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Theatre and Drama


Administrative Unit:Theatre & Drama
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:M.A., MFA, Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.A., MFA, Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor

Faculty: Professors Archbold (chair), Boyette, Dharwadker, Saldivar, van de Water, Vanden Heuvel; Associate Professors Brassard, Furumoto, Peterson, Sims, Trotter; Assistant Professor Lisowski

Overview

The department offers three advanced degrees: the M.A., MFA, and Ph.D. Candidates for the master of arts and the doctor of philosophy degrees focus on criticism, dramatic literature, history, and theory. The master of fine arts degree in theatre and drama offers concentrations in acting/directing, or design and technology (with specializations in costume design, lighting design, scene design and theatre technology).

The faculty in theatre and drama are leaders in their field. Together, they have many credits in all facets of the profession, working within their field of theatre research and/or practice both nationally and abroad. They are recognized for their critically acclaimed publications and production work and have won major awards and fellowships for scholarship, creative work, and teaching.

Graduate students at UW–Madison come from around the country and the world. Many have been working theatre professionals returning for advanced degrees. Some graduates go on to teach in the academy; others work in the profession as actors, directors, designers, technologists, or dramaturges.

Course work and programs are organized around three areas: theatre research, acting/directing, and design and technology. Students in all degree programs are encouraged to complement their major area of study by taking courses from other areas in the department.

University Theatre, the producing arm of the Department of Theatre and Drama, provides students with opportunities to complete work begun in the studios and classrooms. At UW–Madison, the stage is our laboratory. Course work and discussions regularly connect theatre practice and study with larger issues of cultural and intercultural representation.

Master's Degree 

The M.A. degree can serve as the preparatory degree for the Ph.D., or as a terminal degree for students seeking greater exposure to theatre studies beyond the undergraduate degree.

MFA Degrees 

The MFA in acting/directing offers specialized preparation for careers in professional theatre. The foundation of MFA acting courses offers a strong base in voice, speech, movement, and acting styles. The core of the program focuses on classical text-based acting and Stanislavski/Michael Chekhov techniques balanced with emerging theories and methodologies of actor training. Curricular interests in Asian stage discipline, multicultural theatre, theatre for youth provide additional opportunities for students to enhance their performance study. In addition to required core classes, electives provide students the ability to explore individual areas of interest in theatre and performance. The foundation of MFA directing courses emphasizes an advanced understanding of the elements of play analysis, composition, and conceptualization. By combining studio work, production, observation, and classroom studies, the program encourages the development of an individual artistic voice in both acting and directing.

The MFA in scene design, costume design, lighting design, or theatre technology strives for a balance of professional training and the practical application of skills through numerous collaborative experiences, both onstage and in the classroom. Students in all four disciplines are encouraged to be creative problem solvers through both an appreciation of the history of their craft and a curiosity about the contemporary world of theatre, design and the application of new technologies. Numerous opportunities for realized work, studio collaborations and individualized mentoring affords the MFA student the opportunity to grow and develop as an articulate and collaborative theatre artist.

Ph.D. Degree 

The Ph.D. program prepares students to assume professional positions as scholars, educators, researchers, and theatre professionals. The degree requirements are designed to balance theoretical investigations with practical applications and to allow for interdisciplinary studies that enhance the value and possibilities of the degree. Students are encouraged to participate in national and international professional meetings and to publish in the field.

In addition to study in theatre history, literature, theory, and criticism, qualified students may pursue doctoral work in theatre for youth (which includes theatre for young audiences, drama in education, and theatre in education).

Admission 

The department requires a clear statement of purpose outlining plans for graduate study. The MFA program requires evidence of creative accomplishment; applicants must request detailed application instructions from the department. The M.A. and Ph.D. programs require a thoughtful statement about the applicant's interests in theatre research, the areas in which the applicant might like to study, and a sample of critical research writing. M.A. and Ph.D applications are judged on the basis of previous academic record, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, references, and the writing sample.

Funding opportunities for graduate work vary among the three focus areas, but tend to be highly competitive. Please contact the department for more information on student financial support.

For more information: Graduate Coordinator, Department of Theatre and Drama, 6173 Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1497; 608-262-3890; fax 608-263-2463; gradsec@theatre.wisc.edu; www.theatre.wisc.edu.