The graduate design faculty share a view of theatre design which stresses the all-around preparedness of designers and technicians to participate in their increasingly competitive profession. Ours is a holistic approach centered on aesthetic analysis in response to the text, as this prepares our students to participate equally with directors and aspire to the highest levels of their art. The program also focuses on the creative, interactive relationship between designers and directors; we see that relationship as fundamental to both the practice of the art and the relative degree of satisfaction that designers derive from their work.
The degree carries a heavy emphasis on theatre practice in a wide range of venues and budget while focusing on the candidate's individual aesthetic development as well as skill acquisition. The minimum degree program requires four full graduate courses, plus a thesis with an accompanying artist’s statement. The aim of the program is to have the student grow in confidence and sophistication, balancing course work, production work and independent study in areas most beneficial to them.
Drama’s 10 permanent faculty members have a diversity of research interests and practices, maintaining profiles in both the professional and scholarly theatre communities. MFA students can select to study in one of four specializations: Directing, Design/Technical, Theatre Studies and Playwriting. Each program offers a great deal of flexibility, exciting opportunities and contact with faculty members. Drama maintains a full production schedule through the skilled technical and teaching contributions of 5 full-time professional staff. Facilities include 3 theatre spaces, full costume, properties and scene shops and the Integrated Arts Media Lab. All MFA students have office space in the School and access to computer facilities.