M.F.A. in Theatre, Directing Emphasis
With an equal focus on theory and application, graduate directing studies at Southern Miss are designed to provide students with analytical and communicative tools as well as continual experience in the application of those tools.
The directing curriculum involves a three-year residency. Core class work includes a study of theory, analysis and technique of directing; graduate seminars in production, contemporary theatrical trends, and historical approaches to performance; and courses in theatre history, acting, design and production. Beyond these classes, the course of study is tailored to the specific needs of each student.
In addition to work staged in studio classes, each graduate directing student is expected to direct at least one production every semester during his/her residence at Southern Miss. At first, these will be 30-minute showcase productions with minimal production support. The student will later stage larger studio productions and at least one Main Stage production, which will serve as the student's final creative project, accompanied by a written component and submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Fine Arts degree.
The graduating M.F.A. directing student is expected to have a working knowledge of theatre history, an awareness of historical and contemporary theory, a familiarity with the working processes of actors and designers, practical experience as a director, and a high level of proficiency with a range of theatrical styles and genres. In short, the student should be equipped to embark upon a professional career.
In order to accommodate the specific needs of each graduate directing student, no more than three students are enrolled in the program at a time. Students are selected from a diverse background of studies and experiences. Decisions on admission are based on undergraduate performance and experience, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal interview, and demonstrated skills. Candidates are required to submit a written example of director's notes for a production chosen by the department. Candidates are encouraged to submit an application through the Southern Miss Graduate School and arrange for interviews with the theatre faculty well in advance of the academic year.