Theatre (Directing), MFA

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The MFA in theatre with a concentration in directing is a program for students who demonstrate serious purpose, professional aspirations, theatrical daring and the desire to explore new work in collaborating with playwrights and in the devising and creation process. Respect for fellow artists and a desire to learn about how all the parts fit together are essential qualities in the successful candidate and the successful director.

Students are introduced to varied critical viewpoints from select artists and scholars. A hands-on, mentor-student approach is emphasized, with the intent of developing the skill, artistry and communication skills required to be an excellent professional director.

Program offered

Theatre (Directing), MFA

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Requirements

This degree has specific
admission requirements.

Program requirements

This is a three-year program culminating in an applied project. Practical directing and directing classes are approximately 50% of the coursework. Classes also include:

  • acting (viewpoints and composition)
  • assistant directing for a professional or faculty director working on the main stage
  • design collaboration
  • directing the new play
  • dramatic theory and criticism
  • dramaturgy
  • performance technology
  • projects in community-based drama
  • re-envisioning
  • research methods
  • solo performance
  • theatre for social change
  • theatre history and literature
  • theatre organization and management

MFA directors will direct a new work every year. Major assignments may include:

  • creating and directing an adaptation of an existing work
  • directing a new play by a Master of Fine Arts playwright
  • directing one applied project in the main-stage season
  • guiding an ensemble in the devising process and directing the resulting devised piece

Directing faculty mentor all student projects. Academic and artistic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester by a faculty committee. Program continuation is contingent upon a successful review. A professional internship is required for each Master of Fine Arts director.

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