New York City is your stage.

Theatre

Columbia University’s MFA Theatre Program is collaborative, international, and interdisciplinary. It defines itself by its location in New York City. And it thrives on the extensive network of Columbia alumni and faculty who work in prestigious theatres at every level, who direct and perform in award-winning productions, and who engage with our students far beyond the classroom.

Experiential learning is the methodology around which all our coursework during the first two years is centered. We encourage students to master their concentration deeply and thoroughly. We also support learning through partnership with other concentrations. We offer two Collaboration classes – one in each of the first two years. Here, the focus is on the creation of new work through interdisciplinary teams. Additionally, students have access to a wide range of New York’s most established producers, managers, and publicity agents, often through taking classes in their offices throughout the city. Due to these connections, students and acclaimed professionals are able to build relationships and facilitate the acquisition of sought-after internships and coveted jobs. We also urge students to participate in learning opportunities at Columbia’s other acclaimed graduate schools.

 

The third and final year is devoted to students synthesizing their learning and crafting their own artistic and professional voice through thesis projects, productions, and internships with professional theatre organizations. In addition, students attend colloquia throughout the year with writers, actors, directors, agents, and producers. Third-year Acting students and two Stage Management students per year have the opportunity to earn their Actors Equity Association (AEA) eligibility through our partnership with The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Third year Directing students in good academic standing are offered Associate Membership in the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

 

Recent guest lecturers at the program include:

Ayad Akhtar, Alec Baldwin, Annie Baker, Stephen Belber, André Bishop, Jason Butler Harner, Michael Cristofer, Mike Daisey, Olympia Dukakis, Oskar Eustis, America Ferrera, Harvey Fierstein, Richard Foreman, Freddie Gershon, Sam Gold, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Nicholas Hytner, Gregory Kandel, Moises Kaufman, Adrienne Kennedy, Lisa Kron, Tony Kushner, Stan Lai, Mark Lamos, Tina Landau, James Lapine, Young Jean Lee, Margo Lion, Hal Luftig, Taylor Mac, Pam MacKinnon, Erika Mallin, Peter Marks, Michael Mayer, Simon McBurney, Kevin McCollum, Joseph Melillo, Bruce Myers, James Nicola, Mike Nichols, Cynthia Nixon, Mandy Patinkin, Lisa Peterson, Michael Riedel, Sarah Ruhl, Tim Sanford, Bartlett Sher, Nicky Silver, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Simon Stephens, Ivo van Hove, Les Waters, Jaan Whitehead and Francesca Zambello.

Theatre News

Theatre Alumni and Faculty Helm Critically-Acclaimed Broadway Production, 'Fiddler on the Roof'

“Strikes a deep emotional chord. It offers a kind of authenticity no other American Fiddler ever has.” —The New York Times

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Theatre Alumna Tyne Rafaeli '14 Directs World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

For its 2019-2020 season, La Jolla Playhouse will present the world premiere of The Coast Starlight by Keith Bunin, directed by alumna Tyne Rafaeli '14, beginning August 20th thru September 15th at the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.

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Alumni and Faculty at The Public Theatre

Directing alumna Nana Dakin '18 assisted tony-nominated director and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Leigh Silverman on Wild Goose Dreams an original play with music at The Public Theater which closed in December.

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Theater Alumni and Faculty Helm Critically-Acclaimed Broadway Production

“Strikes a deep emotional chord. It offers a kind of authenticity no other American Fiddler ever has.” —The New York Times  

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Thesis Play by Playwriting Alumna Emma Stanton ’16 Receives Premiere Production at Portland Playhouse

No Candy, a play by playwriting alumna Emma Stanton ’16 received its premiere production recently at the Portland Playhouse.

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