Five young adults with light skin and various gender expressions, all wearing blue jackets with a pink and green flower print, smile and wave from a bridge.


Earn a degree steeped in the practical, not the theoretical.

Part arts incubator, part apprenticeship, MFA students in Performance Creation devise their own original solo and ensemble performances, teach theatre in local elementary and middle school classrooms, and receive a top-of-the-line, hands-on experience in arts administration and production.

Taught in an intimate cohort setting by award-winning, practicing artists, students are embedded within Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem, PA, for the entire accelerated, 21-month program.

Immerse yourself in Applied Theatre and Community-Responsive Performance.

Since 1981, Touchstone’s professional ensemble of theatre artists has pursued its mission to create, present, and tour original theatrical work; foster community through artistic collaboration; and cultivate an awareness and appreciation of the performing arts across the region and beyond.

Core to that mission is giving voice to our community. Through the practice of applied theatre, we engage citizens in civic discourse – exploring local issues and seeking solutions together through the arts and creative community partnerships. While in residence at Touchstone, students will engage with all aspects of this ongoing work, developing their own site-specific and community-based performances.

Learn from pioneers in Ensemble-Based Theatre.

The Network of Ensemble Theatres defines an ensemble as “a group of individuals dedicated to collaborative creation, committed to working together consistently over years to develop a distinctive body of work and practices.” Formed around this ideal, Touchstone artists and administrators all contribute to shaping the company’s artistic direction and organizational structure.

Students enrolled in the program work alongside the Touchstone Ensemble, taking part in the same work and daily activities that have helped make Touchstone a successful leader in ensemble theatre-making for over 40 years.

Get Hands-On Experience through Touchstone’s Apprenticeship Model.

Students become part of the extended company at Touchstone, getting practical, field-work experience bolstered by classroom conversations and research. Immersed in the professional theatre world, students apply lessons learned and utilize the resources provided to create and inform their own art. Students also collaborate on the artistic ventures of ensemble members, providing support in areas in which they already excel while gaining hands-on experience in those where they wish to grow their talents.

Working under each of our professors/ensemble members in a one-on-one capacity creates a truly customizable experience – providing students the space to grow in the directions they want, using their passions to forge a path through our master’s degree program.

For more information about our program please contact MFA Program Director Jp Jordan at

Apply Here