfer to Circle

Start at Circle,
transfer to Eckerd

Students who successfully complete their first two years of study at Eckerd College and who are accepted by audition to Circle in the Square Theatre School will then complete their junior and senior years at Circle. Students who transfer to Eckerd with two full years of study (with passing grades and two-year certificate) from Circle in the Square Theatre School, either in Acting or in Musical Theatre, may pursue a BFA degree in Theatre or a BFA degree in Musical Theatre.


  • Two full years of study (with passing grades and two-year certificate) at Circle in the Square Theatre School will be counted as 63 semester hours or 18 courses (two full years) at Eckerd.
  • One full year of study (with passing grades) at Circle in the Square Theatre School will be counted as 31.5 semester hours or 9 courses (one full year) at Eckerd.
  • Students must complete separate admission requirements for Eckerd College and for Circle in the Square Theatre School. Candidates will complete the application for admission for both schools; admission is determined by each school separately.
  • Students must interview and audition as part of the entrance requirements to Circle in the Square Theatre School.
  • Students pursuing a BFA degree will pay tuition/fees to the institution they are currently attending. Scholarships and financial aid are also awarded by each school and are non-transferable.
  • Eckerd students will be placed on College Leave status while they complete courses at Circle in the Square Theatre School.
  • Successfully completed courses from Circle in the Square Theatre School will be transcripted in as transfer courses with no grade/GPA value (they will not appear as Eckerd course).



While at Eckerd, BFA students can continue their theatre education with these courses


Basic Acting Human Instrument Acting for the Camera Long Form Improv
Sketch Comedy Comedy & Laughter Directing Theatre Production
Design Basics Stagecraft Lighting and Sound Design Animals in Performance
Performance & the Environment

*In addition, students can also take creative writing, music, visual arts, and film studies courses.

Acting, Directing, and Writing Opportunities

Eckerd College Theatre offers two to three faculty-directed productions per year, with additional student-led productions. Our 2023-2024 season includes Monty Python’s Edukational Show, Children’s Letters to God, Eleemosynary, and Spring Awakening. Students can propose to direct a play or musical (recent examples: Heathers: The Musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and the upcoming Children’s Letters to God) and do a staged reading of original plays. Every two years Eckerd participates in a Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) performance of 5-minute plays by playwrights from around the world as part of a biennial worldwide theatre initiative. Another Man’s Trash, Eckerd’s long form improv troupe, performs on and off campus. There are opportunities for acting work in student films through the Eckerd’s Film Studies program as well.

Acting Opportunities Off Campus

American Stage and freeFall Theatre are professional theatre companies in St. Petersburg, along with St. Petersburg City Theatre, the local community theatre. Theatres in Tampa include Stageworks, Jobsite, and Powerstories Theatre. Theatres in Sarasota include Urbanite Theatre and Florida Studio Theatre. Eckerd students have also worked with Disney World in Orlando. Eckerd Theatre has an internship with Norwegian Cruise Lines, a company that is interested in offering more opportunities for Eckerd students.

Cynthia Totten

Professor of Theatre

Since 1992, Professor Totten has been teaching stage movement, acting, directing, and performance courses at Eckerd College. Eckerd directing credits include Failure: A Love Story, Stupid F***ing Bird, Eurydice, The Tempest, Fuddy Meers, Passion Play (Part One), The Gamester, Iphigenia, Rain. Some Fish. No Elephants., Our Town, The Dining Room, As You Like It, The Boys Next Door, and A Streetcar Named Desire. She received Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Meritorious Awards for Excellence in Direction for Iphigenia and for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During the summer, she works as an Artist-in-Residence/Guest Director at the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival in San Luis Obispo, California, where she directed As You Like It, Almost, MaineThe Importance of Being Earnest, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Tempest, The Gamester, Treasure Island, Richard III, Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, and performed the role of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Professor Totten studied with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, and holds a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Ananda Expanding Light Retreat near Nevada City, California. She has served as Director of Eckerd College’s London Study Centre, where she taught The British Seminar and Acting: Shakespeare. Professor Totten received the 2016 Lloyd W. Chapin Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Art and the 2017 Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award.


Gavin Hawk

Professor of Theatre

Professor Hawk has worked as an actor and director across the country. Directing credits for Eckerd include  (2016),  (2015),  (2014),  (2013), (2012),  (2011),  (2010),  (2009),  (2008), and  (2007). He has received the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Meritorious Award for Excellence in Direction for his productions of and .

Professional directing credits include  (American Stage),  (Jobsite Theater),  (A Simple Theatre),  (A Simple Theatre),  (Jobsite Theater),  (A Simple Theatre), and  (A Simple Theatre). In 2013 he was nominated for a Theatre Tampa Bay award for Best Director of a Play for his production of .

