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Theatre Studies - M.A. and M.F.A.

COLLEGE: College of the Arts

DEPARTMENT: School of Theatre and Dance
Theatre Division
B141 Music and Speech
Tel: 330-672-2082
E-mail: theatre@kent.edu
Web: www.theatre.kent.edu

DESCRIPTION: The Master of Arts in Theatre Studies, offers advanced work in theatre that will represent mastery of the field in general and of a specific area of theatre as well. The research and writing skills stressed in this track are intended to prepare the student, who so elects, to define and pursue a terminal degree. ADMISSIONS SUSPENDED THROUGH 2014

The Master of Fine Arts, normally a three-year course of study, is offered in acting and in design/technology (with concentrations in costume design, scenic design, lighting design and technical direction).

The acting concentration includes a returning professional’s track in which students can receive credit for professional work previously completed as fulfillment of Kent State University course requirements (substitutions require course enrollment for credit). The M.F.A. is a terminal degree designed for those who intend to pursue a career in the profession as a creative artist or theatre technologist.

Acting Concentration  prepares students who demonstrate a high degree of artistic potential and intellectual ability to enter the profession as practitioners. Intense practical training and scholarly activity culminate in a comprehensive project designed to measure the achievement of significant competence as artists and masters of their craft.

Design/Technology(Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scene Design, Technical Direction) prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify as practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators.
  • Costume Design prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators.  Graduates of the program work successfully in regional, commercial and university theatres nationwide and internationally.  They also work in commercial venues such as film, television, theme parks and cruise ship entertainment.
  • Lighting Design prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Students have the opportunity to work with current equipment and technology including intelligent lighting with different moving lighting consoles (i.e., Grand MA, ETC ION and Strand) and design visualization software.  Students also work on design projects  in four very different theatre spaces: blackbox, large proscenium, thrust, and open outdoor. Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education.
  • Scene Design prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Students have the opportunity to work with current equipment and technology including design visualization and design rendering software.  Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education.
  • Technical Direction prepares students who are interested in achieving the artistry and skills necessary to qualify them to be practicing professionals in the entertainment industry and/or professional theatre educators. Students have the opportunity to work with current equipment and technology in fully equipped laboratories and shops.  Graduates of the program work successfully in regional theatres and higher education.
ADMISSION
REQUIREMENTS:
M.A.: Official transcript(s), three letters of recommendation, a statement of career goals,  a writing sample,  and GRE scores. ADMISSIONS SUSPENDED THROUGH 2014

M.F.A.:
Official transcript(s), three letters of recommendation, a statement of career goals, a resume, and audition (Acting) or portfolio review (Design/Technology). The M.F.A. requires a 3.0 GPA (GRE if GPA is below 3.0).

GRADUATION
REQUIREMENTS: 
M.A.: Curricular advising will be provided by the coordinator of graduate studies or area head prior to first enrollment. Unless they have successfully completed an equivalent course, Master of Arts students must take Introduction to Graduate Study (THEA 61000) during their first semester. Program requirements for the two-year program may be completed via one of the following options, which the student will elect in consultation with an advisor, chosen during the first semester in residence:ADMISSIONS SUSPENDED THROUGH 2014
  • Option 1. Thesis. Requires a minimum of 32 hours of graduate coursework, consisting of THEA 61000, at least five courses from among our graduate offerings in theatre history, drama, theory and criticism (to include THEA 51110, 51133, 51134, 61110 and 61111), courses in other departments that support and enrich the area of specialty, and 6 hours of Thesis I (THEA 61199). Continuous enrollment in Thesis II (THEA 61299), including summer, is required until the thesis is successfully defended (maximum time: six calendar years from first enrollment). A description of the thesis process may be obtained from the school.
  • Option 2. Non-thesis Paper. Requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate coursework consisting of THEA 61000, at least five courses from among our graduate offerings in theatre history, drama, theory and criticism (to include  THEA 51133, 51134, 61001, 61110 and 61111), courses in other departments that support and enrich the area of specialty, 9 hours in a specified research area (at least 3 hours of these courses must be at the 60000 level), and 3 hours of Research (THEA 61098). A description of the nonthesis paper process may be obtained from the school.
M.F.A. General Requirements (Acting and Design/Technology): The program is an intensive, three-year, professional training program requiring the completion of 60-73 hours of graduate credit depending on the area of concentration. All M.F.A. students are required to take THEA 61000 during their first semester in the program, the graduate core courses THEA 61110 and THEA 61111, 6 hours of Graduate Practicum in their area of concentration (design/technology or acting), THEA 60992, 61992 and 60199-M.F.A. Thesis Project (Design/Tech) or THEA 61309 M.F.A. Comprehensive Project (Acting). Each student will be provided a graduate faculty advisor from his/her area of concentration to assure that curricular requirements in the area of specialty are met.

