The goal of the program is to educate and inspire a new generation of creative managers and producers. The curriculum balances content-driven courses that emphasize the skill sets necessary for a career as a producer and manager with issue-oriented courses that explore the challenges facing the theatre industry. Study of commercial and not-for-profit theatre is equally weighted with an emphasis on the collaboration between the two business models. The program features a unique blend of two years of classroom study under the supervision of a faculty consisting of leading New York City-based theatre professionals, and a minimum of three internships that may be pursued at any time during the first two years or in the third year while writing the thesis. Students attend classes and theatrical performances both on campus and throughout the city; and, with access to selected courses offered through Columbia Law School, Columbia Business School, Teachers College, and the Film Program of the School of the Arts, our students take advantage of the best that Columbia University has to offer. In addition, through classroom projects and departmental and extracurricular productions, students are given the opportunity to hone their skills by working with student directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, actors and stage managers. Our graduates are highly employable, and our growing network of adjunct faculty, guest speakers, and alumni continues to promote the program and raise the profile of program graduates both nationally and internationally.
Theatre Management and Administration I and II; Budgeting and Reporting; Advertising for Theatre; Press & Publicity; History and Theory of Theatre; Fundraising and Marketing; Seminar in Law and Theatre; Legal Writing Practicum; Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining; Development Process; Company Management; Accounting for Theatre; Advanced Seminar in Theatre Management; Critical Issues in Theatre Management; The Role of the Producer; Promotions and Audience Development; Issues in National Not-for-Profit Theatre; Theatre Management Seminar: Advanced Budgeting; Creative Producing.
MFA management & producing students must write a 50-100 page thesis in order to graduate. The thesis is a position paper, supported by primary and secondary research and interviews, that addresses any area of the theatre industry: commercial, not-for-profit, local, national or international. The paper is generally written during the 3rd year under the supervision of a faculty advisor and industry reader.