Acting

Kin
Kin

The M.F.A. acting program totally transformed the way I approach acting. I was challenged, inspired, got lots of individual attention, and had the opportunity to try many new things in an environment that was collaborative, supportive, and encouraging.

- Nadine Purvis Schmidt

I loved my time at the University of Arkansas. The training I received in the MFA Acting program was a definitive step in my growth as an actor and artist. The work is intimate, specific, and focuses on the personal development of each individual actor. The faculty is dedicated to helping you become the best version of yourself. At the end of three years, you emerge empowered; confident in your process and ready to pursue your career.

- Justin Walker

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre: Acting

Ours is a professional actor training program, where intensive exploratory work in the studio is fully complemented by extensive performance opportunities across all periods and styles. A small and select group of graduate students allows for highly personalized instruction, and our rigorous curriculum awakens the rich inner life of each student, increasing the ability to live fully and actively every moment on stage. Numerous production experiences culminate in the performance of a thesis role and one-person show. 

 

The most important things you should know are…

We have a positive, supportive environment, essential to the kind of intensive work we do with our students.

Our work is process-oriented.

The program focuses on leading from the heart, connecting with partner, and exploring why we do theatre--what we have to say as theatre artists about the condition of being human and our common humanity.

Our class sizes are small, so every student gets an abundance of personal attention as well as being part of a vibrant ensemble.

We offer MFAs in Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Scene Design, Costume Design, and Lighting Design--and there is a lot of interaction between the disciplines, as well as the possibility of taking select classes in any area that supports the artistic goals of the student.

Performance opportunities are plentiful, produced in three different spaces--a 315 seat proscenium, an off-campus state-of-the-art space in downtown Fayetteville, and a 75 seat black box space.

We have an outstanding faculty that is devoted to making every student's experience positive and productive and focused on the individual development of each student.

We are committed to developing new work for the theatre.

We offer a vibrant guest artist series, which gives our students intensive training opportunities and builds connections with professional theatre artists with exceptional careers. Our guest artists have included Robert Redford, Moises Kaufman, Edward Albee, Mary Louise Parker, Tony Hale, Francis Guinan, Jason Moore, Idris Goodwin, Kevin Coval, Laurence Luckinbill, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Ben Livingston, Elizabeth Barnes (three time Emmy nominated casting director and alum of our program), Scott Wolf, John Cariani, Broadway actors, Los Angeles and New York agents, and artistic directors.

Our students are doing really well—they've been performing on Broadway, off-Broadway, at Lincoln Center, The Guthrie, Alliance Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kennedy Center, The Public Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Atlantic Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, McCarter Theatre, Alley Theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare, St. Louis Rep, Orlando Shakespeare, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Arkansas Shakespeare, in national tours, and in major film and television work.  And in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan Acting Competition we have had seven national finalists perform at the Kennedy Center--including two national winners and a national best-partner award--and ten national alternates from our program in fourteen years of our participation.

We are associated with TheatreSquared, a national award-winning professional Equity theatre located in Fayetteville, which the American Theatre Wing recently named as one of the top ten emerging theatres in the country. Many of our students have been involved in TheatreSquared’s new play festival and shows, either during their tenure in our program or after graduation, earning points toward Equity and building connections with professional actors, directors, designers and playwrights from across the country who are working at the highest levels of our art form.

We offer graduate assistantships, fellowships, and teaching opportunities to qualified students. Our assistantships pay for all tuition and give an $11,400 stipend each academic year. Additional funds are sometimes 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.

 

Applying for the Program

The next admission to the MFA in acting program will be in Fall 2019. Auditions for that cohort will begin in October 2018.

We accept students into the program based on an audition/interview. We hold on-campus auditions and attend unified auditions, which may include URTAs, SETC, and ACTF. For your audition, please prepare three contrasting pieces—a Shakespeare, a contemporary comedic, and a contemporary dramatic totaling no more than 8 minutes. In addition, you are welcome to sing a short vocal selection (no more than a minute) from the Musical Theatre repertoire (please bring sheet music--we supply an accompanist for on-campus auditions). 

For more information, or to schedule an audition, please contact Amy Herzberg, Head of the M.F.A. Acting program, at herzberg@uark.edu

 

Sample Plan of Study

  • Acting Studio - Principles
  • Modern Styles of Acting Chekhov/Pinter
  • Voice and Speech I
  • Directing Studio Scene Study
  • Movement
  • Alexander Lessons
  • Singing Lessons
  • Acting Studio - Characterization
  • Period Styles of Acting
  • Voice and Speech II
  • Musical Theatre Dance
  • Directing Studio Scene Study
  • Period Styles of Dance
  • Alexander Lessons
  • Meisner Technique I
  • Musical Theatre Performance
  • Shakespeare Performance
  • Voice and Speech III
  • Directing Studio Scene Study
  • Singing Lessons
  • Teach Acting I
  • Meisner Technique II
  • Acting for the Camera
  • Voice and Speech IV
  • Directing Studio Scene Study
  • Musical Theatre Dance
  • Alexander Lessons
  • Teach Acting I
  • One Person Show
  • Thesis: Auditioning
  • Voice and Speech V
  • Viewpoints
  • Directing Studio Scene Study
  • Alexander or Singing
  • Teach Acting I or Intro to Theatre
  • Acting Studio - Contemporary
  • Thesis: Ensemble Theatre Project
  • Voice and Speech VI
  • Tap Dance
  • Directing Studio Scene Study
  • Alexander or Singing
  • Teach Acting I or Intro to Theatre