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.
The new play White Pearl, written by dramaturgy alumna Anchuli Felicia King ’18 and directed by alumna Nana Dakin ’18, will premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in London this upcoming summer 2019.read more
The Theatre Producing and Management concentration for the School of the Arts has a lot to celebrate this month in terms of the accomplishments of their alumni. Here are some details of the strides that current alumni are making throughout the country.read more
Current Playwriting Student, Daniel Irving Rattner ’20, Directs ‘The Dairie Queen’ at The Tank
Second-year playwriting student, Daniel Irving Rattner ’20, is directing The Dairie Queen a play by Savannah Hankinson that premiered at The Tank on October 12 and runs thru Sunday, October 21.read more
Third-Year Actors Bring Will Eno’s ‘Middletown’ to Lenfest Center for the Arts
This season, the MFA Acting Class of 2019 will present two thesis productions, Middletown and In the Red and Brown Water.read more
Directing Alumna Mei Ann Teo Is Picked to Helm The Musical Theatre Factory
Directing alumna Mei Ann Teo '14 has been named Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory, a nonprofit artist service organization dedicated to helping musical theatre makers develop and present new work in a collaborative environment free from the pressures of critical or commercial successread more
Short Films Starring Acting Alumna Kea Trevett '16 Premiere in New York
Acting alumna Kea Trevett '16 stars in the short films Girl Talk and Tell Me Twice.read more