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 main stage productions and acting in major roles.
UT MFA programs recruit among the most elite professional degree programs in the nation. We have a strong commitment to diversity, and recent classes have reflected that commitment.
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, Istanbul, London, Bulgaria, Berlin, and Munich. During these visits, students took master classes, worked with internationally renowned artists, showcased their work, and competed at conferences, while also 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.