The mission of the Master of Fine Arts Theatre Management program is to profoundly impact the arts around the world by providing leaders with the skills to succeed, the strength to lead, and the character to make a difference in the arts.
Practical training and real world experience
Students are provided a considered education through practical training and hands-on experiences in a working theatre environment. Our goal is to graduate future arts leaders with a solid base of knowledge in all aspects of producing the arts, as well as an understanding of management principles, finance, marketing, fund raising, event planning and extensive knowledge of computer applications to arts and cultural management. The program is focused on developing and strengthening leadership skills. Following a unique algorithm that parallels a student’s growth (both in the classroom and in a real-world environment) from worker to manager to leader, the FSU program is intense, and its graduates go into the world with both a strong MFA and a strong resume.
While the coursework is applicable to all the arts, and many of the seminar classes enroll arts administration students from programs in music, opera, visual arts, dance, arts education, and museum management, our practical/laboratory work is managing and leading a real, community-based theatre. The course work covers areas of communications, financial management, fund raising, proposal development, contracts, project management, research, managing and leading personnel, working with Boards and donors, marketing, audience development, public relations and campaigns, and how to make effective public presentations. Classes include a broad perspective on the arts in America as well as the basics of operating an arts organization in today’s business environment.
All students accepted into the program receive an assistantship that includes a tuition waiver for the courses in the MFA program plus a stipend of approximately $15,000. Students must acquire in-state resident status after their first year. An essential element in the training program is a tracked graduate assistantship in one of five areas: Marketing and Public Relations, Ticket Office, Development, Fundraising, Facility Management. You will be managing and leading one of these areas!
A unique feature of our MFA degree is the practicum program. The practicum acknowledges the legitimacy of production-oriented work not normally equaled with course work. The practicum includes Marketing, House Management, Ticket Office, Fiscal Office, and Production Management. In the practicum, students receive comprehensive exposure to multiple functions in the arts.
The 3rd Year Experience – Leadership
The third year of the MFA Theatre Management program centers on full-time intensive hands-on work that allows students to actively integrate experience and classroom learning into comprehensive working practices. Students serve as full-time members of the School of Theatre marketing, development or fine arts ticket management team, and work with the presenting series Opening Nights Performing Arts. Students assume key leadership responsibilities and are accountable for excellence as they move beyond management into leadership. Third year students as leaders, are given budgets to spend autonomously, managers and workers to lead, and they make decisions that have serious consequences.
In addition to applying to the program, students must also apply to Florida State University.
Director, School of Theatre
239 Fine Arts Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1160