School of Theater

Interactive Media for Performance

Head of Interactive Media for Performance:
Peter Flaherty

MFA Program

The Interactive Media for Performance Specialization in the CalArts School of Theater trains visionary artists in the creation of interactive tools and moving imagery for live and time-based artwork. The program focuses on four major areas of application: Integrated Media Performance (including theatre, opera, dance, and concerts), Interactive Installation and Site-Specific Art, Architectural Projection and Digital Image Surfaces, and “Living Room Interactive” (the employment of physical sensors, advanced display technology, socially-networked remote participants, and fictional narrative in a self-guided experience).

The program focuses on the development of each student’s artistic process, technology/software skills, and awareness of contemporary media theory in lab and discussion-oriented classes. The focused, small group of MFA students will engage in personal and Institute projects under the direct mentorship of their advisors. The program aims to attract a variety of collaboratively minded students from the various areas of art and technology that will make these ambitious interactive projects possible, including Film/Video, Computer Programming, Visual Art, Interactive Systems, and more.

The MFA Interactive Media for Performance Specialization is a focused specialization within our Scene Design Program. Students who complete the MFA Specialization will:

  • Develop as generative artists working in live situations – including, but not limited to, performance, interactive time-based visual art, and new forms of electronically-mediated narrative.
  • Develop a personal artistic vision and process. Explore methods of its expression, drawing from historical and current theory, with the intention of discovering new forms, theories, and means of expression.
  • Work to embrace a diversity of ideas through interdisciplinary, collaborative practices and collective analysis.
  • Expand their skill set and means of expression, including performance practice, software, hardware, drafting, drawing, and the use of new media.
  • Work authentically, originally, and at risk to navigate the complexities of working within established art making structures while simultaneously striving to create new structures.


Every student is assigned a faculty mentor who is responsible for guiding the student through the artistic and academic programs. CalArts emphasizes the creation of strong student-to-faculty relationships which enable students to draw from their instructors’ knowledge and creative spirit. Although students are initially assigned to a mentor, they have the freedom to change mentors at any point, and the student-mentor relationship continues throughout the student’s time at CalArts.

Apply to CalArts

For application requirements, please visit

If you wish to speak to a counselor for useful information on assembling a portfolio for admission, more information about our program, or for general questions about the application process, please email, or call (661) 255-1050.

Last edited by vroveto on Dec 15, 2016
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