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Home / Introduction to Graduate Programs / Master of Fine Arts in Acting

Master of Fine Arts in Acting

The Misanthrope by Moliere, MFA Ensemble 2012

The Misanthrope by Moliere, MFA Ensemble 2012

In 1996, The Cleveland Play House and Case Western Reserve University joined forces to create a new Master of Fine Arts program in acting. The students begin their involvement with the Play House in their first semester, and their level of involvement steadily increases until, in the third year, they become professional interns at the Cleveland Play House.

The MFA in acting is a terminal pre-professional degree. Candidacy for the program requires an undergraduate degree with (ideally) a major in theater, equivalent training and experience, or demonstrable potential for work at the MFA level. In addition, candidates must provide evidence of technical skill and creative ability.

At the end of each semester in residence, the student’s skill and creative ability are evaluated in light of his or her work in the department. Only students who have clearly demonstrated growth and excellence are permitted to remain in the program. The award of the MFA degree is contingent upon the student’s academic progress and upon the assessment on the part of the faculty that the candidate possesses the potential to work in the field of theater on a professional level.

Requirements for the MFA degree include:

  1. A minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all course work on the graduate level
  3. Completion of the course requirements for the MFA Thesis Portfolio
  4. Successful completion of the Third Year Internship at The Cleveland Play House

Course requirements for the MFA in acting are as follows:

Courses in acting, including script analysis, implementation of acting theory, characterization, modernist playwrights, and Shakespeare 18
Courses in movement, chosen from mask work, period styles, stage combat, and commedia 12
Courses in voice, chosen from voice production, articulation, and interpretation 9
Courses in speech, using Edith Skinner techniques, dialects, verse and lyric drama, and Shakespeare 6
Courses in performance theory, projects, and professional seminars 6-9
Two of the following courses in creative thesis: 6
THTR 401
Advanced Stage Movement I
THTR 402
Advanced Stage Movement II
THTR 403
Advanced Stage Movement III
THTR 404
Advanced Stage Movement IV
THTR 473
Graduate Voice Technique I
THTR 474
Graduate Voice Technique II
THTR 475
Voice for Stage: Shakespeare
THTR 479
American Stage Speech
THTR 501
Text Analysis for the Actor
THTR 509
Seminar: Introduction to Performance Theory
THTR 512
Graduate Audition Lab
THTR 530
Ensemble Technique
THTR 531
Acting: Research and Performance I
THTR 532
Acting: Research and Performance II
THTR 533
Acting: Research and Performance III
THTR 534
Acting: Research and Performance IV
THTR 540
The Business of the Business
THTR 579
American Stage Speech II
THTR 580
Stage Dialects
THTR 581
Classical Speech and Text
THTR 601
Special Projects
THTR 610
Professional Internship
THTR 620
Advanced Role Analysis Preparation I
THTR 630
Performance Studio
THTR 642
Thesis Portfolio I
THTR 643
Thesis Portfolio II
Total Units 57-60