School of the Arts Full-Time Faculty

Associate Professor - Frank Pugliese is a graduate of Cornell University where he won the Forbes Herman award for playwriting and was artistic director of the Whistling Shrimp Theatre Co.
Thomas Roma
Professor - Twice the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships, Thomas Roma's work has appeared in one-person and group exhibitions internationally, including one-person shows with accompanying books at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography in New York. His books include: Found in Brooklyn, Come Sunday, Sunset Park, Higher Ground, Enduring Justice, Show & Tell, Sanctuary, Sicilian Passage, In Prison Air, On Three Pillars, and House Calls with William Carlos Williams (with Dr. Robert Coles).
Associate Professor and Chair - Maureen A. Ryan is a producer based in New York concentrating on narrative and documentary feature films. She is co-producer of James Marsh’s Man on Wire, a documentary about Philippe Petit, the wirewalker who stunned the world when he walked between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. It won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best British Film.
Simon Schama
University Professor of Art History - Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, long-time writer and broadcaster for BBC television and contributing editor at the Financial Times. His books have won the Wolfson Award for History, the W.H. Smith Prize for Literature, the National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature and, most recently for Rough Crossings, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Non-Fiction (2007).
James Schamus
Professor of Professional Practice - James Schamus is an award-winning screenwriter (The Ice Storm), producer (Brokeback Mountain), director (Indignation), and former CEO of Focus Features, the motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company whose films have included Moonrise Kingdom, Milk, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Kids are All Right, The Pianist, Coraline, and The Dallas Buyers Club.
Assistant Professor - Elissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as a “Best Book of the Year” by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek/Daily Beast and O Magazine, and Use Me, which was runner up for the PEN/Hemingway award, a New York Times ”Notable Book” and a Los Angeles Times&n
Andrei Serban
Professor, Director, Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies - Andrei Serban studied at the Theatre Institute in Romania. At La MaMa Experimental Theatre Center, he directed Fragments of a Greek Trilogy, which won several Obie and international awards and has been performed at more than 20 international festivals. He worked with Peter Brook at Brook's International Theatre Institute in both Paris and Persepolis. At New York's Lincoln Center he directed Aeschylus' Agamemnon and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, the latter of which won a Tony Award for Best Revival.
Gary Shteyngart
Associate Professor - Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972, and came to the United States seven years later. He released his debut memoir, Little Failure in 2014, to much critical acclaim. Shteyngart is also the author of the novels Super Sad True Love Story (2010), Absurdistan (2006) and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (2002). His work has been translated into 26 languages.
Shelly Silver
Associate Professor - Shelly Silver's work in film, video, and photography spans an eclectic range of subject matter and genres, exploring the personal and societal relations that identify and restrict us; the indirect routes of pleasure and desire; the stories that we dream or fabricate about others, and the stories that we construct about ourselves. Silver's art has been exhibited and broadcast widely throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Senior Lecturer - Sex Guaranteed by writer/director Brad Barnes, Romance & Cigarettes and Illuminata by writer/director John Turturro, and Luminous Motion, Handsome Harry, and Border Crossing directed by Bette Gordon are among June Stein’s most recent film appearances. She has also appeared in Sidney Lumet’s Q & A, and Tim Robbins' Bob Roberts, among others.
Kelly Stuart
Lecturer - Kelly Stuart is a playwright and video artist originally from Los Angeles. In LA, some of her productions include The Interpreter of Horror at the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, The Square Root of Terrible (a children's musical) at the Mark Taper Forum, and Mayhem and Homewrecker at the Evidence Room. Her plays The Peacock Screams When the Lights Go Out and Furious Blood were produced in San Diego at Sledgehammer Theatre.
Sarah Sze
Professor - Sarah Sze received her B.A. (1991) from Yale University and M.F.A. (1997) from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Solo shows of her work include the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Malmö Konsthall in Sweden, and the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Sze has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the 48th Venice Biennial, and the Biennale de Lyon 2009.
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Professor - Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work defies media-based description, as his practice combines traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. Winner of the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Guggenheim Museum, his exhibition there consisted of a pirate radio (with instructions on how to make one for yourself).
Tomas Vu-Daniel
Professor - Tomas Vu-Daniel received a B.F.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso and an M.F.A. from Yale University.
Niky Wolcz
Associate Professor - Niky Wolcz studied at the Theater Universitat in Bucharest. For decades, he has been in high demand as an actor, teacher, and director throughout Europe. He has been on the faculty at Columbia since 1996, where his productions have included Twelfth Night, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (directed with Andrei Serban), Ionesco's Bald Soprano and The Lesson, and Turandot (directed with Ursula Wolcz).
Ulla Wolcz
Lecturer, Acting Program Coordinator - Ursula Wolcz attended the Theatre Academy in Bucharest. She has performed in Frankfurt, Essen, Berlin, Stuttgart, Bochum and Berna and at theatre festivals in Holland, Venice, Paris and Verbier. Her important roles include Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Luisa, Anja and Nina from works as varied as those of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht, Gozzi, Goldoni, Lorca, Buchner, Calderon and Gorki. She previously taught acting at the Musik-Hochschule Frankfurt.
W. B. Worthen
Chair, Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts, Barnard College - W. B. Worthen, Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre, is the author of several books, including The Idea of the Actor (Princeton University Press, 1984), Modern Drama and the Rhetoric of Theater (Univ.
Alan Ziegler
Professor, Director of Pedagogy - Alan Ziegler’s most recent books are Short: An International Anthology of 500 Years of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, and Other Short Prose Forms (editor); Love at First Sight: An Alan Ziegler Reader; and The Writing Workshop Note Book. Previous books includeThe Swan Song of Vaudeville: Tales and Takes; The Green Grass of Flatbush (stories); So Much To Do (poems); and The Writing Workshop, Volumes I and II.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.