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Theater (MA)



In the theater program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, creativity and critical thought combine in the exploration of the artistic and intellectual challenges of making theater. The program provides elements of a classic liberal education by combining literary and historical study with rigorous practical training.

As undergraduates, students first explore acting, design, directing, playwriting and production, to build a foundation for future creative work. Later they choose from an array of advanced elective courses leading to a culminating research or creative project in the senior year.

UCLA Theater faculty members are selected for their artistic accomplishments, professional achievements and for their ability to communicate their expertise as inspiring teachers and mentors. With thirty Theater faculty and twenty additional professional staff, each student receives individual attention and personalized instruction.

Theater students produce 25-30 presentations annually, including fully produced theater season offerings, public workshop productions, advanced class projects and MFA thesis productions. The large number and variety of productions in many different forms, from Shakespeare to Musical Theater, provides students with the variety and depth of collaborative experience essential for professional success.

Igniting our students' talent and passion is our goal. That is why they work with a distinguished faculty composed of professional and creative artists who have excelled in their fields.

The resources available to Theater students are unmatched by any other program in America. Production and teaching facilities center upon four performance spaces, from 589-seat Freud Playhouse to the 75-seat experimental laboratory theater, all equipped with the latest stage technology. Our students live in a world that is interactive, collaborative, and fueled by their passion for our art form — one that encompasses the many forms of professional practice as well as the theoretical exploration of current and emerging entertainment forms. We believe that great theater programs must prepare and train students for careers in all contemporary and emerging entertainment forms, including live theater, film, television, video, themed entertainment, interactive gaming, and others yet to be imagined.

Area of Study
The program leads to a general graduate degree, though there are opportunities, through electives and thesis or research topics, to stress a particular interest such as acting, design, directing, dramatic writing, or theater history and criticism. Note that the Master of Arts is a research-oriented degree. Students seeking professional training and production should apply to the M.F.A. program.

Course Requirements
Students are required to complete a minimum of 10.5 courses (42 units), five of which must be at the graduate level, in at least one year of intensive study and research in an area of theater study, leading to the successful completion of either the comprehensive examination plan or major research project. The required courses are one course in research methodology and a minimum of three courses in the proposed area of study. Only eight units of 596 coursework may be applied toward the total course requirement, and only four of these units may be applied toward the minimum graduate course requirement. No 598 coursework may be applied toward the total course requirement.

Teaching Experience
Not required.

Field Experience
A field experience may be required depending on the proposed area of study.

Comprehensive Examination Plan
Students must complete an examination consisting of a major research paper which may be associated with four units of Theater 596A. The examination normally occurs during the final quarter of residency, at which time the student should have advanced to candidacy. If the student fails the review and evaluation of the creative work by the examining committee, the student may be reexamined. The number of reviews will be determined by the committee with final approval of the Chair of the Department.


Major Research Project/Thesis Plan
Before beginning work on the thesis, students must obtain approval of a subject dealing with the history, aesthetics, criticism, or techniques of the theater and a general plan of investigation from the M.A. committee. A thesis committee is then formed when students are within one quarter of completing the coursework, at which time they are eligible to advance to candidacy. The student must give the adviser and the committee a prospectus of the thesis and a petition to advance to candidacy for approval. If the thesis fails to pass the committee, the student may present a rewritten version for approval. The number of times a thesis may be presented depends on assessments made by the committee.

A minimum time period of three quarters is necessary for completion of the required courses and thesis or comprehensive examination. Maximum residency for the M.A. program is seven quarters. Students will be required to enroll in a minimum of twelve units per quarter. Required courses will be scheduled to permit completion within a one-year period.

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We are not accepting applications for the MA degree in Theater at this time.

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Theater Counselors: Barrett Korerat and Catherine Hernandez-Shibata

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