The MFA Contemporary Theater and Performance program takes an approach that is project-centered, process-oriented, and highly collaborative. Curricular pathways are designed based on each student’s unique point of entry in order to support their creative
practice and enable advanced skill development in multiple disciplines. Students work closely with faculty as they master the techniques necessary for success in stage, television, and film.
Students will develop their own projects, experiment within secondary and tertiary disciplines, work in new genres, engage in rich collaboration, and utilize new creative technologies and multimedia design.
Note: The curriculum below applies to students who enter the MFA Contemporary Theatre and Performance in fall 2021 and after. To view degree requirements of the MFA programs in Acting, Directing, or Playwriting from prior years, visit the Academic Catalogs archive.
The 60-credit, six-semester curriculum is comprised of the following degree requirements:
Core Requirements (27 credits)
- History and Context (6 credits)
Courses providing a foundational awareness of theatrical form and of the intersection between performance, place, and socio-historical context
- Social Practice and Community Coursework (3 credits)
- Courses exploring theater artists’ potential for social impact through community engagement and entrepreneurship
- Collaborative Projects (16 credits)
A series of projects over the course of students’ six semesters focused around different theatrical forms and collaborative models, including but not limited to new and extant plays, devising and adaptation,
physical theater, music theater, cabaret, multi-media performance, and cinema
- Capstone Project (2 credits)
- A culminating project focused on each student’s disciplinary pathway
Guided Study Electives (25 credits)
A structured series of project-based courses that develop advanced skills in one of several focus areas, including Advanced Performance, Advanced Directing, or Advanced Writing, as well as Transdisciplinary Work and Producing, and Technology, Film, and
Media. Students may also design an individual combination of electives in consultation with their academic advisor.
General Electives (8 credits)
Courses in any college of The New School through which students may complete a graduate minor or take additional coursework at the School of Drama to supplement their theater study.
Optional Graduate Minors
Students have the ability to take courses across the university and can combine their coursework with any of The New School’s graduate minors, including Creative Community Development, Impact Entrepreneurship,
Design Studies, and more.