Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA
DEVISING, Film, New Work Development, Playwriting, Screenwriting, drama, theater, theatre, writing
Develop your dramatic writing skills for stage and screen in the collaborative, immersive environment of this MFA program. It provides the rigorous training and opportunities you need to take your passion to the next level.
The concentration in dramatic writing under the MFA in theatre includes coursework in playwriting, screenwriting, historical studies in theatre, dramatic theory, directing new work, dramaturgy and literary management, electives and related topics such as writing for solo performance, storytelling, devising and collaborative writing, comedy writing and other genres such as writing horror, science fiction and fantasy.
The School of Music, Dance and Theatre supports the production of new plays and performance works written by its Master of Fine Arts students. Student-written work is included in the Theatre Labs and is considered for main stage productions.
60 credit hours including the required applied project course (THP 693)
Required Core (27 credit hours) Concentration (9 credit hours) Electives (18 credit hours) Culminating Experience (6 credit hours) Additional Curriculum Information Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives and they should consult the degree check sheet. The applied project is the writing of a thesis play, which is to be developed as one of the following: a full production on the school's main stage, a staged reading, or a workshop production.
THE 500 Research Methods (3)
THE 504 Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3)
THE 520 Theatre History and Literature (3)
THP 560 Dramatic Writer's Workshop (15)
THP 561 Scripts in Progress (3)
THE 562 Dramaturgy Workshop (3)
THP 520 Directing the New Play (3)
THP 598 Special Topics (3)
THP 693 Applied Project (6)
As part of the electives coursework, students have the option to complete an internship (THP 684) for three credit hours.
Required Core (27 credit hours)
Concentration (9 credit hours)
Electives (18 credit hours)
Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
Additional Curriculum Information
Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives and they should consult the degree check sheet.
The applied project is the writing of a thesis play, which is to be developed as one of the following: a full production on the school's main stage, a staged reading, or a workshop production.
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in theatre or in creative writing from a regionally accredited institution. An applicant may have an undergraduate degree outside of theatre and may be admitted on the basis of excellent creative writing and academic work. Deficiencies in undergraduate preparation may be removed while pursuing the MFA degree.
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- three letters of recommendation
- current resume
- statement of career goals, including writing endeavors or interests
- manuscript sample of either a full-length play (60 pages or more) or a series of one-act plays (30 pages minimum)
- proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.
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Program learning outcomes identify what a student will learn or be able to do upon completion of their program. This program has the following program outcomes:
- Students will create new dramatic works reflecting advanced knowledge of the dramatic writer's art and craft with each new work
- The MFA writer will be able to critique dramatic works, employing knowledge of the history, theory and dramaturgy of the art form.
- The MFA student in dramatic writing will be able to teach in dramatic writing and in other related areas in dramatic analysis, storytelling or theater history.
Students are encouraged to apply to international conferences and fellowships such as the Fulbright Program.
Professionals with an Master of Fine Arts in dramatic writing regularly have their work produced at festivals, staged readings and theatres across the country. They have obtained highly competitive artist residencies and awards for their work. Some have had their plays published.
Career examples include:
- publishing plays
- readings and full productions of work at theatre conferences and festivals
- teaching in a variety of contexts from adjunct, visiting faculty, and tenure-track professors
- working at an established arts organization in a variety of roles
- working as a teaching artist
- work produced and staged professionally at established theatres and venues