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, 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. 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, Joanne Akalaitis, Christopher Akerlind, Laurie Anderson, André Bishop, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bogosian, Olympia Dukakis, Oskar Eustis, Tom Fontana, Richard Foreman, Freddie Gershon, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Hytner, Moises Kaufman, Adrienne Kennedy, Stan Lai, Mark Lamos, Tina Landau, Margo Lion, Sodja Lotker, Hal Luftig, Michael Mayer, Joseph Melillo, Bruce Myers, Bill Murray, James Nicola, Lisa Peterson, Harold Prince, Roger Rees, Sarah Ruhl, Tim Sanford, Bartlett Sher, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Jeanine Tesori, Ivo van Hove, Andrew Upton, Mac Wellman, and Francesca Zambello.