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MFA Theatre, Directing

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, Directing


The Texas State Directing Program is a rigorous practice based program that trains the next generation of live performance makers. Our highly selective program is only open to two directors each year. Students in the program direct extensively, including up to five full-length productions, one-act plays, staged readings, short scenes and class projects.

Our students develop a considerable body of work, and we provide ample opportunities for feedback and growth throughout their MFA. Students are also encouraged to take part in an internship with a professional theatre company during their three years.

In addition, the department offers specializations in musical theatre, new play development, and theater history/dramaturgy. Faculty mentors help guide student training and progress, along with clear landmarks that create a well-rounded portfolio for each student.

Moreover, we offer numerous opportunities for international summer study, including the Shakespeare in England study abroad program (6 hours), Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive (3 hours) and Internships for credit.

Recently, the TXST Directing program was highlighted in American Theatre Magazine.



Ethan McSweeny

Our MFA in Directing program hosted guest artist Ethan McSweeny. One of our students held an interview with Ethan while he was visiting to conduct directing workshops.

Program Course Schedule

1st Year          FALL                                                     SPRING

                        MFA Studio I   TH 5342                       MFA Studio II TH 5343

                        Text Analysis TH 5302                        Director/Designer Collab TH 5312

                        Scene Design TH 5357                       History/Theory Class


2nd Year         MFA Studio III TH 5352                       MFA Studio IV TH 5353

                       Concept/Composition TH 5303           History of Directing TH 5313

                       History/Theory Class                           History/Theory Class


3rd Year         MFA Studio V TH 5382                       MFA Studio VI TH 5383

                       Exit Project TH 5398 or Elective         Exit Project TH 5398   or

Elective          History/Theory Class                           Elective        


To reach 60 hours for the degree, students will need to take an additional 6 hours of prescribed electives in two of the semesters or in the summers (see below).  Possibilities include: Shakespeare in England summer study abroad program with courses at the RSC/Birthplace Trust and Shakespeare’s Globe (6 hours), Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive (3 hours) and/or Internships for credit.

Prescribed Elective Courses

TH 5323 Shakespeare Through Performance 3

TH 5324 Shakespeare: Text and Context 3

TH 5330 Stage Management 3

TH 5338 Advanced Stage Lighting 3

TH 5340 Internship (may be repeated) 3

TH 5345 Advanced Studies in Costume Design 3

TH 5347 Advanced Costume Construction 3

TH 5354 Playwriting 3

TH 5355 Scene Painting 3

TH 5359 Advanced Screenwriting 3

TH 5360 Problems in Theatre (may be repeated) 3

TH 5361* Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive 3

TH 5363 Directing for Film and Television 3

TH 5372 Theory and Practice of Dramaturgy 3

TH 5373 Advanced Film Directing 3

TH 5375 Advanced Playwriting 3

TH 5378 Play Development Lab 3

Subtotal (select four of the above courses) 12

Course Descriptions

Jimmy directing

Application Deadline

March 15

Send your application to

Graduate College
Texas State University - San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666

How To Apply

  • Complete an application online using the Apply Texas Application
  • Submit two transcripts for each four-year college or university from which credit was received
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Submit a current theatre resume
  • Submit a statement of purpose that details your experience in directing, related background information and your goals for pursuing the MFA in Directing


Chuck Ney, Head of Directing
Texas State University - San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666