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MFA in Screen Acting

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The School of Theatre offers a Master of Fine Arts in Screen Acting in partnership with The Academy of Live & Recorded Arts (ALRA) in London. This terminal degree is an intensive two-year program, with year one delivered in Los Angeles and year two in London. The MFA in Screen Acting is designed to prepare graduates to work professionally in film, television and related recorded media. Students will also learn how to develop, pitch, and produce their own content. Students will gain invaluable experience working alongside, and networking with, industry professionals (actors, directors, casting directors, agents, and producers) in both LA and London.

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Earn a screen acting MFA in two of the world's entertainment capitals

OCU continues to reach for the stars in everything they do, that now includes the MFA in Screen Acting Program. Little did I know half of my career would be spent in front of a camera. Thrilled with this news!
Kristin Chenoweth, Tony Winner and OCU alumna
Photo by Krista Schlueter
—Kristin Chenoweth,
BM '91, MM '93, OCU

Year One – Los Angeles

Students will spend their first year at our School of Theatre-Los Angeles location with courses delivered by OCU faculty and guest industry practitioners. We are located in Culver City, surrounded by some of the biggest production studios on the west coast, such as Amazon Studios, Anonymous Content, Jesse James Films, The Culver Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, TriStar Pictures, Apple+ Studios, HBO Studios, and Wonder Street, to name a few.

During this year students will be introduced to a systematic and holistic approach to preparing roles for the screen. Alongside this foundational study of acting technique, students will engage in multiple digital media projects of their own generating, a range of workshops and events with industry professionals, and a research project on an aspect of screen history or Film/TV theory. The year culminates in screening final film projects and a pitching session to industry professionals.

Year One Curriculum Sequence

Semester 1

Course NumberTitleCredit Hours
THRE 5516Actor’s Core I6
THRE 5614Independent Project I4
THRE 5712Bridges to Industry I2
THRE 5752Acting for Commercials2
THRE 5331Critical Approaches to Film & Television1

Semester 2

Course NumberTitleCredit Hours
THRE 5526Actor’s Core II6
THRE 5624Independent Project II4
THRE 5722Bridges to Industry II2
THRE 5773Showcase3

Total: 30 Credit Hours

Year Two - The Academy of Live & Recorded Arts (ALRA) in London

The second year is delivered by OCU and ALRA faculty and staff in London. The primary focus of the second year is the acquisition and application of a range of specific technical skills in voice, movement, stage combat, and improvisation. Students will work on “historically distanced” content, requiring a degree of physical, vocal, and cultural transformation and an extended ‘Mike Leigh style’ improvised short film. Students will continue to work on practical projects in partnership with other MA/MFA students at a range of London film schools and studios. The year culminates in the development, production, and presentation of a thesis production project.

Year Two Curriculum Sequence

Semester Three

Course NumberTitleCredit Hours
THRE 6517Styles and Techniques I7
THRE 6617Production Project7

Semester Four

Course NumberTitleCredit Hours
THRE 6527Styles and Techniques II7
THRE 6629Thesis Project9

Total: 30 Credit Hours

Audition Requirements

  • Applicants interested in our MFA in Screen Acting must audition for admission by digitally submitting their audition request and materials through Acceptd, our online digital audition submission portal. Digital audition submissions WILL NOT be accepted in any other format.
  • Applicants must also complete an application to the university for admittance to this degree.
  • Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree.
  • Via Acceptd, submit the following materials:
    • Résumé
    • Headshot
    • Filmed monologues
      • The candidate should perform two contrasting monologues not to exceed three total minutes in length. The candidate should say his/her name and the titles of the pieces before beginning.
      • We must have a full-body shot of the student at all times in order to see the candidate’s movement throughout the piece.
      • The candidate is only allowed to use one chair as a prop.
    • Reel, if available

Tuition

Tuition: $936 per credit hour

Special Program Fees: $225 per credit hour

60-Credit Hour MFA Total: $69,660

Course Descriptions

5331 • Critical Approaches to Film and Television

This course introduces current critical theories, debates and discourses surrounding film, television, and digital media production and reception. The course will survey major critical lenses through which to analyze and critique a student’s individual work and seminal screen texts. The course is delivered by lecture/seminar and culminates in a research paper and verbal presentation of a topic of the student’s choosing.

