Theatre M.F.A. - Acting

Due to the recent retirement of the Director of the School of Theatre, the MFA program will NOT recruit for the upcoming Fall 2017 class. We will instead use this year to work with our new director to assess and organize the program under this new leadership. We will be back next year recruiting for the Fall 2018 class.

Thank you for your interest in our program. We look forward to seeing your work in the future!


There are elements of the actor's process, as with any artist's, which are too mysterious and personal for any methodology. Our training is focused on the areas of the actor's process that can be learned and expanded upon using various approaches. We have assembled a world-class faculty dedicated to a holistic approach, using mind, body, breath, and imagination. We begin with your instincts and give you techniques to fully access the potential you already have as an actor. Our goal is not to create you in our image, but instead magnify your own!

Your Role at Penn State

Playing your part here includes EDUCATION, ARTS, and TRAVEL.

Education: You are first and foremost a student. You will be mentored by experts in their respective fields and learn a wide-range of techniques and processes. You are also given the opportunity to explore teaching, with the full support and supervision of our faculty. 

Arts: You will be given many opportunities to perform in a wide array of mediums, including solo, devised, new work, contemporary and classic world drama, Shakespeare, film and new media.

Travel: You will also be given travel opportunities (fully supported by the University) in order to expand your world view and deepen your experience as an artist in a 21st century world.  

Students in the M.F.A. Acting program at Penn State have four kinds of performance experiences. Beginning in the Spring semester of the First Year, the Acting faculty chooses plays specifically to reinforce training. These we call the M.F.A. productions and they are directed by teachers from within the actor training program. This is a critically important opportunity to tie the curriculum to production and is one of the most important parts of the M.F.A. Acting program at Penn State.

The second kind of performance opportunity is being cast in the School of Theatre production season. We call this the University Resident Theatre Company (URTC). These productions allow the M.F.A. actor to work with other faculty directors, and undergraduate actors.

The third kind of performance opportunity is Penn State Centre Stage. Penn State Centre Stage is a theatre operating under a contract with Actors Equity Association. Actors are eligible for casting in any Penn State Centre Stage production and can accrue EMC points when cast in a qualifying equity show.

The fourth kind of performance opportunity is twofold:

1) Bridging into the profession is facilitated by bringing in Professional Guest directors to work with the graduate actors during the third year of their training.

2) From a selection of emerging as well as established playwrights, one is commissioned to be in residence several times throughout the second and third year, culminating in the premier of a new work that features the graduate actors.

For more information contact:

Steve Broadnax, Professor in Charge - M.F.A. Acting Program
School of Theatre / The Pennsylvania State University
116 Theatre Building
University Park PA 16802-2900

(814) 863-1454

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Contact Us

Address: Penn State School of Theatre, 116 Theatre Building, University Park, PA 16802 USA.

Office: (814) 865 7586

Fax: (814) 865 5754

Tickets: (814) 863 0255