MFA Playwriting Concentration

 
The MFA playwriting program embraces diverse voices and aesthetics. There are many ways to write a great play, exemplified by our faculty, which includes Tony©, Pulitzer and Obie Award winners such as Charles Mee, Lynn Nottage, and David Henry Hwang. This program seeks to help each student find their own unique and idiosyncratic voice, and help each play grow into the best version of itself. We take a practical approach to preparing graduates for careers as dramatists, by offering courses and experience in the full range of dramatic writing, including television, film, and musical theatre, under the guidance of instructors like Tony© Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori and iconic TV show runner Matt Williams. Because we believe playwrights need to hear their work and see it staged, two years of reading and critiquing student work are supplemented by workshop productions. The third year includes professional development led by the concentration head, with each student receiving a full production of their thesis play, mentored by their favorite dramatist or other theatre professional. This program is large enough to offer a wide range of courses, and small enough for each writer to gain the personal attention necessary to facilitate their all-important artistic growth.
 
 
Required Courses
Course requirements are subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.
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Playwriting I-IV; Directed Studies: Playwriting; Playwriting Projects; History and Theory of Theatre; Fundamentals of Directing; Lyric Writing; Screenwriting; Drama and Film; Television Writing; Collaboration; Playwright-Dramaturg Workshop.
 
 
Thesis Year
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In their third year, playwrights work on their thesis plays under the guidance of a professional playwright mentor.  Recent mentors have included Edward Albee, Edward Bond, Deborah Brevoort, Christopher Durang, David Grimm, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, David Lindsay-Abaire, John Logan, Kenneth Lonergan, Martin McDonagh, Dael Orlandersmith, Theresa Rebeck, and Sarah Ruhl. The thesis play is then given a full production. Third-year playwrights also complete internships in New York, regional and international theatres.
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The Oscar
Hammerstein II
Center for
Theatre Studies
601 Dodge Hall
Mail Code 1807
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-3408
theatre@columbia.edu
 
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© 2017 Columbia University School of the Arts | 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808 | 2960 Broadway | New York, NY 10027 | (212) 854-2875 | EMAIL
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.