Theatre Studies - M.F.A

College of the Arts
School of Theatre and Dance - Theatre Division
B141 Center for the Performing Arts
Kent Campus
330-672-2082
theatre@kent.edu
www.kent.edu/theatredance


Description

The Master of Fine Arts degree, normally a three-year course of study, is offered in acting and in design/technology (with concentrations in costume design, scenic design, lighting design and technical direction).

The M.F.A. is a terminal degree designed for those who intend to pursue a career in the profession as a creative artist or theatre technologist.

Acting Concentration prepares students to demonstrate a high degree of artistic potential and intellectual ability to enter the profession as practitioners. Intense practical training and scholarly activity culminate in a comprehensive project designed to measure the achievement of significant competence as artists and masters of their craft.

  • Training Philosophy:
    • The foundation of the training is rooted in the Stanislavsky System. This foundation is bolstered by other major approaches to acting, thus providing the strongest combination of graduate level study.
    • Actors study voice and speech through a sequence of classes grounded in established vocal approaches. These studies are designed to provide a variety of options in speech, dialects and accents to strengthen the actor's voice while ensuring his/her vocal health.
    • Movement work incorporates Laban Movement analysis, masks and dance. Through these movement studies, students are able to explore their own physical vocabulary while gaining the skills to create roles in various styles.
  • Professional Opportunities:
    • MFA candidates have opportunities to connect with working professionals both in and outside the academic environment. The Roe Green Visiting Director Series provides candidates with opportunities to work with guest directors from various professional backgrounds. Additionally, internship opportunities may exist with Porthouse Theatre, Northeast Ohio's premiere professional summer theatre. Selection for the Porthouse Theatre season is by audition only. If cast, candidates work alongside established professionals and they may enroll in the Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) program.

Acting for the Returning Professional concentration is designed to offer qualified performers with significant professional experience an opportunity to earn a terminal degree in their discipline. In addition to meeting all admission requirements for graduate study at Kent State University, applicants are required to pass auditions conducted by the Acting faculty. Applicants must provide evidence of professional experience meeting the admission criteria (see the rubric) for this program and qualify for a minimum of six hours of professional experience. Required evidence in support of admission may include, but is not limited to: Broadway, regional, and/or international performance credits, film and television credits, awards of national recognition, professional union affiliation, publication in the field of expertise, significant record of mentoring and certifications and/or designations in areas such as acting, voice and speech or stage combat. The Acting Faculty will valuate the submitted documentation of professional experience and determine eligibility and credit equivalency for the MFA - Acting for the Returning Professional concentration.

Design/Technology (Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scene Design, Technical Direction) prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify as practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators.

  • Costume Design prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education. They also work in commercial venues such as film, television, and corporate entertainment.
  • Lighting Design prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Students have the opportunity to work with current equipment and technology including intelligent lighting with different moving lighting consoles (i.e., Grand MA, ETC ION and Strand) and design visualization software. Students also work on design projects in four very different theatre spaces: blackbox, large proscenium, thrust, and open outdoor. Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education.
  • Scene Design prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Students have the opportunity to work with current equipment and technology including design visualization and design rendering software. Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education.
  • Technical Direction prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Students have the opportunity to work with current equipment and technology in fully equipped laboratories and shops. Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education.

Fully Offered At:

  • Kent Campus

Accreditation

National Association of Schools of Theatre

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of career goals
  • A resume
  • Audition (Acting) or portfolio review (Design/Technology)

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 525 TOEFL score (71 on the Internet-based version), minimum 74 MELAB score, minimum 6.0 IELTS score or minimum 50 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

The M.F.A. requires a 3.0 GPA (GRE is required if GPA is below 3.0).

For more information about graduate admission, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Acting concentration

  1. Demonstrate the ability to articulate an individual acting process within the context of acting theory as well as demonstrate an understanding of the process of other significant actors.
  2. Acquire advanced understanding and capabilities in voice and speech, movement and play analysis.
  3. Articulate, both verbally and in writing, a working knowledge of historical, critical and theoretical content and the ways they inform playwriting and dramatic writing, the creation of roles, and other aspects of production.
  4. Produce a professional resume and demonstrate advanced audition repertory and skills.
  5. Actively and regularly perform in public performances in the School of Theatre & Dance production season, and at our summer Equity Theatre (Porthouse Theatre), and at external public venues (professional internships). Perform in at least two significant roles in full-length public performances.
  6. Acquire advanced knowledge in analytical- or academically-oriented theatre studies in areas related to and supportive of studies in acting such as history, theory, dramatic literature or performance studies.
  7. Ability to apply a broad range of acting knowledge, skills and styles in the creation and presentation of roles.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to perform in plays of various types periods.

