The PIMA M.F.A Program provides students with training, theoretical and technical knowledge, and practical experience in the conceptualization and production of collaborative, interdisciplinary performance artworks.


Curriculum Design:

The PIMA M.F.A. curriculum is based on the professional artistic experience of the faculty: David Grubbs, Alex Juhasz, Jennifer McCoy, and Helen E. Richardson, and adjuncts Meg Araneo, Ryan Holsoppple, Andrew Kircher, Briggan Krauss, Erwin Maas, Justine Williams, André Zachery.  It emphasizes conditions that exist in the professional performing arts world, such as:

  • The prevalence of collaboration in the creation of new performance works.

  • The diversity of artistic and professional backgrounds to be found within both long-term and single-project professional collaborative groups.

  • The breath of skills and interests represented in most professional collaborative groups.

  • The Importance of community involvement, community venues, and community outreach in the creation of public and performance artworks.


The curriculum design reflects these conditions in all of it fundamental structural elements:

  • Most required courses are team-taught

  • All major student projects are collaborative

  • Nearly one-half of students’ coursework is elective

  • At least one major project must have a community component


Specifically, the students in the program:

  • Learn the theory, history and practice of experimental performance, including the use of technology, as a means of extending collaborative artistic practice.

  • Learn specific performance and technological tools and techniques, which can be used to facilitate cross-disciplinary artistic collaboration.

  • Develop skills in interactive media programming as a central component of the first two semesters of study, engaging in practical creative exercises that are driven by media technology.

  • Gain practical experience and professional-level skills in interdisciplinary arts event production.

  • Through a collective process with artists of various disciplines, create interdisciplinary artworks for presentation in a performance setting.

  • Build relationships with communities in the New York City area, and produce artistic work in the context of these relationships. The community context is created through at least one, and often several of the following:

    •    Involving the community in the creative process

    •    Presenting work in a community venue

    •    Presenting and/or addressing community issues within the work

    •    Basing the work in whole or in part on the values, history, literature, or art of the community

    •    Including members of the community in the work; either as performers, or through their words, images,    or creative contributions

    •    Presenting the work in such a way that it reaches a broad audience within the community

  • Develop research and scholarship on contemporary performance through rigorous study of history and theory, and critical writing, as well as practical application.

  • Students complete the program with the skills and experience to extend their current individual artistic practice into multi-disciplinary collaborative practice, employing technology as a means to facilitate collaboration across disciplines.

  • The PIMA M.F.A. program takes a collective approach to teaching and student production. Not only are most required courses team-taught, all significant student projects are collaboratively conceived and produced.