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 2026.

Building a Foundation

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.

Studying Style

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.

Additional Curriculum

Integrated voice and movement technique, speech for the stage, dance technique, and a variety of movement techniques are offered in rotation in each semester.

MFA Performance Candidates enroll in a 9-credit sequence of graduate Theatre Studies courses over the span of their degree plans, which explore essential elements of theater literature, history, and criticism in a collaborative setting.

Acting in Action

Additionally, actors in the program participate in productions with the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, Las Vegas' premiere regional theater company, working with experienced professional actors and directors. Past guest actors at the NCT include Laura Gordon, Armin Shimerman, Wesley Mann, Brian Vaughn, Sally Struthers, Sandy Duncan, Erik Fredrickson, and many others. Recent guest directors include regional theatre veterans Paul Barnes, J.R. Sullivan, Melissa Maxwell, Andrew Paul, David Ivers, Harry Waters Jr., and many others.

Admission and Audition Requirement

In addition to Graduate College admission requirements and departmental admission requirements, entrance to the program requires an audition. National recruiting and auditions are conducted through the University/Resident Theatre Association. Please refer to the U/RTA website for dates and audition guidelines for the National Auditions and Interviews. Candidates may also travel to Las Vegas to audition. Candidates who travel to Las Vegas for auditions should prepare two contrasting acting selections (one by Shakespeare) and 16 measures of singing from a Broadway musical. Local auditions will take place in early February of 2026. Dates and times are TBA. Please contact the program administrator (Phil Hubbard) in December 2025, to schedule a local Las Vegas audition.

Please contact Phil Hubbard (Head of MFA Acting) at or 702-895-3869 for local audition scheduling and further details.