Academics

You are here

Master of Fine Arts - Theatre; Concentration in Performance

The MFA Performance Program admits a new class of 10 actors every three years. The program is a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary professional actor training program, designed to prepare the actor for a variety of styles and genres of performance work including: contemporary and modern realism, Shakespeare and other classical material, and acting for the camera.*

*The next MFA Performance group will begin in fall semester of 2016.

In the first year of the program, students receive foundation training in action, subtext, environment, sense memory, emotional preparation, ensemble building, characterization, language, and script analysis.

Each semester the student trains in a different specialized acting style. Style training classes include Shakespeare, comedy of manners, modern drama, American classics, contemporary realism, and audition technique. Extensive acting for the camera training is offered in the second and third years.

Integrated voice and movement technique, speech for the stage, dance technique, and strength-based movement work are also required in each semester.

MFA Performance Candidates enroll in a 3-credit graduate seminar course in spring semester of the first two years, which explores essential elements of theater literature, history, and criticism in a collaborative setting.

Additionally, actors in the program participate in productions with the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, Las Vegas' premiere regional theater company, working alongside experienced professional actors, directors, designers, and faculty guest artists.

Learning Objectives

Advanced Acting Technique
The MFA performance student will learn Stanislavsky based acting technique. The student will be able to analyze, stage, and perform in scenes selected from the modern American theatre movement of the 20th century.
Acting Styles
The MFA performance student will be able to act in, and understand the historical context and relevance of a variety of styles and genres of plays including Shakespeare, Comedy of Manners (Moliere, Restoration Comedy, Wilde, Coward) and Modern Styles (Chekhov, Ibsen, Shaw, Strindberg, etc.), Musical Theatre, and Acting for the Camera.
Advanced Voice, Movement & Speech Technique
The MFA performance student will learn and be able to apply advanced technical skills of voice, movement and speech for the stage that will enhance characterization skills necessary for work on a variety styles and genres of plays.
Musical Theatre Skills
The MFA performance student will learn singing technique for the musical theatre and dance technique in a variety of disciplines including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Ballroom dancing.
Professional Preparation
The MFA performance student will learn to audition and market his/her skills at a level appropriate to entering the acting profession.
Principles of Dramatic Structure and Script Analysis
The MFA performance student will be able to analyze a script from any period and style and discern its structure, form, and theme.
Theatre History and Dramatic Literature
The MFA performance student will be able to draw upon knowledge of theatre history when creating a theatrical performance.