BWW Blog: Why get a Master of Fine Arts?
I'm sitting in a New York City cafe this morning. The necessary coffee and unnecessary blueberry muffin accompanying me. Like many theatre-makers, I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be in theatre for the rest of my life. But now I'm here, not only a graduate student getting my MFA in stage directing, but also grabbing every opportunity I can manage to find.
And that's why I'm here in New York City. This week I get to watch some of the best performers and directors in action, and I'm learning so much. But that is all for next week's blog. This week to want to tell you why I arrived at getting my MFA.
The easy answer is so I could have the accreditation to teach someday. And yes, I can't wait until I can do that. But beyond that, getting a MFA not only gives a safe space to practice your skills and hone them under the supervision of experienced artists, but it offers opportunities and connections that are harder to get when you're on your own.
At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I've already had the chance to work with two playwrights from New York on scripts they are developing, I met and introduced Alan Alda at a question and answer colloquium, took a master class with one of the Hamilton Tour's music director, have met and spoken with playwrights, casting directors, and performers who are currently navigating the theatre industry, and I was given a grant to write two new plays. Not to mention the classes I'm taking that stretch my critical thinking skills, challenge my ideas of theatre and my place in it, and get to have meaningful conversations with professors who are still practicing their art.
I don't think I ever dreamed of a world where theatre was literally the only thing I was learning about, thinking about, and practicing. Well I may have dreamed about it, but to actually be doing it...that's a dream I didn't realize was possible. But for me, the MFA has given me that life. It's a ton of work, but completely worth it. I'm excited to share with you all of my experiences and to also share with you what life is like as a grad student.