Since 2011 Chichester’s Theatre faculty have been working with some of the best and most popular performance artists in the famed San Francisco Bay Area. After nearly three years of exchanging ideas, throwing parties, and presenting innovative artwork, we decided to join forces and explore the possibility of creating radical art through cross-communities. And so our MFA Theatre-Performance Making was born: a ground-breaking course which offers you the chance to perform in some of the world’s most prominent locations - including San Francisco, the UK, and across Europe.
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 professional masters’ programme, our MFA offers you an unparalleled opportunity to become an established theatre maker right at the heart of one of the world’s most popular cities.
You will work with our specialist academics - many of who are already established performing artists – in high-quality theatres both in San Francisco and the UK, with some opportunities to work in other parts of Europe.
Our aim is to develop you and your talents through intensive mentoring and a wide-range of showcasing opportunities.
Our programme explores innovative devising techniques which places you at the centre of the contemporary art in San Francisco’s Bay Area, and gives you a platform to perform to large audiences throughout the 22-month course.
- 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.
Our programme is run in the famed San Francisco Bay Area, because Theatre at Chichester has made considerable commitment to working across cultures and in contexts that allow cultural exchanges.
However, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn and work at Chichester and, during the last two years, we have developed our campuses.
We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.
The refurbishments include a purpose-built Assembly Theatre, used by Theatre students for rehearsals and performance.
We also have a number of soundproofed practice rooms for rehearsals and lessons, as well as lecture and seminar rooms.
Our Chapel is also a fantastic venue for performances and rehearsals, and is the centre piece of the campus.
There are also several dance studios, a fully-equipped 250-seat theatre, and a 110-seat studio theatre.
Our new award-winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus, and we offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research.
A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.
Also situated in our LRC is Costa Coffee and nearly 100 open-access work stations.
An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans.
Where this can take you
Our goal is to create - with your help - an international community of performance artists committed to breaking down old hierarchies and create flexible artwork, applicable to anyone and everyone.
We will also encourage you to build the appetite for experimental shows in San Francisco and seize upon other opportunities to perform in the UK and other leading locations.
We invite you to join us for performances, workshops, and symposia across San Francisco and, furthermore, a chance to participate in a five-week exchange programme at leading theatres and festivals in the UK – including the Edinburgh Fringe.
Here you will work with our London-based creative partners Forest Fringe to create bold new work for experimental performances in San Francisco.
- There will be four intensive residencies taught by Chichester faculty, with direct support from SF staff and professional mentors). Three of these are delivered in San Francisco, while one is taught on exchange in Chichester.
- The programme also includes weekly distance-learning (video conferencing) classes, taught by Chichester Faculty alongside UK MA students.
- There will also be weekly workshop classes and critical sharing, led by San Francisco-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.
- You 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 San Francisco, you will be able to showcase your work within the vibrant Bay Area performance community.
- A five-week exchange trip to the UK will also allow you to perform in Chichester and, potentially, over parts of the UK and Europe.
- You will be mentored by leading Bay Area artists. A final professional/community project will allow you to launch your practice in a defined and energized manner.
Teaching and Assessment
There will be three modes of teaching delivery:
- 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.
- Weekly distance-learning (video conferencing) classes, taught by Chichester Faculty alongside UK MA students.
- 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.
This MFA will be run jointly by performance artists and lecturers from both the University of Chichester’s Department of Theatre and the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Department of Writing, Consciousness and Creative Inquiry.
As a Department we have been working in San Francisco for several years and feel, with your help, we can make a crucial contribution to one of the United States’ biggest theatre-making communities.
The MFA will provide you with an unparalleled opportunity to make high-quality theatre work and establish or refine their creative and professional identity.
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.
22 months, with opportunities across the USA, the UK, and Europe Full Time