THEA 60992 and THEA 61992 may be completed in one of three ways (all require the advisor’s approval): (1) an internship with the Porthouse Theatre Company and an internship with another professional theatre company; or (2) internships with two professional theatre companies; or (3) two internships with the Porthouse Theatre Company.

All internships require an exit document by the on-site supervisor summarizing the duties performed, skill level attained and quality of the student’s internship work. Where possible, internships should be undertaken during the summer. Absence on internship during a semester requires prior approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.

M.F.A. Culminating Project (Design/Technology):
The  Culminating Project’s requirements include: documentation, portfolio presentation, and an exit interview. Documentation consists of a design analysis, process journal, relevant research and other supporting materials (photos, links to the candidate’s website, etc).The scope of work may include but not necessarily be limited to evidence of research, drawing and drafting, rendering and associated digital image, video, or audio files which will be presented at an exit interview.  The topic of each M.F.A. candidate’s Culminating Project would be proposed by the candidate and based on faculty feedback from yearly portfolio and academic assessments. 

The student will register for THEA 61310  M.F.A. Design and Technology Culminating Project for the student’s project assignment. The process is then documented in a format appropriate for the project and presented by the faculty advisor.

M.F.A. Comprehensive Project (Acting): Students in acting begin the comprehensive project during the second semester of study by identifying a graduate faculty advisor in the acting area. Each of the three roles in which the student is cast (from this point to the conclusion of the project) is presented to the area with the student’s rationale that the role is challenging, significant and relevant to serve as part of the comprehensive project. The student will register for THEA 61309 M.F.A. Comprehensive Project for each role approved. The process is then documented in a format appropriate for the project and presented by the faculty advisor. After each role, the student will meet with the acting area for assessment and evaluation. Upon completion of the third role, the student will compile all appropriate documentation and create a comprehensive project summary to be approved by the acting area. After approval, the comprehensive project summary will be presented to the Graduate Studies Committee. The approval of this committee shall be final and the project summary shall be housed in the school office.

Students in the returning professional track in acting focus upon one task for the M.F.A. comprehensive project, approved according to the topic proposal and specified area of research and creativity. The returning professional project completion process follows the process outlined above. The advisor will clarify what documentation is appropriate for each project.

RESIDENCY: M.F.A.: Students are required to remain in residence for the three years needed to complete the program (excluding, if appropriate, the internship). At a minimum, acting students must audition for all main stage productions and accept the roles assigned to them, and design/technology students must complete one production assignment and work on one other production per semester. Students may not undertake any work outside the School of Theatre and Dance without petitioning the appropriate area faculty and receiving written permission prior to auditioning/interviewing. (Returning professionals in acting are exempt from this requirement but need to keep the school informed of absences.)

THESIS/ NON-THESIS/
COMPREHENSIVE PROJECT:
M.A.: Students may take the Thesis option or the Non-Thesis Option. The Thesis option includes 6 hours of Thesis I (THEA 61199) and Thesis II (THEA 61299). A description of the thesis process may be obtained from the school. ADMISSIONS SUSPENDED THROUGH 2014

M.F.A.: Students in the program must successfully complete a Culminating/Comprehensive Project to demonstrate mastery of skills and artistry commensurate with entrance into the profession. The scope of the project will be determined and reviewed by the area of specialty and may be fulfilled within the School of Theatre and Dance, through Porthouse and/or professional production assignments. The Comprehensive Project will consist of performance or exhibition of work, documentation of that work in a format appropriate for each area and project, and an exit interview.

LANGUAGE
REQUIREMENT:
None

PROGRAM FEE: None
ACCREDITATION: National Association of Schools of Theatre

STUDENT
ORGANIZATIONS:
Graduate student theatre forum

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