Acting for the Returning Professional concentration

  1. Demonstrate the ability to employ a broad range of acting knowledge and skills in the creation and presentation of roles. 
  2. Demonstrate the ability to employ a broad range of acting knowledge and skills in the creation and presentation of roles.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to perform in plays of various types and from various periods.
  4. Demonstrate the acquisition of advanced understanding and capabilities in voice and speech, movement, and play analysis.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize professional work with advance study practices in production.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to apply pedagogical practices to some aspects of theatre or performance studies, such as a performance, historical period, or theatre and performance theory.
  7. Demonstrate the acquired understanding of the role of mentorship as a working professional OR the ability to model Professional behavior in a performance context.

Design and Technology concentration

  1. Demonstrate advanced abilities in the unification of all design elements used in a professional production.
  2. Acquire advanced knowledge in analytical- or academically-oriented theatre studies in areas related to and supportive of the work in the major field such as history, theory, dramatic literature and performance studies.
  3. Acquire creative and technical ability to develop the design of a production from concept to finished product.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of information resources associated with theatrical design and production.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to produce full working drawings for at least two fully mounted productions.
  6. Demonstrate a working knowledge of play analysis and the ways that historical, critical and theoretical content inform playwriting, acting, directing and design.
  7. Demonstrate ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively to the theatre community, production teams and the public.
  8. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in history of decor and costumes, drawing, color theory, lighting, two- and three-dimensional design, and computer/digital technology and the ability to integrate them in production design and execution.
  9. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of health and safety practices associated with theatre production.
  10. Produce a professional quality resume and portfolio. Demonstrate verbal and written skills necessary to communicate and navigate effectively within the field of professional theatrical production design.
  11. Demonstrate the ability to work with theatre professionals in their processes of production and demonstrate an understanding of professional ethics and practice.
 
 

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
THEA 61000INTRODUCTION TO GRADUATE STUDY IN THEATRE 3
THEA 61309MASTER OF FINE ARTS COMPREHENSIVE PROJECT IN ACTING 3
or THEA 61310 MASTER OF FINE ARTS DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY CULMINATING PROJECT
THEA 62092PRACTICUM:DESIGN/TECHNOLOGY 6
or THEA 62192 PRACTICUM:PERFORMANCE
THEA 65000HISTORY, HISTORICISM, THEORY AND PRACTICE IN THEATRE AND DRAMA 3
THEA 60992PROFESSIONAL THEATRE INTERNSHIP I 16
or THEA 61992 PROFESSIONAL THEATRE INTERNSHIP II
Choose from the following:3
THEATRE IN A MULTICULTURAL AMERICA
LGBTQ THEATRE
VARIABLE CONTENT SEMINAR:THEATRE HISTORY/LITERATURE/THEORY
PERIOD STYLE FOR THEATRE DESIGNERS
Concentrations
Choose from the following:36
Minimum Total Credit Hours:60
1

Students must choose a minimum of six credit hours from either course in their area of concentration.

Graduation Requirements

  • The Acting and Design/Technology concentrations are an intensive, three-year, professional training program requiring the completion of 60 hours of graduate credit depending on the area of concentration.
  • The culminating project requirements for the Design and Technology concentrations include: documentation, portfolio presentation, and an exit interview. Documentation consists of a design analysis, process journal, relevant research and other supporting materials (photos, links to the candidate’s website, etc). The scope of work may include but not necessarily be limited to evidence of research, drawing and drafting, rendering and associated digital image, video, or audio files which will be presented at an exit interview. The topic of each M.F.A. candidate’s Culminating Project would be proposed by the candidate and based on faculty feedback from yearly portfolio and academic assessments. The student will register for THEA 61310 for the student’s project assignment. The process is then documented in a format appropriate for the project and presented to the faculty advisor.
  • The comprehensive project requirements for the Acting and Acting for the Returning Professional includes: The Comprehensive Project's requirements include: performing in three approved productions, documentation, and assessment. Each student chooses a graduate faculty advisor in the acting area during the second semester. The student is required to present each of the three roles, as s/he is cast, with a rational for the role's significance and relevance as part of the comprehensive project. After the completion of each role, the student is required to meet with the acting area for assessment and evaluation. Upon completion of the third role, the student will create a comprehensive project summary by compiling all appropriate documentation and submit it for approval of the acting area. The student will register for THEA 61309 for each of the three roles. Students in the acting for the returning professional concentration have the option to focus upon one task for the M.F.A. comprehensive project. The topic proposal shall be approved by area faculty. The returning professional project completion process follows the process outlined above.

