Wayne State University

Master of Fine Arts - Theatre Management

The mission of the Master of Fine Arts Theatre Management program is to prepare students to make a thoughtful and impactful influence in the professional theatre. Through this three-year, fully-immersive program, students receive both the academic and practical training to lead professional theatres and other cultural institutions.


While the focus of the MFA Theatre Management student's academics is on professional theatre training, many classes include students from the Master of Arts in Arts Administration program, where students follow one of three tracks: gallery management, music business, and theatre management. This overlap allows for profound collaboration and engagement with students from across many areas of the University.

MFA Theatre Management students take on courses in: leadership in the arts, marketing the theatre, arts marketing and data decisions, media and the theatre, public relations and the arts, accounting for nonprofit organizations, board governance, entrepreneurship, human resources, funding and grant writing, among many additional courses.* The faculty is comprised of working professionals, providing students the opportunity to learn from real-world experiences.

MFA Theatre Management Curriculum

* course of study is subject to change.

Practical Training & Internships

From day one, MFA Theatre Management students serve as members of the Theatre and Dance at Wayne management team, gaining hands-on experiences.

In each year, students work together on show teams while managing a a staff of undergraduate assistants. This immediate engagement in leadership roles serves as a laboratory for applying academic training.

Additionally, students work in a variety of other areas including but not limited to: audience development and engagement; box office, front of house management, department public relations, development and donor relations, among others. Assignments may change.

During the course of their studies, students are required to complete two semester-long internships with a professional theatre or other cultural organization.

Exit Project

In the third year, each student produces a research project, vetted by the faculty, aimed at both supporting their ongoing education and preparing them for the transition to outside employment.

Application requirements

  • A resume
  • 3 or 4 letters of recommendation
  • unofficial transcripts
  • 3 samples of writing (business letters, memos, press releases, brochures, term papers, etc.)

Interview requirements

Candidates for the Theatre Management program are required to be interviewed in person. For the application, applicants are required to bring samples of their writing — such as letters, brochures, and press releases — and other materials (such as layouts, videos, artwork, and budgets) to support their candidacy.

Admission is based off audition and/or interview and you must also be admitted by The Graduate School at Wayne State University.

To apply, please visit the Graduate School Application Portal.

Financial Package

  • Stipend: 2017-2018 $17,994 (will be increased for 2018-2019)
  • Full Tuition Waiver
  • Insurance: Medical/Dental/Vision (employee contribution)


Thomas Karr
Director of Promotions and Outreach
Director of Theatre Management Graduate Studies
Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance
Wayne State University
p: 313-577-7895
a: 4841 Cass Ave., Suite 3226 Detroit, MI 48201
e: thomas.karr@wayne.edu

150 years in the heart of Detroit