Professional acting credits include (American Stage),  (American Stage)  (American Stage),  (freeFall Theatre), (The Studio@620),  (California Repertory Company), (California Repertory Company),  (Huntington Theatre),  (Studio Arena/Pittsburgh Public), and (Soho Repertory). In 2009, a one man show he starred in, won the distinction of being named one of the Top Ten Plays of the Year by Creative Loafing Tampa.

Recently he wrote, directed, and acted in a short film titled , which was an official selection of the Cinequest Film Festival.

He holds a diploma from The Juilliard School Drama Division, and an M.F.A. in Acting/Directing from California State University, Long Beach. He is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association.


Rick Tetrault

Technical Director

Rick hails from Lake Worth, Florida where he started his theatre career at age 16 as a scenic electrician and carpenter at the Lake Worth Playhouse, one of the country’s preeminent community theatres. During his years at FAU as an undergrad he worked at such theatres as The Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre, The Theatre Club of the Palm Beaches, and Stagedoor Manor Theatre Camp in New York. After a term in the US Air Force, where he worked with Air Force Entertainment, he returned to South Florida as the Assistant Technical Director at Palm Beach Community College. During his three years at PBCC he discovered his love of working with the students, and in 2000 he went back to FAU to pursue his Masters degree. Upon graduating he spent three years teaching all things technical in Louisiana, but could not stay away from his beloved Florida for long, and now he’s here at Eckerd and loving every minute of it.


Antonia Krueger

Visiting Assistant Professor

Antonia Krueger received her Ph.D. in Theatre from The Ohio State University, where she was the first person in theatre ever to be awarded the highly competitive Presidential Fellowship for her dissertation research on the career of actress Jessica Tandy. She has an M.A. in Communication (Theatre) from Indiana State University, and an M.A. in English as a Second Language (focus in Psychology) from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in theatre and film as a dramaturg, playwright, theatre critic, voice and text coach, actor, director, costumer, and arts administrator. Her auto/biographical performance project Pucelle was produced by the Expanded Arts Theatre Company in New York City. She was also a founding company member for the Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) in Minnesota, where she served as the first Education and Administration Coordinator, and was a founding judge for the Theatre Tampa Bay professional theatre awards. She is a member of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), and of the Voice and Speech Teachers Association (VASTA). At Eckerd, she teaches Performance and the Environment, Animals and Performance, and Oceans in Performance. Current creative and research interests include animal aesthetics and internatural media.


Kyle Ransbottom

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

Kyle Ransbottom is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatrical Design at Eckerd College. He is also a Scenic and Prop designer based in Florida. He received a MFA in scenic design from Purdue University in 2017. After moving to FL, he designed scenery and props for venues such as Garden Theatre, Orlando REP, and Eckerd College. Beyond designing for theatre, Kyle works frequently in themed entertainment. He worked for Universal Creative, fabricating props and set dressing for Islands of Adventure and Universal Beijing. He worked as a technical designer on projects for Walt Disney Imagineering. He also managed non-ice properties for Gaylord Palm’s ICE! 2019 and fabricated props for clients such as Cirque du Soleil. At Eckerd, Kyle teaches courses in design, theatre history and theatre production.

Sadie Lehmker

Adjunct Professor

Sadie Lehmker is a choreographer and dancer currently based in the Tampa Bay area,.

Sadie received her MFA in Dance and Graduate Certificate in World Performance Studies from the University of Michigan, and her B.A. in Dance Studies magna cum laude and with Honors College distinction from the University of South Florida. She has performed the work of Charles Gushue/Gushue Moving Arts, Xan Burley + Alex Spring/the Median Movement, Erin Cardinal, Jeanne Travers, Alex Jones, Michael Foley, and Meredith Monk, and performed in the 2010 USF School of Theatre and Dance’s production of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Serenade/The Proposition.  She has performed across Florida, in New York City, in Michigan, in California, in Paris, and in Vietnam.

Sadie has set her choreography throughout Central Florida at institutions including the University of South Florida, Florida Southern College, St. Petersburg College, Moving Current Dance Collective, Florida Dance Arts, America’s Ballet School, Florida Dance Festival, and Shoes at the Door Dance. Her choreography has been accepted into several festivals in Florida, and has been showcased in southeast Michigan and in Vietnam. Sadie also continues to teach master classes and work her own choreographic projects in the Central Florida area. Additionally, she has extensive project and production management through different non-profit organizations in the Tampa Bay area, serving as a dance stage management and festival director.

Currently, Sadie is an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Florida, at Florida Southern College, and at Eckerd College.