5516 • Actor’s Core I

This course explores the practical, artistic and interpersonal skills needed to be able to prepare a performance for the camera to a professional standard. Students will be assessed through a working journal, reflective statements, direct observation and small group performances.

5526 • Actor’s Core II

This course builds upon Actor’s Core I. This course explores the practical, artistic and interpersonal skills needed to be able to prepare a performance for the camera to a professional standard. Students will be assessed through a working journal, reflective statements, direct observation and small group performances.

5614 • Independent Project I

This course explores the practical, artistic and interpersonal skills students need to be able to develop, write, produce (pre-production, production and post-production) and pitch/distribute original content for film, television and digital platforms. Students will complete two practical projects in small groups that will vary in genre, style, and format. Students will be assessed through a working journal, direct observation of process and small group practical projects.

5624 • Independent Project II

This course continues the work of Independent Project I exploring the practical, artistic and interpersonal skills students need to be able to develop, write, produce (pre-production, production and post-production) and pitch/distribute original content for film, television and digital platforms. Students will complete two practical projects in small groups that will vary in genre, style, and format. Students will be assessed through a working journal, direct observation of process and small group practical projects.

5712 • Bridges to Industry I

This course explores the business aspects of pursuing a career as an on-camera actor and content creator. Multiple Los Angeles based industry professionals will conduct workshops, panels and masterclasses related to theatrical and commercial casting; agents and managers; unions and contracts; script development processes; and other industry processes and protocols. Students will undertake group and individual research projects focused on aspects of recorded media and industry practices.

5722 • Bridges to Industry II

This course builds upon Bridges to Industry I. Students will continue to explore the business aspects of pursuing a career as an on-camera actor and content creator. Multiple Los Angeles based industry professionals will conduct workshops, panels and masterclasses related to theatrical and commercial casting; agents and managers; unions and contracts; script development processes; and other industry processes and protocols. Students will undertake group and individual research projects focused on aspects of recorded media and industry practices.

5752 • Acting for Commercials

This course introduces you to the technique and skills of auditioning for commercials. The course culminates in a series of masterclasses delivered at a major Hollywood commercial casting office. You will be assessed through a working journal and a series of practical projects.

5773 • Showcase

This course is focused on the preparation and screening of a ‘showcase’ short film, alongside selected live dramatic scenes. Students will learn how to select and prepare appropriate material, comic and dramatic, for presentation to industry professionals at a major Los Angeles theatre and/or screening room. Students will be assessed through a working journal, contribution to process and the showcase presentation.

6517 • Style and Techniques I

This course explores the practical acting, voice, movement and special skills required to create and sustain a performance of historically-distanced or heavily stylized (non-contemporary) characterizations. Building on the historic strength of British actor training practice, students will learn discrete skills and techniques that will enable them to develop characters and behaviors consistent with stories from the past or outside their own personal cultural milieu. Students will be assessed through direct observation of their progress and achievement, and a working journal.

6527 • Style and Techniques II

This course continues the work of Style and Technique I. Students will explore the practical acting, voice, movement and special skills required to create and sustain a performance of historically-distanced or heavily stylized (non-contemporary) characterizations. Building on the historic strength of British actor training practice, students will learn discrete skills and techniques that will enable them to develop characters and behaviors consistent with stories from the past or outside their own personal cultural milieu. Students will be assessed through direct observation of their progress and achievement, and a working journal.

6617 • Production Project

Through active participation students will prepare, produce and record a number of short- and longer-form dramas for the camera. The projects will afford the student an opportunity to apply the skills and techniques acquired at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in a practical, sustained way.

6629 • Thesis Project

Through active participation the student will write/devise, act in and direct a short film. The film will be showcased in a London screen venue and they will have the opportunity to pitch the film as a pilot for an extended series or longer form film project to London industry professionals.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the program or the audition process, please email us at ocutheatreauditions@okcu.edu.

For more information on the admission process or to apply, please visit Graduate Admissions.

Academic Calendar

Note: 2021 dates are condensed to the following schedule. Thereafter, academic years will begin regularly in August/September.

Year one: Los Angeles

Semester 1

First Day of Class: January 11, 2021

Martin Luther King Day (No classes): January 18, 2021

Final Exams: Week of April 26-30, 2021

Semester 2

First Day of Class: May 3, 2021

Memorial Day (No classes): May 31, 2021

Final Exams: Week of August 16-20, 2021

Year Two: London

Semester 1

First Day of Class: September 21, 2021

More Information