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  • Writer's pictureClare Lopez

SHOULD ACTORS PURSUE AN MFA IN THEATRE?

Updated: Apr 4

What are the pros and cons to pursuing an MFA in Theatre? How necessary is an acting degree when pursuing a professional acting career?



So obviously- you will receive some incredible training at a masters program in a major market and IVY league university like NYU, Pace, Julliard ect. And there are benefits to having a Masters in that you will be able to teach at the college level— but most master programs will require you to teach some undergraduate classes- so if you aren’t interested in teaching - it’s really not necessary to pursue a masters.


If you already live in a major market (like LA/ NYC/ Atlanta) you will be able to get incredible training at a comparable level at local studios for a fraction of the cost and have the flexibility to work a job and audition for gigs. UCB, Stella Adler, And many more classes in major markets will offer you a really incredible training.


Many folks who live outside of major market- might not have access to training like that- and for some- a masters/ conservatory program might be the only way they can get competitive training and network in a major market. 


Many masters programs offer a full Tuition scholarship- so it’s possible to come out with minimal debt- but you may need to lean on some loans for housing ect. 


masters and conservatory programs are immersive. You will be living and breathing acting 6 days a week, in rehearsals, and in an intense community with a network of actors, writers, and directors for a solid 2-3 years. This is something that is irreplaceable. And if you choose to study a La carte at local studios it would take 5+ years to build the contact hours you would get in an immersive Masters program. 


FINALLY:

When you audition for network roles in Firm/ TV- no one will care if you have a masters degree.  All that matters is that you have the chops to deliver strong, consistent, believable work- if you can achieve that level of training without pursuing a MA- awesome- but if you feel like you aren’t there in your training- and don’t have access to competitive training in your current market- getting a Masters might give you what you’ve been craving.




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