MFA Student Testimonials

What do our current MFA students think about their University of Louisville Theatre Arts experience? We asked the MFA cohort to answer a few questions about the program. Their answers highlight the many reasons why you might also be interested in pursuing your MFA in Performance at the University of Louisville.

“What sparked my interest in studying Theatre Arts at the University of Louisville was the African American Theatre Program. As a theatre artist, I have been especially interested in shows that speak to my identity. UofL’s AATP has allowed me to study shows that speak to my identity at the graduate level.”—Tajleed Hardy, 3rd year MFA 

“What really interested me about UofL was its commitment to working on black theatre productions and including curriculum from BIPOC authors and practitioners. In my career before graduate school, I only had a handful of experiences doing BIPOC work. The MFA program emphasizes the voices of black theatre artists as well as other marginalized peoples to give students a well-rounded acting experience.”—Darrin Mosley, 2nd year MFA

“I had already been accepted into another graduate program before UofL fell from the sky with an opportunity! I decided on UofL before they decided on me simply because of the interactions I had with the faculty during my audition and interview. Everyone was so welcoming, honest, and candid, and they allowed for me to be as well. That spoke wonders to me.”—Taijee Bunch, 1st year MFA

“For me, the most important issue the world is facing today is a lack of community engagement. My creative work has allowed me to engage with people of different communities.”—Tajleed Hardy, 3rd year MFA

“I’m always motivated to curate spaces for marginalized groups. As black peoples and as artists, unity is the most important issue that I see us facing today. I think that we have a unique opportunity to use our art to inspire connectivity.”—Taijee Bunch, 1st year MFA

“My creative work engages with conversation and education. Speaking from the perspective of the black community, I believe we need to discuss the issues we face and things we perpetuate in our own community. By making art that represents the issues we face, we can discuss, learn, and wash our hands of miscommunication and violence.”—MichaelJoseph Barber, 1st year MFA

“The production I am most proud of would have to be The Island by Athol Fugard. It was the first show that I produced. I also starred in the show alongside my classmate, Nicholas Wills. The work we did changed the way I look at theatre and prepared me to do anything in my field.”—Tajleed Hardy, 3rd year MFA

“The work I am most proud of is The Island. My acting partner and I put in more work on that project than any other I have done, and the work absolutely paid off in the end.”—Nick Wills, 3rd year MFA

“My work on The Old Settler has made me the proudest I’ve ever been. While working on this production, I’ve been able to study various ideas on cultural identity, including an ideology of masculinity through a black lens. Being in a production that challenges me to research Harlem during the 1940s while exploring themes of black joy instead of tragedy has been an eye-opening experience. It’s very much what I came to this program to study, and I hope to continue the work of deconstructing toxic masculinity in my work to come.”—Darrin Mosley, 2nd year MFA

“I am proudest of my river work in Dr. Ari Calvano’s Movement I class. My journey from the first week of class to my river work by the end of the semester was impressive”—MichaelJoseph Barber, 1st year MFA

“The faculty in the UofL Theatre Arts program routinely ask me one question that continues to motivate my work: ‘Who are you?’ Often, I’m swept up in becoming other people and I sometimes forget who I am as an artist. The Theatre Arts faculty not only provide actor training but ask each graduate student to examine who they are in the work that they do. Our faculty ask us to go beyond just playing a character and to examine what it means to present the character, show, research, and dialogue that each play has to offer. The faculty also have taken large steps to put intimacy work at the forefront of our training. They constantly reinforce the value and necessity of consent on and off the stage to make our art as authentic as possible.”—Darrin Mosley, 2nd year MFA

“They have encouraged me to embrace where I am at currently so that I can appreciate where I am going.”—MichaelJoseph Barber, 1st year MFA