Six Great Reasons to Study in the Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program:
The collaborative MFA Professional Actor Training Program between Cleveland Play House and Case Western Reserve University is a three-year program which is housed in the Play House complex. This intimate program is designed to train a theater artist capable of performing skillfully in a variety of roles from contemporary to classical genres, and to provide both technical skills and an aesthetic sensibility for a successful career in the professional theater.
Throughout the three years of training, the acting, voice, speech, and movement teachers work in concert to assess the individual student’s progress, and integrate the various disciplines in ways that will create maximum flexibility, freedom of expression, and dynamic range, all geared toward instilling the skills, discipline and an aesthetic of craft which will produce a distinctive and effective actor able to encompass the full range of professional demands.
These objectives are pursued in an environment that integrates the educational, artistic and professional resources of one of the oldest academic theater programs in the United States (Case Western Reserve University) and the nation’s first regional theater (Cleveland Play House).
The program accepts a class of eight actors every other year. These students will spend each year of their study in classes at the Cleveland Play House. The small class size, and the fact that students are accepted only every two years, allows the program the flexibility to tailor curriculum and performance experiences to suit the specific training needs of each class and individual student.
In the first year of study, students are immersed in intense and rigorous classes in Acting (Contemporary Techniques), Movement, Voice, Speech (Skinner/IPA), and Text Analysis culminating in an end of year performance in the Helen Theatre at CPH. The apprenticeship with CPH begins this year with classes/workshops with resident and visiting artists, introductions to all incoming casts, directors and designers, and Company status at all CPH functions.
The second year students continue their intensive training and perform in two fully mounted productions in the Helen Theatre. Coursework continues in Acting (Chekhov & Ibsen – The Modernists, and Shakespeare/Heightened Language Texts), Voice, Speech (Dialects & Classical Text), and Movement (Period Styles & Commedia). At this time their involvement with CPH expands with possible performance or understudy assignments on the mainstage to participation in CPH’s New Ground Theatre Festival.
The third year MFA students perform in their fourth production at the Helen, and appear as cast in the season at CPH. Depending on the extent of mainstage opportunities, other performances are developed, such as workshop productions and/or fully staged repertory presentations. At the end of the third year of the program, MFA candidates present a showcase audition for producers, agents and casting directors in New York City.
Upon successful completion of the program, the student is awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting, along with the opportunity to join Actors’ Equity Association, either through accumulation of weeks through the Equity Membership Candidate program, or through assignment of an AEA contracted role.