Hollywood Reporter Ranks UMKC Theatre in Top 25 Again

Master of Fine Arts program consistently recognized as one of the best performing arts schools
Marianne McKenzie and Freddy Acevedo perform in Dracula. Photo by Brian Paulette

The Hollywood Reporter’s recent rankings have the University of Missouri-Kansas City Theatre graduate program at No. 24 out of 25 for the world’s top dramatic and performing arts schools, making this the second year in a row in the Top 25.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the publication consulted with academics, influencers and alums to rank the top 25 Master of Fine Arts acting programs. In the article, the Hollywood Reporter highlighted UMKC for bringing theater, music and dance departments under one roof: the UMKC Conservatory. UMKC Theatre was also ranked in the Top 25 by the Hollywood Reporter last year at No 20.

For the third year in a row, Hollywood Reporter has also included UMKC Theatre in its national list of Top 10 Costume Design schools. UMKC Theatre offers a single comprehensive M.F.A. degree in costume design and technology, which has been key to its success. Students learn many skills including drawing, painting, sketching and learning how to construct a garment with techniques in fabric manipulation, millinery, tailoring and pattern drafting.

“The history of UMKC Theatre has been one of excellence,” said Ken Martin, Patricia McIlrath Endowed professor of Theatre and chair of UMKC Theatre. “A high quality, forward thinking faculty, coupled with a regional professional theatre on campus, results in a world class training. We are proud to be mentioned alongside these other programs, and look forward to building on the traditions and quality already established.”

As well as merging with the UMKC Conservatory in 2019, Martin was named chair of the UMKC Theatre Department. The merger was a natural alignment: the two programs share a long history of collaboration, a physical space, a conservatory model of teaching where students receive intensive hands-on training while gaining analytical skills taught by professional performing artists, a professional-school focus, a strong national reputation, a spirit of civic engagement and a supportive philanthropic audience.

UMKC Theatre continues to make the entire city an artistic campus. In addition to its on-campus partnership with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, this year the program continues to partner with Unicorn Theatre, Coterie Theatre and Kansas City Actors Theatre, featuring MFA and Bachelor of Arts acting students in major professional roles. 

Alumni include Nick Gehlfuss of “Chicago Med,” Patrick DuLaney of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway” and Toccara Cash of Broadway’s “The Play That Goes Wrong” and “Half Me, Half You” at London’s West End.


Top Stories