5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Programs and Degrees Offered | Admission Information
Financial Assistance | Graduate Academic Regulations
Requirements for Specific Graduate Degrees | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Non-Departmental | Anthropology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern | Asian Studies | Astronomy
Biochemistry | Biology | Biological and Physical Sciences | Biophysics | Cell and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Commerce | Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences
French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs | Health Evaluation Sciences | History | Linguistics
Mathematics | Microbiology | Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics | Music | Neuroscience
Pharmacology | Philosophy | Physics | Psychology | Religious Studies | Russian and East European Studies
Slavic | Sociology | Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | Surgery

Department of Drama
Course Descriptions | Departmental Degree Requirements

Departmental Degree Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts Program   The M.F.A. is the appropriate terminal degree in the creative and technical disciplines in educational, regional, and community theatres. The program aims to produce artist-scholars prepared to work in today’s theatre. Every three years (in fall, 1996, 1999, 2002 and so on), seventeen M.F.A. graduate students are brought together to form a company from applicants from across the country. Specialized work is tailored for the actor, the scenic designer, the costume designer, the lighting designer, the technical director, and the playwright. These students also collaborate in and contribute to an ensemble in study and research, creative projects and productions. As an integral part of the program, M.F.A. students are challenged to do work that tests their talents, their vision, and their training through ensemble efforts and in the larger production programs in the Department of Drama.

Areas of Concentration   M.F.A. students choose from the following areas of concentration: acting, scenic design, costume design, lighting design, technical production, and playwriting.

Acting   Six actors are selected for their demonstrated acting ability, vocal and physical flexibility, and suitability to the ensemble work with peers and faculty in seminars, studios, and public performance. All work is closely monitored and evaluated. The program strives to produce serious, versatile, informed, and articulate actors. The three-year program—60 credits over three academic years—coordinates production work with four integrated progressive training sequences: voice and speech, movement, acting styles, and core academic courses. Throughout, the emphasis is on discipline, inventiveness, and depth. A thesis project (3 credits) combining research and performance is required. Each actor has an opportunity to earn 10-12 equity membership credits through internship with the Heritage Repertory Theatre in its summer residency.

Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Technical Direction   Two scenic design students, three costume design students, two lighting design students and two technical production students are admitted as part of the M.F.A. company in a three year program of 60 credits. Students work in close collaboration with their peers and faculty in a series of design and technology studios. The studios focus on the total process of design and execution with particular emphasis on creative collaboration. Besides studio course work, design and technical production students work in laboratory and mainstage theatre seasons as technicians and as designers working with members of the faculty, student directors, actors, and other designer-technicians. Also required is a thesis project (3 credits) combining research, design and execution. Students in these programs are presumed to have serious potential for design careers in the broad range of theatre settings.

Playwriting   Two playwriting students are admitted every three years. The M.F.A. in Playwriting is devoted to developing the original voice of the playwright through a combination of course work, production experience, and personal mentoring. The program trains the student in a variety of techniques necessary for the professional playwright, including screenwriting, research methods, adaptation and dramaturgy. There are opportunities for workshop productions of a student’s writing and possible opportunities for a full staging in the subscription season.

Drama Activities   The activities of the drama department include the mainstage season of major productions, the Laboratory Theatre Series, and additional events: professional theatre companies, guest companies, ballet troupes, etc. In addition to these activities, the department sponsors each summer the professional Heritage Repertory Theatre. All production activity is presented in the Culbreth and Helms Theatres, located within the Department of Drama building on Culbreth Road.

Drama Building   The department is located on Culbreth Road in the Carr’s Hill complex. The modern, well-equipped building houses offices, classrooms, rehearsal and studio spaces, shops, and two theatres. The Culbreth Theatre is a 600-seat proscenium house with hydraulic fly system and orchestra pit, extensive lighting control system, and excellent ancillary spaces and equipment. The Helms Theatre is a flexible 200-seat facility with its own equipment and control systems.

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