About the Playwriting Program at Boston University
We offer a three-year MFA in Playwriting that combines the best of our traditions—our nationally recognized Playwriting Program, founded by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in 1981, with an exciting collaboration with the award-winning School of Theatre at Boston University. Our playwriting students’ voices are encouraged, nurtured, and challenged, and we have a profound and positive impact on their artistry by incorporating them into a vibrant community of artists.
We accept only five graduate students every two years—2022, 2024, and so on. This assures our students of individual, hands-on attention from our faculty during all phases of the MFA degree program.
A Scholarly Outlook
Our playwrights’ MFA experiences are founded in the best of two points of view: a scholarly outlook allowing for a background in theatre history and drama, and a love of collaboration. Playwrights needn’t work alone. Collaborations with actors and directors and designers are at the heart of our degree program. We begin with the playwright and add collaborators into the mix as the plays grow. We foster a creative process that celebrates all the theatre artists involved in the making of a play.
Our goal is to ready you in all ways for a life in the professional theatre, as well as in academia. And we want you to have a broad knowledge of theatre history, criticism, and modern drama in order to be able teach at the graduate level. We will help you find your singular “voice” as a writer, and our rigorous writing workshops, filled with professional actors and directors and experienced collaborators on every level, will open your heart and mind to what you believe—not what the world thinks you should. We want you to come out of your ivory tower and join the crowd of willing participants in the drama!
You will walk hand in hand with other theatre artists (directors, actors, designers, technicians) from the very first day of classes.
Besides the eight playwriting workshops, four dramatic literature classes, design and possible directing/acting seminars and electives (for a total of 60 credit hours), you will walk hand in hand with other theatre artists (directors, actors, designers, technicians) from the very first day of classes. This is a win-win combination. Our playwriting faculty have a diversity of experience in academia and in the professional theatre—all the better to aid you, touch you, challenge you.
Finally, in your last few months with us we will produce one of your plays in collaboration with the School of Theatre, adding to our professional season of new works at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the professional arm of the Playwriting Program. We are associated with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, a national organization supporting new American playwrights, and we want to help you step into the professional world of writers and collaborators. To this end, we will work to find you, should you desire, an internship at any theatre of your choice—in the Boston area or beyond. Then, of course, you will be an alumna/us of Boston University and of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. We hope to continue our collaboration in this manner throughout your professional life.