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MFA in Screen Acting

Now Accepting Applications for a Spring 2021 Start

ALRA

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.

Now accepting applications for a Spring 2021 start. Are you looking for world-class actor training and impactful industry mentorship in two of the world’s most iconic hubs of entertainment and culture? We invite you to get started here.

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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 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.
6
THRE 5614Independent 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.
4
THRE 5712Bridges 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.
2
THRE 5752Acting 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.
2
THRE 5331Critical Approaches to Film & 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.
1

Semester 2

Course NumberTitleCredit Hours
THRE 5526Actor’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.
6
THRE 5624Independent 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.
4
THRE 5722Bridges 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.
2
THRE 5773Showcase
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.
3

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 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.
7
THRE 6617Production 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.
7

Semester Four

Course NumberTitleCredit Hours
THRE 6527Styles 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.
7
THRE 6629Thesis 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.
9

Total: 30 Credit Hours

Faculty & Guest Lecturers

Faculty

Jesse Murphy - Bridges to Industry I & II

Producer & Co-Founder of Jesse James Films

Jesse Murphy is a Producer and Co-Founder of Jesse|James Films. The company is a fully financed production entity that oversees a seven-figure underlying rights fund. The venture places an emphasis on bringing engaging intellectual property to the screen.

Formerly, Murphy was the scripted executive overseeing Marlon Wayans’ term deal at Universal Television. His career started at Paradigm as an assistant before transitioning into a coordinator at Paul Schiff Productions.

Most recently, Murphy wrapped production of CHICK FIGHT starring Alec Baldwin. Additional credits include, “Hooking Up” starring Brittany Snow and Sam Richardson, “Marlon” (NBC), “Woke-ish” (Netflix), and The Bay” (Amazon), garnering him a Daytime Emmy Award in 2017.

Guest Lecturers

Aaron Sorkin

Academy Award-winning writer and renowned playwright Aaron Sorkin made his Broadway debut with A Few Good Men. His subsequent film adaptation was nominated for four Academy Awards and five Golden Globes, including Best Screenplay and Best Picture. Sorkin won the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA and Writer’s Guild Awards for The Social Network and received Academy Award nominations for his screenplays for Molly’s Game and Moneyball. His other films include Steve Jobs (Golden Globe Award), Charlie Wilson’s War, The American President and Malice. Acclaimed across mediums, Sorkin created and produced “The West Wing,” which won 26 Primetime Emmy Awards, “The Newsroom,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “Sports Night,” and the stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, now the highest grossing American play in Broadway history. His newest film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, is available on Netflix beginning October 16.

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. She is an Emmy Award winner for “Pushing Daisies” and a Tony Award winner for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Tony-nominated for Wicked and On the Twentieth Century. She has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and a People’s Choice Award for her role on “Glee.” Her additional television credits include “The West Wing,” “The Music Man,” “GCB,” “The Good Wife,” “Hairspray Live!” “Trial & Error,” “BoJack Horseman,” “A Christmas Love Story,” and Food Network’s upcoming “Candy Land.” Her film credits include Running with Scissors, Stranger than Fiction, The Pink Panther, RV, Hard Sell and the upcoming The Witches and Holidate.

Krystal Joy Brown

Actress (Eliza Hamilton in HAMILTON on Broadway)

Krystal Joy Brown is an American Broadway theatre and television actress known for her portrayal of Diana Ross in the Broadway musical MOTOWN. Most recently, she portrayed the role of Eliza Hamilton in HAMILTON on Broadway. She is a two-time Adele and Fred Astaire nominee for best female dancer in a Broadway show.

Emma Ago

Director of Development at MadRiver Pictures

Emma Ago is the Director of Development for MadRiver Pictures. In this role, she is responsible for acquiring new material and developing projects, from conception through to production, as well as packaging material with talent, including directors and actors. Emma joined MadRiver in Spring 2018 from Imagine Entertainment, where she served as the Creative Executive for the Features team, participating in the development and production processes for films such as INFERNO, THE DARK TOWER, THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME, and HILLBILLY ELEGY. Prior to her role as Creative Executive, Emma had assisted Imagine’s President of Production and the Co-Head of the Motion Picture Literary Department at WME. Emma received her B.S. in Interior Design from Cornell University and her M.A. in Film Studies from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Mark Morikawa

Manager at MGMT

Mark Morikawa began his career in the entertainment industry in 2013 after graduating from Elmira College in Upstate NY. A talent manager at MGMT. Entertainment, he started as an intern and quickly moved up the ranks under the tutelage of company founder, David Schiff.

