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M.F.A. in Theatre - Acting

The MFA Professional Actor Training Program challenges talent and hones skills through a progressive arc of training in rigorous studio work and in full productions; professional connections are forged through auditions for work with Shakespeare festivals and other regional theater. The combination of rigorous studio training, diverse production experience, and professional networking will provide a launch for a career like no other program in the country.

Imagination, Agility, Precision, Passion, Speed

The artists coming out of this program will be notable for combining five inter-locking qualities:

Imagination—broadened in studio training, honed in productions; our creative fuel.
Agility—the facility to adapt to new visions, new collaborators, new materials, new techniques across a variety of environments.
Precision—the ability to articulate the work and execute  the work clearly, concisely, and completely.
Passion—our graduates thrive in this field because they have a great fire within for the art and craft of the theatre.
Speed—the range to shift sensibilities to match the tempo needed for each particular project, whether it’s fast, medium or slow.

UH’s Professional Actor Training Program is a rigorous two-year program designed to prepare actors to work for leading regional theatres in major markets. Acting, voice, speech, stage combat, and movement skills are honed through extensive studio work and performances in UH productions. The program keeps a constant eye on the profession, bringing in outside artistic directors and sending the actors to group auditions to win the jobs that build a resume and a career.

Training begins the summer between spring acceptance and the ensemble gathering together in August. While the academic calendar only has four 15-week semesters, the PATP makes use of every available moment. From the time students are accepted, they start work on gathering the materials and information that will allow them to “hit the ground running,”. Letters throughout the summer allow the new ensemble members to connect with each other, the rising 2nd year class and other UH MFA alums.

UH Professional Actor Training Program on Facebook

First-year actors gather the week before UH classes officially start for an intensive workshop. Students learn to "Play Well Together" and begin to build the foundation of the ensemble that will challenge and support them through the rigorous work of the following 20 months. To take a break from the concentrated work on art, UH academic staff will lead orientations on the particulars of grading and teaching assistantships. This week brings the entire ensemble up to speed to be ready for auditions for the fall productions and the official first week of class.

Turbo-projects bring the ensemble back together in early January to rehearse and present a major work in one week, to replicate the compressed rehearsals in summer Shakespeare festivals.

Summers are spent acting with a professional theatre company, and preparing material to bring back to Houston to share when the ensemble reconvenes.

Please visit our Facebook page:  University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program

The “About” section contains information about the faculty, the program and audition requirements. The “Events” section shares the work alumni have earned (click on the “Past Events” link) and have coming up (click on the “Upcoming Events” link). The “Pictures” section has albums for each ensembles’ headshots & resumes, as well as production pictures from UH shows.



  • Acting —Personalization
  • Voice 1
  • Speech 1
  • Movement
  • Dramaturgy
  • Ensemble Training: Suzuki and Viewpoints  

Winter Break >> Turbo-Project


  • Acting II —Action/Objective and Characterization
  • Voice II
  • Speech II
  • Movement II
  • Dramatic Theory & Criticism
  • Ensemble Training: Suzuki and Viewpoints

Summer Break>> Acting with a professional company


  • Acting III —Shakespeare
  • Voice/Speech III
  • Movement III
  • Ensemble Training: Suzuki and Viewpoints

Winter Break>> Turbo-Project


  • Acting IV —Greek/Ritual Theatre and Comedy
  • Voice/Speech IV
  • Movement IV
  • Ensemble Training:  Suzuki and Viewpoints
  • Creative Project 

How to Apply