Devised Performance Program


The Pig Iron School, in partnership with the University of the Arts, offers two programs with degrees conferred by UArts. 

The MFA is a 2.5 year program and the Certificate is a 2 year program.  Both cohorts of students take all courses together at the Pig Iron School for the first two years.  MFA students have additional requirements at the University of the Arts and stay for a fifth semester.  Certificate students take one additional course per year at UArts.  Applications and information here.  Priority is given to applications received before March 31, 2017.

The school is a center of creation – dynamic, energetic, messy, collaborative, and ever-evolving.  It is composed of forward-thinking theatre-makers with a desire to forge new boundaries for live performance.  Students train in the skills needed to be a contemporary theatre artist: physical conditioning, movement analysis, acrobatics, voice, play, improvisation, theatre creation, and dance.  Students, guided by an international and award-winning faculty, look far and wide for inspiration, from architecture to masks to street theatre to opera to the rhythms of nature and the rhythms of the city, always with the goal of making immediate and arresting theatre.

The first year of both the MFA and Certificate programs focuses on the fundamental building blocks of live performance: rhythm, dynamic, space, the expressive voice and body, the relationship between performer and audience, character, and the arc of a story or journey onstage.

The second year is centered on the myriad paths the work of the first year can take: melodrama, commedia dell'arte, circus, clown, tragedy, dance-theatre, music-theatre, grotesque, site-specific theatre, comic forms including vaudeville and variety shows, and hybrid forms.

For the MFA students, the fifth semester presents an opportunity to devise a full-length work, supported by the faculty.  Additionally, there are creative projects involving collaborations with designers, developing work in non-traditional spaces, and partnering with a community organization to expand the role that theatre can serve in society.

MFA students take courses in pedagogy, taught by Pig Iron faculty, and courses in music and visual art at the University of the Arts.  There are also elective courses that could be in choreography, design, arts management, or creative writing.

Both MFA and Certificate students are in studio class at the School between four and seven hours daily, pursuing courses that are designed to train the total theatre artist.  Throughout each of the semesters, students work collaboratively on projects, practicing theatre-making with their peers for faculty evaluation.  The second year features several public performances.  Both programs culminate in presentations of original student-created work.

For more information, click the links to the right.  You can also reach out to Admissions at