Academics

The MFA in Theatre is a three-year program that includes a core curriculum, a specialized track, lab projects, a culminating project, written thesis, and a professional internship.

The curriculum requires 51-54 credits, including 39 required core and 12-15 track credits.  All students take the required core courses and specialize in one of the four tracks.  Crossover between disciplines is possible.  Students can also choose from a wide range of electives offered by our MFA in Creative Writing and new program in Visual Arts.

Students can study throughout the year in Southampton, including during our Summer Workshops, and at our downtown Manhattan location. 

Courses: Fall 2012, Manhattan
http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/southampton/mfa/manhattan_courses.shtml

Southampton Arts - MFA in Theatre:
Theatre History, William Westbrook Burford

12 Saturday mornings 9am-12pm / 9am-12:30pm; September 8-Dec 15 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15 (TAF 510.S60/CWL 560.S61)

Course Description: A seminar for informed discussion of the resources, methods and critically determined substance of world theatre history as it pertains to the students’ current creative intentions. A general overview will be developed in class, within which culture/period-specific concentrations will be determined by reference to usefulness for students’ overall plan of MFA studies and/or current creative work. Both collaborative and individual self-directed research reports will inform discussion among the whole group of students, and allow specialized study in areas of particular interest for each student. Assignments can include research reports to the group, readings, play-going, exploratory essays, discussion, debate, in-class demonstrations and two formal papers. Intensive use of online and traditional resources for weekly reading, primary and derivative source research, presentation strategies and contextual analysis of historical accounts.

Southampton Arts - MFA in Theatre:
Directing I, The Director's Voice, Nick Mangano

Eight Saturdays as follows: 9/8, 1:30 - 5:30 pm; 9/22, 1:00 - 5:00 pm; 10/6, 1:00 - 5:00 pm; 10/20, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm; 11/3, 1:00 - 5:00 pm; 11/17, 10:00 am - 5:00; 12/1,1:00 - 5:30 pm; 12/15, 1:00 - 5:30 pm.* (TAF 638)

Course Description: The objective of this class is to hone skills of analysis and conceptualization in order to bring to life each director’s unique ideas and vision: the director’s voice. This class will acquaint students with specific tools needed to achieve a fully realized production when working with existing texts or alternative forms of storytelling. Through a hands-on approach, we will explore the “worldview” (current, historical or imagined) of a play as written and of the director’s interpretation for production. Emphasis will be placed on how that information is revealed through the acting and translated into visual/aural design. Students will work with assigned scenes / projects, and also have the opportunity to work with projects they are developing. Students will act in each other scenes / projects, and also work with actors who might join the class. Additional rehearsals outside of the scheduled class time are required. Permission of instructor required. *NOTE: Schedule is subject to change slightly. Please consult with the instructor directly prior to registration.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Core Courses | Dramaturgy Track | Directing Track | Playwriting Track | Film Track

Required Core Courses

CWL 500: Introduction to Graduate Studies
A seminar that introduces students to one another, the faculty, the program in MFA program, and to issues in contemporary writing. Offered in conjunction with the Writers Reading Series. Students will attend the regular series of readings sponsored by the Writing program and meet at weekly intervals under the direction of a faculty advisor to discuss and write about topics raised in the lecture series, as well as issues generated from seminar discussions.
Offered  Fall, 3-4 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 510: Western Theatre and Literature I
Theatre forms in the Western tradition, from ancient to modern. This course is centered on a particular critical or theoretic problem or theme. It may be repeated as an independent study with the permission of the instructor.
3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 520 Western Theatre and Literature II
Course surveys forms of Western drama, with particular reference to theatrical performance. Focus is placed on key periods and themes such as gender issues, political violence, death and dying, love, etc. May be repeated once.
Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated 2 times FOR credit.

TAF 523: Theatre in New York
A workshop seminar on contemporary, alternative performance forms and mainstream theatre. Emphasis on the development of critical perspectives and the writing skills needed to articulate them through seminar discussions and writing workshops relevant to performances seen on trips to theatres in New York and the region.
Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 525: Topics in Theatre (Film History)
Intensive studies of selected forms of theatre and drama from various countries and periods, designed to supplement rather than repeat areas of study already undertaken in the curriculum. May be repeated. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Fall or Spring, 1-3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

CWL 580: Practicum in Arts Administration
Practicum in Arts Administration
1-4 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated FOR credit.

CWL 588: Independent Study
Independent studies in topics chosen by the student are arranged through an individual instructor.
1-3 credits, S/U grading
May be repeated 1 times for credit.

TAF 591: Independent Project
Special project allowing advanced individual work in an area of theatre study or practice. Must be scheduled by arrangement with instructor. Should result in an advanced paper or project report. May be repeated.
1-3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 660: Acting Workshop
Intensive advanced study in a particular acting technique, such as Kutiyattam, Suzuki, musical
theatre, Brecht, etc. Offered in conjunction with departmental productions. May be repeated.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Fall or Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 690: Professional Internship
A full-term internship at a professional theatre. Students should submit an internship description in the first month of work, then a journal or evaluation of their work experience.
Prerequisite: Permission of graduate studies director
Spring, 3 credits, S/U grading

TAF 691: M.F.A. Project
The project is to be undertaken at a professional theatre or as part of the mainstage
production season at Stony Brook University. Students submit a proposal for a project in
which they have a major responsibility as an assistant dramaturg on a production or an
equivalent position. All proposals for projects outside of the university must be submitted in
writing to the faculty supervisor and graduate program director for approval.
Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 692: M.F.A. Thesis
Independent study and research for M.F.A. students, on special topics, theoretical or
cultural issues, or problems. Development of material for research paper.
1-3 credits, S/U grading
May be repeated for credit.

