Arcadia, 2011 Season
I am extremely grateful for my time at the U of A. The department provides the individual attention a grad student needs – as well as ample production opportunities. I was very impressed with the variety the seasons offered. From Shakespeare to Nicky Silver, I found we were challenged by something new each semester.
- Jeremy Shouldis, Irene Ryan Competition, National Best Partner; Professional Actor, Los Angeles (The Office)
Abundant hands-on work on contemporary, classical, and original material prepares students for professional careers. Students direct at least one departmental production per year, including a thesis production in their final year of study. The program emphasizes the collaborative nature of theatre, offering courses in both acting and design as part of the core curriculum. Training in a broad range of theories and methodologies provides directors with the knowledge and confidence to develop individual approaches to text analysis, design processes, and rehearsal techniques.
Sample Plan of Study
THTR3433 Stage Speech (Irregular) An introduction to the basic skills of speech, voice production and communication for performance and broadcasting. Special focus on General American speech and the characteristics of speech regionalisms. The course will explore breath control, resonance, articulation, pitch, volume, voice quality and stress management. Prerequisite: THTR 1683.
Electives May Include
- Acting – Mask Characterization
- Acting – Meisner Technique
- Acting – Musical Theatre
- Acting – Shakespeare
- Alexander Technique
- Audition Techniques
- Dance (e.g., ballet, tap)
- New Script Development
- Period Styles I & II
- Stage Combat
- Stage Movement
- Stage Speech II & III
- Theatre History & African American Theatre History
- Theatre Management
(Electives, as available, are selected by Advisor, in consultation with Student)
More on our M.F.A. Directing Students and Program
We typically accept two M.F.A. Directing students every third year, or at most, every other year. This limited enrollment enables us to offer small, intensive directing classes, featuring personalized attention and, as available, classes and electives tailored to individual needs and interests.
Directing opportunities are abundant, including weekly projects with our graduate actors, new plays in collaboration with our graduate playwrights, and fully-produced productions of classic and contemporary plays. Assistant directing opportunities include working with faculty on mainstage productions as well as assisting on shows at TheatreSquared, the local professional theatre.
We accept qualified directing candidates from throughout the region, nation, and world. Of our most recent ten directors, four have been international students, from Spain, Korea, Syria, and Italy. Other students have been from Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Iowa, and California.
Upon entering the program, most of our students have significant theatre or directing experience. Roughly half of our directing students come into the M.F.A. program with a prior graduate degree. The GRE is not required.
While we offer a 3-year, full-time program, some exceptional candidates with extensive professional experience and/or who have already received an M.A. in Theatre may be eligible to complete the M.F.A. in two years. We evaluate this possibility on an individual basis at the completion of the application and interview processes.
We offer graduate assistantships, fellowships, and teaching opportunities. Our assistantships pay for all tuition and give an $11,000 stipend each academic year. Additional funds are available through our graduate fellowship, which offers an additional $3000 each year to qualified students. There are some other select scholarships for which you might be eligible, as well. Summer assistantships are also sometimes available.