The MFA Degree in Performance Pedagogy offers a dynamic synthesis of teaching, practice and scholarship and was created to provide the opportunity for working professionals in the theater to learn to teach acting and related performance subjects at the university level. This program is based on the premise that the professional actor has already gained a level of craft and broad experience that can become the foundation for solid teaching skills. Therefore, emphasis is placed on exploration and strengthening of pedagogical techniques as related to areas of acting and performance training with additional course work designed to enhance the student’s background in theater history, literature, and criticism. Optional courses for continued professional development are available as well. Independent and Directed Study courses also form a significant part of the curriculum.
This program accepts applications every two years, with the next admission cycle scheduled for Fall 2017 with a Fall 2018 start date. The MFA in Performance Pedagogy is a full-time program designed to be completed in two years. The program includes practical and supervised experience in teaching throughout the period of study, culminating in a thesis class of the candidate’s specialty. MFA candidates are also given the opportunities to be involved in productions as a performer or part of the creative team at UP Stages, for which credit is given. Credit may also be given for work on productions at outside professional theaters in the summer or during the school year (pending academic duties and in consultation with the advisor). It is our expectation that teachers of performance will continue to practice their craft to enhance their own pedagogy as well as to model examples for other students. Graduates of the program will be particularly well qualified to teach at the university level as the result of the combination of previous professional experience and tangible and effective classroom training.
A diagnostic exam is given in the first semester to determine recommended course work. Required courses include 15 credits in theater literature and history, performance, and thesis preparation, as well as directed studies in creating a course and assisting in a performance class. Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA is required. Degree requirements include 60 credits and a thesis project.