The Master of Fine Arts program utilizes, as primary training tools, the professional performance opportunities at The Old Globe and studio productions at the University of San Diego.
Students have performance assignments continuously throughout the program, and their work is carefully monitored by voice, movement and acting faculty advisors. Because the program trains only actors, studio productions are chosen exclusively to serve actors - not directors, designers, or playwrights.
Students should expect a rigorous and demanding training schedule. They are typically expected to attend classes, workshops, and rehearsals six days a week during the school year. Summers are generally reserved for performance work with the Globe's professional company. Because of the taxing year-round schedule, prospective candidates should be prepared to embark on a challenging, yet rewarding, two years.
The curriculum has been developed to support and expand the work in performance. Each of four semesters concentrates on a specific period of dramatic literature. Performance skills classes are coordinated with literature courses to enable students to acquire the necessary voice/speech, movement, acting, and interpretive skills to perform roles from plays of the particular genre being studied. Although course content and instructors vary, a comprehensive performance skills curriculum is taught each semester, including: Acting, Voice and Speech, Literature, Movement, Alexander Technique and Yoga.
See Course of Study for details.
Additionally, a variety of workshops and master classes are offered in such areas as scansion, improvisation, acting as a business, period styles, stage combat, audition technique, and acting for film and television, among others. There are also many opportunities for students to work with The Old Globe's impressive roster of visiting artists.
The Graduate Thesis Project, an original solo performance piece, is the program's capstone assignment. Scheduled as the final academic requirement, it is often the students' most creative and personal performance event. Under the careful guidance of faculty advisors, the student is encouraged to develop a project which demonstrates technical expertise and theatrical expression. After graduation, many students have expanded these projects into successful, fully-realized professional productions.