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Directing and Public Dialogue

M.F.A. in Theatre

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Program Overview

Our program provides professional training for directing, developing and maintaining an ensemble, creating and performing original work, and forming and facilitating creative community partnerships – all within the context of the artist as an engaged citizen.

The Directing and Public Dialogue program is not seeking or accepting applications for Fall 2021 admission, due to a COVID-based admission deferral this Fall.  The next application round for this program will be for admission in Fall 2022, with an application deadline in January, 2022.   For inquiries about the program, please email the program leader, Bob Leonard, at bob.leonard@vt.edu  

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Why choose this program?

  • Our program provides professional training for directing, developing and maintaining an ensemble, creating and performing original work, and forming and facilitating creative community partnerships – all within the context of the artist as an engaged citizen.
  • Each student admitted will work with a primary advisor in a one-on-one studio environment over the three-year period
  • An individualized Plan of Study, based on the opportunity of a production assignment each semester carefully selected to serve the needs of the individual student, supports the examination of a wide range of performance styles and organizational structures in the context of ensemble theatre and public dialogue.  These practical assignments integrate production aesthetics with community engagement practices.

What You'll Study

To complete the degree, successful completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours is required. The program is designed to be completed in three years. Practical, hands-on projects form the foundation of the program, challenging students to think critically, problem solve, and respond creatively.

Our program provides professional training for directing, developing and maintaining an ensemble, creating and performing original work, and forming and facilitating creative community partnerships – all within the context of the artist as an engaged citizen

Each student admitted will work with a primary advisor in a one-on-one studio environment over the three-year period. 

An individualized Plan of Study, based on the opportunity of a production assignment each semester carefully selected to serve the needs of the individual student, supports the examination of a wide range of performance styles and organizational structures in the context of ensemble theatre and public dialogue.  These practical assignments integrate production aesthetics with community engagement practices.

Each student participates closely with a required graduate committee every semester of enrollment to evaluate work done, assess progress, and plan future projects and experiences.

The program guides each student towards developing and refining:

  • An artistic vision
  • Directing skills in conventional and non-conventional theatre spaces and contexts
  • Leadership strategies for the development, maintenance and growth of an ensemble of theatre artists
  • Skills in the disciplines of acting and performance - voice, movement, text analysis, scene study, etc.
  • Creative processes for originating theatrical material for performance
  • Negotiation skills for building and maintaining partnerships with individuals and organizations
  • A grounding in theory and analysis of human interaction in the personal, social, and political frames of reference

Never before have I been so busy or worked so hard or learned so much in such a relatively short amount of time. This department provided the space and time necessary for me to continue my research and develop my work. My committee, Bob Leonard, Ann Kilkelly, Patty Raun and Randy Ward provided thoughtful, diverse articulated feedback as well as creative stimulation and inspiration every step of the way. Bob Leonard challenged me to take full responsibility for my education and my creative growth while encouraging me to expand my definition of theatre to include the community outside of the buildings in which we work. Thanks to the attention of my committee I am leaving this grad department a more articulate, impactful, and socially engaged theatre artist than when I came in a few short years ago.

-Vince DeGeorge, 2014 M.F.A. in Directing and Public Dialogue

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale)
  • TOEFL/ IELTS score required  (if applicable)

Learn more 

Each student accepted into the program receives a full tuition scholarship and out-of-state fee waiver. Each student accepted also receives an assistantship of approximately $18,700 for the first academic year, with increasing amounts in the second and third years. To maintain assistantship support, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Download Plan of Study

Jan 15 for consideration for funding

Robert (Bob) Leonard, Directing and Public Dialogue Area Coordinator
320 Henderson Hall
bob.leonard@vt.edu

Robert (Bob) Leonard, Directing and Public Dialogue Area Coordinator
320 Henderson Hall
bob.leonard@vt.edu

Questions?

Robert (Bob) Leonard, Directing and Public Dialogue Program Leader
320 Henderson Hall
bob.leonard@vt.edu