The Master of Fine Arts is a three-year program offering advanced concentrations in Design/Technology, Directing, Performance, Playwriting, and Stage Management. Actors, directors, playwrights, designers, stage managers, and technicians receive comprehensive and specialized training in preparation for careers in the professional theatre. While deeply committed to the individual theatre artist, the program fosters and encourages an integrated and collaborative approach to theatre. In each semester of training, graduate students share a two-credit graduate seminar committed to progressive and practical exploration of the essential theatre.
The Nevada Conservatory Theatre engages national and international theatre professionals in all disciplines to work alongside the most advanced students from the UNLV Department of Theatre. It is a leading theatre in Las Vegas and southern Nevada. It enriches, strengthens, and challenges the cultural and artistic life of the city and strives to be the state’s premier theatre. It seeks the most advanced level of artistic achievement and to become a renowned regional theatre in America.
Learning Outcomes: Design/Technology
Learning Outcomes: Directing
Learning Outcomes: Performance
Learning Outcomes: Stage Management
Plan Admission Requirements
All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.
In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate College, the following department application materials must be uploaded into the online application:
- Transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, showing an undergraduate degree in theatre and the date awarded. (An acceptable alternative undergraduate major coupled with satisfactory practical experience in theatre may be deemed equivalent to an undergraduate major in theatre.) M.F.A. candidates deemed to have deficiencies in their training may be required to take specific remedial course work. Students with deficiencies in theatre history will be required to take THTR 681 and THTR 682 (Theater History I and II). Remedial course work may not be counted toward the degree requirements.
- A written statement (500 words or less) of the applicant’s purpose in pursuing graduate study.
- Two letters of recommendation sent by former instructors, employers, or other professionals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential to complete graduate study.
In addition to general materials requested by the Department of Theatre, please submit a portfolio of representative work.
In addition to general materials requested by the Department of Theatre (see above), please submit a directorial analysis of a play chosen from the following list:
She Stoops to Conquer (Goldsmith)
A Doll’s House (Ibsen)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (O’Neill)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams)
All My Sons (Miller)
Glengarry Glen Ross (Mamet)
Take Me Out (Greenberg)
The Heidi Chronicles (Wasserstein)
Lips Together Teeth Apart (McNally)
The Goat (Albee)
The analysis should not exceed five double-spaced typewritten pages and should include:
- A brief statement of the director’s reason for selecting this play.
- A single sentence summary of the plot.
- A single sentence expressing the essence of the play in a metaphor.
- A simple description of the theatrical style the director is contemplating. (This may best be achieved by comparing the production to other well-known works.)
- A selected, annotated bibliography of historical, social, political or aesthetic research.
- A brief discussion of time and location of the action. If the director intends to reset the action to a locale or time not indicated in the script, there must be a clear description and justification of that choice.
- Three color copies of visual images you would submit to your designers as a point of departure for your collaboration.
All directing students are required to interview with members of the directing faculty. Interviews will be arranged after required materials have been received. The M.F.A. Directing Program has a three-year admission cycle.
In addition to general materials requested by the Department of Theatre (see above), students must audition either in person or through submission of a video (audition videos cannot be returned). The audition should contain the following:
- Two contrasting selections, one of which must be Shakespeare. The total audition should not exceed four minutes in length.
- A song selected from a Broadway musical not to exceed one minute in length. A CD or cassette recording of your accompaniment is recommended as accompaniment cannot be provided.
The M.F.A. in Performance Program admits a new class every three years.
In addition to general materials requested by the Department of Theatre (see above), submit two original plays, including at least one full-length play, and a one page statement of personal aesthetics. Materials cannot be returned.
Stage Management Track
In addition to general materials requested by the Department of Theatre (see above), submit several pages from a sample prompt script (cannot be returned). An interview with Stage Management faculty will be scheduled after application materials have been received.
Plan Degree Requirements
- Completion of a minimum of 72 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
- A reading list will be given to each student upon entering the program. It contains major works in theatre history, performance theory, dramatic criticism and approximately one hundred play texts. It is expected that graduate students will read everything on the list and be prepared to answer questions of comprehension as part of their final examination.
- The candidacy of all first-year M.F.A. students is provisional. Upon completion of the first year of study, the faculty in each area formally review their students’ academic and artistic progress. If progress is deemed satisfactory, a student is advanced to M.F.A. candidacy. After advancement to candidacy, the student forms an examination committee comprised of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
- The faculty in each area of study periodically review the candidate’s progress. Termination of candidacy is determined by the faculty in consultation with the student’s advisor, the examination committee and the Graduate Coordinator.
- All M.F.A. candidates will complete a two-hour oral examination at the end of their course of study. The first hour will focus on the student’s course of study and the intent, purpose, conceptualization and realization of the student’s creative project(s). The second hour will focus on the graduate reading list.
- In addition to required course work, graduate students in the Performance Track must audition for all productions affiliated with the Nevada Conservatory Theatre and the University Theatre Season.
Plan Graduation Requirements
The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.