Masters of Fine Arts
The Professional Actor Training Program
The Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) prepares advanced students for careers as professional actors, with the expectation that students will take responsibility for the depth and development of their own artistic practices. The M.F.A. in Acting is a rigorous three-year training program, led by a faculty of working theater practitioners. A class of ten is admitted once every three years, and each student is closely mentored by a faculty committed to individual student growth. The training is dedicated to producing process-driven, skillful, and creative actor/artists with a specific and personal approach to the craft of acting. To meet the demands of the 21st century, actors must have expertise in a range of styles and be adept at working in any medium. We offer a comprehensive progression in acting, voice and speech, and movement. Additional coursework includes on-camera technique, stage combat, devised and solo work, text analysis, specialized areas of voice and movement, audition techniques and business practices.
The Acting Studios
With a strong foundation in the Meisner Technique, the first year of training puts rigorous emphasis on the authentic use of self and the collaborative process. The second year of training focuses on creating complex characters through application of the foundation work to scenes, exercises and performance. Style work begins in the second half of the second year with a semester long focus on playing Shakespeare. The third year bridges the past and the present: encompassing a range of contemporary and period style work as well as integrated studies of the actor in new media. Third year students will work with a wide range of industry professionals
and hone their audition technique and business acumen in classroom and professional settings.
In the movement studio, emphasis is placed on the human body as an instrument of expression; on developing strength, alignment, flexibility, availability and stamina. Voice and speech training centers on releasing habitual tension, increasing power and range, and utilizing specific speech choices.
Every actor performs a minimum of one role per semester. This may be in the School of Theater’s main stage offerings, Tantrum Theater productions, or studio/laboratory productions. Actors also work regularly in the development and production of new plays: both in workshop and in the annual Seabury Quinn Jr., Playwright’s Festival, in collaboration with the students in the MFA Playwriting Program. Collaborations with the School of Film are common, and actors will have ample opportunity to work on camera and build a professional reel. In all cases, emphasis is placed on the student’s ability to synthesize the work of the studio with the practical realities of his or her casting.
Assessment and Admission
There is continual communication among the members of the performance faculty aimed at supporting and advancing the training and education of each student. End of semester evaluations with the performance faculty outline specific strengths and weaknesses, and specify shared goals for the upcoming semester. Admission to the program is by interview and audition at the annual University Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) sites and at scheduled auditions on campus. On campus auditions will be scheduled by appointment throughout the fall of 2020, and on a weekend in February of 2021 (to be announced). International students may submit digital auditions and interview via an online platform. We are accepting a class of ten actors for admission in the fall of 2021.
M.F.A. Acting [PATP] Sample Curriculum [pdf]
Actors will be given the opportunity to work with the Tantrum Theater, which operates under an Actor’s Equity Association contract through U/RTA. Equity Membership Candidacy is available to participating actors. A wide range of industry guests visit campus each year - frequently for extended workshops.
Internships are required, and a range of professional internships are available to all MFA candidates in acting.
For additional information, contact Shelley Delaney (740-593-4818, or firstname.lastname@example.org), Head of the Professional Actor Training Program.