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Master of Fine Arts in Theatre; Concentration in Directing

The MFA in Directing is designed to prepare the student, through academic and real world opportunities, to work and compete in the professional arena. The director will be trained to be a leader and shaper who is always the mediator working with the production team as the head of the collaborative process.

The program is crafted to balance the academic and literary with professional internships to help ready the MFA candidate for placement in the working market today. The program is hands-on training in the craft of directing working directly with the MFA programs in performance and playwriting. The student begins with play analysis and dramaturgy and basic elements in the first year; design elements and collaborative process in the second year; and professional preparation and internship in their third year. The student will have a chance to work on a fully realized play each of their three years in the program.

Learning Objectives

  • Collaboration – The ability to direct a theatrical production by working with a team that includes actors, designers, stage manager, and all attendant areas.
  • Knowledge of Dramatic Literature – An understanding of the basic world canon of dramatic literature including emphasis on Shakespeare, Restoration, Eighteenth Century, Modern, and Contemporary plays.
  • Directing of plays/productions – students will be able to direct plays in all theatrical genres. Ability to utilize the basics (staging, blocking, composition, pace, tempo, rehearsal scheduling, working with actors, etc.) in directing.
  • Theatre History – knowledge of the progression of Theatre from the Greeks to the present.
  • Play structure and analysis – ability to analyze plays. Understanding of various genres. Understanding of major theories and criticism.
  • Professional Preparation – Ability to present themselves as prepared professionals through an understanding of producing, budget planning, union requirements, reality of the workplace, and adjunct areas (media) in which directors might find employment.
  • Research – Ability to research specific plays and historical eras. Ability to determine reasons for successes and failures of past productions. A sense of a play’s importance to the era in which it was written and in a contemporary context.
  • Acting methods/techniques – Ability to work with actors trained in a variety of acting training methods.
  • Visualization and setting – Understanding of the effect and contributions visual climate and sound make to a production.