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MFA Acting Programs in Ohio

Mar 30, 2019

In Ohio, there are a few universities offering MFA programs in acting. These programs are designed to prepare graduates for careers as professional actors and have some similarities in coursework and requirements.

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Studying acting at the graduate level is possible at a number of Ohio universities that offer MFA in acting programs. Below, we will cover four of these programs in greater detail by focusing on program structure and length, curriculum requirements, and what is necessary in order to gain admission into these programs.

Overview of Schools with MFAs in Acting

Ohio University

The MFA in Acting program at Ohio University requires the completion of 90 credit hours over the span of three years. The first year of this program is foundational in nature, and students focus on topics like voice, speech, movement, and expression. During the second year, students work to apply principles from the foundational study as well as explore Shakespeare, scene work, and how to use stage combat effectively. The final year of the program focuses on providing students with a broad overview of some of the classics of theater and also serves as the time during which students work on their thesis.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University offers an MFA in Theatre (Acting) with a focus on the creation of new works. In this program, students spend three years taking coursework that covers a variety of topics, from directing and script analysis to history and criticism courses, in addition to practical acting courses. The first year focuses on fundamentals, while the second and third years explore classical and contemporary training. A course in developing new works is also a part of the second year. In total, students will complete at least 69 credit hours and a comprehensive exam in order to fulfill the requirements of this program.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University offers an MFA in Acting at the Cleveland Play House, and takes a total of three years to complete. During the first two years of this program, students will focus on topics like voice training, different styles of acting, movement, and stage combat. The third year of the program involves an understudy at the Cleveland Play House as an in-resident actor. Students are also encouraged to explore professional opportunities through a showcase in New York City. In total, students are required to complete 82 credit hours including a thesis portfolio.

Kent State University

Kent State University offers an MFA in Theatre Studies with a concentration in Acting. This program requires a total of 60 credit hours, 24 of which are core courses and 36 are assigned to the concentration. Some courses in the acting concentration cover topics like movement, scene study, naturalism, and voice work. There are some elective options as well that cover topics like acting for the camera, playwriting, and musical theater. Kent State University also offers a concentration called Acting for the Returning Professional. This is designed for individuals who already have some professional acting experience, and students can earn up to 15 credit hours for past experience.

Admissions Standards

When applying to a school in Ohio with an MFA in Acting program, candidates typically need to have an undergraduate degree in theater or a related degree and hold a 3.0 GPA. They will also need to compile an application file that could include a completed application form, head shot, letters of recommendation, past academic transcripts, an acting resume or CV, and a personal statement. Another important component of this application is typically an interview and audition, given the nature of these programs. Each program will likely specify how this audition process will take place, as students may be required to travel to the school in person. Some programs may also accept auditions via video or recording.

Students in Ohio have a few options to choose from in regard to MFA programs in acting. Most programs are three years in length, and some include internship opportunities and a thesis requirement.

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