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Issues With BA Theatre Programs With MFA Ph.D

briansteffybriansteffy 490 replies80 threads Member
edited February 2007 in Theater/Drama Majors
Previous threads have pointed out that in large universities that have MFA and PhD theatre programs, BA (assuming no BFA) theatre students may be treated like second-class citizens. My question is more specific. In such programs, are many classes taught by PhD and MFA students? I remember the day that I arrived to work on my PhD in a professionally-oriented program. I was told that I had two classes; that was the extent of my training. It took me about six semesters to learn the ropes. I pity the students who had to sit through my trial-by-fire. If this is the case in Theatre programs, I would rather my son not apply to such Acting programs. We are currently reviewing the BA programs at, for example, Penn State (further complicated that it has a BFA in MT), Iowa, and Maryland.
edited February 2007
3 replies
Post edited by briansteffy on
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Replies to: Issues With BA Theatre Programs With MFA Ph.D

  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions 12571 replies759 threads Senior Member
    Wow, interesting viewpoint, briansteffy. Essentially, you wonder if they use grad students as teaching assistants, just as they do all over the science departments, etc.

    I don't know the answer, b/c my kids went to LAC's so only the profs could get at them.

    I realize this is just spin and conjecture, but perhaps a theater grad student starts out with better teaching/interactive skills than another kind of grad student. That's a stretch. I wouldn't like it if a TA taught my kids. And those grad students have to rehearse like crazy so where do they get any time to T.A.?

    You raised an important concern. I hope someone chimes in with an answer...
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  • briansteffybriansteffy 490 replies80 threads Member
    payingtuitions. A prof told me that, indeed, perhaps an MFA dergreed person, now pursuing a PhD, may be quite a good teacher. On the other hand, I teach ib B-Schools. You would think that an executive would make a great teacher, given that they are fresh out of the trenches. But we have had little luck when we have acted on this assumption. The classroom is a totally different arena, regardless of the quality of the 'war stories'. It takes time to be an excellent teacher.
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  • KatMTKatMT College Rep 4183 replies71 threads Senior Member
    At many schopols MFA and PhD students teach non-majors, but not majors... as some schools MFA or PhD students may teach undergraduate majors. This is a wonderful question to ask of the different schools
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