MPA (Master of Performing Arts)
What is Master of Performing Arts (MPA)?
The programme of Master of Performing Arts is a two-year postgraduate degree which allows students to explore and find their own specialisation in performing arts namely theatre, music, and dance. Master of Performing Arts accommodate students with the framework and skills they are required to stretch and explore their own creativity in addition to an expert teaching team. The content of the course and design depends on the university and the course that students choose.
Human culture consists of a variety of performances such as theatre, music, dance and object manipulation. There are several different types of performing arts and some of them are performed professionally. The artists of performing arts showcase their talent on platforms like built buildings, such as theatres and opera houses, on open air stages at festivals, on stages in tents such as circuses and on the street.
Nowadays, live performances have been converted into a source of entertainment with the development of audio and video recording which has also allowed for private consumption of the performing arts. Dance, music, opera, theatre and musical theatre, magic, illusion, mime, spoken word, puppetry, circus arts, performance art, are some examples of performing art.
Highlights of MPA (Master of Performing Arts)
Name of Degree
Master of Performing Arts
Commonly Known As
Academic records of Bachelor’s degree
Candidates must be a graduate from any stream with a minimum aggregate of 50-60 percent marks.
Master of Performing Arts (Theatre)
Master of Performing Arts (Dance)
Master of Performing Arts (Music)
Types of Careers
Actor, Music & Dance Teacher, Theatre artist, Graphic designer, Theatre Director, Assistant Professor
25,000 - 35,000 Rs. for beginners, 50,000- 70,000 Rs. for intermediates, 80,000 - 1.2 lacs Rs. for experienced professionals
Types of Master of Performing Arts
Performing arts refers to such art in which artists are required to use their voices, bodies, or inanimate objects to convey artistic expression. Though performing arts is quite different from visual arts, where artists use paint, canvas or various materials to create physical or static art objects. Performing arts involves a span of disciplines which are performed in front of a live audience.
After completing the core fundamentals of the programme, students are bestowed with various opportunities to choose their field of career and excel as per their own strength.
Candidates are required to possess various skills such as imagination, creativity, innovation, attention to detail, artistic ability, communication skills, passion, visualisation, and ability to respond spontaneously in order to excel in the career of performing arts. The three main domains of Master of Performing Arts are Theatre, Music, and Dance.
Master of Performing Arts Eligibility
Eligibility criteria is defined as the prerequisites and the parameters that students are required to fulfill in order to get admission in the university. The eligibility criteria for admission in Master of Performing Arts for various universities is as follows:
Candidates must have completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts or any other discipline with minimum 50-60 per cent.
Also, candidates who have stage experience are given special preference in comparison to other candidates.
However, there are certain universities that demand mandatory graduation from performing arts. Candidates are required to check the eligibility criteria for different universities before applying for the admission.
There are various universities across the country that offer admission to postgraduate programmes in Master of Performing Arts. Candidates are required to apply for admission to each university separately. The admission procedure for Master of Performing Arts is as follows:
Candidates must check the eligibility criteria for admission for the university that they wish to apply for.
Candidates must have their graduation marksheet and the documents asked by the university at the time of admission.
Candidates are then required to fill the application form for the particular university.
After applying for the admission, candidates must get their documents verified by the university administration.
Top Master of Performing Arts Exams
The admission to this postgraduate programme is granted on the basis of academic records and individual profile and not on the basis of entrance exams. And hence, there is no specific entrance exam for admission in Master of Performing Arts courses. However, the skills required for admission to the programme is as follows:
Attention to detail
Ability to respond spontaneously
Master of Performing Arts Specializations
The Master of Performing Arts offers three specializations namely Theatre, Music, and Dance. These specializations aim to provide students with the technicalities of the art and skills required to become profound in the subject. All of the three streams are vividly practised among the students and offer a wide range of opportunities and art persuasion options.
Theatre refers to a branch of performing arts which is concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience, using a combination of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle. Any one or more of these elements is defined as performing arts. Along with the standard narrative dialogue style of plays, theatrical performances takes forms as plays, musicals, opera, ballet, illusion, mime, classical Indian dance, kabuki, mummers’ plays, improvisational theatre, comedy, pantomime, and non-conventional or contemporary forms like postmodern theatre, postdramatic theatre, or performance art.
