This program provides a student with an advanced introduction to the challenges and possibilities of organizing and presenting a public professional performance. Based around the development of a substantial live performance, the program also offers supervision on an agreed dissertation topic and two courses in management and marketing from the College’s MBA program. The core of the program is the performance project. Under faculty supervision, the student is required to devise or identify a suitable recital, concert performance, or other approved live performance work, oversee the development of the project (original or adapted), arrange for rehearsal, directing and performance of the piece, and manage, market and produce a recorded public performance of the work. The student may be involved in all areas of the performance as musician, singer, dancer, writer, director, actor, technician, or engage others to assist in some or all of them. All aspects of the production, including the decision making that went into choosing the piece, a literary critical analysis of the program content and a critical review of the performance, are documented in a substantial (10,000 words) dissertation. The dissertation module (9 credits) and the faculty panel’s evaluation of one of the recorded live performances (21 credits) provide the basis for the assessment of the project.

Students prepare the performance project and dissertation over the fall and spring semesters, with delivery of them taking place at an agreed point over the summer, but before the completion of the academic year at the latest. The two taught classes are taken in the fall and spring semesters, with one completed in each of the semesters.

  • MFA570 Performance project (21 credits)
  • MFA571 Performance project dissertation (9 credits)
  • MBA500 Leadership and management (or an approved elective from the MBA course offerings, or an approved independent study topic with a supplementary fee on leadership and management in the performing arts – 3 credits)
  • MBA502 Marketing management (or an approved elective from the MBA course offerings, or an approved independent study topic with a supplementary fee on marketing in the performing arts – 3 credits)

Entry to the program is decided on the basis of an interview, an audition in the applicant’s area of expertise, and the submission of a portfolio of work demonstrating the applicant’s experience and skills in the field in which the applicant proposes to work. An undergraduate degree is not required for entry to the program, though one may be cited in the application portfolio in support of the application.

A graduate of the program will have demonstrated a superior ability to create, manage and deliver a substantial professional public performance. Along with the academic courses, the skills developed in the making of the performance project and the dissertation portfolio will provide the graduate with an enhanced understanding of the practical and artistic requirements of producing a substantial live performance. These skills and abilities, along with the dissertation that demonstrates mastery of them, provide an excellent platform for the development of a career in the performing arts industry and education.