A Bright Room Called Day, directed by Scott Ebersold

Degree Requirements

All students of the Theatre Program, except for those noted below, must meet the following requirements to earn the Masters of Fine Arts in their chosen concentration:

 

  1. Earned at least 60 points of course credit. At least 54 of those points must be acquired through graduate-level coursework (4000-level courses or above).

  2. Completed at least two (2) approved internships at an institution or organization relevant to a student’s course of study. NOTE: Students in the Theatre Management & Producing concentration must complete three (3) internships, and Acting students are exempt from this requirement.

  3. Submitted/Performed in an approved thesis in accordance with concentration guidelines.

  4. Additionally, students in the Dramaturgy program must meet one of the following requirements:

    1. received a grade of “C” or higher, or “Pass”, in at least one year of intermediate level language as a college undergraduate,

    2. passed one semester of Rapid Reading and Translation at Columbia,

    3. received a “B” or better in a program equivalent to the Rapid Reading and Translation at another accredited college (e.g., CUNY’s Language for Reading Knowledge),

    4. or passed a language proficiency exam at Columbia.


The following is a list of sample curriculum, listed by concentration and year. Please note course requirements are subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

Sample Curricula

 

The following is a list of sample curricula, listed by concentration and year. Please note course requirements are subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

 

 

Acting Concentration

First Year

History Of Performance

Scene Study

Acting I

Acting II

Acting Studio I

Acting Studio II

Acting Techniques:

Alexander Technique

 

Voice & Text I

Voice & Text II

Collaboration

Suzuki Technique

Dance for Actors

Text Analysis

Actor-Director Workshop

 

 

Second Year

Acting III

Acting IV

Acting Studio III

Acting Studio IV

Speech

Acting Techniques: Stage Combat

 

Clown

Voice, Speech & Shakespeare

Voice & Shakespeare II

Theatre Practicum I: Visiting Artists

Theatre Practicum III: Acting for Camera

Third Year

Professional Practice

Research Arts Theatre Thesis

Research Arts Theatre

 

Acting Thesis

 

All Acting students participate in a full-scale production, directed by a faculty member or guest director. Recent directors have included Diane Paulus, Andrei Serban, Karin Coonrod, and Yuriy Kordonskiy. There is no written component to this project.

 

Directing Concentration

First Year

Directing I

Directing II
Scene Study for Directors

Actor-Director Workshop

Theatre Practicum I: Visiting Artists

History & Theatre of Theatre

Collaboration

Models of Dramatic Structure

Contemporary American Plays

Second Year

Scene Study for Directors II

Advanced Play Directing Seminar

Collaboration II

Directing IV

Shakespeare in Performance

Director-Designer Workshop

Dramaturgy II (Shakespeare)

Third Year

Researcj Arts Theatre Thesis

Research Arts Theatre

 

 

Directing Thesis

 

Each Directing student, with the approval of his or her advisor, chooses a play to direct as their thesis. The play is cast by current Columbia MFA Acting students and professional actors. The Theatre Program provides a modest production budget. In addition to the production, students complete a written analysis and reflection on the production, not exceeding 25,000 words.

 

Dramaturgy Concentration

First Year

Introduction to Dramaturgy

History & Theory of Theatre

Fundamentals of Directing

Creating a Play (full year)

Contemporary American Plays

Theatre Practicum I: Visiting Artists

Collaboration

Critical Writing for Theatre I

Dramaturgy Practicum

Models of Dramatic Structure

Second Year

Development Process

Playwright-Dramaturg Workshop

Topics in Theatre History & Theory: Avant-Garde

Collaboration II

Dramaturgy II: Shakespeare

Planning a Theatrical Season

Advanced Drama Criticism Seminar

Fundamentals of Acting

Third Year

Research Arts Theatre

 

Dramaturgy Thesis

 

Every Dramaturgy student must complete a written thesis of no less than 12,500 words, based on production work, empirical research, translation, or similar project approved by his or her advisor.

 

Playwriting Concentration

First Year

American Spectacle I

History & Theory of Theatre

Television Writing: The Series

Television Writing

Fundamentals of Directing

American Spectacle II

Collaboration

Models of Dramatic Structure

Second Year

Directed Studies: Playwriting

Play Rewriting and Development

Lyric Writing

Playwright-Dramaturg Workshop

Collaboration II

Playwriting

Fundamentals of Screenwriting

American Musical Theatre

Third Year

Professional Practice

Research Arts Theatre Thesis

Research Arts Theatre

 

Playwriting Thesis

 

During the third year, Playwriting students either create a new work or further develop an existing piece to present as their thesis in a full production. This process is guided by a Playwright Mentor. Recent mentors have included Caryl Churchill, Will Eno, Madeleine George, Melissa James Gibson, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Amy Herzog, Rajiv Joseph, Stan Lai, Tracy Letts, Gregory Moss, Sarah Ruhl, Caridad Svich, Alice Tuan, Anne Washburn, and Chay Yew.

 

Stage Management Concentration

First Year

Leadership for Stage Managers I

Methodologies I: Musicals

Theatre Management & Administration I

Theatre Management & Administration II: Unions & Contracts

History & Theory of Theatre

Seminar in Stage Management

Seminar in Stage Management II

Collaboration

Current Issues in Stage Management

Special Topics in Stage Management

Second Year

Methodologies II: Plays

Methodologies III: Cue Calling & Documentation

Field Study

Rehearsal and Production

Leadership II for Stage Managers

Seminar in Stage Management IV: The Next Step

Independent Study (Thesis Prep)

 

Third Year

Research Arts Theatre Thesis

Research Arts Theatre

 

Stage Management Thesis

 

Students must complete a paper of no longer than 10,000 words that present a viable and original concept, supported by research, experience, documented sources, and (if applicable), interviews, statistical analysis. Ideally, the thesis will be based on recent production or work experience. However, students may choose to write about historical, economic, and/or sociological topics directly related to stage management. Traditional prompt books and/or production diaries can be used as appendices to support the thesis topic.

 

Theatre Management & Producing Concentration

First Year

Budgeting & Reporting

Press, Publicity & Audience Development

Theatre Management & Administration I

History & Theory of Theatre

Marketing/Audience Development/Fundraising Tools

Theatre Management & Admnistration II

Issues in National Not-for-Profit Theatre

Law and Theatre

Legal Writing Practicum

Advertising for Theatre

Second Year

Company Management

Role of the Theatre Producer

Accounting for Theatre

Advanced Seminar in Theatre Management

Development Process

Theatre Practicum IV: Ticketing

Trends in Contemporary Theatre Production

Creative Producing

Theatre Management Seminar

Critical issues in Theatre Producing

Third Year

Research Arts Theatre

 

Theatre Management & Producing Thesis

 

Every Theatre Management & Producing students must write a paper between 12,500-25,000 words for their thesis, under the supervision of a faculty advisor and second reader from the professional realm. The thesis can address any area of the theatre industry (e.g., commercial, not-for-profit, national, international, etc.), but must be supported by primary, secondary, and empirical research.