Students on stage performing Marisol

MFA in Directing

During the three-year Directing program, our directing students are trained according to the principles of the Stanislavski-Actors Studio directing process, which addresses all the elements of stage directing, from the first reading to opening night.

  • Through theory and practice, directing students study the relationships of the director to the play, the playwright, the actor, the designers and the audience.
  • They learn to tell the story, to create the events, to develop moment-to-moment behavior in order to convince the theatergoer of what takes place on the stage.
  • They are trained to solve acting problems, to conduct improvisations and to make the most creative use of their rehearsals.
  • Through a deep and intense process, directing students learn how to work with the actors in order to bring the characters to life in a profoundly personal way.
  • To support their understanding of the actor’s art and the acting process, all directing students study acting throughout their three years. In addition, the voice and movement training of our program is available to the directing students as electives.
  • Through the Design program, directing students learn to develop their ideas with the designers, to prepare production designs, to run technical rehearsals and to direct in a variety of theater spaces.
  • Through a two-semester course in the History of Directing, students will examine the central issues in the development of the principal innovative theater directors of the modern period.
  • Through many directing projects, directing students learn to lead and collaborate with actors, playwrights and designers.

Directing Opportunities

  • During the three years of their training, directing students experience many directing opportunities. In their directing classes they work on established dramatic material and in the Playwrights and Directors Unit they work on original work by their fellow playwrights.
  • Their best work in their directing classes and in the Playwrights and Directors Unit is presented to the public in end-of-semester “Festivals.”
  • During the Third-Year Repertory Season, directing students direct a series of professionally produced plays for the general public and the theater profession.