Academics

readingThe 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 44-48 credits, including 30-31 required core and 14-17 track credits.  All students take the required core courses and specialize in one of the five tracks.  Crossover between disciplines is possible.  Students can also choose from a wide range of electives offered by the MFA in Creative Writing.

Students are required to take classes in Southampton, including during our summer International Theatre Workshops, and at our downtown Manhattan facility. Students can easily commute between the two locations (at their own expense), and can take advantage of the many special events scheduled at either facility.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Core Courses | ActingDramaturgy Track | Directing Track | Playwriting Track | Film Track

Required Core Courses

TAF 500 – Introduction to Graduate Theatre

This seminar course will introduce graduate theatre students in all tracks to each other, to graduate faculty across disciplines, and will encourage new collaborations and projects for development during the students’ graduate careers. Theatre students will meet to discuss the role of each artist, with emphasis on the changing nature of collaboration and the expanding art form in today’s theatre profession. Readings, written assignments and collaborative projects are required.  3 credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.) Prerequisite: Permission of the Instructor.  Southampton and Manhattan

TAF 510: Theatre History I

Theatre forms from ancient to modern. 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 Theatre History II

Course surveys drama, with particular reference to theatrical performance of a specific period. May be repeated once. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)


TAF 523: Theatre in New York

Seminar on contemporary, alternative performance, and mainstream theatre in Manhattan and the region. Students attend theatre events and meet to discuss the performances they have seen in follow-up seminars. Emphasis is on personal creative development through writing and seminar discussions.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 525: Topics in Theatre

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 for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 1-3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 530: Directed Readings in Theatre and Drama

Students read and evaluate the literature on a topic of special interest under the supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 1-3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 550: Teaching Practicum

Supervised student teaching of undergraduate courses accompanied by a seminar in methods and strategies of teaching theatre arts at the University level. An independent teaching project, in which the student works with a particular faculty member, may be substituted. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.). Southampton and Manhattan

TAF 591: Independent Project

Special project allowing advanced individual work in an area of theatre study or practice under the supervision of a faculty member. Must be scheduled by arrangement with instructor. Should result in an advanced paper or performance project. May be repeated for credit.
1-3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)


TAF 690: Professional Internship

A full-term internship at a professional theatre.  Students identify a theatre company or artist whose work interests them. The student is expected to articulate his/her goals, research companies and inquire about internship opportunities at those institutions. A faculty advisor may help point students in the right direction; but is incumbent upon the student to do the research and secure an internship.  Students then present a written proposal to the faculty advisor for approval.  Students will also  submit an internship description in the first month of work, then a journal or evaluation of their work experience.
 Prerequisite: Permission of MFA Director. 3 credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 691: M.F.A. Project

The project is to be undertaken at a professional theatre or as part of the project lab at Stony Brook Southampton or on the West campus. All proposals for projects outside of the university must be submitted in writing to the faculty supervisor and graduate program director for approval. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 692: M.F.A. Witten Thesis

Independent study and research for M.F.A. students, on special topics related to the MFA Project. 3 credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

In addition to the above core classes, students will also participate in public readings, live performance and/or film projects associated with various workshops / courses.

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ACTING TRACK

We have recently added a new track in Acting.  We anticipate enrolling our first acting class in the fall of 2014. Information about the acting curriculum and applying / auditioning to come.  

DRAMATURGY TRACK

TAF 505: Dramaturgy I: ProductionDramaturgy


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

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. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 575: Adaptation Workshop

This course is an intense examination of a playwright or group of plays with the object of preparing a new adaptation or stage version. The course will study a text or group of texts, important criticism, notable or significant translation and/or adaptations, stage productions and/or film versions. Students will submit an outline or rough draft of their new version at the end of the course. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.). May be repeated for credit.

