The MFA in Acting at Northwestern University is an immersive, comprehensive, and collaborative program designed to equip students with the tools and support necessary for success in professional theatre.
This fully funded two-year program focuses on intense and concentrated immersion in both the contemporary and classical canon with a keen eye on parity in representation. Candidates emerge prepared for the rigors and demands of a rapidly evolving creative economy.
Located in our brand-new facilities in Abbott Hall on Northwestern’s downtown Chicago campus, the MFA in Acting is built upon the study of text analysis, techniques for interpretation and rehearsal, movement, and voice and speech in concert with performance through production experience. We actively engage Chicago’s artistically diverse professional theatre community, one of the most vibrant centers for theatre-making in the world. We examine theatre as civic practice and the historical as well as current responsibility of the actor in society. The program offers an intensive and in-depth curriculum in acting, theatrical storytelling, and collaborative production practices while also giving students access to Northwestern’s liberal arts environment.
Collaborative Graduate Curriculum
The MFA in Acting is part of an integrated curriculum suite that includes students from Northwestern’s Directing, Stage Design, and Writing for the Screen and Stage graduate programs. Courses are co-led by faculty and offer opportunities for a cohort of graduate students across the theatre disciplines to work together. Following a problem-solving framework, students develop innovative perspectives on canonical dramatic literature (such as in our Shakespeare Collaboration class) or launch the new works of in-house playwrighting students (such as in our New Play Studio class).
MFA in Acting students will perform annually in a Summer Stage season at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts on the University’s Evanston campus.