The Columbia MFA Dramaturgy program seeks highly self-motivated, entrepreneurial, creative thinkers who are interested in deepening their total knowledge of the theatre, while finding new collaborators and newly expansive ideas about their professional prospects. Dramaturgs are people of ideas who function as a fluid, creative, motivating liaison among all the components of a creative team. They are at once theatre generalists and specialists who delve deeply into the world of the play at hand and are instrumental in its development. They possess sharp critical faculties, unrestrained creative abilities, identification both with their fellow artists and the audience, and highly developed interpersonal skills. Many of the best dramaturgs are individuals who have excelled in and continue to work in another theatrical discipline. In the School of the Arts program, we seek to define the career prospects of dramaturgy students broadly and ambitiously. While traditional positions of literary management and production dramaturgy will be a goal for some, we also encourage our students to think of themselves as future artistic directors, producers, and institution-builders. Students receive a foundation in dramatic theory, history, and literature as well as classes in producing, playwriting, directing and various forms of theatrical collaboration. There are also possibilities for interested students to expand their professional horizons by exploring the worlds of screenwriting, and film and television project development. Dramaturgy students will gain extensive experience in the development and production of new plays and classic texts, and will work on all Theatre Arts Program productions and class projects as well as with playwrights and screenwriters on readings.
(Course requirements are subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.)
Dramaturgy; Critical Writing for the Theatre; Fundamentals of Directing; Models of Dramatic Structure; Development Process; Playwright-Dramaturg Workshop; Collaboration; History and Theory of Theatre; History and Theory of Design; Theory of Comedy; Fundamentals of Playwriting; Storytelling and Drama; 20th Century Theatre; Planning a Theatrical Season; Directing III; Shakespeare for Dramaturgs; Dramaturgy Practicum.
Dramaturgy Thesis Project
MFA dramaturgy students complete a written thesis based on production work, scholarly research, translations, or other projects approved by their advisor.