The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Design/Technology is a three-year program that combines intensive professional training and production experience. Students choose to specialize primarily in scenery, costuming, or lighting and also select a secondary area of study. Each program is under the direct guidance of a full-time faculty member with the support of a professional staff, allowing close individual guidance for each student. Students are expected to design or make significant technical contributions to two or three productions a year, in addition to working to support all seven to twelve School shows. Opportunities also exist for the graduate students to design for the Montana Repertory Theatre.
The curriculum is designed to develop each student’s technical skills and artistic abilities to the fullest. Course sequences are offered in all design areas and supported by advanced classes and independent study in the student’s area of concentration. Students are expected to complete coursework in at least two areas of theatrical production. Graduate students are encouraged to teach undergraduate students as a part of their academic training.
Each MFA candidate in scenic or costume design/technology must complete a two-part Final Creative Project in the student’s area of emphasis. For designers, the FCP consists of the design and realization of a mainstage production, and the design for a non-realized major dramatic work. For technicians, the FCP consists of major technical responsibilities for two mainstage productions. Each MFA candidate in lighting design must complete the design of two major mainstage productions during his/her final year of study. All MFA candidates are required to write a culminating paper describing the designer’s process, script analysis, and production outcome for each of the two shows.
Each emphasis will normally accepted a new MFA candidate every one to two years as funding is very limited. There is currently a second-year student in scenery, two second-year students in lighting, and a first-year student in costuming. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2014-2017 rotation: visit http://life.umt.edu/grad/Programs/Theatre.php for details.