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 Classic Stage Company. 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.
Long-Time Adjunct Professor Linda Winer Receives LPTW Award
Faculty member Linda Winner has been honored with the The League of Professional Theatre Women's Special Award, a recognition to theatre women for service to the League and to her field.read more
Ryan Bogner '15 Launches Off-Broadway Touring Agency
Alumnus and producer Ryan Bogner '15 together with Victoria Lang announced the launch of Off Broadway Touring, a boutique theatrical booking agency dedicated to the promotion, booking, and management of Off-Broadway productions.read more
'Usual Girls' by Ming Peiffer ‘16 and Tyne Rafaeli '14 at Roundabout Underground
Roundabout Theatre Company will launch its 12th season of Roundabout Underground with the world premiere of Usual Girls, written by alumna Ming Peiffer '16 and directed by alumna Tyne Rafaeli '14.read more
Student Spotlight: Ricardo Neumann '20
'First Love', Written by Professor Charles Mee and Directed by Kim Weild ‘07, Plays at the Cherry Lane Theatre
First Love, written by Theatre Professor Charles Mee and directed by Alumna Kim Weild ‘07, will run at the Cherry Lane Theatre from June 7th through July 8th.read more
Paola Lazaro '13 Selected for Audible Theatre Project
Audible, the Amazon Company leader in producing and selling spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming just announced the Company’s new theatre project.read more