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Performance MFA


MFA Performance
MFA Actors John Galas and Sean Birkett in UGA Theatre's Young Frankenstein 


The MFA in Performance will be on hiatus for the 2024-2025 Academic Year.

The University of Georgia’s MFA in Performance, which accepts applicants once every three years, focuses on preparing artists for careers in theatre, film, and media and for teaching at the university, community college or secondary level.

The mission of the MFA Performance program is to develop performers who excel as storytellers, artists, content creators, teachers, and entrepreneurs.

Building on a performer's core strengths, the program cultivates the artist's individual voice with intensive studies in varied methodologies, techniques, histories, theories, and applied practice and research. Understanding the need for artists to be well rounded in all aspects of performance, our students also may take classes in dramaturgy, script analysis, theatre for social change, multicultural theatre history, and digital media.  Though students undertake the same core curriculum, there is also room for other courses based on the student’s interests and goals.  The program is designed to provide each student in the cohort a specialized artistic journey based on their interests and skill set.

UGA’s training in performance involves class work in acting, voice, and movement that encompasses Stanislavski, Meisner, Michael Chekhov, Alexander, Linklater, LeCoq, and Laban. In addition, classes in solo performance, devising, genre, style, and Viewpoints push actors to take control of their artistic aesthetic and process.    Each year the students have an opportunity for performance in either our main stage, graduate ensemble studio shows, or a project of their own devising.  These presentations are meant to showcase their development in the program and highlight their particular specialization in performance.   In the second year of the program, the students are assigned a substantial role in the University Season.  In the third year, they complete a thesis project that serves as a capstone project for their degree.

Assistantships are available in teaching, public relations, community outreach, professional partnerships, and other leadership opportunities.  These assistantships are meant to foster discipline and provide experiential learning in student’s areas of interest.  Our graduates go on to become practitioners in film, television, theatre, digital media, and education.

The MFA in Performance program is an in-residence program.   Students are expected to live in Athens.  The program offers a highly competitive assistantship. Our financial package includes a three-year waiver of tuition (in-state  $4,439 per semester) or out-of-state ($12,593 per semester) plus an annual assistantship of $14,139.  Graduate students on assistantship are enrolled in mandatory health insurance unless they are otherwise covered.  The cost averages $117 per month for the student-only plan.  Insurance plans that include spouse or children is also available at an additional cost.  The estimated minimum value of the assistantship stipend and tuition per year is $23,017 for an in-state student or $39,216 for an out-of-state student.

Ideal candidates for this program:

  • display a foundational knowledge of performance process
  • have clear career and educational goals
  • have well rounded interests in all levels of production and performance
  • are drawn to performance-based work and interested in examining its role in their lives and society
  • represent diverse artistic and cultural voices
  • demonstrate an ability to work with others in a collaborative environment
  • utilize strong communication skills
  • have an inquisitive nature
  • convey a spirit of creativity and imagination
  • are open and receptive to new ideas
  • are flexible and willing to take risks in their creative process
  • possess the stamina and self motivation required for the rigors associated with achieving the Master of Fine Arts degree.

Please note: The UGA MFA in Performance enrolls a cohort for a single three-year cycle. The MFA in Performance is not currently accepting applications. The program will be on hiatus for at least two years.

Graduate Handbook

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