The Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. programs combine in-depth classroom work and an ongoing relationship to a working professional theatre. Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies is internationally recognized for the quality of its faculty and instruction. Trinity Rep, with its deep tradition of resident artists, provides powerful artistic assets and creates a firm foundation of real-world experience. Together, the two organizations have produced a model of theatre training that is rigorous and technically demanding, without intellectual or creative limitations.
Brown/Trinity includes the M.F.A. programs in Acting and Directing. Students in each of the disciplines have many opportunities to study and work with fellow students from other areas, including the M.F.A. playwrights and the Ph.D. students in Brown’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.
The primary focus in the acting training is in developing technically skilled, versatile actors capable of working in the variety of styles demanded by contemporary theatre. Directors are given the opportunity to develop their own vision, working in collaboration with actors, by creating new work and rediscovering existing texts.
The M.F.A. curriculum provides a rigorous technical training program taught by a resident faculty, supplemented by guest artists from the professional and academic arenas. In the first year of training, students are required to participate in a collaborative program of acting, directing, and playwriting, regardless of their primary interest. Through directly experiencing the techniques and processes involved in each discipline, students are encouraged to become true collaborators and to break down the often artificial barriers that have traditionally separated actors, directors, and playwrights. Five days a week are devoted to classes, which are held five to eight hours a day. Weekends and evenings are reserved for class work and production rehearsal.
Brown/Trinity Rep’s acting and directing rehearsal studios are located at Trinity Rep’s home in the Lederer Theater Center (formerly the historic Majestic Theatre), the Pell Chafee Performance Center, and adjacent buildings in downtown Providence, including the David and Joan Henderson Studios. In addition, the downtown campus houses Trinity Rep’s theatres, administrative and production offices, scene, costume and prop shops, and other production facilities. The 2013–2014 season marks Trinity Repertory Company’s 50th year of producing exciting, innovative theatre. Students are fully involved in the life of Trinity Rep. They have the opportunity to work as actors, assistant directors, and dramaturgs on mainstage productions, to be taught by members of the company, and to attend both rehearsals and performances.
Third-year graduate opportunities include acting and directing showcase presentations. In addition, summer theatres are invited to Providence to meet and audition students. In July, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre performs on-campus and offers summer employment to selected students.
Brown University offers all of its excellent resources. Students have use of the university’s facilities, including the library and the gymnasium, and are eligible for all the opportunities offered through enrollment in the institution.