In considering a masters in playwriting within the Drama Division there are several principals that apply. The first is that writing - the writing of dramatic work - is an essential component of each year, with the understanding that in attempting to grasp the playwriting form, writing itself will be the most instructive element. This program also encourages a thorough knowledge of dramaturgy - the study of both plays as they exist as written text, as well as plays as they exist in production and performance. Therefore, each year there is a required element of analysis and dramaturgy. Students will be required to act as the dramaturge of one of the Division's Mainstage presentations, as well as observe and research dramaturgy in action at one of the professional new works studios in the area.
The first year would require students to take classes in Methods in Theatre Research, Advanced Script Analysis and Selected Problems in Playwriting. The culmination of the first year would result in a selected project of a one act play. As part of this project, playwriting students would be required to partner with the student directors, and consult with this director as the play was directed and produced. In year two work is expected to continue through the summer so that each graduate student will return in the fall with a detailed scenario of their full length project, which will become their Thesis project along with a submission of a written research paper.
Drama’s 10 permanent faculty members have a diversity of research interests and practices, maintaining profiles in both the professional and scholarly theatre communities. MFA students can select to study in one of four specializations: Directing, Design/Technical, Theatre Studies and Playwriting. Each program offers a great deal of flexibility, exciting opportunities and contact with faculty members. Drama maintains a full production schedule through the skilled technical and teaching contributions of 5 full-time professional staff. Facilities include 3 theatre spaces, full costume, properties and scene shops and the Integrated Arts Media Lab. All MFA students have office space in the School and access to computer facilities.