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Conservatory of Performing Arts

M.F.A. in Acting Program

James FitzgeraldThe structure of the program is holistic, to spark deeper understanding and mastery.  Most semesters have a particular focus. 

The Self-Directed Study component is designed to give students an active role in shaping their studies.  Coming in the final year, it provides the opportunity to pursue particular interests ideally suited to each student which can potentially be marketed or used as a teaching specialty.  It's possible for students to propose a course of study that can be done off-campus during summers or the third year.

The Applied Creativity and Embodied Learning classes provide an opportunity for actors to refresh themselves and reflect on how they can expand artistically.  It's also an ideal place for students to propose an individual project.  Students have received credit for producing, directing, writing, or taking non-M.F.A. classes such as lighting design (with instructor approval and any necessary modifications suitable for graduate credit). 

After completing at least 20 credits students may apply for credit-by examination to capitalize on areas of specialization, or to enable off-campus study.    For example, if you already have a thriving voice-over career, you can apply for credit by exam for that class.   Or if you would like to receive a La Ronde Ritacertification in Linklater or Fitzmaurice voice technique, which requires off-campus study, you can receive credit by exam for your work.  Credits for outside workshops can also be applied to your Creativity classes, Self-Directed study courses, or (with approval from the program director) substituted for another course in the curriculum.  We can accept up to 24 transfer credits of graduate study from another institution, with grade B or higher.  Please note: all students studying on campus must take part in acting classes, however, you may suggest an alternative course of study for other classes and it will be considered. You may also make group proposals. 

Finally, classes in pedagogy and marketing, as well as the experience of teaching in a conservatory, enhance student job-hunting prospects.

This is a flexible, rigorous, exciting program and we wish to attract exciting, creative and self-motivated students. 

We accept a maximum of six students every three years.  All students receive tuition remission and a stipend of $6,400 in exchange for assistant teaching or other reasonable assignments.  If asked to be the primary teacher of a class, you are paid an additional instructor salary. We have an Equity SPTC company on campus, The REP.  Students are not guaranteed casting.  When cast, you receive Equity minimum in addition to the stipend.