Morikawa has worked closely with a wide array of actors, musicians, and stand up comics such as Chloe Bennet, Kevin Bacon & Sosie Bacon, Jeff Bridges, Clémence Poésy, Casey Frey, Nick Colletti, Ethan Hawke, Bryce Vine, Clifton Collins Jr., Katharine McPhee & Amandla Stenberg.

Holding a focus in Film & TV talent, his interests crossover to sports, music, and digital platforms in a constantly changing entertainment landscape. His previous work experience includes stints at Jennifer Lopez's NuYorican Productions, and as an analyst to Magic Leap advisor, Mark Curcio. A former college hockey player, Mark is an avid sports fan, holding season tickets for the LA Rams and LA Kings.

Morgan Pichinson

President of Canary House Productions

Morgan Pichinson is the President of Julianne Hough's Canary House Productions, focusing on stories about self-discovery, transformation, and identity. She is also the founder of two female driven organizations, Untitled Ladies Script Club for screenwriters and creators, and Squad Goals for executives, representatives and producers. After graduating from Indiana University, Morgan started her career as an assistant in motion picture and television lit at Verve Talent & Literary Agency, at the motion picture studio STX Entertainment, and Mosaic Media Group, an LA-based management and production company. There she became Director of Development for both Film and TV, where she focused on comedy and worked on projects like Jordan Peele's WEIRD CITY.

Dia Frampton

Recording Artist & Actress

Dia Frampton is an actress and singer/songwriter born and raised in Utah. She spent her late teens and early twenties touring across America, Europe and Asia with her band "Meg & Dia.” Her band has released albums on Warner Bros. records as well as Universal records and Nettwerk and have toured 3 years on the respected Vans’ Warped Tour. Her album, "RED" went on to go double platinum in Asia. After her time on NBC's The Voice, in which she was runner up and Blake Shelton's finalist, she started to study film and theater in Los Angeles. After graduating from UCB's Improv program, Dia started to write and create short films with her colleagues. In studying film and TV she also started writing music for these platforms as well. (Insurgent, Pretty Little Liars, Good Trouble, The Bold Type, Disney's Monkey Kingdom). She also writes music for DJ's and music producers (Illenium, Kaskade, The Crystal Method). A fan of live theater, she recently played "Patricia" in William Mastrosimone's Extremities in Los Angeles as well as Jamie in "A Walk to Remember" live. Currently, she's been storytelling in any platform that calls her, whether it's a film, a song, a live show, or something she's written herself. She’s working on a new Meg & Dia album as well.

Siena Oberman

Independent Film Producer

Siena Oberman is a producer that focuses on dramatic and thrilling stories that balance artistic quality, social relevance, and commercial viability. Recent projects include SKIN released by A24 directed by Oscar-winner Guy Nativ, MAINSTREAM (dir. by Gia Coppola, starring Andrew Garfield and Maya Hawke) which she produced alongside American Zoetrope and Automatik, and THE BIRTHDAY CAKE (starring Ewan McGregor, Lorraine Bracco, Penn Badgley, Shiloh Fernandez & more). MAINSTREAM and THE BIRTHDAY CAKE are currently in Post-Production. She's completed 12 films in various capacities (producer, executive producer, co-producer, associate producer) with sales companies such as CAA, Endeavor, Voltage, Wild Bunch, and starring talent including Jamie Bell, Brian Cox, Alec Baldwin, Josh Hutcherson, Kurt Russell and Brittany Snow. Her films have been acquired by companies like Lionsgate, Hulu, A24 and eOne, and have been in festivals such as Berlinale, TIFF and Tribeca. Prior to producing she worked for executives at companies such as Yale, Plan B, UTA, Paramount and IM Global. She went to LMU with a leadership scholarship from the Red Cross and USC where she studied film and business. In 2019 she was awarded Diversity in Cannes Top 10 Women in Film to Watch

