The Master of Fine Arts program in theatrical design and production at the University of Arizona aims at preparing students for a career in professional theatre through intensive classroom and production training. The following areas of specialization are offered: Costume Design, Costume Production, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Scenic Production, and Technical Direction. The program normally requires six semesters, or three academic years, in residence and a minimum of 60 credit hours must be accrued to fulfill the degree requirements.
1. Graduates with an MFA in Theatre Production (Design and Technology) must have attained and demonstrated advanced and broad knowledge of: the theatrical production process; theatre history, production theory and the historical development of theatrical design; the visual history of western architecture, furniture and costumes.
2. Graduates with an MFA in Theatre Production (Design and Technology) must demonstrate strong ability to express artistic thought and concepts relative to their design and/or technical area of emphasis through the following: research relating to a design project, ability to analyze dramatic literature as part of design process, ability to present artistic ideas to a group of collaborators, and the ability to express artistic ideas through drawing, drafting, painting, model-making or other professionally accepted methods.
3. Graduates with an MFA in Theatre Production (Design and Technology) must demonstrate success in collaborative skills within a theatrical production team while taking on significant leadership roles as part of a theatrical production in a design/technical area of their specialty, organizing appropriate resources to facilitate the process, and ability to successfully contribute to a professional theatrical production.
4. Graduates with an MFA in Theatre Production (Design and Technology) must demonstrate skills compatible with the working principles and standards of the American professional theatre and an understanding of the expectations of the workplace.
Assessment Tool #1
To assess Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #3 and #4, students are evaluated in writing each semester by their advisor with input from all Design/Tech Division faculty. The evaluations assess academic progress and student work in production. The assessments are verbally presented to the students with time for student response and/or questions. The written assessments are made available to the student after the presentation.
Assessment documentation: Semester evaluation forms.
Assessment Tool #2
To assess Learning Outcomes #1, #2 and #4, students are required to prepare and present a portfolio of class work and realized production work. The portfolio is to follow a prescribed structure featuring certain types of design work, demonstration of thought processes relevant to design or production, design and/or production research materials and relevant artwork and/or technical drawings. The portfolio must be prepared in a digital format and a traditional paper format and orally presented to faculty each semester. All of the student portfolios and presentations are evaluated by the Division faculty each semester of the student’s residency, according to a faculty developed rubric.The student’s advisor prepares a written evaluation and verbally presents faculty feedback to the students.
Assessment documentation: Portfolio guidelines and portfolio review forms.
Assessment Tool #3
To assess Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #3 and #4, student production work is evaluated each semester. Students are given full descriptions of job performance expectations and target dates for meeting the expectations. Advisors evaluate student progress on a weekly basis through the 20-week long production process and prepare a written report based on the job description and the weekly evaluation forms.Assessment documentation: Production assignment job descriptions and weekly evaluation forms.
Assessment Tool #4
To assess Learning Outcomes #1, #2 and #4, all MFA students are given an in-depth take home examination in which they are to demonstrate excellence of their design and/or craft abilities. The examination is given in writing during the third year of the MFA program by their adviser. The examination is evaluated by the entire Division faculty and a summary of the project is written by their adviser.
Assessment documentation: TAR 694 evaluation.