Apr 18, 2024  
Graduate Record 2005-2006 
Graduate Record 2005-2006 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


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Degree Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts Program

The M.F.A. is the appropriate terminal degree in the creative and technical disciplines in educational, regional, and community theatres. The program aims to produce artist-scholars prepared to work in today’s theatre. Every three years (in fall 2005, 2008, and so on), eighteen M.F.A. graduate students are brought together to form a company from applicants from across the country. Specialized work is tailored for the actor, the scenic designer, the costume designer, the lighting designer, the technical director, and the director. These students also collaborate in and contribute to an ensemble in study and research, creative projects and productions. As an integral part of the program, M.F.A. students are challenged to do work that tests their talents, their vision, and their training through ensemble efforts and in the larger production programs in the Department of Drama.

Areas of Concentration

M.F.A. students choose from the following areas of concentration: acting, scenic design, costume design, lighting design, technical direction, and directing.


Eight actors are selected for their demonstrated acting ability, vocal and physical flexibility, and suitability to ensemble work with peers and faculty in seminars, studios, and public performance. All work is closely monitored and evaluated in order to produce serious, versatile, informed, and articulate actors. This three-year, 72-credit program coordinates production work with four integrated progressive training sequences: voice and speech, movement, acting styles, and core academic courses. Throughout, the emphasis is on discipline, inventiveness, and depth. A thesis project combining research and performance is required. Each actor has an opportunity to perform with the Heritage Repertory Theatre in its summer residency.

Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Technical Direction

Two scenic design students, two costume design students, two lighting design students and two technical direction students are admitted as part of the M.F.A. company in a three year program of 72 credits. Students work in close collaboration with their peers and faculty in a series of design and technology studios. The studios focus on the total process of design and execution with particular emphasis on creative collaboration. Besides studio course work, design and technical production students work in laboratory and mainstage theatre seasons as technicians and as designers working with members of the faculty, student directors, actors, and other designer-technicians. Also required is a 3-credit thesis project combining research, design and execution. Students in these programs are presumed to have serious potential for design careers in the broad range of theatre settings.


Two directing students are admitted every three years. The M.F.A. in Directing is designed to educate a person in stage directing and propel them toward a career as a professional director. Students are expected to direct plays from diverse genres and to accumulate a thorough knowledge of dramatic literature. Students will become well grounded in the areas of design, theatre history, theory and criticism, as well as in various modes of performance and acting training.

Drama Activities

The activities of the drama department include the mainstage season of major productions, the Helms Theatre Series, professional theatre companies, guest companies, and ballet troupes. Each summer the department also sponsors the professional Heritage Repertory Theatre. All production activity is presented in the Culbreth and Helms Theatres, located within the Department of Drama building on Culbreth Road.

Drama Building

The department is located on Culbreth Road in the Carr’s Hill complex. The modern, well-equipped building houses offices, classrooms, rehearsal and studio spaces, shops, and two theatres. The Culbreth Theatre is a 600-seat proscenium house with hydraulic fly system and orchestra pit, extensive lighting control system, and excellent ancillary spaces and equipment. The Helms Theatre is a flexible 200-seat facility with its own equipment and control systems.

Course Descriptions

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