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Location: Chicago
Start Term: Summer
Program Type: Master's

The program focuses on refining directorial and performance skills, developing new approaches in teaching, design, and production preparation, and working collaboratively with other teachers/students who are dedicated to creating theatre with young adults. The curriculum is designed specifically for the classroom theatre teacher and director/acting coach utilizing the expertise and experience of the individual students. All students take the same classes each summer.

The Fast Track faculty includes Theatre Conservatory professors and working professionals from the Chicago theatre community.

Kristen Mackie
,  Fast Track Program Coordinator

What Differentiates Us



Earn your degree in three summers in the heart of Chicago, steps away from the bustling theatre district while working with Chicago theatre community professionals. Students complete their thesis production at their own school. Students register for this course, Thesis Production (3 hours), in the fall or spring following the third summer. Thesis Production is an additional tuition cost beyond summer tuition at the rate of 3 credit hours.

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The number of students admitted each year is based on the number of graduates from the previous summer, creating a balanced learning environment with a max of 30 students. The Fast Track Theatre Directing program is designed for the theatre teacher who has taught 5-15 years. Selection is based on the applicant's theatre background, directing experience, and teaching experience.



Each summer the entire MA Fast Track student body takes three courses together, totaling 10 credit hours and typically following a 9:00am to 5:50pm schedule. "Theatre Nights" are usually on Thursdays. Tickets for selected theatre productions are included in your tuition.

Expectations & Requirements


Why an MA in Theatre Directing?

  • Learn new techniques and skills from professional artists
  • Learn techniques for directing, acting, production
  • Expand your professional options, increase your income potential
  • Breathe new life into your own theatre curriculum and productions
  • Take on more challenging student productions
  • Courses offered each summer ensure you completing the program in three summers
  • Thesis Production culminates on the stage of your home venue, working with your own familiar resources

Fast Track Three Summer Class Rotation, 2022-2024

2022 June 20 to July 28

  • THAR 401 Problems in Theatrical Production (4 hrs)
    Sound, Costumes, Scenic Design
  • THAR 406 Stage Movement and Combat (3 hrs)
  • THAR 411 Stage Direction: Literary Adaptation (3 hrs)

2023 June 19 to July 27

  • THAR 402 Dramaturgy and Production Preparation (4 hrs)
  • THAR 407 Voice and Body Training (3 hrs)
  • THAR 448 Stage Directing I- Musical Theatre and Contemporary Plays (3 hrs)

2024 June 24 to August 1

  • THAR 400 Problems in Theatrical Production (4 hrs)
    Makeup, Properties, Lighting
  • THAR 408 Period Styles (3 hrs)
    Acting: Period Styles, Acting: Diverse Methodologies
  • THAR 449 Directing II (3 hrs)
    Period Plays, Shakespeare, Black Plays, Latinx Plays

Either spring or fall semester in the year following the completion of the above:

THAR 494 Thesis Production (3 hrs)


Elizabeth Henley

The Directing Fast Track program at Roosevelt University changed the life of our family for the better. Not only did it enhance my teaching and expertise when I taught theatre for grades 7-12, but it afforded me the opportunity to teach and direct at the college level. What I loved about experiencing the program was learning from working professionals in their respective fields and gleaning valuable insights, tips, and creativity from my peers.

Elizabeth Henley

Admission Info

Chicago skyline

All applicants must submit a Roosevelt University application and all required supplemental items by the priority deadline of February 1 to be considered for admission. For more information, please see our admission requirements page. Applications for entry continue to be accepted and reviewed (if space is still available) until February 15.

Once the initial Roosevelt University application has been submitted, the next step is to complete the CCPA supplementary application through This is also where you will go to pay the $100 application fee.

In completing your secondary application on you must submit the following:

  • A list of all productions you have directed, including location and year
  • A list of all undergraduate and post-graduate theatre courses you have taken, including location and year
  • A teaching resume, including schools, years, and courses taught
  • A related experience resume, including technical experience, performance experience, and workshops given or attended
  • An essay on how you hope the program will impact your work as a director
  • A mini-portfolio containing pictures from a production (six photos maximum) and a reflection (two-page maximum) on the applicant’s involvement, approach and process in mounting the production

Once all application materials have been received, applicants will be contacted to set up an interview.

The Fast Track tuition is charged by the credit hour, which is found under the Graduate Section at Tuition for the 10 credits taken each summer is due by the first week of class. As the credit hour rate is lower than that of other CCPA programs, no additional university scholarship funding is available for students in the program. However, students can apply for loans through the Financial Aid Office. Some “Fast Trackers” have been able to secure support and grants from their teaching institution/local areas as well as scholarships from other private organizations.

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