The goal of the department, when training a candidate for the MFA degree, is to provide
the tools, opportunities and skills for the talented student to become a master craftsman.
The mastery of a fine art requires training in a creative environment that balances
intellectual insight with practical experience. The University of Memphis provides
such an environment with a dedicated faculty, ample opportunities to produce, and
a variety of resources for theatre artists to master their art.
All MFA candidates share in common a core of three foundation courses:
Theatrical Collaboration and Style, Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and Analysis of Dramatic Literature. The progression through the three year program is also similar: each artist completes a series of executed projects to develop specific skills, implement strengths and overcome weaknesses.
Two main projects included are the Internship and Practicum. Other projects will be assigned or approved by the graduate advising committee. Each year, MFA candidates are required to present their portfolio to a faculty panel to maintain their status in the degree program. The final project for all candidates is the completion of a comprehensive exam.
Attention MFA Candidates with Professional Experience:
Along with traditional MFA candidates, the University of Memphis MFA Theatre program seeks to serve professionals who decide to return to school to pursue an MFA in Theatre. An acceleration of the program is possible based on previous professional experience and/or previous graduate study. Credit may be awarded for professional experience through experiential learning credit and credit-by-exam. Approved MA or MFA course work in Theatre may be accepted as transfer credit (even if the degree was completed). Some course work may be delivered remotely through various distance learning options. The design of the accelerated and/or distance program is determined on an individual basis.
MFA candidates pursuing an accelerated program can be considered for assistantship support (tuition waiver and stipend) when they are in residence at the University of Memphis.
If you have questions, please contact Holly Lau, Chair Theatre & Dance: 901-678-2523