Pig Iron and UArts Team Up to Offer an MFA in Devised Performance

Photo via Pig Iron Theatre Facebook

Photo via Pig Iron Theatre Facebook

If you’re a theater student or professional theater practitioner, this is pretty big news: Pig Iron Theatre Company, known throughout the region for their unique and one-of-a-kind performance works, has teamed up with the University of the Arts on a program that will provide students with an MFA in Devised Performance.

Pig Iron has had a professional training program since 2011, but the partnership with UArts provides several key, important benefits: Students can now get federal loans and can be offered a terminal degree (it is the artistic equivalent of a doctorate degree which provides graduates the opportunity to teach at colleges and universities).

“The School will continue to attract and bring together individuals who care about making original theatre by hand, in deep collaboration with others, to shake up the conventions and assumptions about the world we live in today,” said Quinn Bauriedel, co-founder and co-artistic director of Pig Iron, who will also serve as the MFA’s program director. “I am excited by the partnership and the larger impact the School will be able to have on the national and international theatre.”

From an artistic standpoint, the new program is a win-win: Pig Iron’s current program will be accentuated by professors and additional coursework at UArts. Bauriedel explains:

We are thrilled about this partnership because the curriculum as we’ve designed it and as we’ve taught it will remain intact. The core of the program is the same and the faculty will not change. Now, students who want to earn an MFA will spend 2 years in the studio with the certificate students, training to become theatre practitioners. MFA students will take additional courses at UArts: they’ll study visual art practice and music theory; they’ll learn an instrument and will study theatre pedagogy. MFA students will also stay for an additional semester (making the MFA a 2.5 year or 5 semester program) during which time they’ll stretch their learning toward full-length original works, site-specific pieces, collaborations with visual artists, composers and choreographers. They will also have the opportunity to partner with a community organization to test the meaning of devised performance beyond the conventional spectator/performer relationship.

For more information on the new degree, check out the program information website.