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School Spotlight: The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Acting Program

Learn more about all this program has to offer young artists!

School Spotlight: The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Acting Program

The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Acting Program

Mailing Address:

The Old Globe/USD Shiley Graduate Theatre Program

PO Box 122171, San Diego, CA 92112-2171


The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate acting program was created as a result of very few actors being trained in classical theatre. The program was founded in 1987 by The Old Globe Founding Director, Craig Noel. Noel knew classically trained actors were essential to the theatre's future so he decided if he could not find classically trained actors, he would develop a program to train them in San Diego. The result has been one of the top classical training programs in the United States.

The program nationally recruits seven students each year to participate in an intensive two-year, year-round course of graduate study in classical theatre. It is one of the most competitive programs in the country, with only a 2% acceptance rate.

Audition Requirements?

As of 2022, the audition consists of two, two-minute contrasting monologues, one Shakespeare and one contemporary. Additional monologues may be requested at the time of your audition. No singing or dance auditions are required. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited and approved institution. The degree does not need to be in theatre.

Transcripts are not required at the time of application. Unofficial transcripts are required if you are chosen to be a finalist. Official transcripts are required if you are admitted to the program.

Tuition Costs?

Each student accepted into the program is awarded a full-tuition scholarship from the University and a monthly stipend from the Globe. Financial support granted to each student exceeds $80,000.

Requirements for the Degree?

The program utilizes The Old Globe and Studio Productions at the University of San Diego. The program serves only actors and caters their productions to actors.

Throughout the program, students should expect a demanding training schedule. Students have performance assignments throughout the program, and their work is carefully monitored by voice, movement, and acting faculty advisors. Students are typically expected to attend classes, workshops, and rehearsals six days a week during the school year. Summers are generally reserved for performance work with the Globe's professional company.

Students are expected to complete the 60 units of graduate work in two consecutive years, according to the following schedule. All courses carry 3 units of credit.


First Year - Fall Semester (12 Units)
THEA 501- Text and Context: Modern Drama
THEA 511- Movement I
THEA 521- Acting I
THEA 541- Voice and Speech I

First Year - Spring Semester (12 Units)
THEA 502- Text and Context: Renaissance Drama
THEA 512- Movement II
THEA 522- Acting II
THEA 542- Voice and Speech II

First Year - Summer (6 Units)
THEA 506- Graduate Colloquium
THEA 531- Globe Production I

Second Year - Fall Semester (12 Units)
THEA 503- Text and Context: Classical Drama
THEA 513- Movement III
THEA 523- Acting III
THEA 543- Voice and Speech III

Second Year - Spring Semester (12 Units)
THEA 595- Thesis Project
THEA 514- Movement IV
THEA 524- Acting IV
THEA 544- Voice and Speech IV

Second Year - Summer (6 Units)
THEA 532- Globe Production II
THEA 533- Globe Production III

What happens at the end of the program?

The Graduate Thesis Project, an original solo performance piece, is scheduled as the final academic requirement for the MFA students. It is considered the students' most creative and personal performance event. Under the guidance of faculty advisors, students are encouraged to develop a project which demonstrates technical expertise and theatrical expression.


For a brochure and/or application or questions regarding application status or application process: USD Graduate Admissions 619-260-4524

For information not listed please contact email the Program Coordinator, Shana Wride by clicking here.



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