Theatre and Dance

MFA Acting

Goals and Objectives

The M.F.A. in Acting is a professionally oriented, terminal degree, designed to prepare students for success in the professional theatre world, be it performance, education, or other related fields. The program offers rigorous study through an individualized curriculum approach aimed at developing the student's creative and intellectual growth. The program integrates the theoretical with the practical by combining technical training and intellectual endeavor with intensive application in performance throughout the 3-year program.

The objectives of the M.F.A. in Acting program are:

  • To prepare students for success in the professional theatre world—either performance, education or in related fields;
  • To prepare students pursuing academic careers with the expertise and understanding of theatre in higher education;
  • To develop and expand the acting student's vocal, physical, emotional and analytical capabilities to confidently, intelligently and effectively perform in a wide range of literary and performance styles;
  • To develop students' abilities to work intelligently on a wide variety of texts with or without the guidance of a director;
  • To provide exceptional teaching and individualized mentorship by quality instructors with expertise in voice, movement, acting, and other performance skills;
  • To promote student excellence through active participation with KC/ACTF, SETC, ATHE, Midwest Theatre Conference, and other professional and educational associations;
  • To provide ample opportunities for students to perform in a wide range of plays and performance styles, including mainstage and studio productions, touring and summer musical theatre; and
  • To assist students in developing career plans and goals commensurate with their unique gifts.

The strengths of the program include:

  • The expertise and very effective collaboration and cooperation between all the performance faculty;
  • The unique programs such as Unrehearsed Shakespeare Performances (original practice Shakespeare performances) and the extensive stage combat curriculum in which students can achieve SAFD certification in combat skills;
  • The depth and breadth of the curriculum – including multiple courses in voice, movement and acting as well electives in acting for the camera;
  • The close mentorship and guidance from all the theatre faculty;
  • Opportunities for an extensive variety of performance experiences; and
  • Opportunities for students to gain experience teaching theatre courses.
  • Opportunities for students to audition for Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Okoboji Summer Theatre, Ozark Actors Theatre, and Timberlake Playhouse on campus each year.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance is available through departmental assistantships. An eight month stipend and a full waiver of tuition is awarded with an assistantship in an academic year. Duties are related to the student's area of concentration, which must be declared at the time of application. Generally, acting students serve as teaching assistants or teach their own sections of Intro to Theatre, Analysis, some introductory performance courses, or as publicity assistants.

For more information, contact the Graduate Program Advisors and consult the online graduate catalog.

MFA Student's Handbook

Other information can be found on the School of Graduate Studies webpage.

If you cannot find what you need here, please contact the department office and let us know what information would be helpful on our web pages.

Tammy Killian
Office Location: 101 Browne Hall
Office Phone: (309) 298-1543
Email: ;