The Professional Actor Training Program
We accept a new group of actors every three years. Our next recruitment cycle will begin in the spring of 2016 for admittance the following fall semester.
The applicant is required to audition for entrance into the M.F.A. Actor Training Program. Primary recruitment will be conducted through U/RTA auditions in New York and Chicago. Contact U/RTA for more information: http://www.urta.com/
Two contrasting monologues, one classical, no more than three minutes in total length, are required. The student will be asked to interview with members of the performance faculty. A recent picture/resume is required at the audition.
Philosophy of Training and Outline of the Program
The M.F.A. Professional Actor Training Program is designed to prepare the student for a career in professional theatre. Emphasis is on the development of a process that will serve the actors in the practice of their art. This is accomplished through a program of vocal and physical training, acting classes, work in production, and individual tutorials. The program is rigorous, time-demanding, and intense, addressing complex processes of both actor training and preparation for a role in production.
Once admitted, each student receives personal attention through every aspect of training. Acting class enrollment on the graduate level is limited so that instructors can pay careful attention to the unique qualities and challenges that each student brings to the actor training program.
The skills and habits of a strong internal discipline, concentration, intensity and seriousness of purpose are absolutely essential and central to our program. The preparation of each actor's individual instrument of voice, body, and inner temperament lays the foundation of excellence in the craft and art of acting. Special emphasis is placed on an acting technique in which the actor will explore his/her own sense of truth, learn to commit totally to a dramatic action, and to develop and exercise his/her own unique imagination and emotional life. With the benefit of a fully-trained, expressive and responsive instrument, the actor can then interpret any role from any period, style, or genre of dramatic literature as framed by any production concept.
The first year of training concentrates on developing the foundation of the actor’s instrument: an open, flexible and strong voice coupled with clear, articulate speech; a limber and athletic body capable of improvising physically with another actor; and, the free, spontaneous, and uninhibited expression of imagination and emotion.
The second year builds on this foundation through the study of classical text, dialects, stage combat, commedia’ technique, clown and mask work and the interpretation of characters in both classical and non-realistic dramatic literature.
The third year continues to develop these specialized and complex acting challenges; the curriculum progresses to period styles acting, acting for the camera, audition technique and professional issues.
In order to fully realize his/her potential as an artist, the actor must be educated as well as trained. Therefore, students take additional classes in dramaturgy, script analysis, theory and criticism, dramatic literature, and directing.
The M.F.A candidate will prepare and perform a terminal project role in the third year, which usually consists of the preparation, performance, and documentation of a challenging role.
Periodic reviews of progress allow the performance faculty to keep each student working toward individual goals outlined in the preliminary review process.
In the production program, the M.F.A. actor performs in a variety of roles in different styles and genres, ranging from Shakespeare, period style plays, contemporary plays and experimental works. Major roles balance with secondary roles in both the Marquee and Horizon Seasons, based on the individual’s showing in each audition and specific educational needs. Students perform in the 150-seat Mallett Theatre and the 300-seat Hansen Theatre.
Training culminates in a third-year M.F.A. Actor Regional Theatre Tour, for which the actors audition for professional work in a number of highly respected and successful regional theatres. Our M.F.A. actors have been hired as company members and as interns at the American Shakespeare Center, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
M.F.A. acting students are treated as young professionals and are expected to be fully prepared to assume positions in the professional theatre upon completion of the degree.
- Theatrical resume with recent headshot
- Transcript(s) from all schools attended
- Statement of goals for undertaking the study of acting at Purdue University
- Three letters of recommendation
- The Graduate School application fee is $60 (U.S. dollars) for domestic applicants and $75 (U.S. dollars) for international applicants. You must pay your application fee online with your credit card. Visa and MasterCard cards are accepted and processed using a secured online payment system. Your application will not be processed until your nonrefundable application fee has been paid.
For specific questions regarding the curriculum for the M.F.A. in Acting or for program requirements, contact:Professor Kristine Holtvedt
Associate Professor of Theatre, Head of Acting
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts
552 W. Wood Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2002
College of Liberal Arts
Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts
For general information about the Purdue Theatre program, please call:
765-494-3074 or email@example.com
Click here for application information or to apply on-line.