Residency

Students are required to remain in residence for the three years to complete the program (excluding, if appropriate, the internship). At a minimum, acting students must audition for all main stage productions and accept the roles assigned to them, and design/technology students must complete one production assignment and work on one other production per semester. Students may not undertake any work outside the School of Theatre and Dance without petitioning the appropriate area faculty and receiving written permission prior to auditioning/interviewing. Returning professionals in acting are exempt from this requirement but need to keep the school informed of absences.

Acting Concentration Requirements

[CA-MFA-THEA-ACT]

Concentration Requirements
THEA 51303ACTING I FOUNDATIONS/STANISLAVSKI AND MICHAEL CHEKHOV 3
THEA 51304ACTING II: SCENE STUDY-MODERN AMERICAN REALISM 3
THEA 51305PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS:PERFORMANCE 3
THEA 51701MOVEMENT, FORM AND SPACE I-THE ACTOR'S PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT 3
THEA 51801VOICE AND SPEECH I-THE ACTOR'S INSTRUMENT 3
THEA 61303ACTING III SCENE STUDY-NATURALISM AND ABSURD 3
THEA 61701MOVEMENT, FORM AND SPACE II-NEUTRAL AND CHARACTER MASK 3
THEA 61801VOICE AND SPEECH II-VOCAL DEMANDS AND DIALECTS 3
THEA 61802VOICE AND SPEECH III-THE ACTOR/SINGER 3
Performance Electives, choose from the following:9
ADVANCED PLAYWRITING
SPECIAL TOPICS
VARIABLE CONTENT SEMINAR:THEATRE HISTORY/LITERATURE/THEORY
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA I
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA II
MUSICAL THEATRE AUDITION
ADVANCED DIRECTING
MOVEMENT AND DANCE FOR ACTORS
STAGE COMBAT
ACTING STYLES I-SHAKESPEARE
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION:THEATRE AND DRAMA
ACTING STYLES II: GREEK AND COMEDY OF MANNERS
MUSICAL THEATRE STYLES
SINGING FOR THE ACTOR
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36

Acting for the Returning Professional Concentration Requirements

[CA-MFA-THEA-ARP]

Concentration Requirements
Acting, choose from the following:3
ACTING I FOUNDATIONS/STANISLAVSKI AND MICHAEL CHEKHOV
ACTING II: SCENE STUDY-MODERN AMERICAN REALISM
ACTING III SCENE STUDY-NATURALISM AND ABSURD
Movement, choose from the following:3
MOVEMENT, FORM AND SPACE I-THE ACTOR'S PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT
MOVEMENT, FORM AND SPACE II-NEUTRAL AND CHARACTER MASK
Voice and Speech, choose from the following:3
VOICE AND SPEECH I-THE ACTOR'S INSTRUMENT
VOICE AND SPEECH II-VOCAL DEMANDS AND DIALECTS
VOICE AND SPEECH III-THE ACTOR/SINGER
Mentorship, choose from the following:3
MENTORSHIP IN PERFORMANCE
MENTORSHIP AT PORTHOUSE
Additional Electives, choose from the following:24
ADVANCED PLAYWRITING
SPECIAL TOPICS
VARIABLE CONTENT SEMINAR:THEATRE HISTORY/LITERATURE/THEORY
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA I
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA II
ADVANCED DIRECTING
MOVEMENT AND DANCE FOR ACTORS
STAGE COMBAT
ACTING STYLES I-SHAKESPEARE
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION:THEATRE AND DRAMA
RESEARCH
ACTING III SCENE STUDY-NATURALISM AND ABSURD
ACTING STYLES II: GREEK AND COMEDY OF MANNERS
MUSICAL THEATRE STYLES
SINGING FOR THE ACTOR
TEACHING PRACTICUM
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36

Professional Experience Evaluation

Students accepted into the Acting for the Returning Professional concentration have the potential to earn up to 15 hours of graduate credit for their professional experience. The Acting faculty will determine the acceptability of professional experience submitted for credit and calculate the number of hours that can be earned. While applicant's creative activities may encompass more than 15 credit hours, a maximum of 15 credit hours may be applied to the plan of study. The professional experience will be evaluated and awarded through research (THEA 61098) as the candidate matriculates through the degree program.

