Graduate Studies

Dedicated to Art in Action and offering the only Graduate Certificate in African American Theatre in the United States, Our  Master of Fine Arts in Performance program offers a three-prong approach. We train actors to act, teach, and make theatre that resonates locally, nationally, and internationally. Our students push boundaries of thinking and challenge conventions of theatre and society through exploration of classical, contemporary, and global dramatic forms. Marrying theory, practice, and engaged outreach, we encourage the application of research, creativity, and sustainability in embodied, socially-conscious performance.


The MFA in Performance offers a three-year course of study that includes classes in acting, movement, voice, drama, and performance theory. Students perform in shows directed by faculty and guest artists and staged in our two main theatres. They may also perform in our Repertory Company’s touring productions and/or mount their own performance projects. The Graduate Certificate in African American Theatre, which can be completed alongside the MFA in Performance, features classes in the craft and theory of acting and directing African American theatre.

On-Campus Auditions
Applicants interested in scheduling an on-campus audition with the MFA faculty should contact Dr. Janna Segal, Director of Graduate Studies, at

Off-Campus Auditions
Applicants can audition at SETC on March 9, 2018 at the Mobile Convention Center, 1 S. Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602.

Video Auditions
Applicants interested in submitting a video audition are asked to provide a YouTube or Vimeo link to an uploaded, unedited, no more than 5-minute video. Please email your headshot, resume, and transcript (official or unofficial) along with the video link to Dr. Janna Segal, Director of Graduate Studies, Skype interviews may follow video auditions as needed. Instructions for uploading a video and making it private are provided here:

If you would like your video to be private, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into YouTube.
  2. Click the upload icon at the top of the page.
  3. Select the video you would like to upload from your computer.
  4. Change the privacy setting from "Public" to "Unlisted". An unlisted video will not come up in search results or on your channel. Only those who know the link can view it.
  5. Then click "Publish" and "Done."
  6. Send the link of your video to Dr. Janna Segal, Director of Graduate Studies: .

Note: If your video is already uploaded, and you want to make it unlisted, go to "Creator Studio," click on the dropdown menu beside your video, click "Info & Settings," and then change your privacy settings.

  1. Sign into Vimeo.
  2. Click the upload button.
  3. To make it private, change the privacy setting to "Only people with a password" and enter a password.
  4. Select the video you would like to upload from your computer.
  5. Follow the prompts to publish your video.
  6. Send the link AND password of your video to Dr. Janna Segal, Director of Graduate Studies: .

Note: If your video is already uploaded, and you want to make it private, go to "Manage Videos" then "Settings," then "Privacy," then click "Only people with a password" and enter a password.

Expectations for On-Campus, Off-Campus, and Video Auditions
The mission of the UofL Theatre Arts Department is to create art in action: theatre that is engaged and inclusive, rigorous and enjoyable, thoughtful and transformative. Our MFA program produces work that challenges actors and audiences artistically, intellectually, and politically. Applicants to our program should:

  • Prepare two contrasting monologues, one classical (pre-1800) and one contemporary
  • Bring a current headshot and resume
  • Bring an official or unofficial copy of your undergraduate transcript (and graduate, if applicable)
  • Expect to perform a cold reading
  • Expect to provide a short response to a writing prompt
  • Expect that a brief interview with the theatre faculty will follow the audition

Applicant Expectations
A student admitted to the program will typically:

  • Have evidence of a Bachelor’s Degree and 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Audition on-campus, off-campus, or via video submission
  • Provide transcripts of all undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate work
  • Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) prior to the start of their first semester in the program
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Submit a personal statement (500-800 words, double-spaced)
  • Provide a writing sample (1,000-1,500 words, double-spaced)

Applicants invited into the MFA in Performance program must also complete the standard admissions process for the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies at the University of Louisville. Admission requirements and online applications may be found at:

For all questions concerning the admissions process, please contact Jessica Key at or 502-852-5922.