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    Contemporary Theatre and Performance (MFA)

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  • Admission Contact

    College of Performing Arts
    Office of Admission
    55 West 13th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040
    [email protected]

  • The new MFA in Contemporary Theatre and Performance takes a modern approach to conservatory training that prepares students to transform their field and expand the role of the artist in society today. This integrated MFA experience is ideal for creative theatre, film, and performance-based makers interested in working in multiple contexts, genres, and disciplines. Whether you enter as an actor, director, writer, or multidisciplinary artist, you graduate prepared to enter professional creative contexts as a relevant, cutting edge, entrepreneurially minded artist in an ever-evolving industry.

    Program Highlights

    • Interdisciplinary Approach

      Broaden the definition of your artistry and engage in a range of creative disciplines and approaches, applying your skills as a maker, interpreter, and performer across a vast range of performance environments — on stage, on-screen, and in the community.

    • Fearless Creative Collaboration

      Make work that exemplifies highly progressive ideals and supports your professional growth, individual creative thought, and civic engagement as an artist in today’s world. Advance your craft by integrating acting, directing, and dramatic writing practices.

    • Social Engagement

      Transcend the stage through work that engages with the world beyond the theater walls.  Find your voice as a change-maker and use your talent, curiosity, self-knowledge, and creative resilience to succeed as a future-forward artist.

    • Individualized Learning Paths

      Work with renowned faculty, acclaimed visiting artists, and partner organizations who bring unparalleled professional experience and creative artistry to the classroom and support and guide your creative exploration.

    • Degree Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
    • Credits 60
    • Format Full-time
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start Term Fall
  • Project-Based Curriculum

    The MFA curriculum is rooted in the understanding that artists learn by making and by doing. You receive rigorous technical training in collaborative and multidisciplinary contexts that mirror industry experiences, preparing you to enter the profession as an adaptive, fearless, multidimensional artist with a unique perspective and voice. Students from all disciplines integrate their work with a core group of fellow theatre-makers who collaborate to generate new work, master techniques, and lay the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of artistic excellence.

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    Career Paths

    Today's theatre and performance industries demand artists who transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.  Whether as a performer/creator, writer/director, director/designer, or other combination, many of our industry's leading talents and artists recognized for advancing the performing arts forms have built their careers as multi- or interdisciplinary makers.

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  • MFA students benefit from individualized guidance from award-winning faculty and a rich array of performance and production opportunities. You might find yourself developing writing under the guidance of School of Drama faculty such as Tony Award-winner Stephen Karam, or Drama Desk-winner and Pulitzer finalist Christopher Shinn.

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.