Dance is defined as the human movement which is rhythmic to music and is used as a form of audience entertainment in a performance setting. Dance is a powerful impulse channelled by skillful performers into something that becomes intensely expressive and that may delight spectators who feel no wish to dance themselves. Dance consists of dependent factors such as social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic, and moral constraints and range of functional movement such as folk dance, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. In dance, the connection between powerful impulse and skillful choreography is stronger than in some other arts, and neither can exist without the other.
Music is defined as an art form which combines pitch, rhythm, and dynamic to create sound. It is performed by using a variety of instruments and styles and is divided into genres such as folk, jazz, hip hop, pop, and rock.
Master of Performing Arts Courses
Master of Performing Arts is a postgraduate course. The course aims to provide students with the organization required to stretch and explore their own creativity. Digital Theatre, Choreographing live art, physical actor training, songwriting and performance, are some modules of the Performing Arts course.
These modules cover history and cultural intimation of the performance and an in-depth exploration of performance styles. Alongside the course, students are required to work on a solo project performance piece which is demonstrated at the end of the course. There are universities that even require journal articles or conference papers in order to successfully complete the course.
Master of Performing Arts include a special module that aims on art management. This module is designed to teach students the necessary skills relevant to self management and promotion, budgeting and financial control, cultural policy, in addition to the market theory and practice.
Master of Performing Arts not only helps to make candidates attractive to prospective employers, but it also teaches students the important life skills which are mandatory for succeeding within the industry. After completing the core fundamentals of the programme, students are bestowed with various opportunities to choose their field of career and excel as per their own speed and strength.
Master of Performing Arts Syllabus
Master of Performing Arts Syllabus accommodate students with the framework and skills they are required to stretch and explore their own creativity in addition to an expert teaching team. The content of the course and modulus depends on the university and the course that students choose.
Subjects to study
Fundamentals of Theatre and Drama
History and Development of Modern Indian Drama
History and Development of Modern Western Drama
Fundamentals of Acting
Fundamentals of Theatre Design
Subjects to study
History of Classical Indian Drama
History and development of Classical, Neo Classical and Elizabethan Theatre
Acting Theory and Practical
Technical Theatre (Lighting)
Major Production(Realistic Play)
Subjects to study
Folk and Traditional Theatre of India and Southeast Asia
Makers of Modern Theatre-Indian and Western
Fundamentals of Play Direction
Technical Theatre (Costumes, Make-up, Mask making)
Theatre for children: Theory and Practice
Scene Work (Narrative/Non-realistic)
Subjects to study
Aesthetics: Indian and Western
Media Appreciation: Dance, Music, Painting, Film, Television with relation to Theatre
Specialization: Direction, Acting, Design, Theatre for Children
Theatre Research: Seminar Presentation
Drama through Media
Play Production (Major)
Master of Performing Arts Syllabus (Dance):
History of Indian Dance & Drama
Indian Dance: Pre and Post-Independence Scenario
Natyashastra and Other Texts
Folk Dance and Folk Drama
Popular Dances of the World
Studio Course (Practical) -I (Yoga, Exercise and Body fitness)
Studio Course (Practical) -IV (Abhinaya Aspect of Classical)
Studio Course(Practical)-ll Other Dance Movement (Dance)/Different kinds of Theatre games(Drama)
Studio Course (Practical) - V (Rhythm)
Theory of Classical Dance-I
Musical Instrument of Folk Instrument
Theory of Dance -ll
Life Sketch & Contribution Dance
Studio Course (Practical)-lll (Choreography)
Studio Course (Practical) - lV (Techniques of Dance
Studio Course (Practical): IX Teaching Process
Studio Course (Practical) - V (Arts Management)
Studio Course (Practical): Stage Performance
Field Work, Project Report / Dissertation Viva Voce
Master of Performing Arts Syllabus (Music):
Theory(History and Aesthetics in music)
Theory (General and applied Theory)
Practice paper I (Stage Performance)
Practice Paper II (Viva – voce)
Practice Paper III (Revision of ragas and sessional)
Theory (History of Indian Music)
Theory (Applied Theory and Musical Competitions)
Practice Paper IV (Stage performance)
Practice Paper V(Viva- voce)
Practice Paper VI (Revision of the ragas and sessional)
Master of Performing Arts Salary
The salary statistics for this particular field is quite subjective. It highly depends on the role and experience of an individual. However, if we observe different scenarios the average pay for postgraduate candidates is somewhere between 30,000 to 60,000 Rs. per month. The salary one earns solely depends on the skills one possesses, the position one applies for, and the industry experience that one holds. The highest pay is offered in the cities like Bengaluru where average pay is between Rs. 3.5 lacs to 11 lacs per year, New Delhi where the average salary is between Rs. 4.5 lacs to 30 lacs per annum, Mumbai which offers the highest pay package of all between Rs. 25lacs to 50 lacs per annum.
