The Undergraduate Program
On the undergraduate level, the Department offers a B.A. in Theater. Students pursue a multi-faceted course of study divided into 1) dramaturgy 2) performance (acting and directing), and 3) design and production. Students take courses in all these areas within a flexible program that allows them to take additional classes in areas of individual interest. Currently, the Department counts about 200 majors. No audition is required for the major.
The Graduate Program
On the graduate level, the Department offers the M.F.A. in Directing, Dramaturgy, Costume Design, Lighting Design, or Scenic Design. The program values personal mentorship, with the production season serving as a teaching laboratory. Students are able to tailor their programs of study to individual interests as a complement to the rigorous core curriculum that teaches them the skills to collaborate successfully. Most graduate students receive full tuition-waivers and assistantships during their three years.
We are currently in our hiatus year in our admissions cycle. Our next admission deadline is January 15, 2017, for the class to enter Fall of 2017.
The Multicultural Theater Certificate
The Multicultural Theater Certificate blends the teaching of history and theory with the practical aspects of theater-making by offering students throughout the university an opportunity to deepen their studies in this important and growing area of arts and academic study. Students explore, examine, contest, and define the roles of artists of color within and outside of the American theater canon. Work in the classroom is enhanced through internships that bring students into direct contact with professionals in the field at multicultural arts organizations locally, regionally and nationally.
The Grahamstown Festival Course
Focused around the National Arts Festival that takesplace over ten days in Grahamstown, South Africa, students will experience the second largest theatrefestival in the world (outside Edinburgh in Scotland) and the largest in the southern hemisphere. Join Prof. Megan Lewis, South African theater studies scholar, to see new plays and cutting edge international performances that we would not be able to encounter anywhere else. We will meet playwrights, actors, artists and other students interested in performance and theatre and engage with, and reflect upon, the historic, sociopolitical, and creative contexts of the work we see. The performing arts will offer us a lens through which to examine questions of social justice, race, class and gender politics, history, language, memory, and the role of the arts in our global world.
Department Gallery and Archives
Theater students learn in the classroom and in the theater. The Department has two major performance venues: The Rand (a 560-seat proscenium space) and The Curtain (which seats about 90). These theaters, along with our classrooms and studios, bustle throughout the year. We produce 4-6 fully mounted “main stage” shows annually, plus a number of special presentations and co-productions. Additionally, we host dozens of more informal lab offerings as part of our Cabaret 204 series, along with many other classroom- or student-generated projects.
Meet the Faculty and Staff
Students on both levels work with faculty and staff who are active in their field, producing work nationally and internationally and offering students the benefit of their experience and industry contacts.
Professional and Funding Resources for Students at UMass Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Theater is dedicated to the professional advancement of both our undergraduate and graduate students and provides a number of resources and services to enhance student development in building successful careers both during their time at UMass and beyond:
- Grant Search & Application Guidance
- Internship & Job Search tools
- Fridays at Four
- Alumni Networking
- Student Handbook
- Campus Services