College of the Arts
The Master of Fine Arts, 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 who 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. The acting concentration includes a returning professional’s track in which students can receive credit for professional work previously completed to fulfill of Kent State University course requirements (substitutions require course enrollment for credit).
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, theaters and higher education. They also work in commercial venues such as film, television, theme parks and cruise ship 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.
M.F.A.: Official transcript(s), three letters of recommendation, a statement of career goals, a resume, and audition (Acting) or portfolio review (Design/Technology). The M.F.A. requires a 3.0 GPA (GRE is required if GPA is below 3.0).
Please refer to the university policy for graduate admission.
M.F.A. General Requirements (Acting and Design/Technology): The program is an intensive, three-year, professional training program requiring the completion of 60 hours of graduate credit depending on the area of concentration. All M.F.A. students are required to take THEA 61000 during their first semester in the program, the graduate core courses THEA 61110 and THEA 61111; 6 hours of Graduate Practicum in their area of concentration (design/technology or acting); 6 hours of Internship in their area of concentration from THEA 60992 and/or 61992; and 61310-M.F.A. Culminating Project (Design/Tech) or THEA 61309 M.F.A. Comprehensive Project (Acting). Each student will be provided a graduate faculty advisor from his/her area of concentration to assure that curricular requirements in the area of specialty are met.
M.F.A. Culminating Project (Design/Technology): The Culminating Project’s requirements 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 M.F.A. Design and Technology Culminating Project for the student’s project assignment. The process is then documented in a format appropriate for the project and presented to the faculty advisor.
M.F.A. Comprehensive Project (Acting): Students in acting begin the comprehensive project during the second semester of study by identifying a graduate faculty advisor in the acting area. Each of the three roles in which the student is cast (from this point to the conclusion of the project) is presented to the area with the student’s rationale that the role is challenging, significant and relevant to serve as part of the comprehensive project. The student will register for THEA 61309 M.F.A. Comprehensive Project for each role approved. The process is then documented in a format appropriate for the project and presented to the faculty advisor. After each role, the student will meet with the acting area for assessment and evaluation. Upon completion of the third role, the student will compile all appropriate documentation and create a comprehensive project summary to be approved by the acting area.
Students in the returning professional track in acting 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.
Program Learning Outcomes
- 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.
- Acquire advanced understanding and capabilities in voice and speech, movement and play analysis.
- 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.
- Produce a professional resume and demonstrate advanced audition repertory and skills.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ability to apply a broad range of acting knowledge and skills and styles in the creation and presentation of roles.
- Demonstrate the ability to perform in plays of various types and from various periods.
Design and Technology concentration:
- Demonstration of advanced abilities in the unification of all design elements used in professional production.
- 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.
- Creative and technical ability to develop the design of a production from concept to finished product.
- Demonstrate an understanding of information resources associated with theatrical design and production.
- Demonstrate the ability to produce full working drawings for at least two fully mounted productions.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of play analysis and the ways that historical, critical and theoretical content inform playwriting, acting, directing and design.
- Demonstrate ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively to the theatre community, production teams and the public.
- 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 designs and execution.
- Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of health and safety practices associated with theatre production.
- 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.
- Demonstrate the ability to work with theatre professionals in their processes of production and demonstrate an understand of professional ethics and practice.
M.F.A.: Students in the program must successfully complete a Culminating/Comprehensive Project to demonstrate mastery of skills and artistry commensurate with entrance into the profession. The scope of the project will be determined and reviewed by the area of specialty and may be fulfilled within the School of Theatre and Dance, through Porthouse and/or professional production assignments. The Comprehensive Project will consist of performance or exhibition of work, documentation of that work in a format appropriate for each area and project, and an exit interview.
M.F.A.: 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.
National Association of Schools of Theatre
Graduate Student Theatre Forum