Drama

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

The MFA in Drama lives within the dynamic School of Creative and Performing Arts. Applicants can specialize in Design/Technical, Directing, Playwriting, or Theatre Studies. In each of these areas, students receive expert instruction and supervision from some of Canada’s most recognized scholars, artists, and artist/scholars. Students enjoy high levels of agency within a carefully structured framework as they determine their individual program designs and thesis subjects. The program complements discipline-specific preparation with unique opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction and experience within the School. Graduate students often engage with our performance season and our festival of student work, which supports a wide range of audience relationships. Facilities include graduate student offices, design and costume shops, three thoroughly equipped and staffed theatre spaces (ranging from 150 through 500 seats), and a fourth studio theatre dedicated to faculty and graduate student research.

Completing this program

  • Core Course: Methods in Theatre Research.
  • Thesis (Directing): Consists of directing a full-length play and submission of a supporting paper.
  • Thesis (Playwriting): Consists of a full-length play and a supporting paper.
  • Additional Courses: Depending on the specialization, students take courses on directing, design/technical, playwriting and/or theatre studies.
  • Thesis (Design/Technical): Consists of design of a full-length production in two of scenes, costume, light and/or sound, and a supporting paper.
  • Thesis (Theatre Studies): Consists of a substantial scholarly research paper that may be informed by a creative performance project.

Specializations

  • Directing
  • Design/Technical (not accepting applications for Fall 2020)
  • Playwriting
  • Theatre Studies
    • Please note: for Fall 2020, the Theatre Studies Specialization welcomes applications from students interested in practice-based research on topics related to alternative performance-creation approaches, including theatrical devising, puppetry, immersive and participatory performance, and site-specific/responsive processes. We expect to welcome applications from students with a broader range of research interests in future years.

Outcomes

Director, Playwright, Devisor, Interdisciplinary Performance or Mixed Media Creator, Speech Writer, Critic, Dramaturg, Literary or Arts manager, Public Servant, Scholar, Instructor, Artistic or Technical Director, Curator, Monologist, Solo Performer, Theatre, Exhibit or Event Designer, Scenographer.

A master’s degree in drama will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full-time; four years maximum

Supervisor

A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Supervisors

Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.


  1. Peter Balkwill

    Peter Balkwill

    Accepting Inquiries
    Performance / Acting, Puppetry, Mask, Performance-Creation / Devising, Directing
  2. Bruce Barton

    Bruce Barton

    Accepting Inquiries
  3. Christine Brubaker

    Christine Brubaker

    Accepting Inquiries
    Directing, Classical & Contemporary Performance, Pedagogy and Rehearsal Culture
  4. Patrick Finn

    Patrick Finn

    Accepting Inquiries
    Performance, Technology, Drama & Story, Area Studies (English and Drama), Research Methods & Media, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning / Collaboration, Creativity
  5. Pil Hansen

    Pil Hansen

    Accepting Inquiries
    Cognitive Performance Studies, New Dramaturgy, Performance Generating Systems and Improvisation, Multi-disciplinary Research Methodology, Performing Arts Management
  6. Clement Martini

    Clement Martini

    Accepting Inquiries
    Playwriting, Creative Writing, History of Playwriting, Creative Non-Fiction, Performance Creation
  7. April Viczko

    April Viczko

    Accepting Inquiries
    Performance Design, Wearable Technology, Costume Designers Speak Through Sketch

Admission Requirements


GPA

A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Baccalaureate degree with a major emphasis in the study of drama, with study in the proposed area of specialization.

Work samples

Applicants to Design/Technical must provide a portfolio of drawings and design work. Applicants to Playwriting must provide a portfolio of creative writing. Applicants to Theatre Studies must provide samples of written work. Applicants to Directing must provide a portfolio including reviews, photographs, video clips, and similar materials related to productions they have directed.

Documents

  • A written application, including a biographical outline of studies and experiences in theatre; a statement of intent outlining proposed project

Reference letters

Two

Test scores

None


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

  • TOEFL score of 86 with no section less than 20 (Internet-based). Our institution code is 0813
  • IELTS score of 6.5 with no section less than 6.0 (Academic version)
  • MELAB score of 80, or higher
  • PTE score of 59, or higher (Academic version)
  • Tier 3 of the International Foundations Program with minimum grades of B,C,C (Writing & Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension & Oral Fluency)

Deadlines

For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

School of Creative and Performing Arts

Craigie Hall CHD 100
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4
403.220.5422

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website