About the Program
The MFA in Theatre is part of a new graduate arts campus under the auspices of Stony Brook University, a flagship SUNY school. We are located on the SBU Southampton campus in Long Island's beautiful, seaside town of Southampton, a bus or train ride away from Manhattan.
The MFA in Theatre offers tracks in Playwriting, Directing, Dramaturgy and Film. Emphasis is on new work.
We are currently developing a track in Acting and an Advanced Certificate in Acting. We anticipate accepting applications to the Acting programs sometime during the 2013/14 academic year. Information will be posted on our website as soon as it becomes available.
Students train with internationally acclaimed professionals in an interdisciplinary, collaborative environment. We provide advanced training for experienced artists who wish to expand existing skills.
Students study throughout the year in Southampton and Manhattan, and during our summer International Theatre Workshops, held each July in Southampton.
Location, community and a world-class faculty are what make Southampton Graduate Arts one of, if not the most ideal place to earn an MFA.
Get Your Work Done
We foster each student’s unique voice and provide a laboratory setting to nurture collaborations, encourage new forms of storytelling, and mentor students to produce their own work.
We encourage crossover within theatre disciplines (acting, writing, directing, dramaturgy), and between theatre and film. We also encourage students to collaborate with authors in all genres of creative writing.
Through associations with professional companies, we provide opportunities for students to take their work to the next level.
We strive to meet the demands of the rapidly changing theatre and film industries by graduating multi-skilled students who are prepared to get work and get their work done.
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 46-49 credits, including 31 required core and 15-17 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 the MFA in Creative Writing.
Students study throughout the year in Southampton, including during our summer International Theatre Workshops, and at our downtown Manhattan location.
See Academics for course requirements and descriptions.
The Stony Brook Southampton campus includes the Avram Theatre and Gallery, a 429-seat theatre that was substantially renovated in 2007. Students will also work in the new flexible black box David Rakoff Studio Theatre, which is currently under construction. The film track provides a studio supplied with the latest digital film equipment, including Panasonic AG-HMC 150 cameras, Kino flo and Arri light kits, Sennheiser sound equipment, Macs, and Final Cut Pro Editing stations.
The main campus University Library holds in excess of 27,000 volumes related to the study of theatre which is easily accessible through interlibrary document delivery. Special collections of play texts, including translations, and theatre archives are being updated regularly.
Our Manhattan facility, located at 387 Park Avenue South, is an easy commute by train, bus, or car. The facility provides graduate courses, readings and evening events and is in easy access to Manhattan’s many theatres, exhibitions, archives, and libraries, most notably the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
We have a formal partnership with MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, which has made Southampton Arts its new home. Under the leadership of acclaimed actress Joanna Merlin, MICHA brings to campus each summer over sixty actors from around the world to study Chekhov's pscho-physical acting technique. MICHA faculty also teach acting classes during the fall or spring semesters in Southampton and Manhattan.
The program has an association with the esteemed Ensemble Studio Theatre. EST members are often on hand to participate in the development of student work.
We actively seek associations with professional companies on the East End and in Manhattan to provide our students with assistantships and opportunities to present their work.
We welcome students of varied backgrounds, ages and cultures. Our students share a passion for creating new work, and thrive on the inspiration that comes from interacting with novelists, poets, children’s book authors, memoirists, filmmakers, and visual artists.
Student work is often presented at venues in New York City and abroad.
Our core and visiting faculty is comprised of accomplished theatre professionals who are also experienced teachers. Each has made significant contributions to the field. Our readings, panels, and workshops also bring to campus renowned theatre and film artists - the top in their fields.
See Faculty & Staff for the complete list and bios of our faculty.
Southampton Arts is located in the town of Southampton on the coastal South Fork of eastern Long Island, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and the Peconic Bay to the north. The Hamptons, a collection of villages and hamlets, are renowned for their beautiful beaches, fine restaurants, rich history, and cultural heritage. With historic lighthouses and windmills built during the early years of colonization, and numerous museums and cultural centers, the Hamptons have been an ideal destination for artists and writers for generations.
Founded in 1640, Southampton is the oldest English settlement in the state of New York. The town has its share of natural beauty and opportunities for recreation, as well a long artistic tradition that boasts connections to literary, theatre and visual arts luminaries including Jackson Pollack, John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, and Tennessee Williams. In fact, during the summer of 1957 Williams lived on campus in an 18th century windmill where he wrote an experimental play based on Pollack, The Day on Which a Man Dies. The campus windmill has been restored and is frequently used for classes and special events.
See Admissions to apply