The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s graduate acting program has landed 13th in the Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of worldwide top programs.
This is the fifth consecutive year UT has been among the top graduate schools for acting.
Davion T. Brown, a third-year graduate student, was attracted to the program from the moment he began interacting with the acting faculty as a prospective student.
“The faculty were so inviting and hospitable when I reached out about more information on the program. It was like I was already a part of the family at the auditions. And when I came to campus for a tour, they sold me on it. The ranking is a cherry on top,” he said.
The Hollywood Reporter considers several factors in its rankings, which are made after consultation with academics, influencers, and alumni.
“Affordability and creative support seem to be instrumental in our ranking,” said Calvin MacLean, head of the Department of Theatre and producing artistic director for the university’s Clarence Brown Theatre.
Seven or eight actors are accepted into the three-year MFA Acting program every other year. Students receive a full tuition waiver plus an assistantship stipend. They have the opportunity to perform in up to six productions on the Clarence Brown Theatre mainstage and in the Carousel and Lab Theatres.
“Our students work with a variety of highly regarded guest artists,” MacLean said. “Grad students have extended contact with professional film directors and movement and voice specialists with international reputations. These kinds of experiences augment the project work in the Clarence Brown over their three-year residency.”
Along the way, students earn an Actors’ Equity Association membership card.
Notable alumni of UT’s program include Tramell Tillman (’14) of Hunters; Conrad Ricamora (’12) of How to Get Away with Murder; Matthew Bassett (’10), artistic director of the Hub Theatre in Washington, DC; and Cycerli Ash (’10), an actor and director known for her role on Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.
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