25,000 to 40,000 per month
60,000 to 1 lac per month
1.2 lacs to 2.5 lacs per month
Scope of Master of Performing Arts
The scope of Master of Performing Arts is huge and is continuously increasing over the years. The constant rise in the scope of Performing Arts has led many educational institutes in India to include the course of performing arts as their curriculum. There are a variety of fields that students can choose to specialize in various performing arts and become singers, music composers, dancers, musicians. Nowadays, live performances have been converted into a source of entertainment with the development of audio and video recording which has also allowed for private consumption of the performing arts. After completing post graduation in Performing Arts candidates can expect to get jobs in fields like film industry, theatres, cultural organizations, international festival organization, museums, street plays, stage shows.
Also, Performing Arts has its own significance in our country. India has traced a religious ritualism of folk theatre and dramatics of the Vedic people in the second millennium BC. This theatre was conjoined with dance, food, ritualism along with a depiction of real day to day life events.
The Natya Shastra of Bharata was created by Bharata Muni who was an ancient Indian writer. He is often known as the father of Indian theatrical arts. Natya shastra developed the technique or rather art of drama in a systematic manner. The natya shastra depicts how the portrayal should be carried out. According to Bharata Muni, Drama is the imitation of men and their own doings.
The Ramayana and Mahabharata are considered as the first recognized plays that originated in India. These are the epics that provide inspiration to the earliest Indian dramatics and they do it even today. Koodiyattam, Nangiarkoothu, Kathakali, Chakyar koothu, Thirayattam and there are many performing art forms in the southern parts of India.
Careers Opportunities after Master of Performing Arts
After completing the core fundamentals of the programme, students are bestowed with various opportunities to choose their field of career and excel as per their own speed and strength. Following are the most popular career profiles chosen by the students of Master of Performing Arts:
Graphic Designer: A graphic designer is someone who is required to create posters, bus wraps, billboards, packaging, logos and marketing materials. Graphic designer is also responsible for selecting photo and typefaces, and developing layouts for advertisements, annual reports, brochures, magazines and other projects.
Assistant Professor: An Assistant professor is responsible for teaching students the art of subjects relevant to performing arts and sharpen their skills and techniques.
Music & Dance Teacher: Music and Dance teacher teaches the students the skills and techniques of dance and music along with practical implementation and stage performances.
Actor: An actor is someone who imitates various characters in stories using his voice, expression, gestures, and body language. An actor works in films, theatres, television, and commercials.
Theatre Organiser: A theatre organiser is responsible for practical and creative implementation of the theatre’s play script.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - MPA (Master of Performing Arts)
Question: What degree do you need for performing arts?
Bachelor of Art, Bachelor of Fine Art and Bachelor of Science degrees in Performing Arts are typically available in specific performing arts disciplines, such as dance, music and theatre performance.
Question: Can you get a masters in Theatre?
Master of Fine Arts programmes are available in particular facets of theatre, such as set design and playwriting. Students might also earn a master's degree in the related field of film production, which includes studies in playwriting, acting and directing, set design and film production.
Question: Is performing arts a major?
Majoring in performing arts involves study that integrates the overlapping fields of drama, music and dance practices. Even when students specialize in one of the three areas, they will take courses in the other performance arts disciplines as well, as well as taking some general education courses.
Question: How much does performing arts pay?
The average pay for postgraduate candidates is somewhere between Rs. 30,000 to 60,000 per month. The salary one earns solely depends on the skills one possesses, the position one applies for, and the industry experience that one holds. The highest pay is offered in the cities like Bangalore where average pay is between Rs. 3.5 lacs to 11 lacs per year, New Delhi where the average salary is between Rs. 4.5 lacs to 30 lacs per annum, Mumbai which offers the highest pay package of all between Rs. 25lacs to 50 lacs per annum.