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Master of Fine Arts, Theatre: Directing

The graduate program allows directors with a singular voice and vision to hone their craft and grow into strong, yet collaborative, artists. Our directors can engage with works from the theatrical canon with sophistication and depth, as well as shepherd vibrant new works to fruition. They gain the skills to guide their actors to truthful, compelling performances, and collaborate with their design teams to create cohesive theatrical worlds. We invite artists with curiosity, integrity and generosity to join us in continually reimagining what theatre can be and who it can reach.

Financial Support

Most MFA students in the Department of Theatre & Dance receive graduate teaching assistantships. These assistantships provide significant help towards covering students’ tuition costs, but student loans and scholarships will be necessary for many students.


The core curriculum of the program, the Directing Studio and Directing Seminar, allow directors to sharpen their craft and think about issues facing the field in depth each semester. Meanwhile, MFA Core classes taken alongside the MFA Design cohort offer graduate directors a variety of perspectives and skills as they deepen their practice. Studio classes focus on the director/actor relationship, covering distinct genres and approaches such as Realism, Absurdism/Non-realism, 21st century plays, Devising, Shakespeare, and Styles. Seminars focus on conceptual work, as well as emerging practices such as anti-racist approaches to theatre making and theatrical intimacy training. The MFA Core includes Text Analysis, Fundamentals of Design, History of Material Culture, Collaborative Theory, Artist Brand Development, and Devising.


MFA students develop a distinct directorial voice and successful approaches to collaboration through production projects that are part of the Department of Theatre & Dance season. This practical, hands on component is crucial to a director’s growth. Typically, students will direct a first-year project in the 99-seat PSH Studio Theatre, a second-year project in the Main Stage (a 200-seat theater with a flexible configuration), and a third-year project in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre, a 400+ seat proscenium theater. Additional projects such as staged readings and workshops are assigned periodically.

If you would like to learn more about the directing program please contact Jerry Ruiz, Head of Directing, at