Please Note: We are not currently accepting applications for Fall 2023 for the MFA Program in Theatre for Youth. Information for applications for admission in 2024 will be available in Fall 2023. For questions, contact Prof. Jim Wren at

The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth is a terminal degree program educating emerging theatre artists in the growing field of theatre with and for young people. The program is evenly divided between a focus on process work including devised theatre, puppetry, and drama-in-education as well as directing staged productions for both the North Carolina Theatre for Young People (NCTYP) and for the School of Theatre. All Theatre for Youth graduate students are intricately involved with both the artistic and educational programming offered through NCTYP. Candidates for this program demonstrate a passion for the entirety of the field of Theatre for Youth embracing educational programming, community engagement, and the direction of fully mounted staged productions for youth and family audiences.

In this 60-semester-hour degree program, 30 credit hours are devoted to process work while 30 credit hours are devoted to the craft of directing. Offerings include a diverse range of courses from Puppetry and Devised Theatre to Directing Seminar and the Art and Craft of Playwriting.  Professional guest artists engage in residencies each year, bringing multiple perspectives to the curriculum.

The program is highly competitive, accepting only two students every other year. To gain acceptance into the program, applicants must first be admitted to the Graduate School at UNCG (GRE score is not required for admission to this program). Prospective students are required to interview and submit a portfolio that may include promptbooks, production photos, directorial position papers, dramaturgical research, production guides, curricular modules, and/or a record of their theatre for youth experience.

During their course of study, students engage with the community in all process-oriented course work while also directing staged productions in various School of Theatre venues including our proscenium main stage (Taylor Theatre), our intimate thrust stage (Sprinkle Theatre), and in community venues. Internships are also encouraged during summer months and are arranged in consultation with the advisor. The program prepares students to attend regional, national, and international symposia, conferences, and competitions and apply for fellowships, awards, and recognitions from theatre organizations across the globe.

MFA Theatre for Youth Alumni


View the Graduate Bulletin(opens in new window) for this program’s curriculum.

Questions? Contact Rachel Briley (MFA Theatre for Youth Program Head and Artistic Director of NCTYP) at