MFA Theatre - Performance Making (San Francisco)

The MFA Theatre - Performance Making (San Francisco) will be run jointly by the University of Chichester, Department of Theatre and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), Department of Writing, Consciousness and Creative Inquiry.

Launching in June 2015, it will be a 22-month, 240-credit, level 7 programme, running in parallel with the UK-based MA Performance (Theatre or Theatre Collectives) programme, but delivered at CIIS by a dedicated team of leading artists in San Francisco, and visiting academics and artists from the UK.

The MFA is a professional masters’ programme, and will provide an unparalleled opportunity for emergent and established theatre makers, based in the Bay Area, who want time and space to make high-quality theatre work and establish or refine their creative and professional identity.

The programme is being run in San Francisco, because Theatre at Chichester has made a considerable commitment to working across cultures and in contexts that allow cultural exchanges as an integral part of creative development. 

As a Department we have been working in San Francisco for several years and recognize that we can make a timely and crucial contribution to a theatre-making community that has become increasingly aware of the power and importance of artist-led theatre making.


There will be three modes of teaching delivery:

  1. Four intensive residencies, taught by Chichester faculty (with direct support from SF staff and professional mentors), three are delivered in San Francisco, while one is taught on ‘exchange’ in Chichester.
  2. Weekly distance-learning (video conferencing) classes, taught by Chichester Faculty alongside UK MA students.
  3. Weekly workshop classes and critical sharings, led by SF-based faculty.  In addition to taught classes, students learn through residencies at our professional partner organisations and through peer-driven sharing-sessions and making sessions.


Students will have extensive opportunities to showcase their work in San Francisco and in the UK.  Working closely with our professional partners, Z Space and CounterPULSE in SF, students will show their work with the aim of defining practices within the vibrant Bay Area performance community. 

The five-week exchange trip to the UK will allow students to perform in Chichester and, potentially, over parts of the UK/Europe. All students will be mentored by leading Bay Area artists, who will support, challenge, and stimulate work in relation to the professional arts context in California.  A final professional/community project will allow students to launch their practice in a defined and energized manner.

Key Features

  • Development of individual professional practice in an artist-led community at the heart of San Francisco;
  • A five-week UK exchange programme as integral to the program;
  • Constant opportunities to share work;
  • Intensive mentoring from established professionals;
  • Internship associations with partner venues in San Francisco;
  • A wide range of showcasing opportunities;
  • Diverse and radical modes of learning and teaching.

For further course information please contact Ben Francombe at Chichester (;
For more information on the application process contact Carolyn Cooke at CIIS (

Our activities in SF have generated enthusiastic press responses

Here are three particularly informative articles:

Theater Bay Area posted an editorial by director/playwright Mark Jackson detailing his February 2013 visit to the University of Chichester, as well as an article by Rob Avila about the 2013 Summer Intensive.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian also posted a feature article by Rob Avila

Refine your creative and professional identity.
A core determinant of professional practice.
Make high-quality theatre work.
Working across cultures.
Developing your creativity.