Graduate Programs

MFA Directing Concentration

one student, sitting in an almost empty theatre, watching the stage

The directing concentration at The University of Alabama is an intense three-year program with a dual focus on production and preparation for academia. It is geared towards nascent directors who have already mastered the basics of theatre directing and helmed a few productions (of any size or budget, including very small).

Each year, the MFA candidates take part in a yearlong graduate seminar that emphasizes exploration, presentation, and mentorship through guided exploration of key concepts in professional contemporary directing, consistent opportunities to present (and assess) each candidate’s developing vision, and ongoing mentorship tailored to each student’s goals. The candidates in this concentration graduate with a rigorous and broad understanding of the craft of directing as well as insight into their individual aesthetic.

Starting in their second year of the concentration, MFA candidates direct two full-length productions each academic year  (one in the fall and one in the spring) in the Allen Bales, a 149-seat, thrust-stage theatre. First-year candidates typically serve as the assistant director to faculty and guest directors.

Beyond the graduate seminar, assistant directing, and directing work, candidates work with the program director to design their own individualized course of study. Graduate level department courses include history, literature, criticism, performance, and various aspects of design. Directing concentration candidates are expected to gain proficiency in all aspects of theatre making.

Our candidates also teach undergraduate survey theatre classes, explore the use of theatre in different classroom settings, and develop and facilitate workshops based on their own areas of interest and expertise.

Admissions and Financial Support

Admission and assistantships are awarded based upon a portfolio review, interview and acceptance into the University of Alabama Graduate School.  The program typically accepts one new MFA candidate a year.

For more information about the program and admission requirements, visit our Application Instructions or contact Matt Davis, Head of Directing, at

Have any questions? Visit our FAQ page.

For more information about the university application, please visit the Graduate School website.

a complex set, with several rooms


MFA Directing Concentration Curriculum