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DRAMATURGY TRACK

TAF 505: Dramaturgy I: Production
Dramaturgy
An introduction to production dramaturgy in which students explore the types of research and concept development necessary to prepare already produced scripts for performance. Research tools and methods, investigations of cultural and social history, critical writing, and issues in adaptation and translation are discussed. Means of facilitating communication within a production team and between actors, designers, and directors are examined. Other topics include season planning, promotion and publicity, educational outreach materials, preparation of protocols, post-play discussion, and other audience development techniques.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 506: Dramaturgy II: Literary
Management
Examining the roles of the literary manager in the contemporary theatre, this course explores the process of new play development and the preparation of a new play for production. The ability to read and write sensitively about new plays, reading new plays and preparing sophisticated play reports, how to talk to playwrights about their plays, and how to facilitate discussions with directors and actors as they encounter a play for the first time are issues examined in this course. New plays from a variety of venues, including professional theatres in New York City, are read and discussed, and the process of developing new plays from staged readings through public performances are studied.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

CWL 575: Writers Conference
The Southampton Writers Conference is an intensive program of workshops in contemporary writing that includes lectures, readings, workshops, and panels featuring nationally distinguished authors who join the department's summer faculty. Graduate students in the program will assist in planning and running the Conference, and will have the option of taking a Conference workshop for credit. The Writers Conference will also encourage participation by visiting students, new writers, established writers, teachers of writing and editors, who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request.
1-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 680: Dramaturgy Workshop
Students serve as dramaturgs for the production of a play, providing research support, studying editorial and interpretive techniques, attending rehearsals, and developing program materials for the audience.
Fall or Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

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DIRECTING TRACK

CWL 575: Writers Conference
The Southampton Writers Conference is an intensive program of workshops in contemporary writing that includes lectures, readings, workshops, and panels featuring nationally distinguished authors who join the department's summer faculty. Graduate students in the program will assist in planning and running the Conference, and will have the option of taking a Conference workshop for credit. The Writers Conference will also encourage participation by visiting students, new writers, established writers, teachers of writing and editors, who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request.
1-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 638: Directing I - Principles of Directing
This course will focus on the analytical organizational and creative processes necessary to be a director. Topics include: the role of the director and the collaborative process; script analysis and interpretation/ concept; stage, space and composition; visual interpretation (narrative, evocative image) and working with designers; and the actor / director process.  Students will gain a practical, hands-on understanding of the topics covered through exercises, various directing assignments, and a final project.
Offered Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 639: Directing II – Advanced Directing
This course will build upon the work covered in Directing I and will focus on advanced topics in Directing, including advanced scene work, devised work, visual interpretation, period styles, and alternative forms.  Topics may change according to the experience level and needs of the class.
Prerequisite: THR638
Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 670: Directing Workshop
Advanced training in directing, which may involve concentrated scene work, formal experiments in performance, work on period styles and problems, or preparation of performances for public showing. May be repeated once.
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor
Fall or Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated 2 times for credit.

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PLAYWRITING TRACK

CWL 530: Forms of Scriptwriting
Regular submission, discussion, and analysis of students' work in one or more of the contemporary modes of scriptwriting, including writing for film, theater, radio, and television. Writing assignments may include exercises, imitations, responses, and original work. Students will examine relevant works that illustrate point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, setting, and other techniques vital to scriptwriting. Specific mode or topic to be studied will be announced in the course schedule.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and/or departmental consent
Fall, 3-4 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

CWL 575: Writers Conference
The Southampton Writers Conference is an intensive program of workshops in contemporary writing that includes lectures, readings, workshops, and panels featuring nationally distinguished authors who join the department's summer faculty. Graduate students in the program will assist in planning and running the Conference, and will have the option of taking a Conference workshop for credit. The Writers Conference will also encourage participation by visiting students, new writers, established writers, teachers of writing and editors, who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request.
1-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 650: Playwrighting Workshop
Students write and discuss original plays, evaluate their work, study techniques of composition and formal organization, and develop strategies for audience communication. Advanced students may study techniques for revision and the development of material for performance. Some plays may be selected for department production.
Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

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FILM TRACK

CWL 530: Forms of Scriptwriting
Regular submission, discussion, and analysis of students' work in one or more of the contemporary modes of scriptwriting, including writing for film, theater, radio, and television. Writing assignments may include exercises, imitations, responses, and original work. Students will examine relevant works that illustrate point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, setting, and other techniques vital to scriptwriting. Specific mode or topic to be studied will be announced in the course schedule.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and/or departmental consent
Fall, 3-4 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

CWL 565: Special Topics in Writing
A seminar concentrating on a specific topic or concern in writing. The particular theme of the course will be announced in the course schedule. Topics may include, among others, studies of character development, the uses of humor, writing about place, finding one¿s voice, and narrative style. Written work will be supported by the reading of related texts.
Offered Fall, 3-4 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

CWL 575: Writers Conference
The Southampton Writers Conference is an intensive program of workshops in contemporary writing that includes lectures, readings, workshops, and panels featuring nationally distinguished authors who join the department's summer faculty. Graduate students in the program will assist in planning and running the Conference, and will have the option of taking a Conference workshop for credit. The Writers Conference will also encourage participation by visiting students, new writers, established writers, teachers of writing and editors, who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request.
1-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated for credit.

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