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Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA

Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA

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DEVISING, Film, New Work Development, Playwriting, Screenwriting, drama, theater, theatre, writing

If you are interested in developing your dramatic writing skills for stage and screen in a collaborative, immersive environment, this MFA program the provides rigorous training and opportunities you need to take your passion to the next level.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: MFA  Theatre (Dramatic Writing)

The concentration in dramatic writing under the MFA in theatre includes coursework in playwriting, screenwriting, historical studies in theatre, dramatic theory, directing new work, literary management, electives and related topics such as writing for solo performance, storytelling, devising and collaborative writing.

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.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

60 credit hours including the required applied project course (THP 693)

Required Core (27 credit hours)
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)

Concentration (9 credit hours)
THE 562 Literary Management Workshop (3)
THP 520 Directing the New Play (3)
THP 598 Special Topics (3)

Electives (18 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
THP 693 Applied Project (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
As part of the electives coursework, students are required to complete an internship (THP 684) for three credit hours.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

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.

Admission Requirements

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:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. current resume
  5. statement of career goals, including writing endeavors or interests
  6. manuscript sample of either a full-length play (60 pages or more) or a series of one-act plays (30 pages minimum)
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Career Opportunities

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 festivals
  • teaching in a variety of contexts from adjunct, visiting faculty, and professors of practice
  • 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
Contact Information

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See https://asuonline.asu.edu/ for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information: https://graduate.asu.edu/wiche.

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