Due to the structure of the program, we admit new students only once a year and all new students begin in the fall. Applications should be completed no later than December 15. Finalists will be selected in January for an in-person interview. The finalist interview day takes place at The Theatre School in February.
Required application materials
The first step is to complete the online application
As part of this application, you will be asked to upload your
photograph and resume, as well as complete several writing prompts (see
below). The application fee ($75) is paid by credit/debit card when
submitting the online application.
MFA Directing applicants should be prepared to answer the following written statements as part of the online application:
- Based on your personal experiences to date, please write a
personal statement in which you discuss what you feel are your strong
points, where you feel you need more development, and exactly what it is
you hope to get from this program and for what purpose(s).
- Create a one-page directorial analysis of Far Away by Caryl Churchill.
Please include answers to the following questions: What is the play
about to you? What kind of play is it? (Feel free to personalize this
directorial response, e.g. Three Sisters might be a slapstick carnival in your production or Hamlet
might be a political tragedy.) Who is the protagonist? (e.g. whose
action drives the events of the story?) What is the protagonist’s
driving action? (e.g. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’ driving action may be to
find the slayer of the king.) What are the major conflicting forces at
work in the play? How do you imagine the world of the play? How would
you describe the acting style of the play in your production?
A photograph is required for identification purposes and will be uploaded as part of the online application. Any photograph is
acceptable provided it looks like you. A professional headshot is not
The resume will be uploaded as part of the online application. The resume should list your theatrical experience and/or any related experience (employment, internships, activities, etc.)
A transcript is considered official only if it is sent to us
directly from the institution that issued it; a transcript sent to us by
the student is considered unofficial. International students should visit our international admissions page for
additional instructions about submitting transcripts, as international
transcripts must be sent through an evaluation company.
Three Letters of Recommendation
Request three letters of recommendation from individuals who are
familiar with your desire to attend The Theatre School. You can
electronically request a letter from a recommender through the online
application by providing their information on the recommenders page, or
you may simply have your recommender mail or email us their letter.
Finalists are typically selected in mid-to-late January and will be invited to spend the day with us on our Chicago campus. Finalists will have the opportunity to tour The Theatre School and meet current students and faculty, in addition to completing their finalist interview during the visit day.
If selected as a finalist, applicants must attend the our MFA Directing finalist interview day in order to receive a final decision. Expenses for travel, lodging, etc., are the responsibility of the applicant. The audition/interview for finalists will consist of two parts – a directing exercise and an interview with directing faculty.
For the directing exercise, you will be asked to direct Scene 1 from Far Away by Caryl Churchill. You will be provided actors (either current Theatre School students or alumni) who will be memorized. You will also be provided some standard rehearsal furniture (e.g. chairs, tables). You will be given up to 30 minutes to direct the scene under the observation of the directing faculty. The expectation is to see you in the process of directing a scene “on its feet,” however there is not an expectation to see a “performance ready” piece by the end of the process.
You will also interview one-on-one with the faculty. We believe that during the interview, the questions you have for us are as important as the questions we have for you. There is no fixed format or schedule of questions for the interview but the faculty member who conducts the interview may be interested in your theatre experiences, academic record, personal achievements, professional experience and plans for your artistic future.
Application Status Check
To check the status of your application materials, log into your DePaul application portal or give The Theatre School Admissions Office a call at (773) 325-7999. Please allow at least three weeks from the time you send in your materials before requesting a status check.
Application materials can be sent to us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or they can be mailed to the following address:
The Theatre School Admissions Office
2350 N. Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60614-8422