MFA Acting

The Master of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Connecticut is an intensive, conservatory-style program designed to prepare students already possessing significant actor training for direct entry into performance careers in all areas of professional theatre, including television and film. Master of Fine Arts level. Combining a three-year sequence of acting classes with extensive voice and movement training and a well-rounded course of studies in the art of theatre, the MFA Acting Program also offers outstanding performance opportunities through the Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT), the performance wing of the Department of Dramatic Arts. At the CRT, graduate students constitute a major part of the acting company and work with professional actors and directors on the way to earning membership points in Actor's Equity Association (AEA), the American union for professional stage actors and stage managers in the United States. The vast majority of our MFA candidates are "Equity eligible" by the time they complete the program.

Course of Study

MFA Acting students take formal acting-studio courses in each of their six semesters in the program. Beginning with a careful examination of the tools available to the actor in rehearsal and performance, we lead students through a variety of acting styles. Suzuki training techniques are offered each semester during the course of study and provide a base of physical and vocal training. In a disciplined conservatory setting, acting students work on a wide range of plays, from the contemporary and modern theatre before progressing to more advanced work with Shakespeare and other poetic dramatists. In the final year, the performance study focuses on styles of comic acting as well as techniques for approaching the great experimental plays of the twentieth century. Acting for the Media is also a recommended course for MFA Acting students. These core-acting courses are supplemented and enhanced by required courses in Movement for the Actor, Voice and Diction, Stage Dialects, Jazz Dance, and Historical Dance Styles. Finally, courses in Musical Theatre Dance and Stage Combat are available and highly recommended as are Singing courses through the UConn Music Department. MFA Acting students also are required to take some coursework in Theatre History and Dramatic Literature. A wide range of courses to fulfill this requirement is available within the department, and additional non-required courses in Dramatic Literature are available from the Department of English.


The following is a partial list of the actual dramatic arts courses you will take in order to complete your MFA in Acting.

First Year

Fall Semester

  • DRAM 5001    Breath and Vocal Expression for the Actor
  • DRAM 5701    Core Tools and Explorations for the Professional Actor (Shakespeare Project)
  • DRAM 5801    Exploration of the Actor’s Physical Instrument
  • DRAM 5131    Studies in Theatre History and Dramatic Literature
  • DRAM 5197    TBA

Spring Semester

  • DRAM 5002    Developing Vocal Range and Intelligibility for Text and Emotional Content
  • DRAM 5702    Studies in Realism and Characterization
  • DRAM 5802    Physical Conditioning and Techniques of Character (Biomechanics Intensive)
  • DRAM 5197    TBA
  • Casting in Productions at Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • DRAM 5003    Heightened Language-Shakespeare Text
  • DRAM 5703    Acting Shakespeare and the Folio’s Guide for the Actor
  • DRAM 5803    Commedia dell Arte and Theatrical Style in the Dramatic Space
  • DRAM 5721    Stage Violence: Unarmed
  • DRAM 5197    Gymnastics and Circus Skills
  • Casting in Productions at Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Spring Semester

  • DRAM 5004    Integrating Vocal Tools for the Actor
  • DRAM 5704    Acting Styles: Comedy
  • DRAM 5804    Expressive Mask and Physical Storytelling
  • DRAM 5721    Stage Violence: Armed
  • DRAM 5192    Singing Voice
  • Casting in Productions at Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Third Year

Fall Semester

  • DRAM 5005    Integrating Vocal Tools for the Actor
  • DRAM 5705    Acting Styles: Contemporary Texts, Stage, and Film
  • DRAM 5805    Movement Styles and Clown including Advanced Biomechanics
  • DRAM 5197    Gymnastics and Circus Skills
  • DRAM 5192     Singing Voice: Individual and Chorus
  • Casting in Productions at Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Spring Semester

  • DRAM 5006    Vocal Resources for the Professional Actor
  • DRAM 5706    Actor Preparation for the Profession
  • DRAM 5806    Physical Theatre Creation
  • DRAM 5700    Acting for the Camera
  • Casting in Productions at Connecticut Repertory Theatre & NYC Showcase

Additional requirements and/or electives in Dramatic Arts or other departments as required to total a minimum of 60 graduate credits.