Theatre (Performance), MFA

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The MFA program in theatre with a concentration in performance focuses on cultivating the actor-creator and fostering the conceptual thinker and collaborator by teaching students to develop and create original devised works and developing their skills as artist entrepreneurs. Innovative performance applications in multimedia and transdisciplinary collaboration are informed by artistic integrity and social responsibility.

The school offers multiple approaches to devising and new work development:

  • Fitzmaurice voicework
  • Lecoq training
  • new play development
  • performance technology
  • Rasaboxes
  • solo and collaborative performance
  • various devising methodologies
  • Viewpoints

In addition to core physical and vocal training, the program offers undergraduate-level teaching opportunities, funding for national and international conference travel, and career development internship opportunities.

During the third year of study, candidates conduct professional career development internships. In the past, students have completed internships at:

  • Childsplay, AZ
  • Cleveland Playhouse
  • Dah Theatre, Belgrade, Serbia
  • North Coast Rep
  • One Yellow Rabbit
  • SITI Company
  • Synetic Theatre
  • The Actor's Gang (Los Angeles)
  • Theatre L'Homme Dieu
  • Victory Gardens

At A Glance

Theatre (Performance), MFA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

This is a three-year program culminating in an applied project.

The first year is dedicated to intensive movement; acting and Fitzmaurice voice training; and ensemble-building and devising with a focus on Lecoq, Rasaboxes, Viewpoints and Meisner.

Second-year training provides opportunities for students to explore their work in a wide range of performance modalities such as community-embedded drama, solo performance, performance and technology, and devising original work. Performers collaborate with the MFA designers, directors and playwrights to devise a new scripted performance for the mainstage season.

The third year culminates in an applied performance project, serving as a bridge between the educational and professional worlds and the communities they serve.

Academic and artistic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester by a faculty committee. Program continuation is contingent upon a successful review. A professional career development internship is required.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. current resume
  4. statement of purpose
  5. academic writing sample
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The letters of recommendation should be from professionals familiar with the student's work.

Students are admitted to this program every three years, forming a cohort with their colleagues in the other Master of Fine Arts programs in theatre practice.

Applicants need to do an interview either on campus or at one of the university or resident theatre association sites.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines and admission terms.

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music, Dance and Theatre website for full details.