The MFA in Theatre at the University of Tennessee exists to identify, cultivate, and train
individuals of diverse backgrounds who have the talent to contribute substantially to the arts
of acting and design, to their profession, and to the national culture.
The Department of Theatre offers a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with concentrations in Acting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Scenic Design. Six design graduates are recruited every other year in even numbered calendar years: two in costume design, two in lighting design, and two in scenic design. Eight acting graduates are recruited in odd numbered calendar years. MFA candidates undergo 3 years of rigorous training in the classroom, the studio, and in the professional context of the Clarence Brown Theatre, including designing mainstage productions and acting in major roles.
UT MFA programs recruit among the most elite professional degree programs in the nation. Design and acting faculty will review over 1100 applicants for just 14 positions in the 2012/2013 cycle. We have a strong commitment to diversity, and recent classes have included African Americans, Filipino Americans, a Greek national, a British national, a Japanese national, a Spanish national, a Hmong American, and a number of LGBT students.
Representative undergraduate institutions that our graduates from over the last six years attended prior to attending UT include:
College of William & Mary
Oberlin College Conservatory of Music
Brigham Young University
St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame
Valparaiso University School of Law
University of Bath, England
The London School of Economics
Over the same six years, our graduates have selected UT in favor of MFA programs at:
University of Washington
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts
Southern Methodist University
University of California, Irvine
Harvard University, American Repertory Theatre
Brown University, Trinity Repertory Theatre
Denver National Theatre Conservatory
New York University
University of Texas, Austin
California Institute of the Arts
University of Maryland
Florida State University
While in residence at UT, MFA designers have won more than 100 regional and national design awards since the inception of the program, and have 100% placement in the profession over the last five years. MFA designers travel extensively. In the last six years, they have visited Mexico, Vietnam, Prague, Amsterdam, New York, and other world capitals, meeting and working with internationally renowned artists, showcasing work, competing at conferences, seeing theatre, touring cities and museums, and absorbing world culture.
MFA actors travel to London during their second year to work with leading teachers, take in theatre and museums, and learn more about Shakespeare and the English theatre. In their third year, they showcase for industry professionals in New York City. Recent graduates enjoy representation at Abrams Artists Agency, Don Buchwald and Associates, Dulcina Eisen Associates, Henderson Hogan Agency, and other highly regarded agencies. They are at work in theatre, film, and television, including: Weeds on Showtime; Law and Order on NBC; SAG and independent feature films; The Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York; The Acting Company, New York; Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.; The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; The Asolo Theatre, Sarasota, Florida; and many more from Maine to Los Angeles. (Please refer to alumni news page as it comes online.)
Our MFA programs are strong and growing stronger. We are entering a period of increased revenues and systemic facility enhancement. Have a closer look at all we have to offer by following the links for each program above left and for the MFA Handbook and Graduation Requirements below.