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Academic Policy Memo 15

Revised December 2017

Directing Thesis Project

Directing students are required to complete a thesis project in their third year.  The thesis project consists of three parts: direction of a play in the subscription season (designed and acted primarily by students from the graduate programs), a manuscript documenting the process, and a final presentation for their thesis committee.

It is the student’s responsibility to: Select a three or four person committee. Commitments from thesis committee members should be secured by the student prior to the beginning of rehearsals.

This committee should include a faculty production advisor, the Head of the Directing Program and two or three additional School of Drama faculty members, at least two of whom are directing faculty from the MFA Directing program.

Schedule the meeting of the thesis committee during the week following the last performance of the thesis production. This meeting constitutes the thesis “defense” and is required for graduation from the program.

Notify the staff administrative graduate assistant of all scheduling in a timely fashion to allow the usual paperwork to be prepared prior to the thesis committee meeting.  Examples of earlier thesis manuscripts are available for reference.

The thesis manuscript includes the following:

  1. Play analysis
  2. Concept
  3. Research: written and visual
  4. Design
  5. discussion of design process (all areas and phases)
  6. scale groundplan of every scene
  7. images of scenery and costumes
  8. Discussion of rehearsal process (including specials areas of focus such as choreography, sound and music)
  9. Production photographs (4-6)
  10. Post-production critique

A copy of the Thesis manuscript must be delivered to each member of the thesis committee three days prior to the thesis defense.

Your thesis is also submitted to the Graduate School. Guidelines for submitting your thesis are at: http://grad.uw.edu/for-students-and-post-docs/thesisdissertation/final-submission-of-your-thesisdissertation/

Please note – your thesis will be available on line through the UW Library system.


Academic Policy Memo Number 15 first established March, 1998
Executive Committee approval: April 13, 2004, November 2017
Faculty approval: April 19, 2004, December 2017