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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 courses in creative thesis: 6
Specific Course Listing:
THTR 401
Graduate Movement I: Corporeal Mime
THTR 402
Graduate Movement II: Neutral Mask
THTR 403
Graduate Movement III: Expressive Masks
THTR 404
Graduate Movement IV: Commedia
THTR 473
Graduate Voice Technique I
THTR 474
Graduate Voice Technique II
THTR 475
Graduate Voice Technique III
THTR 479
Graduate Stage Speech I: Phonetics
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
Graduate Acting I: Performance Process
THTR 532
Graduate Acting II: Ensemble Improvisations
THTR 533
Graduate Acting III: The Modernists
THTR 534
Graduate Acting IV: Shakespeare/Heightened Language
THTR 540
Seminar: Professional Orientation
THTR 579
Graduate Stage Speech II: Articulation
THTR 580
Graduate Stage Speech III: Dialects
THTR 581
Graduate Stage Speech IV: Classical Texts
THTR 601
Special Projects
THTR 610
Professional Internship
THTR 630
Performance Studio
THTR 642
Thesis Portfolio I
THTR 643
Thesis Portfolio II