Skip to content

Vols to Watch

Let Our Alumni Entertain You

From the big screen to the stage, these six UT alumni are ones to watch

MFA in Theatre Again Ranks as One of the Best

For the second year in a row, UT has received national recognition for its Master of Fine Arts in theatre.

The Hollywood Reporter ranked the program 16th among the 25 best MFA acting programs in the United States and the United Kingdom. The program was ranked 20th last year.

“Last year the Hollywood Reporter updated the methods they use to evaluate MFA programs,” said Jed Diamond, head of acting at UT. “They continued to improve their research this year, and as a result we moved up four places. This is a more accurate reflection of all we offer here at UT.”

In the training studio, MFA graduate students analyze and practice the elements of art and craft. They are then able to apply this training alongside established professionals before a live audience in UT’s Clarence Brown Theatre. Students have the opportunity to perform in up to 11 mainstage productions during their three years of training and earn an Actor’s Equity Association membership card along the way.

Notable alumni of UT’s program include Conrad Ricamora (2012) of How to Get Away with Murder and Tramell Tillman (2014), who has a featured role in AMC’s new Dietland,which premieres June 4.

In addition to creating accomplished actors, the MFA program sets students up for success by allowing them to graduate free of debt. The eight actors accepted into the program every other year—from more than 700 who audition—all receive a full-ride scholarship plus a stipend.

See full article here:  Tennessee Today



In the Department of Theatre at the University of Tennessee we are dedicated to creating rigorous educational programs that are fully integrated with the operations of a professional theatre serving our region. We believe that the best way for students to learn the art of theatre is to study in the studio and then to practice alongside first-rate professionals. This dual mission informs everything that we do.

The Department operates The Clarence Brown Theatre (CBT), a LORT D Equity theatre, and is a member of the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA). The Department and the CBT are fully integrated in all aspects of mission and function. We offer a four-year Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a three-year Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with concentrations in Acting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Scenic Design.

The integration of our academic programs with The Clarence Brown enables us to compete among the finest University theatre programs  in the nation. Our MFA programs recruit nationally among the most elite professional programs, and our BA program is a leader in the region, offering a strong liberal arts degree with exceptional performance, design, and other production opportunities.

Our department and our theatre are strong and growing stronger. The Clarence Brown Theatre is a pillar of the east Tennessee arts community. Many of our shows sell out, and 35,000 people attend CBT shows each year. We enjoy the strong support of University leadership. The Clarence and Marian Brown Endowment, the state of Tennessee, and generous support from our community provide us with a stable fiscal foundation, and we are developing  new resources to better our facilities, creative excellence, and national reach.

We encourage you to learn more about us from this website. Just follow the links to the left. You are also more than welcome to come to UT for a visit, to have a closer look at all we have to offer. We can set up meetings with faculty, a tour of our facilities, or an audition. And while you are here, you can enjoy a wonderful evening at one of our shows!

Faezeh Jalali – It is the ‘now’ that matters

Faezeh Jalali prefers to work with themes, which are socially relevant

See Full article by Deepa Gahlot here at The Hindu

A decade ago, Faezeh Jalali was named, by a magazine, as a face to watch out for. She lives up to the prediction, and is today, among the finest directors on the stage, winning awards and appreciation for 07/07/07 and Shikhandi — both plays with strong social messages and a uniquely energetic style of presentation. Since she moved to direction and writing, she has cut down on acting. “I am always the understudy,” she says, “I haven’t been able to crack the thing about directing and acting in a play. But once it is ready and somebody can’t do it, it is easy for me to step in.”

Over the years, Jalali, like Peter Pan she played in a production, has not aged a bit, she had the lithe appearance that comes from discipline and physical exertion. She runs miles, does not drink caffeinated beverages or eat junk food; she won’t drink water from a plastic bottle, is a vehement supporter of environmental causes and her conviction shows in her work.

When she was a student, Jalali wanted to be a dentist. At an undergrad programme in the U.S., she could combine liberal arts with pre-med studies, but after a “reality check,” theatre won. She wanted to go in for graduate studies in the U.S. only if she got a full scholarship — “I couldn’t burden my dad any more” — which she did at the University of Tennessee. “It was a life-changing experience, truly magical. It was an international programme, so we were taken out of America to do theatre in other countries. I even came to Mumbai and interned with Rehaan Engineer.”

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.