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MFA-Theatre Pedagogy


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Hello. Long time lurker, first time poster here. I graduated from Undergrad last May with a BA in Theatre (Acting/Directing Concentration) and have been apprenticing under the Artistic Director of a small theatre company in Ohio. I am seriously researching grad programs, with the intention of applying for the fall of 2021 academic year. As of now, I've been looking into programs that would give me adequate training as both an artist and an educator. I am very passionate about directing, theatre history, and the overall study of actor training, and am just looking for programs that could benefit those interests. My ultimate goal is to teach theatre at the university level. As of now, I have this list of what seems like excellent programs for me:

1. Long Island University Post-MFA in Directing

2. VCU Richmond-MFA in Performance and Pedagogy

3. Sarah Lawrence-MFA in Theatre

4. Texas Tech-MFA in Performance Pedagogy

5. Emerson MA/MFA in Theatre Education.

I have also done research on Virginia Tech and Brooklyn College's directing programs, but feel a little unsure of following up with them since I don't have an extensive "real world" directing resume (Post was the first grad program that didn't mind it). 

If anyone has any advice, first hand knowlege, etc on these programs, or if they know about other grad schools that may have slipped under my radar, please feel free to let me know. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Russell!

I know this has been sitting for a while, but I'm a new member who is also looking into Theatre Education (alongside possible directing or MA/Phd programs) for fall 2021. Emerson is absolutely also on my list. BU has a really intimate Theatre Education program as well where you can design part of your own course of study to focus on your area of interests. Good luck with the searching and application process!

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Thanks Frey. I've heard great things about BU, I may just have to do more research. 

Because of the virus, I had to cancel my planned summer grad tours for the time being. Emerson is offering an online meet and greet in June for all of their grad programs and perspective students,  and they're offering application fee waivers to those who register. 

Also, even though I have mixed feelings about Austin as a city, I started researching UT's MFA in Drama in Youth and Communities, and it seems like a great program to prepare you for both teaching in higher ed and working in the Education department of theatre companies. 

Best of luck to you. 

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If your ultimate goal is to teach theater at a university level, I highly recommend looking up open faculty positions and seeing their requirements. Higheredjobs is a good resource as is the academic jobs wikia. Narrowing down exactly what you want to teach is going to be helpful as well. What kind of acting do you want to teach? Do you want to teach voice classes? If so, do you prefer Linklater or Fitzmaurice voicework? What aspect of theater history do you want to teach/ do research on? Those are questions you don't need to answer right now, but ones that you need to consider. 

URTA is a good resource when it comes to researching MFA programs in both Directing and Acting, and The American Society for Theater Research has a good list for PhD programs in theater. Since you are apprenticing for an artistic department, you may want to take a gander at theater admin and dramaturgy programs as well to see if they interest you. 

My biggest piece of advice is to find a program that has a full tuition waiver and a living stipend. Talk to recent alumni and current students if that information isn't readily available on the university website. 

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