The world of the actor is an unrelenting mountain that demands an uncompromising search for self-awareness, characterization and an understanding of the human condition. The performance studies program enables the student to bring a high artistic and ethical purpose to a career in the theatre. We are dedicated to preparing our students for the theatre profession as well as developing a personal vision for his or her life's work. We are committed to providing opportunities for the students to connect with the local, national and international professional community.
The three-year M.F.A. Acting program enrolls one class every three years.
The next class will be enrolled for Fall 2018.
The actor will join a company of actors, directors and playwrights in a program that emphasizes a personalized approach to developing their talent, increasing their performance experience, deepening their technique, increasing their academic knowledge of theatre history and new dramatists, beginning their utilization of a personal creative process and honoring their spiritual essence.
First year courses focus on the actor's self awareness - on the actor's instrument and tools: the body and voice, the senses and feelings, strengthening their confidence of impulse, sense of play and exploring personal resources through various acting approaches. Special attention is given to improvisation and contemporary material.
In the second year actors concentrate on "character"- the process of transformation and performing, with progressive emphasis on creating a world from modern and classical texts. Particular focus is put on the discovery of the play's action, character development, language demands and analysis of more complex literary material from classic and experimental origins.
Third year actors focus on scenes from living playwrights, dialect work, commedia, a monograph performance, audition techniques and studying theatre as a business. In the third year, actors will be eligible to audition for professional opportunities in the DC theatre community depending on university casting and/or assistantships. Actors prepare scenes and monologues for their final graduating acting project: a Washington, D.C. first look showcase that helps transition into their professional careers.
Actors are required to audition for and play as cast in all department productions and are required to serve on one production crew as well as an artistic practicum that supports the directors and playwrights.