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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Grad School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) to Offer New Masters in Playwriting

April 17th, 2012

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the School of Theatre at Boston University are proud to announce a new Master of Fine Arts Degree in Playwriting. This collaboration—the only one of its kind in universities and colleges across the nation—combines resources from both these award-winning programs for the first time.

This distinctive MFA collaboration combines the best traditions of the scholarly and professional practices of both programs. Now housed in the English Department of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, but in cooperation with the College of Fine Arts, the MFA program will incorporate its playwrights into a vibrant community of artists and ready them for lives in both the professional theatre and in academia.

Founded by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in 1981 and a nationally recognized playwriting program in its own right, BU’s Boston Playwrights’ Theatre will now collaborate with the innovative “new conservatory” at the celebrated School of Theatre, focusing on cooperation, a rigorous curriculum, and the artistic growth of the “playwright as thinker and as collaborator.” This three-year MFA will continue to offer a regimen of literature and dramaturgy classes but add to those the gifts of artistic partnerships with working actors, directors, designers and other theatre professionals plus fully-rendered productions.

“I am excited to offer full productions to all of our writers for the first time,” reports Kate Snodgrass, Artistic Director of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, “and the School of Theatre is the best in the nation in terms of collaboration and innovation. Not only will our writers learn about their work, they’ll be prepared for future collaborations. It’s a win-win proposition.”

Further, alumni will have the opportunity to network their plays with the members of the Boston University Professional Theatre Initiative. Current members include the Boston Center for American Performance, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, the Potomac Theatre Project, Huntington Theatre Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Vineyard Playhouse, New Repertory Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, and many others.

“While we have enjoyed a strong relationship with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre over the years, this new collaborative degree program actualizes our mission in a new and fundamental way,” says Jim Petosa, Director of Boston University’s School of Theatre. “Playwrights at the graduate level will now be integrated members of the artistic home that is the BU School of Theatre. It will benefit them and us in our united mission of exploring new holistic approaches that nurture the generation of new plays born in collaboration with theater-makers of all kinds.”

For more information about this new collaborative MFA program, visit bostonplaywrights.org or bu.edu/cfa/Theatre/ or bu.edu/English.

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