Aaron Brown

Manager at Avalon Management

Aaron Brown is a talent manager at Avalon Management, which is also a production company producing shows such as LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER, WORKAHOLICS, CATASTROPHE, etc. Aaron works with talent such as Arturo Castro (BROAD CITY, NARCOS, ALTERNATINO), Marc Maron (GLOW), Dominique Jackson (POSE), Paul Reubens (Peewee Herman), David Arquette, Marinna Palka (GLOW , writer / director), etc. Has also assisted in getting clients Academy Award nominations, SAG nominations, Emmy nominations and Independent Spirit Award nominations wins. Aaron also has set up feature and tv projects all over town including CBS, Showtime, movies now streaming on Netflix, Hulu, etc. Before this, Aaron worked at Principato Young (now called ARTISTS FIRST), and prior APA. Aaron graduated from The University of Florida Levin college of LAW and interned for a sports agency during undergrad.

McCrae Dunlap

Manager of Development at FanFare

McCrae was born and raised in Dallas, Texas before moving to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California where he majored in Business. After graduation, McCrae started in the mailroom and TV Literary department at ICM Partners. In 2016, he started at FanFare as the Executive Assistant to Jamie Tarses, rising to his current role of Manager of Development in 2018. McCrae oversees all incoming development material, active development and contributes to the current series at FanFare. As a company, FanFare has upcoming series at Amazon, Hulu and Quibi with shows in development at FOX, HBO Max, TBS, Sony, 20th and others. On the side, McCrae is producing a feature, loves sports, movies, and brunch with mimosas.

Sean Woods

Manager at Fourward

Sean Woods is a manager and development executive at Fourward. His clients include screenwriters, directors, multi-hyphenates and works closely with the talent department to develop material for the actors on their roster. Sean is a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and based in Los Angeles

Application & Audition Details

Application & Audition Details

Thanks for your interest in OCU’s MFA in Screen Acting program! Applications are currently being accepted for an August 2021 start. The follow information applies to candidates seeking to apply after December 4, 2020. Admission to the MFA in Screen Acting program consists of:

● An official application to Oklahoma City University (see details below)

● A video audition package (see details & requirements below)

● A callback and interview with the Program Director

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree to be eligible for admission to the MFA in Screen Acting program.

OCU Application Materials - Application Form

- 2 Letters of Recommendation

- Statement of Motivation: The Statement of Motivation is a one-page or less document that outlines your personal and professional interests and goals and how you hope the MFA in Screen Acting program will serve these. Please feel free to include other relevant information.

- Official Transcript(s) from any institution(s) from which you earned credit towards your undergraduate degree.

Scroll down to start an application.
Audition Details & Requirements - 2 contrasting monologues using existing text. The monologues should be video recorded and not exceed a total of 3 minutes. Please include a “slate” with your name and the title/writer of each piece.

- Performance Resume

- Headshot or Photo

- Reel (if available)

Audition materials MUST be submitted digitally using the online Acceptd
portal. Audition materials will not be accepted by any other means.

Scroll down to start the audition process.
Timeline & Important Dates - Admission to the MFA in Screen Acting program is granted on a first come, first served basis. We strongly encourage you to submit your application and audition materials sooner rather than later. You will be contacted within two weeks of the receipt of your application and audition materials to: A). invite you to a callback & interview or B). encourage you to apply & audition again during the next application cycle. Details about the callback & interview will be given at this time.

- After the callback & interview we will contact you within two weeks to A). extend an official offer to join the August 2021 cohort or B). encourage you to apply & audition again during the next application cycle.

- MARCH 1, 2021: To be considered for a place in the August 2021 cohort, all application and audition materials must be received by 6pm EST on March 1, 2021.

- APRIL 1, 2021: Acceptance of an offer and deposit payment must be received by 6pm EST on April 1, 2021 to secure your place in the August 2021 cohort.

*Please note: admission to the MFA in Screen Acting program is granted on a first come, first served basis. We strongly encourage you to submit your application and audition materials sooner rather than later and, should you receive an offer to join the August 2021 cohort, we encourage you to do the same.

Thanks again for your interest in OCU’s MFA in Screen Acting program! We look forward to receiving your application and audition materials and we hope to see you in Los Angeles and London. Follow the links below to get started.

APPLY | AUDITION

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.

Tuition

Tuition: $936 per credit hour

Special Program Fees: $225 per credit hour

60-Credit Hour MFA Total: $69,660

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 19, 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

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.

More Information