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School of Dance, Film, and Theater
Ohio University > Fine Arts > Theater > Academics > Graduate Programs > Graduate MFA Directing

Graduate MFA Directing


Instructions for online application can be found at A resume, statement of goals, and any other materials required by the program may be submitted on line as part of your application by March 15.

We will be recruiting this year for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Professional Director Training Program is designed to train and prepare directors for a career in the professional theater. All training is centered on the principle of collaboration with actors, designers, and playwrights. The program is structured so that the individual student's talent, background, and professional goals determine specific elements of the program beyond the core requirements.

During a three-year course of study, directors develop and practice their craft in a variety of ways ranging from acting scene work to directing fully supported main stage productions. The primary focus of the first year is for the director to become familiar in working with the elements and people involved in producing theater.

Given satisfactory progress, the second year concerns itself with process and the application of work from the first year through a variety of studio, laboratory, and other directing experiences. Given continued satisfactory progress, the third year is the culmination of the previous two and serves as an entry into the professional theater. This may be accomplished by directing a fully supported thesis production on the main stage.

A typical course of study for the first year includes fundamentals in directing (a two-semester journey through the directing process, from pre-production work through opening night, including auditions, table work, rehearsal techniques and the tech process), the director-designer collaboration, and developing skills working with actors and playwrights. Production demands include directing a Realism Project in one of the studio spaces.

The second year is focused on individual style projects and practicum experiences, as well as workshops in period style and sound design for the director. Courses in acting, playwriting, design, theater history and criticism, and electives complete the first two years.

Thesis Production and Internships
The third year is designed as the culmination of the previous two and as entry into the professional theater. Qualified students direct a fully supported main stage project and intern at a League of Resident Theaters (LORT) theater or an equivalent producing organization. An internship or observership abroad extends and deepens the able student director's cultural perspective. There is some opportunity for students to apply for travel grants to assist with the expenses of internships abroad.

Students have recently interned at the Victory Gardens Theater, the Goodman Theater, Dallas Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater, The Abingdon Theater, The Guthrie Theater, The Labyrinth Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Cleveland Play House, Old Globe Theatre, Playwrights' Horizons, San Diego Repertory, and Denver Theater Center, among others.

Admission is based on a personal interview (either at U/RTAs in New York and Chicago or on campus in Athens) and recommendations from those familiar with the candidate's work.

Requirements for an MFA in directing are 90 semester hours. Actual schedule will be determined by the Program Head on the first day of classes of each semester. There is a student evaluation each semester. Students exhibiting consistent growth and preparation for a career in the professional theater will be invited to return for the next year of training. A thesis committee is formed to evaluate the student's thesis project and recommend the candidate for the MFA degree.


YEAR ONE        
THAR 5010 - Intro to Graduate Study 3 credits   THAR 5211 - Directing II 3 credits
THAR 5210 - Directing I 3 credits   THAR 5111 - Acting II: Foundation 3 credits
THAR 5110 - Acting I: Foundation 3 credits   THAR 5200 - Practicum in Directing 3 credits
THAR 5510 - Dramatic Writing Seminar I 3 credits   THAR 5301 - Scenography Seminar 3 credits
THAR 5200 - Practicum in DIrecting 3 credits   Costume / Scenic / Lighting Design elective 3 credits
Elective 3 credits   Elective 3 credits
  18 credits   18 credits
YEAR TWO        
THAR 6210 - Period Style and the Director I 3 credits   THAR 6211 - Period Style and the Director II: Shakespeare 3 credits
THAR 6110 - Acting III: Application and Character 3 credits   THAR 6111 - Acting IV: Character and Heightened Language 3 credits
Costume / Scenic / Lighting elective 3 credits   THAR 6940 - Thesis: Research 6 credits
Costume / Scenic / Lighting elective 3 credits   Theater Studies elective 3 credits
THAR 5240 - Director-Designer Communication 3 credits   THAR 6200 - Practicum in Directing 3 credits
THAR 6200 - Practicum in Directing 3 credits      
  18 credits   18 credits
YEAR THREE        
THAR 6960 - Theater Project/Portfolio Thesis 9 credits   THAR 7902 - Internship in Directing 9 credits
Theater Studies Elective 3 credits   THAR 7200 - Directing Practicum 3 credits
Elective 3 credits   Elective 3 credits
Elective 3 credits   Elective 3 credits
  18 credits   18 credits
*The degree minimum is 90 credits, however, a full load for funding purposes is considered to be 108 credits


Dennis Delaney

Associate Professor of Theater/Directing
(740) 593-4261