MFA in Contemporary Performance Requirements

The following outline for year one is subject to changes in sequence, but over the course of the two year program, all these components and faculty will be present. Both practice, view, and core training in acting, voice, and movement are ongoing throughout the two-year curriculum. Students take 12 credits per semester for a total of 48 credits. There is a materials/production fee each semester.

(Guest artists subject to change)

First year, fall- Module I: THR 602

First seven weeks:

Foundation Somatics/Investigating Physical Virtuosity: Developmental movement, experiential anatomy, release, dynamic alignment—Wendell Beavers, Erika Berland

Roy Hart Vocal Work: Ethelyn Friend

Viewpoints Technique: Ensemble Building: Core and Guest Faculty

Contemplative Arts and Meditation Training: Meditation practice and orientation to Buddhist phenomenology and psychology; nature of mind teachings from the Buddhist tradition—Erika Berland, and Guest Faculty.

Middle three weeks:

Viewpoints Intensive & Presentations:  Core and Guest Faculty

Voice Tutorials: Ethelyn Friend

Intro to Psychophysical Acting/Grotowski Based: Plastiques, corporals, cultivating immediate access to emotional sources, creating containers for emotional understanding of presence—Core and Guest Faculty

Meditation Practice and View: Erika Berland and Naropa Faculty

Final four weeks:

Physical Training/Viewpoints: Core and Guest Faculty

Voice Intensive: Roy Hart, Guest Faculty, Guest Artists, or associated companies

Psychophysical Acting: Applying Psychophysical Technique to Character work, Styles, and Performance. Guest Faculty.



First year, spring - Module II: THR 652

First three weeks:

Physical Training: Developmental movement, experimental anatomy forms

Directing and Ensemble Playwriting: Tectonic Theater Co.


Second four weeks:

Advanced Somatic Technique, Experiential Anatomy: Erika Berland, Wendell Beavers/Naropa Faculty

Vocal Intensive: Roy Hart or extended vocal technique—Guest Faculty

Composition/Choreography/Postmodern Tradition: Wendell Beavers, Guest Faculty

Practice and View: Erika Berland, Naropa Faculty


Final seven weeks:

Roy Hart Vocal Work: Ethelyn Friend

Ensemble Projects: Faculty

Physical Training: Somatic technique, psychophysical acting, application to devised work—Faculty

Final First Year Project Presentations


Second year, fall - Module III: THR 702

Advanced Physical Technique: Dance-based techniques, release, somatic forms—Wendell Beavers, Erika Berland, and Faculty

Theater-Based Physical Techniques: Applications to scene study—Core and Guest Faculty

Scene, Monologue and Character: Core and Guest Faculty

Vocal Work: Relating song to text, extended vocal techniques—Roy Hart faculty, Carol Mendelsohn, and Saule Ryan

Ensemble Project/Production: Integrating dance, music, and psychophysical acting—Core or Guest Faculty directed

Play Development: Guest Faculty

Thesis Seminar: Faculty


Second year, spring - Module IV: THR 722

Advanced Physical Technique: Continuation of semester I sequence

Viewpoints: Composition, directing, and performance technique—Wendell Beavers and Guest Faculty

Vocal Work: Continuation of semester I sequence

Ensemble Playwriting/Directing: Tectonic Theater

Pedagogy Seminar: Wendell Beavers and Guest Faculty

Thesis Practicum: Faculty

Culminating Projects: Initiated and designed by the student in the fields of service learning, creating pedagogy, pure research focused on training issues, or production



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