The Towson University Master in Fine Arts Program in Theatre Arts is dedicated to offering an experimental laboratory in order to engage in the creation of new work.
The program is for students who cannot be content working in a single discipline or in the traditional conservatory model. Every year, a small group is selected to work collaboratively and individually on the creation of new theatrical work.
New work may be fashioned in different ways using a variety of methodologies from theatrical and other art forms. Past student work has included Bunraku puppetry; translation of contemporary European drama; object theatre; integration of video with live performance; experiments in autobiographical performance; and community art projects.
The Towson MFA Program in Theatre Arts offers a laboratory atmosphere in which students are encouraged to explore new ideas and approaches. The three-year program cultivates both an individual’s vision and an ensemble approach to creation. Over their residency in the program, students work closely with one another on projects initiated by themselves and members of the faculty. The three-year program normally culminates in a workshop production of a work in progress that is either the exploration of a student’s personal aesthetic. The emphasis is on process—not product.
While the program emphasizes practice, it also expects students to be thoroughly engaged in theoretical pursuits as well. Students conduct serious scholarship, and develop a firm grounding in the history of experimental performance.
Members of the full-time faculty at Towson University teach the majority of classes. However, this curriculum is augmented by seminars and workshops with distinguished visiting artists. Guest artists may facilitate a master class, lecture or demonstrate as part of a required class, or work in a residency with the students of the program. Recent guests include Lee Breuer, Holly Hughes, Dan Hurlin, Kari Margolis, Sandglass Theatre, Rinde Eckert, and Richard Armstrong.
The program is dedicated to exploring theatre through international contexts. Through a long-standing collaboration with the Center for International Theatre Development, students have toured performances and participated in workshops in countries that include Poland, Egypt, Slovakia, and Bulgaria. Artists from countries such as Japan, Russia, and South Africa have also had residencies in the program.