In Texas, students have a number of choices if they are looking for an MFA program in acting. This article will highlight details about four of these programs in order to provide prospective students with information regarding curriculum requirements and program structure, as well as any unique program attributes. Additionally, a discussion on admission standards is included.
Overview of the MFA Acting Programs in Texas
Southern Methodist University
At Southern Methodist University, students can apply for the MFA program in acting, which is a selective program that only admits eight students per year. Students can complete this program in three years, with each year being devoted to different techniques and theatrical texts. During the first year of the program, students will take courses in movement and speech, among other topics, and can audition for various summer theatre productions. During the second year, students focus on plays written by Shakespeare, as well as other classic writers, and will direct a couple of their own pieces. The third year broadens students' exposure to other playwrights, like Beckett and Chekhov, and involves auditioning for various companies and agents in New York.
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin offers students the opportunity to enroll in its MFA program in performance as public practice. This unique program is designed for artists who are interested in studying performance from a variety of perspectives, as it focuses on the integration of performance with research and writing, and it prepares graduates for careers as performance artists in acting, as well as careers in teaching and directing, among other options. This program can be completed in three years and requires that students complete 60 total credit hours, 36 of which come from the required core curriculum. Students then also must complete 12 credits of electives and six credits of applied practice courses. The final six credits are earned through the completion of a thesis.
University of Houston
Another option for students is the MFA in Theatre program offered by the University of Houston that allows students to pursue an acting track. This program can be completed in four semesters and requires that students complete a total of 45 credit hours. Students take courses in movement, voice, speech, and acting through the four semesters, in addition to courses that focus on dramatic theory and training as an ensemble. During the summer in between the second and third semester, students are expected to seek work with a professional company to gain valuable experience. Additionally, during each of the two winter breaks in the program, students must complete a turbo-project, which involves rehearsing a theatre piece and presenting it within one week's time.
Texas Tech University
Students who enroll at Texas Tech University have a couple of options to choose from if they are interested in acting. The MFA program in performance and pedagogy allows students to select either a written thesis option or a project option. Students in the thesis option will complete 39 credits of core courses, 15 credits of electives, and six hours of written thesis credit. The project option entails completing 42 credits of required core courses and 18 hours of elective credits. Some courses that students in either option will be required to take cover topics in different styles of acting, the teaching of acting, and voice and movement. Students in the project track fulfill the requirements of this project by acting in a major role in a theatrical production.
Admissions Standards for MFA Programs in Acting in Texas
When applying to MFA programs in acting in Texas, students will need to submit a number of documents and information about themselves to admissions committees in order to be considered. One part of the application process that is unique to MFA programs in acting is the interview and audition that applicants typically must go through in order to be considered. Each program will likely specify what this audition entails, whether it be a monologue or particular scene, so students will likely want to check with each individual program. Additionally, applicants will need to submit past academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a CV or resume, and a personal statement when applying for admission.
To summarize, prospective students of MFA programs in acting in the state of Texas can choose from many different programs. These programs differ in some ways in regard to their curriculum requirements and structure, as well as the opportunities students will have in these programs.