M.F.A. directors must complete a major creative project in each of the first two years in the program, receiving faculty assessments of their success.
The first year project, under the guidance of a faculty advisor, is a workshop production of a realistic play with three public performances. The production is seen by all acting and directing faculty and then discussed, critiqued, and evaluated in a meeting with the director. Faculty
provide observations concerning areas of accomplishment and needed improvement.
In the second semester, there is an annual evaluation of the director based on artistic progress, academic achievement, and overall compliance with the obligations of an M.F.A. director. A recommendation is sent to the graduate committee as to whether the student should be allowed to continue in the program. Non-approval of project work or coursework details the areas of weakness. Non-approval may result in academic probation and eventual dismissal from the program.
The second-year project is a fully produced play in our theatrical season. The director again has a faculty advisor, and the same criteria as those used in the first year project apply here for evaluation and retention. At the end of the year, the director meets with the acting/directing faculty to discuss any questions and/or concerns.
In the third year, each M.F.A. director must complete a fully produced play in our theatrical season as a thesis project. The director’s thesis committee provides guidance and serves as evaluator of the thesis work. An oral examination with prescribed material, an oral defense of the project, and an appropriate record of the project are also required. The permanent record of the thesis project must follow a format prescribed by the department.
Directors are given two evaluations each year: one for their project work, and one for their overall progress in the program. Since projects for directors are not always in the first semester of their annual coursework, such evaluations may both be in the second semester.