Picture Yourself @ URTA


Picture Yourself @ URTA

As 2016 comes to a close we look back on all of the advice that current graduate school students at URTA member schools passed along.

To read all our Picture Yourself@ MFA profiles in full, go here.

What drew you to your school when you were looking?
“…its illustrious founders, faculty and alumni.” –Aaron Arroyo, Acting MFA University of California, Irvine

“The lure […] is rooted in the fantastic resources of the tech shops, invaluable knowledge and experience of the faculty (in all facets — design, performance studies, acting, and dance), and the respect between the students and the administration.” – Alexandra Kelly Colburn Multimedia MFA University of Maryland

“I was also drawn to the many partnerships and opportunities afforded by attending such a large and prestigious university.” -Ambre Shoneff, Acting MFA Ohio State University

“…an art and cultural city, which is a perfect place for Art students.” –Ariel Wang, Costume Design MFA Temple University

“[I wanted it to feel] like I would be able to balance a graduate program and developing my craft as an artist.” – Caitlin Graham, MFA Costume, University of Texas, Austin

“…a small town feel for its size and lots of diversity.” – Dustin Mosko, MFA Directing, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

“…an interdisciplinary professional school […] a collaborative community, where Theater, Film, and Television collide.” – Jayongela Wilder, MFA Directing, University of California, Los Angeles

“[…] it felt important to study theatre in a city that has theatre to keep up with what is going on.” –Tatiana Pavela, Acting MFA University of Washington

“The college produces theatre from every genre including drama, musicals, opera, and dance. It is a unique opportunity to have a chance to work with all of these areas in one venue.” Maria Lenn, Costume Design/Technology MFA Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music

“[…]industry-competitive technology and design, mentorship, looking at the span of experience between my mentor and the other educators in the program, and the program design itself, knowing that I would graduate prepared to diversify my talents.” –Michelle Ohumukini, Audio Technology MFA Purdue University

“[…]the college offers tons of opportunities to try new experiences and learn from professionals in other parts of the school.” –Miguel Fana, Acting MFA University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“I found that it was the people that was most alluring. Everyone that is here loves what they do and […] the environment in the building is a healthy one where everyone here WANT to see you succeed.” –Myles Bullock, Acting MFA University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

What helped you make your decision?
“There is a great balance of city and wildlife here.” – Christopher Stowell, MFA Sound, Michigan State University

“Theatre Management is so much more than what most business principles can offer. It’s a school of thought and leadership that has prime purpose and fulfillment both internally as a collaborator in artistry and externally as the face of organizational initiatives.” –Dale Dorlin, Theatre Management MFA Wayne State

“This callback was my favorite by far […] We worked on one of my pieces for the first ten minutes of our meeting and it was wonderful. It was just what I was looking for in Graduate School […].” –Duncan McIntyre, Acting MFA University of Missouri- Kansas City

“I felt that the faculty really took the time and energy to get to know me, to understand my needs and also to make sure their program was a good fit for both of us.” –Emily Vitrano, Acting MFA Northern Illinois University

“One […] big draw was the chance to be part of a community that values collaboration over competition[…]” –Gabriel Pena, Acting MFA Penn State
“As a teaching position is my end goal, the program offered many opportunities.” – Heather Sinclair, MFA TD, Kent State

“Top-notch training without any pretentious crap. Tuition waiver and three solid years of teaching undergrads, with a living stipend. Focus on classical material but with opportunities to work on new plays as well.” Jessica Kaddish, Acting MFA University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

“I liked that I would have a broad range of job skills coming out of my masters.” – Tiana Alderson, Lighting MFA University of Florida

What is one of the best things about where you are?
“While all programs have their growing pains, the students, teachers, faculty, and staff all work for the good of the department and the productions. “ – Amanda Hiatt, Theatre Management MFA Florida State University

“…classes are informative, strengthen research/presentation skills, and above all, are fun.” – Amanda Valdez, MFA Lighting, UNLV
“Interdisciplinary, Idiosyncratic, Intense.” Anna Grossman, MFA Sound, California Institute of the Arts

“[…]great balance between striving for a kindness oriented, low-stress community, and focusing on hard work and being serious about professional Theatre.” Jason Jamerson, Scenic Design MFA University of Arizona

“[The] program offers a great combination of academics, production and teaching opportunities for grad students, and I was very happy to find that the department values collaboration, not only within the Department of Drama, but with other disciplines in the college.” -JD Stallings, MFA TD, UVA
“It’s not a class that is my favorite part of this program, but who I get to work with for the mainstage productions.” -Katie Horowitz, directing MFA, Indiana University

“[…]]the many opportunities to design realized work.” –Kolby Clark, Lighting Design MFA Southern Methodist University

“[…]every one of my shows I’ve been involved with has had a guest director […] It gives me a chance to network more that I ever would have […]” –Lance Rasmussen, Acting MFA Louisiana State University

“[…]emphasis on the collaboration between director and designer; in my own work those have always been the most exciting and fruitful relationships.” Lee Conrads, Directing MFA Northwestern University

“Aside from living abroad, I have had the opportunity to train in an environment/market that not only appreciates, but values highly trained artists who work through an international perspective.” –Nicole Palomba, Acting MFA East 15

“In my first year of graduate school, one of the third years, who was my stage manager on my first show here, said that every time you think you have reached your limit and you can’t possibly take on any more, you do. And I have found that she was absolutely right.” -Samantha Paradis, Stage Management MFA, University of Iowa

Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 16 Dec 
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