The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in directing is a three-year graduate program that approaches the craft as an expressive art form involving the management and integration of many elements of theatrical technique and expression. The training of the director is a process of developing in the student a broad set of understandings of the multiple modes of theatrical technique and expression, from acting to design to music to digital media. It also strives to develop the tools and skills necessary to unify these multiple expressive modes into a coherent, aesthetic, performative whole. Narrative storytelling and dramatic action are taught as primary tools of theatrical communication, but the program also works to deepen and greatly broaden the graduate directing student’s familiarity with and use of a range of theoretical models of analysis and performance.
Directing training involves direct, hands-on work in various modes of theatrical expression in which others in the collaborative collective specialize, from the affective, experiential mode of expression native to the actor to the imagistic, often associative mode native to the designer. The intense focus of techniques and principles taught and employed in the program is in the service of communicating story through dramatic action and the program is concerned with preparation for and realization of projects based in these principles.
In addition, the program develops students as teachers and utilizes teaching and the development of teaching pedagogy to further develop the student’s understanding of his/her own craft and theory and to develop them as teachers in their own right.
A class of two directors will normally be accepted every three years. The current class is in their second year. Applications will be accepted for the 2015-2018 rotation beginning Fall 2014: visit http://life.umt.edu/grad/Programs/Theatre.php for details.