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mfa in 

Who We Are

The Master of Fine Arts in Acting at WVU is an intensive three-year course of study preparing individuals for the industry through studio instruction and performance opportunities. The School of Theatre & Dance accepts a class of 6-8 actors to the program once every three years. The next application cycle will begin in December 2023 for a Fall 2024 start.

What We Do

A scene with two actresses dancing in the rain from the play Indecent

The small class size provides individualized attention while building an intimate, collaborative, and

innovative ensemble. The training is rooted in a conservatory-style structure and provides an environment conducive to risk taking and experimentation. The graduate acting ensemble serves as the core of the School’s casting pool for the 5-6 main stage productions. The program is committed to developing professional artists ready for industry careers under the guidance of faculty and guest artists. Fulfillment of the degree culminates in the performance, written documentation, and oral defense of a thesis project. 

A scene with two actors dressed as dung beetles from The Insect Play

All students will receive a tuition waiver and a limited number of graduate assistantships are available which also include stipends and health insurances. Assistantships include teaching in the classroom, publicity engagement and branding for the School, or working with West Virginia Public Theatre (our affiliate professional theatre).

A scene from Measure for Measure showing a distressed man

Our Studio Acting program is based on the belief that authentic and truthful self-identity, aligned with the wants and needs of character, will create captivating and dynamic performances. The actor’s imagination and creative abilities merge with their technical skills, granting freedom within performance. Students are committed to a five-day a week conservatory- style schedule, attending classes in acting, voice, movement, and scene study. Scene study is the weekly practice of presenting material supported by studio course work and is a key proponent to this program. Graduates not only develop an effective, collaborative, and healthy rehearsal process, they acquire the skill set of facilitating effective critique. Additional coursework includes criticism, research methods, dramatic literature, and text analysis. 

Areas of Study

First Year – Modern/ Realism

  • Contemporary American Realism to 20th Century European Non-Realism 

  • Meisner Technique

  • Michael Chekhov

  • Fitzmaurice Voicework®

  • IPA, Knight-Thomspon Speechwork 

  • Viewpoints

  • Composition

Second Year - Shakespeare/ Classical

  • Shakespeare

  • Comedy Styles

  • Fitzmaurice Voicework®

  • Linklater, Rodenburg

  • Knight-Thomspon Speechwork

  • Laban Effort Qualities

  • Neutral and Character Masks

  • Staged Violence

  • Theatrical Intimacy

Third Year – Professional Development

  • Film & TV

  • Musical Theatre

  • Showcase Development

  • Voice-Over Work


  • Ensemble New Work Creation 

How to Apply

WVU will be attending the URTA auditions in Philadelphia and Chicago as well as the online dates in January / February 2024 and the SETC Graduate Auditions in Mobile, AL, March 2024. On-site auditions and interviews in Morgantown, WV will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023 and Saturday, March 2, 2024. 

Applicants who are not able to attend any of the above dates may submit an audition electronically. Applicants must also apply to and be accepted by the university before a formal offer into the program may be made. The GRE is not required for admission. 

MFA Acting Application Form

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