The Theatre Program is international, collaborative and interdisciplinary. Named in honor of Oscar Hammerstein II, it is defined by its location in New York City, a global capital of theatre, and by the extensive network of Columbia alumni and faculty who run prestigious Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres; direct and perform in Tony- and other award-winning productions; work in every level of the professional theatre world; and teach, mentor and engage with students on an ongoing basis.
Coursework is centered on experience—on campus and off, commercial and experimental, both within and beyond a student’s concentration. Collaboration class, offered in the second semester of the first year and taught by Anne Bogart, brings actors, directors, playwrights, and dramaturgs, and managers together into creative teams. Theatre Management & Producing, Dramaturgy, and Stage Management students take classes with a wide range of New York producers, managers, publicity agents, stage managers and production supervisors, often in their offices throughout the city. The third year is devoted to thesis productions and projects that involve all disciplines and are held in theatres throughout New York City, including the Pershing Square Signature Center, the Connolly Theatre and 3LD. Students also study the theory and history of theatre and explore related arts and other disciplines with the resources of Columbia’s exceptional graduate schools.
Many students land internships with major New York theatre companies and organizations, and all students gain extensive experience working on thesis shows and productions, and in New York’s established theatre companies.
Recent guest lecturers at the program include Edward Albee, Alec Baldwin, Stephen Belber, André Bishop, Cate Blanchett, Jason Butler-Horner, Michael Cristofe, Mike Daisey, Olympia Dukakis, Oskar Eustis, America Ferrara, Harvey Fierstein, Richard Foreman, Freddie Gershon, Sam Gold, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nicholas Hytner, Gregory Kandel, Moises Kaufman, Adrienne Kennedy, Stan Lai, Mark Lamos, Tina Landau, James Lapine, Margo Lion, Hal Luftig, Erika Mallin, Peter Marks, Michael Mayer, Kevin McCollum, Joseph Melillo, Bruce Myers, Bill Murray, James Nicola, Mike Nichols, Cynthia Nixon, Mandy Patinkin, Lisa Peterson, Roger Rees, Michael Riedel, Sarah Ruhl, Tim Sanford, Bartlett Sher, Nicky Silver, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Jeanine Tesori, Ivo van Hove, Jaan Whitehead and Francesca Zambello.
Third-year MFA Acting students and two Stage Management students per year are offered Actors Equity Association (AEA) eligibility through our partnership with Classic Stage Company.
The Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies
Last month the Theatre Program, in conjunction with this year's Acting thesis production of The Government Inspector, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Acting MFA Concentration at Columbia.
All acting alumni going back to the very first class were invited.
Alumnus Jason Gray Platt ('10) has been named a 2013-2014 Writing Fellow of the Playwrights Realm, alongside Elizabeth Irwin, Lila Rose Kaplan, and Amelia Roper. All four playwrights will spend nine months preparing plays for production with the mentorship of the Playwrights Realm staff.
Alumna Hannah Hessel Ratner ('11) is featured in Washington City Paper's People Issue as one of "the 20 people who make DC what it is." Featured alongside fellow artists as well as activists, business owners and politicians, Hessel is included for her work on Project Gym, a performance space that focuses "not just on the development of theater but also the development of theater artists."
Adjunct playwriting faculty member Deborah Brevoort has been announced as the winner of the ASCAP Plus Award – Concert Music Division.
The ASCAP Awards are made by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers to honor both the past catalogue and recent performances of member composers.
Aaron Glick will be the third fellow to be mentored by Harold Prince, Margo Lion, Gregory Mosher, Tom Schumacher, Jeffrey Seller & David Stone. $30,000 Fellowship designed to empower new creative producers.
Director of the Acting Concentration, Andrei Serban has been awarded Best Director by the Hungarian Theatre Critics Association for his production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, which played at the National Theatre of Budapest in April. The production was one of the biggest hits in the theatres history, with tickets selling out several months in advance.
School of the Arts Theatre alumni Daniel Irizzary ('04) and Laura Butler Rivera ('04) are the founders and artistic directors of One-Eighth, a theatre company which describes its mission as "to tell its stories by metamorphosing the physical extremes of the actors into the inner life of the characters."
Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, a "sensational and singular" rock opera directed by alumna Rachel Chavkin ('08), has announced that it will be transferring from its current location in the meatpacking district to a new midtown venue.