Boldly Baldwin word mark



A familiar enough term, but what does it truly mean?  At Mary Baldwin College, the Master of Letters curriculum ushers students through a variety of related disciplines, all of them anchored by rigorous scholarship. The core curriculum allows Shakespeare and Performance students to occupy – for at least one class – various disciplinary roles to explore and integrate a variety of approaches to Shakespeare and performance: as actor, as director, as teacher, as dramaturg, and as scholar.  The two-year Masters of Letter degree is capped by a thesis project that combines writing and performance.  In their second year, students choosing to apply for MFA degree candidacy will interview for entry into the MFA program. Please see the MBC academic catalog online for more details about the core curriculum.

Our curriculum is broadly divisible into four core competencies:

  1. Acting
    Performance courses include REN 531: The Performance of the Language; REN 550: Voice; REN 556: The Body in Performance; REN 660: Acting for the Early Modern Stage and various stage combat and clown courses
  2. Directing
    Directing courses include REN 553: Directing 1; REN 630: Visual Design on the Early Modern Stage; REN 650: Directing II
  3. Teaching *
    Teaching courses include REN 510: Shakespeare and Textual Culture, REN 551: Classroom Staging; REN 557: Shakespeare’s Contemporaries.
  4. Dramaturgy
    Dramaturgy, the art of writing for the theatre, unites many disparate disciplines.  At MBC, we offer a variety of dramaturgy related courses, unified by REN 670: Dramaturgy

* NOTE: Although not a part of the MLitt program, post-baccalaureate teacher licensure (PBTL) is offered through the academic outreach office of MBC’s Adult Degree Program. For more information contact the ADP office at 1-800-822-2460 or


Qualified MLitt graduates may request permission to proceed to the MFA degree.  The MFA is a 30 semester hour cohort based learning module.  Our MFA Company works together as theatrical unit for one year to develop, select, organize, schedule, plan, market, perform, and write about a season of five early modern and early modern inspired shows.


Dr. Paul Menzer, Director of the MLitt/MFA Program in Shakespeare and Performance; BA, University of Maryland; MA, Georgetown University; PhD, University of Virginia.