M.F.A. in Acting

The M.F.A. Acting Program at Southern Methodist University seeks to prepare serious, dedicated artists for a life in the profession. The curriculum combines broad-based and inclusive actor training with rehearsal and performance of classical, contemporary, ensemble-based and self-created works. Our unique relationship with the award-winning Dallas Theater Center provides students with the ability to collaborate with artists of national and international stature. 

The Course of Study

The First Year focuses on the actor’s release of self under imaginary circumstances.  Acting, Voice/Speech and Movement classes work together to identify and redirect habitual behaviors, release imagination and structure a foundational technique that allows actors to bring their full selves to the work. 

The Second Year extends the development of technique through immersion in heightened texts, both classical and contemporary. Actors expand their technical and imaginative abilities though extended voice and dialect work, commedia and character mask, and European clown.  In addition to regular casting, graduate students create two self-directed pieces – one solo and one ensemble-based.

In their Third Year, actors take on the challenges of contemporary texts both in acting and in on-camera classes. Career development includes workshops with industry professionals from both coasts as well as smaller markets. Actors create and record voice-over demos and film reels with a full crew. The year culminates in a filmed digital showcase that is marketed to agents and casting directors in all major markets.