MFA Program in Drama, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary

04 December, 2015

MFA Program in Drama
School of Creative and Performing Arts
University of Calgary
Alberta, CANADA


The University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts welcomes applications to its MFA Drama Program for studies beginning in September 2016.

The School
The University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) was formed in 2013 and brings together the three artistic disciplines that share a central fascination with the nature of performance: Dance, Drama and Music. Our students receive focused and concentrated discipline-specific preparation in addition to unique opportunities for multi-, cross-, and interdisciplinary instruction and experience through highly flexible yet carefully designed program options. We prioritize the immeasurable benefits of professional experience and international exchange, and by placing a premium on the intersection of practice and theory, we combine a deep respect for the pragmatic aspects of careers in the arts with a rigorous fascination for the philosophical, theoretical, cultural, sociological, and ideological dimensions of our fields.

Our Faculty
Applicants to the MFA in Drama can specialize in any of the following areas: 
 
- Design/Technical
- Directing
- Playwriting
- Theatre Studies 
 
In each of these areas students receive expert instruction and supervision from some of Canada’s most recognized scholars, artists, and artist/scholars: Bruce Barton (Dramaturgy; Devising: Practice-Based Research; Interdisciplinary Performance); Val Campbell (Performance; Authentic Movement; Somatic Practice); Penny Farfan (Dramatic Literature; Theatre History; Modernist Studies; Feminist Theatre); Patrick Finn (Performance & Technology, Textual & Critical Studies, Directing & Dramaturgy, Research Methods, Medieval & Renaissance, Modern & Contemporary); Pil Hansen (Dramaturgy; Cognitive Performance Studies; Research Methods); Clem Martini (Playwriting); Dawn McCaugherty (Voice; Directing; Performance); Brian Smith (Performance; Directing); April Viczko and Patrick Du Wors (Lighting, Costume, Set, and Projections Design). 
 
Our faculty members lead national associations in their areas of expertise, have been celebrated with national and international awards for both scholarship and artistic practice, have received prestigious industry honours, have toured performances and creative projects around the globe to critical acclaim, and are positioned on the forefront of new areas of scholarly inquiry and discovery.

Financial Support
All successful candidates receive generous internal financial support and our program has an excellent track record with external funding applications. Further, all our students benefit from teaching opportunities and funded assistantships in both teaching and research capacities.

Our Facilities and Production Opportunities
The Drama Division of the School of Creative and Performing Arts boasts three thoroughly equipped theatre spaces, ranging from 150 through 500 seats and providing a wide range of performance relationships, in addition to a fourth studio theatre dedicated to faculty and graduate student research. Students have full access to profession-standard costume, properties, and scene shops as well as a state-of-the-art Integrated Media Lab for experimentation and production purposes. Five full-time staff members provide both production support and expert training across the full spectrum of technical roles. 
 
These spaces and staff support a busy and diverse season of programming, including multiple mainstage productions as well as a student-driven festival of experimental work. Students can also participate in formal off-site initiatives such as Wagonstage (currently in collaboration with the Calgary Zoo). Recent guest artists include Daniel MacIvorPeter Balkwill (of the Old Trout Puppet Theatre)Eric Rose and Ghost River TheatreEric Moschopedis, and Denise Clarke of One Yellow Rabbit. The SCPA is also an active collaborator on multiple training, production and research initiatives with professional Theatre and Performance oranganizations such as the High Performance RodeoAlberta Theatre ProjectsVertigo TheatreQuest Theatre and Theatre Junction Grand, as well as the Banff Centre. This broad range of professional engagement results in strong industry contacts and experiences prior to graduation.

Our Students
Students in the MFA Drama program regularly come to Calgary from all over the world; current students hail from Malaysia, Nigeria and the UK, as well as Calgary and the surrounding region. In addition to rigorous training in their selected area of specialization, all MFA students acquire advanced practice-basedexperimental, and analytical research skills and engage in an active conversation between scholarship and practice. Current research projects ask questions about patterns of audience agency in interactive performances, about the possibilities of scenic design for actor-less stages, about multi-lingual reinterpretations of classic plays, and about the effect of applying drama in rehabilitation contexts. In all cases, students enjoy high levels of individual agency within a carefully structured framework as they determine their individual program designs.

The University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is ranked Canada’s #1 “Young University” as it heads into its 50th anniversary in 2016. Boasting an unprecedented level of new faculty hiring in the coming year, the U of Calgary is one of the nation’s most progressive and ambitious post-secondary institutions. Specifically, with the creation of the SCPA, the U of Calgary has made a strong and explicit investment in the creative and performing arts, identifying the School as one of its key priorities for future growth. The City of Calgary—just an hour away from the majestic Rocky Mountains—was named the Cultural Capital of Canada in 2014 and ranked by The Economist magazine as #5 among “the best places to live in the world” three years in a row. Calgary has a rich and varied cultural landscape, with strong representation and ever-increasing opportunities for graduates from across the performing arts.

Study Drama at the SCPA
The SCPA offers a unique balance of disciplinary specialization and interdisciplinary exchange. All programs at the SCPA combine rigour with experimentation, discipline with creativity, and reflection with passion. Redefining artistry for the 21st Century, the SCPA offers both intensive studio training and inspired intellectual inquiry, providing first class preparation for a wide range of exciting opportunities and vocations beyond graduation. For more information on our program, our faculty and students, our facilities, and the application process, visit our website:

https://scpa.ucalgary.ca/drama/welcome-drama
 
Bruce Barton, PhD
Professor and Director
CH D100 / 2500 University Dr. NW / Calgary, AB CANADA  / T2N 1N4 / 403-210-6265 / bruce.barton@ucalgary.ca

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