MFA Directing

MFA Directing Advisor: Stephen Malloy

Program and Graduate Secretary (Theatre Production) Zanna Downes



The MFA Directing program is professionally oriented, intended for those who wish to extend and enhance their directing practice. The program is highly sought after by theatre artists, and the entrance process is competitive; only one or two students a year are admitted. Typically, entrants arrive with at least five years, usually more, of professional theatre experience.

These theatre artists have an opportunity to delve deeply into the intellectual and practical world of theatre. Students spend a year investigating a variety of preparation and rehearsal techniques and the demands of various theatrical performance styles. In their second year, MFA students direct two productions. One of these shows is the student’s thesis production, where, in addition to preparing a fully realized production of a challenging play, MFA candidates conduct extensive research and write about the style, the playwright, the context and the intentions of the play; they record and analyze their directorial process and they defend their analysis as well as their artistic choices.

“Directing for the theatre is about vision and leadership.”

Directing for the theatre is about vision and leadership. Directors provide the focus for a huge team of artists, managers and technicians to come together, in order to creatively ‘solve the problem’ of a play. Directing is to discover a production of a play which will impact an audience in a specific place and time.

The art of directing is, on one hand, to envision those ‘solutions’, but perhaps more importantly, to create a space where all of these people: actors, designers, dramaturgs, crafts people and technicians, have room to offer their expertise, their creativity, their insights, their skills, and their visions to create one coherent whole. Sound impossible? Well perhaps it is, but that is the goal. We celebrate our past and present directing students’ efforts, their visions and their leadership. As they learn from being at UBC, many learn from them.

Graduate Funding Opportunities

All domestic and international students who are accepted and registered full-time in our department’s graduate programs (Ph.D., M.F.A., M.A.) will be eligible for financial assistance from teaching assistantships, research assistantships and Graduate Support Initiative (GSI) funding allocated as entrance awards, multi-year funding awards, tuition awards and/or scholarship top-up awards.

Please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page for details.

Online Resources

Academic Advisor

If you have any further questions about the MFA Directing Program, please contact the Program Advisor, Stephen Malloy.