MFA in Acting…

“The Baby Dance”, 2011


The Master of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Alabama provides the MFA candidate with all the tools necessary to successfully pursue a career in either performance or academia.  The MFA is a rigorously structured sequence of study designed to support the actor in the creation of a personally satisfying, solid base of technique, as well as a proficiency in a wide array of acting styles and methods.

Initial acting courses are designed to encourage the realization of a highly personalized, confident expression on stage.  Advanced courses are offered in Shakespeare, Greek Drama, Moliere, European Realism, Classic Comedic Styles (including Wilde and Coward), Acting for the Camera, Contemporary Theatrical Styles, Musical Theatre, Directing, Playwriting, Careers in Theatre, and the Teaching of Acting.

Acting courses are augmented by intensive study in Movement and Voice for the Stage. Advanced movement courses include specialized study in Classical Clowning, Character Mask Work, Stage Combat, Suzuki, Contact Improvisation, Physical Characterization, Tai Chi, Laban and Karate.

Advanced vocal courses include specialized study of Fitzmaurice (destructuring/ restructuring), Linklater, Rodenberg, Berry, and Lessac techniques, as well vocal training for Musical Theatre.  This is augmented by the study of phonetics (IPA), stage dialects and vocal archetypes.

The Mainstage and Studio seasons provide considerable performance opportunities for MFA candidates.  Typically the Department produces an eight show theatre season, with a varied repertory of dramatic styles represented.  With their extensive national and international connections, the Faculty facilitates professional summer performance opportunities as well, including performance opportunities with the Teatro Nacionale in Havana, Cuba, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the Texas Shakespeare Festival.

As many of our graduates go on to pursue professional careers, this department is resolutely committed to assisting with that transition through organizing internships, seeking local theatrical and film casting opportunities for exceptional students and through our New York Showcase, where graduating students have secured representation by significant AEA and SAG franchised talent agents.

Courses in this degree, and the Department of Theatre and Dance as a whole, are taught by a vibrant, dedicated faculty of working professionals, who bring a wealth of national and international experience to the classroom.

Admittance and assistantships (including tuition wavers) are based on audition and acceptance into The University of Alabama’s Graduate School.  Candidates with professional experience and deportment are given preference in admittance.  Auditions are held on campus in early February, at the Southeastern Theatre Conference Graduate School Auditions in early March and by appointment.

Curriculum for MFA in Acting:

First Year

  • Advanced Scene Study
  • Advanced Stage Movement
  • Teaching Acting
  • Advanced Voice and Speech
  • Script Analysis
  • Playwriting
  • Musical Theatre (Voice)

Second Year

  • Acting Shakespeare
  • Acting for the Camera
  • Dialects
  • Modern Acting Styles
  • Graduate Theatre History I
  • Graduate Theatre History II
  • Musical Theatre (Dance)

Third Year

  • Showcase Preparation
  • Directing at the University Level
  • Problems in Acting- Voice
  • Careers
  • Classical Theatre Seminar
  • Modern Theatre Seminar
  • Musical Theatre (Voice)


Auditions: The next auditions for the MFA Acting Class, commencing study in Fall 2015, will be held on site at The University of Alabama in early February 2015.  Auditions may only be scheduled following successful application to The University of Alabama Graduate School (please apply online through the graduate application center) during Summer/Fall 2014 and early Spring 2015.

Please prepare two contrasting monologues of no more than ninety seconds each.  If you sing, you are welcome to do so, provided you bring a recorded accompaniment.  You may be asked to perform additional material.

Candidates can also be seen at the Southeastern Theatre Conference Graduate School auditions in March of 2015, and by appointment at the university.



Contact:  For more information on the Master of Fine Arts in Acting Program please contact Seth Panitch, Head of Acting Programs, at