School of Film, Dance and Theatre

Deadline: February 1, 2015

Graduate Degrees

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre (MFA)

Dramatic Writing

The MFA in Theatre with a concentration in Dramatic Writing has been established to replace the playwriting concentration under the MFA in Creative Writing through the Department of English. Students wishing to pursue an MFA with a concentration in dramatic writing must now apply directly to the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

The program emphasizes the collaborative process of dramatic writing. Working with actors and directors, the dramatic writing workshops include informal readings, staged readings, workshops and the potential for fully mounted productions of students’ plays.

You must meet all admission requirements of Graduate Education. In addition, you should have an undergraduate major in Theatre or in Creative Writing, with a GPA of 3.00 or above. An applicant may have an undergraduate degree outside of theatre or film 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.

The program of study must include the following:

Course Code Course Description Hours
THP 560 Dramatic Writer’s Workshop 15
THP 520 Directing the New Play 3
THP 561 Scripts in Progress 3
THP 598 Special Topics (screenwriting or other approved topic) 21
THP 693 Applied Project 6


The literature component must include:

Course Code Course Description Hours
THE 500 Research Methods 3
THE 504 Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism 3
THE 520 Theatre History and Literature 3
THE 562 Literary Management Workshop 3

Credit Before Admission
Subject to the recommendation of the supervisory committee, if you have a completed completed an MA or a PhD degree in Theatre or Film, you may have up to 15 semester hours of credit applied to the MFA program of study. A maximum of nine semester hours taken before admission and not as part of a completed degree at ASU and/or another institution may be used to fulfill degree requirements.

Dramatic Writers are examined in the following areas:

New Play Development and Production
The MFA in Theatre with a concentration in Dramatic Writing includes the on-going development of plays in the Dramatic Writer’s Workshop and in the collaboration class with directors, THP 520. Also, the student is required to take THP 561 Scripts in Progress for personal mentorship in the development of a play or a screenplay. In addition, dramatic writers develop their work through public readings, usually performed in the spring semester. The main stage production committee also considers the works of MFA dramatic writers for possible production. While production is not guaranteed, many MFA dramatic writers have consistently been produced on the main stage. Students have also found production opportunities available through the Student Production Board.