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 Theatre and Film.
The program emphasizes the collaborative process of playwriting. Working with actors and directors, the playwrights' workshops include informal readings, staged readings, workshops and the potential for fully mounted productions of students' plays.
You must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate College. In addition, you should have an undergraduate major in Theatre or in Creative Writing, with a GPA of 3.00 or above. If you do not have an undergraduate major in Theatre or in Creative Writing, you may be admitted on the basis of excellent creative and academic work. Deficiencies in undergraduate preparation may be removed while pursuing the MFA degree.
You must also submit the following:
Application Procedure and Deadline
The graduate application must be submitted to the Graduate College. Transcripts must be mailed directly to the Graduate College. All other materials and manuscripts, including the teaching assistant application form, must be submitted to the School of Theatre and Film by February 1.
The New Work development faculty of the School of Theatre and Film reviews the materials and manuscripts and makes recommendations for admission by March 15. Guidelines for admission recommendations used by the committee include the following:
Program of Study
The program of study for the MFA concentration in Dramatic Writing requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit approved by the student's supervisory committee, the director of the School of Theatre and Film, and the dean of the Graduate College.
The program of study must include the following:
|Course Code||Course Description||Hours|
|THP 560||Playwright's Workshop||15|
|THP 520||Directing the New Play||3|
|THP 560||Playwright's Workshop||15|
|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|
|THE 500||Research Methods|
|THE 504||Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism|
|THE 520||Theatre History and Literature|
|THP 562||Literary Management Workshop|
Credit Before Admission
Subject to the recommendation of the supervisory committee, if you have a completed the MA or PhD degree in Theatre, 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.
A final written comprehensive examination is required and is scheduled once each semester and once during the summer. You are required to notify the Dramatic Writing Thesis Committee of your intent to take the examination at least 30 days in advance. You are not eligible to apply for the written examination until a program of study has been filed. If you fail the examination, a reexamination may be administered no sooner than three months and no later than one year from the date of the original examination. Permission for reexamination must be obtained from your supervisory committee, the director of the Dramatic Writing committee and the dean of the Graduate College. Only one reexamination is permitted.
Playwrights are examined in the following areas:
The examination is constructed and graded by members of the Dramatic Writing thesis examination committee.
Practicum and Performance Requirements
For all dramatic writers, THP 693 is required. For six semester hours of credit, the student develops a full-length play or screenplay. This project must be approved in advance by thesis committee on the basis of sample pages and a summary of the proposal. The thesis committee must evaluate and approve the final project. As the last requirement for the degree, you must read or perform from the practicum or applied project before students and members of the faculty as a final defense.
A variety of creative endeavors informs the work of the faculty, which includes the development, production and publication of plays, solo performance, and screenplays. Faculty members periodically teach seminars in Special Topics which include Advanced Screenwriting, Writing for Solo Performance, Devising, Comedy Writers Workshop, Ethnodrama, and Viewpoints, among others. In addition to these topics, students may also seek to develop their writing in English/Creative Writing seminars such as Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction, which may count towards the Special Topics electives requirement. Special Topics THP 598 includes one required course (3 units) in Advanced Screenwriting and one required course in THP 598 College Teaching Preparation.
Students are not required to participate in an internship, but students have taken opportunity to work with Phoenix Theatre reading scripts for the New Plays Festival. Students may obtain credit for the internship by enrolling in THP 684.
New Play Development and Production
The MFA in Theatre with a concentration in Dramatic Writing includes the on-going development of plays in the Playwrights' 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, playwrights develop their work through public readings, usually performed in the spring semester. The main stage production committee also considers the works of MFA playwrights for possible production. While production is not guaranteed, many MFA playwrights have consistently been produced on the main stage. Students have also found production opportunities available through the Student Production Board.