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Curriculum

MFA Acting

​The Theatre School’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Acting is a highly truthful, yet expressive, physical acting program informed by our Chicago roots that prepares actors to work on stage and screen all over the world. The first year experience is about expanding the size and specificity of the actor’s skill, imagination, and drive. The next year intensifies scenic study of a diverse spectrum of dramatic literature, with a strong path of ensemble creation and student-generated work. The final year puts the work in the context of the profession, connects the student to artistic and industry leaders while refining the actor’s entrepreneurial spirit through company created works and independent cinema experience.

Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Degree Requirements 148
Total hours required 148

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
Acting I Sequence:  
PRF 511 GRADUATE ACTING I 4
PRF 512 GRADUATE ACTING I 4
PRF 513 GRADUATE ACTING I 4
Voice Sequence I:  
PRF 531 GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH I 2
PRF 532 GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH I 2
PRF 533 GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH I 2
Speech Sequence:  
PRF 530 MFA I SPEECH 1
PRF 540 GRAD SPEECH I: ADVANCED NOTATION 1
Movement Sequence I:  
PRF 521 GRADUATE MOVEMENT I 2
PRF 522 GRADUATE MOVEMENT I 2
PRF 523 GRADUATE MOVEMENT I 2
PRF 524 GRADUATE MOVEMENT I: RE-PATTERNING 1
PRF 525 GRAD MOVEMENT I: FELDENKRAIS 1
Acting, Improvisation Sequence:  
PRF 551 MFA I IMPROVISATION 2
PRF 552 MFA I IMPROVISATION 2
MFA Workshop I, Actor as Entrepreneur Sequence:  
PRF 571 MFA WORKSHOP I: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR 2
PRF 572 MFA WORKSHOP I: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR 2
PRF 573 MFA WOKRSHOP I: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR 2
Graduate Seminar Sequence:  
THE 601 GRADUATE SEMINAR 3
THE 602 GRADUATE SEMINAR 3
THE 603 GRADUATE SEMINAR 3
Additional Required Courses:  
PRF 553 MFA I MEISNER 2
PRF 563 REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE I 5
Second Year
PRF 580 STAGE COMBAT 1
Acting II, Classical Sequence:  
PRF 611 GRADUATE ACTING II: CLASSICAL 5
PRF 612 GRADUATE ACTING II: CLASSICAL 5
PRF 613 GRADUATE ACTING II: CLASSICAL 5
Movement II Sequence:  
PRF 621 GRADUATE MOVEMENT II 2
PRF 622 GRADUATE MOVEMENT II 2
PRF 623 GRADUATE MOVEMENT II 2
Voice and Speech II Sequence:  
PRF 631 GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH II 2
PRF 632 GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH II 2
PRF 633 GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH II 2
Acting II, Contemporary Sequence:  
PRF 641 GRADUATE ACTING II: MYTH, FABLE, & FOLKLORE IN DRAMA 2
PRF 642 GRADUATE ACTING II: TRAGIC FOCUS FROM 1700 TO 1950 2
PRF 643 GRADUATE ACTING II: COMIC FOCUS FROM 1700 TO 1950 2
Rehearsal and Performance Sequence:  
PRF 661 REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE II 5
PRF 662 REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE II 5
PRF 663 REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE II 5
MFA Workshop II, Actor as Entrepreneur Sequence:  
PRF 671 MFA WORKSHOP II: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR 2
PRF 673 MFA WORKSHOP II: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR 2
Third Year
PRF 716 GRADUATE SHOWCASE 3
PRF 714 AUDITION 3
PRF 730 MFA III VOICE & SPEECH 2
Acting III Sequence:  
PRF 711 GRADUATE ACTING III: COMPANY CREATION 4
PRF 712 GRADUATE ACTING III: PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION 4
PRF 713 GRADUATE ACTING III: ADVANCED IMPROVISATION 2-4
Movement III Sequence:  
PRF 721 GRADUATE MOVEMENT III 2
PRF 722 GRADUATE MOVEMENT III 2
PRF 723 GRADUATE MOVEMENT III: AFRICAN DANCE 2
Acting, On Camera Sequence  
PRF 720 ACTING FOR THE CAMERA 2
FILM 488 DIRECTING ACTORS FOR THE CAMERA (FORMERLY DC 450) 4
Select one of the following: 1-4
PRF 317
TOPICS IN SCENE STUDY  
PRF 381
ADVANCED STAGE COMBAT  
PRF 731
GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH III  
PRF 732
GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH III  
PRF 596
ADVANCED STAGE COMBAT  
Some other performance class with approval from department head
 
Rehearsal and Performance Sequence:  
PRF 761 REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE III 5
PRF 763 REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE III 5

Terminal Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree

In addition to completing the graduate requirements of the major program, each student must complete two or three terminal requirements: 

  • Three analytical/reflective papers, each a minimum of 10 pages in length, that in total comprise the graduate thesis.
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