First Year MLitt
Your first term you take both Gateway to Shakespeare and The Language of Performance as well as one class of your choosing and audit Research Methods.
In Gateway to Shakespeare you read every (accepted) Shakespeare play and discuss them with American Shakespeare Center co-founder and the founder of our program, Dr. Ralph Cohen.
In The Language of Performance you learn about using scansion and rhetoric to inform your performance choices using the rhetorical method pioneered by your professor, Dr. Ralph Cohen.
In Research Methods, Dr. Paul Menzer, the director of the program, guides you through your first term and gives you the tools to do Early Modern research effectively.
In your second term one of your classes is The Performance of the Language which takes the skills you learned in The Language of Performance and applies them to actual performance and play production work, lead by Doreen Bechtol and Dr. Matt Davies, the professors who run the MFA, this class is also a small sample of the kind of work that will go into the MFA year.
Second Year MLitt
Students in their second year are taking classes and each working on preparing a thesis. The standard MLitt thesis, as I understand it, is around seventy pages (just seven ten page chapters, I keep telling myself) and can be based on documented and or performance based research. One student is doing his on the Apocrypha (plays that might be written at least in part by Shakespeare and were at some point attributed to him but are not part of any Complete Works) and for part of his research he is putting several of them on as really fun staged readings.
Fall of your second year is also when you audition for the MFA company if you want to continue and get an MFA in addition to the MLitt.
Post Bac students are people who already have had some graduate school or even a Masters degree who just want the MFA degree. They do their first year like the other students but they audition for the MFA their first Fall and they skip the second year and the writing of the MLitt Thesis.
The MFA year forms the students into a functional acting troupe with five plays to put on with different styles and focuses. As I understand it, the MFA students start their day at nine with classes and lectures and then start rehearsals for their different productions at one. The new MFA Company model is a very intense but seemingly rewarding program that would be beneficial education to anyone planning to go into professional theater or theater education.
There is another group associated with this program and they are the BaMLitts (love the name - Bam! Litt!). They spend five years getting a Bachelors degree and an MLitt instead of the six years that the two programs would ordinarily take.