M.F.A. in Theatre in Design/Production
The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre in Design and Production is an intensive program intended to prepare students for work as designers in the professional theatre. The program admits 1-4 students each year, with applicants from all over the world. Instruction centres on a core of studio classes emphasizing development of conceptual, graphic, and research skills. In addition, MFA design and production students undertake considerable practical work, which may include assisting faculty and other practicing designers on projects outside the University, designing theatre productions at U.B.C. and elsewhere, and working in film and opera. The program generally takes 2 or 3 years to complete, and culminates in a thesis design or designs, usually for one of the UBC theatres. MFA design students also develop a portfolio of artwork and photographs to demonstrate and illustrate their abilities.
M.F.A. in Theatre in Directing
The M.F.A. Directing program is professionally oriented, intended for those who wish to extend and enhance their directing practice. The program is highly sought after by theatre artists, and the entrance process is competitive; only one or two students a year are admitted. Typically, entrants arrive with at least five years, usually more, of professional theatre experience. These theatre artists have an opportunity to delve deeply into the intellectural and practical world of theatre. Students spend a year investigating a variety of preparation and rehearsal techniques and the demands of various theatrical performance styles. In their second year they join forces with a Creative Writing/Theatre Masters student and workshop a new play, and they direct two full-length productions. One of these shows is the student's thesis production, where, in addition to preparing a fully realized production of a challenging play, MFA candidates conduct extensive research and write about the style, the playwright, the context and the intentions of the play; they record and analyze their directorial process and they defend their analysis as well as their artistic choices.
What sets the UBC program apart?
M.F.A. design students have opportunities to work in theatre, opera, and film, and in a variety of venues. Students emerge from the program with excellent work experience and expertise in their areas of interest.
The MFA in Directing at U.B.C. takes a practice-based approach to an extensive study of directing. Our guiding principle is in engaging practicing professionals for two years of study to closely consider (and reconsider) their current practice. U.B.C. offers student directors the option of working in three different theatre spaces, the 400 seat proscenium Frederic Wood Theatre, the flexible Telus Studio in the Chan Centre, and the black-box environment of the Dorothy Somerset Studio Theatre. UBC Theatre takes a "company of artists" approach to the study of theatre. Graduate students in directing work alongside developing actors, designers, production personnel, scholars and playwrights in the evolution of their practice, and out of this many long-term professional partnerships and collaborations evolve. As Theatre at UBC is housed in a department of Theatre and Film, there are also options for MFA directors to explore some techniques of filmmaking. U.B.C. is one of the oldest MFA directing programs in Canada and its graduates are working directors, artistic directors, and college and university faculty members.
Graduates of the M.F.A. design/production program pursue careers as designers in the performing arts, and as faculty at colleges and universities.
Graduates of the M.F.A. directing program pursue careers as directors, artistic directors in the theatre commmunity and as faculty at colleges and universities.