VCU Bulletins

Theatre, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) with a concentration in stage design/technical theatre

Program accreditation
National Association of Schools of Theatre

Graduate program director
Noreen C. Barnes, Ph.D.
Director of graduate studies, Department of Theatre
nbarnesm@vcu.edu
(804) 827-1677

Additional contacts
Aaron D. Anderson, Ph.D.
Associate chair, Department of Theatre
adanderson@vcu.edu
(804) 828-2697

Ron Keller
Head of design
rkeller@vcu.edu
(804) 827-2445

Program website: arts.vcu.edu/theatre

Refer to the program search function of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.

Theatre, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) with concentration in costume design
Theatre, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) with concentration in pedagogy/literature
Theatre, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) with concentration in pedagogy/performance

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Theatre, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) with a concentration in stage design/technical theatre
Degree:

M.F.A.
Semester(s)
of entry:

Fall
Deadline
dates:

Feb 15 (suggested)
Test
requirements:

None
Special requirements:
See arts.vcu.edu/admissions/how-to-apply for details on the application process.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree (theatre preferred). Students must present a portfolio of design work (both project and realized designs) as part of their application to the program. Professional experience will be considered. The program provides preparation for early to midcareer professionals to enter the field of either professional design or teaching theatre at the college/university level.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university.  These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU

Program goal

The M.F.A. in Theatre offers concentrations in stage design/technical theatre and costume design, which comprise the professional option, and in literature and performance, which make up the pedagogy option. Focus areas in pedagogy include movement, performance and voice and speech.

Student learning outcomes

The M.F.A. degree prepares students to either enter the professional field of design or to teach at the college or university level. Students will demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge in their areas of focus, as well as in the core courses in history, literature and theory; and in teaching performance or production. They will be evaluated on their ability to teach undergraduates, a final thesis project and approval of a professional-quality design, presentation or publishable article.

Degree requirements

In addition to general Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to take 60 credit hours of graduate-level course work distributed among core courses, area of concentration and electives, including special topics courses. The program is usually completed within two to three years.

Stage design/technical theatre concentration

The stage design/technical theatre concentration’s degree requirements include 12 credit hours in core courses, 12 to 18 credit hours in (level-appropriate) design studio and three to six credit hours of thesis/thesis project. The balance of credit hours will be in approved electives, which may include additional practica, research and production, or professional internships. Students will take practical courses and assist faculty in teaching and design projects. They may be advised to take additional history or drawing courses to ensure that they possess the background required for advanced design projects. Their design skills and professional preparation will be evaluated by the faculty through portfolio presentations and participation at professional conferences.

Curriculum requirements

   
Courses Credit hours
   
Core curriculum 12
   
THEA 509 Theatre History 3
THEA 510 Theatre Historiography 3
THEA 603 Dramatic Literature and Theory 3
THEA 604 Modern Theatre: Theory and Practice 3
   
Concentration requirements 12-18
   
THEA 505, 506 Advanced Scene Design III, IV 3-6
THEA 508 Scene Painting 3-6
THEA 593 Professional Internship 3
THEA 605-606 Advanced Studies in Stage Design 3-6
THEA 630 Production 3
THEA 640 Advanced Theatre Projects 3
THEA 641 Advanced Theatre Projects 3
THEA 651 Individual Study in Graduate Design 3
   
Electives 24-30
   
Recommended electives (Some courses may be repeated with permission of the graduate program director.):
THEA 621, 622 Problems in Costume Design 3, 3
THEA 651 Individual Study in Graduate Design 3
THEA 791 Seminar in Special Issues in Theatre 3
   
Thesis or thesis project 3-6
   
THEA 699 Creative Project Evaluation or THEA 799 Thesis 3-6
   
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 60
   

Sample plan of study

Courses Credit hours
   
First semester 12
Core course - general (THEA 509, 510, 603, 604) 3
THEA 505 Advanced Scene Design III 3
THEA 630 Production 3
Elective 3
   
Second semester 12
Core course - general (THEA 509, 510, 603, 604) 3
THEA 506 Advanced Scene Design IV 3
THEA 508 Scene Painting 3
THEA 641 Advanced Theatre Projects 3
   
Third semester 12
Core course - general (THEA 509, 510, 603, 604) 3
THEA 508 Scene Painting 3
THEA 605 Advanced Studies in Stage Design 3
THEA 651 Individual Study in Graduate Design 3
   
Fourth semester 12
Core course - general (THEA 509, 510, 603, 604) 3
THEA 508 Scene Painting 3
THEA 606 Advanced Studies in Stage Design 3
THEA 630 Production 3
   
Fifth semester 9
THEA 640 Advanced Theatre Projects 3
THEA 698 Creative Project 3
Elective (special topics or art history) 3
   
Sixth semester 9
THEA 593 Professional Internship 3
THEA 641 Advanced Theatre Projects 3
THEA 699 Creative Project Evaluation or THEA 799 Thesis 3

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Degree candidacy requirements

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Graduation requirements

 

 

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Last update: 10/29/2014

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