Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts, Graduate Theatre

A joint venture of The Old Globe and the University of San Diego, the Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts program nationally recruits seven students each year to participate in an intensive two-year, year-round course of graduate study in classical theatre. Students participating in this 60-unit program fulfill the training portion of their study at the University of San Diego and their practical performance work at The Old Globe under the supervision of Globe staff.

This is a highly selective program, limited to seven new admissions per year. For additional information, go to www.graduateacting.com.

Additional Requirements for Admission

Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts, Graduate Theatre

See the Admission page for basic admission requirements.

Entrance SemesterFall
Application DeadlinePlease visit website for details.
Minimum Grade Point AverageNone
Standardized Admission TestNone
Required courseworkNone
Required Licenses/CredentialsNone
Additional RequirementsAudition/Interview

Requirements for the Degree

Students are expected to complete the 60 units of graduate work for this degree in two consecutive years, according to the following schedule. All courses carry three units of credit.

First Year
Semester IHours
THEA 501Text and Context: Modern Drama3
THEA 511Movement I3
THEA 521Acting I3
THEA 541Voice and Speech I3
Semester II
THEA 502Text and Context: Renaissance Drama3
THEA 512Movement II3
THEA 522Acting II3
THEA 542Voice and Speech II3
Semester III (Summer)
THEA 506Graduate Colloquium3
THEA 531Globe Production I3
Second Year
Semester I
THEA 503Text and Context: Restoration Drama3
THEA 513Movement III3
THEA 523Acting III3
THEA 543Voice and Speech III3
Semester II
THEA 595Text and Context: Thesis Project1-6
THEA 514Movement IV3
THEA 524Acting IV3
THEA 544Voice and Speech IV3
Semester III (Summer)
THEA 532Globe Production II3
THEA 533Globe Production III3

Courses will be taken either at The Old Globe or at USD under the supervision of the Director of the program.

THEA 501 | TEXT AND CONTEXT: MODERN DRAMA

Units: 3

A survey course in drama from Ibsen to the present. Provides students with a reading background in the period as a context for their winter and/or spring productions.

THEA 502 | TEXT AND CONTEXT: RENAISSANCE DRAMA

Units: 3

A study of the cultural background of the English Renaissance, with an emphasis upon the works of William Shakespeare. Readings in the drama of the period may be supplemented by social, political or artistic material.

THEA 503 | TEXT AND CONTEXT: RESTORATION DRAMA

Units: 3

A study of the cultural background of Moliere, the Restoration and the 18th century. Readings in the drama of these eras may be supplemented by social, historical, political or artistic material.

THEA 506 | GRADUATE COLLOQUIUM

Units: 3

Workshop exploring the particular skills required to perform a chosen genre of dramatic literature. The theatrical genres and skills studied vary from year to year.

THEA 511 | MOVEMENT I

Units: 3

Course that uses the concepts of Laban and Weight/Time/Space as the basis for physical/vocal explorations and movement-based techniques for the actor. Yoga and private tutorials in the Alexander Technique included and continue throughout the program.

THEA 512 | MOVEMENT II

Units: 3

An introduction to stage combat that focuses on the skills needed to execute safe and dramatically effective stage violence. Class addresses the unique focus necessary for the integration of combat skills into the actor’s process.

THEA 513 | MOVEMENT III

Units: 3

Course that gives actors the opportunity to apply movement concepts and principles directly to their acting process, strengthening the development of an integrated movement-based acting technique.

THEA 514 | MOVEMENT IV

Units: 3

In-depth study of acting staged violence, incorporating numerous stage combat disciplines. Work includes fight scenes from Classical, Shakespeare, and Contemporary plays.

THEA 521 | ACTING I

Units: 3

An exploration of the Stanislavski technique and application of its analytical process to texts in Modern Drama. Extra-curricular performance assignments are an integral part of this course and all acting courses throughout the program.

THEA 522 | ACTING II

Units: 3

Applies techniques and exploration begun in Acting I to a focus on the performance of Shakespeare, verse and heightened language. Individual emphasis will be placed on practicing alternative techniques that support growth and range of performance.

THEA 523 | ACTING III

Units: 3

Course that concentrates on performing scenes from a range of periods such as French neo-classical, English restoration and 19th century. Individual emphasis will be placed on practicing alternative techniques that support growth and range of performance.

THEA 524 | ACTING IV

Units: 3

Course that prepares actors for professional theatre careers. Focuses on scene work in contemporary drama, audition technique, monologue preparation, on-camera performance and the business of acting.

THEA 531 | GLOBE PRODUCTION I

Units: 3

Independent study practicum under the supervision of the Director of the program. Includes rehearsal and performance participation, as well as discussions and seminars with professional company members at The Old Globe Theatre. This course is Pass/Fail.

THEA 532 | GLOBE PRODUCTION II

Units: 3

Independent study practicum at The Old Globe under the supervision of the Director of the program. This course is Pass/Fail.

THEA 533 | GLOBE PRODUCTION III

Units: 3

Independent study practicum at The Old Globe under the supervision of the Director of the program. This course is Pass/Fail.

THEA 541 | VOICE AND SPEECH I

Units: 3

Course develops awareness and health of the vocal instrument and builds skill in breath support, rich vocal resonation, precise articulation, stage worthy vocal presence, the International Phonetic Alphabet, scansion and the speaking of rhetoric.

THEA 542 | VOICE AND SPEECH II

Units: 3

Course focuses on individually designed vocal warm-ups. IPA is used to identify and differentiate the speech styles of General American, Standard American and Standard English.

THEA 543 | VOICE AND SPEECH III

Units: 3

Focuses on The Four Components of Voice: Quality, Force, Time and Pitch. Students practice and perform speeches from Shakespeare and contemporary plays, to speak with variety, specificity, expressiveness and intention.

THEA 544 | VOICE AND SPEECH IV

Units: 3

Focuses on stage dialects and accents, providing practice in the process of identifying, analyzing and learning to speak English with the appearance of an authentic dialect or accent for performance. Studies include phonetic sound changes, pitch patterns, rhythms and speeds, tone placements and cultural expectations of those societies.

THEA 595 | TEXT AND CONTEXT: THESIS PROJECT

Units: 1-6

Workshop dedicated to producing the program thesis, an original solo performance piece. Coursework includes research, writing and rehearsal.

 

Chair

Richard Seer, MFA, Acting

Faculty

Brian Byrnes, MFA, Movement

Maria Carrera, MA, Alexander Technique

Cynthia Caywood, PhD, Restoration Drama

Ray Chambers, BS, Acting

Gerhard Gessner, MA, Yoga

Jan Gist, MFA, Voice and Speech

Fred Miller Robinson, PhD, Modern Drama

Abraham Stoll, PhD, Renaissance Drama