The MFA program in theatre with a concentration in performance reenvisions 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:
- devising methodologies
- Fitzmaurice voicework
- Lecoq training
- new play development
- performance technology
- solo and collaborative performance
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:
- The Actor's Ganage (Los Angeles)
- 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
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.
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:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- current resume
- statement of purpose
- academic writing sample
- three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the student's work
- 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.
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.