Documentation to be submitted in support of Returning Professional qualification to include:

  1. Copy of the contract(s) from a production company or theatre company.
  2. Theatrical playbills or programs which contain the applicant's name and role.
  3. Evidence of reviews and promotional materials.
  4. Awards, nominations, and or certification documents.
  5. A written explanation of the professional experience presented and its influence on current professional and educational endeavors.

The documentation will be evaluated and approved by the acting area faculty and the candidate will be notified of Returning Professional Credit.

Design/Technology - Costume Design Concentration Requirements

[CA-MFA-THEA-DTCD]

Concentration Requirements
THEA 51524DESIGN STUDIO:COSTUME 3
THEA 51529ADVANCED WIG AND MAKEUP TECHNIQUES-STAGE AND SCREEN 3
THEA 51621PRESENTATION MEDIA 3
THEA 51624HISTORY OF COSTUME AND TEXTILES FOR THEATRE 3
THEA 61306PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS:DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY 3
THEA 61525MILLINERY AND 3-D CHARACTERS 3
THEA 61528DESIGN PROCESS AND COLLABORATION 3
THEA 61623DIGITAL RENDERING THEATRE DESIGN 3
Additional Design Electives, choose from the following:12
TEXTILE ART: JACQUARD WEAVING
TEXTILE ART: PICTORIAL WEAVING
INDIVIDUAL STUDY: CRAFTS
SPECIAL TOPICS
DESIGN STUDIO: LIGHTING
PROPS AND CRAFTS
DESIGN STUDIO:SCENERY
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION-HISTORIC TEXTILES
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36

Design/Technology - Lighting Design Concentration Requirements

[CA-MFA-THEA-DTLT]

Concentration Requirements
THEA 51420THEATRICAL DRAFTING II 3
THEA 51521ADVANCED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY I 3
THEA 51522DESIGN STUDIO: LIGHTING 3
THEA 51526ADVANCED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY II 3
THEA 51622DESIGN STUDIO:SCENERY 3
THEA 61306PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS:DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY 3
THEA 61528DESIGN PROCESS AND COLLABORATION 3
THEA 61623DIGITAL RENDERING THEATRE DESIGN 3
Additional Design Electives, choose from the following:12
SPECIAL TOPICS
SOUND DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY I
DESIGN STUDIO:COSTUME
PROPS AND CRAFTS
SOUND AND DESIGN TECHNOLOGY II
THEATRICAL RIGGING
PRESENTATION MEDIA
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION:THEATRE AND DRAMA
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36

Design/Technology - Scene Design Concentration Requirements

[CA-MFA-THEA-DTSC]

Concentration Requirements
THEA 51420THEATRICAL DRAFTING II 3
THEA 51525PROPS AND CRAFTS 3
THEA 51621PRESENTATION MEDIA 3
THEA 51622DESIGN STUDIO:SCENERY 3
THEA 61306PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS:DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY 3
THEA 61528DESIGN PROCESS AND COLLABORATION 3
THEA 61623DIGITAL RENDERING THEATRE DESIGN 3
Additional Design Electives, choose from the following:15
SPECIAL TOPICS
ADVANCED CONSTRUCTION THEORY
ADVANCED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY I
DESIGN STUDIO: LIGHTING
DESIGN STUDIO:COSTUME
ADVANCED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY II
THEATRICAL RIGGING
THEATRE FABRICATION TECHNOLOGY
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION:THEATRE AND DRAMA
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36

Design/Technology - Technical Direction Concentration Requirements

[CA-MFA-THEA-DTTD]

Concentration Requirements
THEA 51420THEATRICAL DRAFTING II 3
THEA 51430ADVANCED CONSTRUCTION THEORY 3
THEA 51531THEATRICAL RIGGING 3
THEA 51622DESIGN STUDIO:SCENERY 3
THEA 61306PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS:DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY 3
THEA 61528DESIGN PROCESS AND COLLABORATION 3
THEA 61623DIGITAL RENDERING THEATRE DESIGN 3
Additional Design Electives, choose from the following:15
SPECIAL TOPICS
ADVANCED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY I
PROPS AND CRAFTS
PRESENTATION MEDIA
DESIGN STUDIO: LIGHTING
DESIGN STUDIO:COSTUME
ADVANCED LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY II
THEATRE FABRICATION TECHNOLOGY
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION:THEATRE AND DRAMA
Minimum Total Credit Hours:36