Theatre (Performance), MFA

Home / Programs / MFA / Theatre (Performance), MFA

The MFA program in theatre with a concentration in performance re-envisions the role of the artist in society who focuses on the devising and development of new work. The program stresses the actor-creator model and fosters the conceptual thinker and collaborator through the development of skills for the artistic entrepreneur and the innovation of performance applications in multimedia and transdisciplinary collaboration that is informed by artistic integrity and social responsibility.

The school offers multiple approaches to new work development:

  • connected motion
  • devising
  • Fitzmaurice voicework
  • Lecoq
  • new play development
  • performance technology
  • rasaboxes
  • solo and collaborative performance
  • Viewpoints

In addition to core physical and vocal training, the program hosts a rich variety of guest artists each semester and offers undergraduate-level teaching opportunities, study abroad 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:

  • Chicago Dramatist Theatre
  • Cleveland Playhouse
  • Dah Theatre, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Hartford Stage
  • North Coast Rep
  • One Yellow Rabbit
  • SITI Company
  • Synetic Theatre
  • Theatre L'Homme Dieu
  • The Bali Purnati Art Centre
  • Victory Gardens

Eight performers will be admitted to the cohort every three years.

Program offered

Theatre (Performance), MFA

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

Program 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. The year culminates in a final site-specific showcase performance.

Second-year training provides opportunities for students to explore their work in a wide range of performance modalities such as community-embedded drama, performance art, solo performance, performance and technology, devising and working with guest artists. 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.

Students conclude their graduate studies with an applied performance project specifically suited to their needs and interests. 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.

Information about this program

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