Master of Fine Arts in Theatre


Director of Graduate Admissions

E-mail Emanuel

(914) 395-2371

Embrace an approach to theatre that is as progressive as Sarah Lawrence College itself.

The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre program helps students find themselves and their individual aesthetic voice in the art form. Under the guidance of a faculty of artists who are working professionals, the program offers an advanced study of theatre that is multi-disciplinary, collaborative, extensive, and practical.

Academic Program

Like the College at large, the Graduate Program in Theatre emphasizes an individualized learning process. Each student’s course of study is unique, and is created in consultation with the program director and faculty in response to the student’s background, interests, strengths, and artistic training requirements.

Program Overview

  • The program emphasizes theatre-making as an integrative practice. Each student develops a program of study that draws from courses in acting, Alexander Technique, breathing, comedic and dramatic improvisation, creation of original work, design, directing, history, movement, playwriting, solo performance, puppetry, speech, voice, and the art of bringing theatre into the local community through Theatre Outreach.
  • Each student’s course of study is unique. Students spend several days during registration week in one-on-one interviews with the faculty, which help students decide which “components” they will take. The program uses the term “components” instead of “courses” because it is possible, and encouraged, to take a component from the Music or Dance performing arts programs.
  • Graduate students work closely in classes, conferences, and productions with faculty, fellow graduate students, and the Sarah Lawrence undergraduate theatre community.
  • Graduate curricular work is augmented by a practicum in which students learn by doing. There are multiple on-campus production venues that offer graduate students a wide range of opportunities in acting, singing, dance, design, directing, ensemble creation, playwriting, and technical work.
  • The Outreach program provides students with teaching placements in elementary schools, colleges, senior centers, halfway houses, and prisons, among others.
  • Students may participate in internships or fieldwork in New York City theatres and theatre organizations.

Program Requirements

For an M.F.A. in theater, students must earn a total of 48 course credits (24 in the first year and 24 in the second). Students are accepted on a full-time basis; exceptions are made only in extraordinary circumstances.

There are three required courses in the M.F.A. program:

  • Contemporary Collaborative Performance (Year 1)
  • Projects (Year 2)
  • Grad Lab (Year 1 & 2)

Other than these required courses, students chose courses according to their interests and needs. The goal is to create an interdisciplinary course of study that explores aspects of theatre that are new to them.

Graduate students are expected to participate in one or more practicum activities per year. These may include involvement in department-sponsored productions, outreach placements, or internships. Students are asked to take one analytical class during the graduate program (history, theory, dramatic literature, etc.).