TAF 576: Theatre Workshop

The Southampton International Theatre Workshops is an intensive program of workshops in various aspects of the craft of theatre or film, including playwriting, screenwriting, directing, acting, solo performance, interdisciplinary collaboration (devising), and digital filmmaking, together with lectures, readings, seminars, and panels featuring nationally distinguished artists. These workshops encourage participation by visiting students, new theatre and film students, established artists, and teachers who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request. Graduate students may take any Theatre Workshop sponsored by the MFA program for academic credit. Study may occur in Southampton, Manhattan, or abroad. A submission of a workshop application, and permission of instructor are required. 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.
3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.). May be repeated for credit.

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DIRECTING TRACK

TAF 576: Theatre Workshop

The Southampton International Theatre Workshops is an intensive program of workshops in various aspects of the craft of theatre or film, including playwriting, screenwriting, directing, acting, solo performance, interdisciplinary collaboration (devising), and digital filmmaking, together with lectures, readings, seminars, and panels featuring nationally distinguished artists. These workshops encourage participation by visiting students, new theatre and film students, established artists, and teachers who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request. Graduate students may take any Theatre Workshop sponsored by the MFA program for academic credit. Study may occur in Southampton, Manhattan, or abroad. A submission of a workshop application, and permission of instructor are required. 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. 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 worldview exploration, visual interpretation, style, and alternative forms.  Topics may change according to the experience level and needs of the class. Prerequisite: THR 638 or permission of instructor. 3 credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 660: Acting Workshop

Intensive study in acting in a particular approach or technique, including Michael Chekhov, Mesiner, Uta Hagen, etc. Rehearsals outside of the scheduled class time may be required. 
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.).
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 670: Directing Workshop

Advanced training in directing, which may involve concentrated scene work, formal experiments in performance, exploration of a particular technique and approach, or preparation of performances for public showing. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)


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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.

TAF 576: Theatre Workshop

The Southampton International Theatre Workshops is an intensive program of workshops in various aspects of the craft of theatre or film, including playwriting, screenwriting, directing, acting, solo performance, interdisciplinary collaboration (devising), and digital filmmaking, together with lectures, readings, seminars, and panels featuring nationally distinguished artists. These workshops encourage participation by visiting students, new theatre and film students, established artists, and teachers who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request. Graduate students may take any Theatre Workshop sponsored by the MFA program for academic credit. Study may occur in Southampton, Manhattan, or abroad. A submission of a workshop application, and permission of instructor are required. 1-6 Credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.) 
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 650: Playwriting Workshop
 I

Students write, discuss and receive feedback on writing exercises, original scenes, and short or full-length plays. Advanced students may development material for performance. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 651: Playwriting Workshop II

Emphasize on a particular aspect or genre of playwriting, including comedy, drama, farce, character, dialogue, structure, experimental forms, or musical theatre book-writing. Prerequisite: TAF 650 or permission of instructor. 3 credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

TAF 660: Acting Workshop

Intensive study in acting in a particular approach or technique, including Michael Chekhov, Meisner, Uta Hagen, etc. Rehearsals outside of the scheduled class time may be required. 
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.).
May be repeated for credit.

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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.

TAF 575: Adaptation Workshop

This course is an intense examination of a play, or other work of fiction or non-fiction with the object of preparing an adaptation for the screen. The course will study a text or group of texts, important criticism, notable or significant translation and/or adaptations, stage productions and/or existing film versions. Students will submit an outline or rough draft of their new version at the end of the course. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.). May be repeated for credit.

TAF 576: Theatre Workshop

The Southampton International Theatre Workshops is an intensive program of workshops in various aspects of the craft of theatre or film, including playwriting, screenwriting, directing, acting, solo performance, interdisciplinary collaboration (devising), and digital filmmaking, together with lectures, readings, seminars, and panels featuring nationally distinguished artists. These workshops encourage participation by visiting students, new theatre and film students, established artists, and teachers who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request. Graduate students may take any Theatre Workshop sponsored by the MFA program for academic credit. Study may occur in Southampton, Manhattan, or abroad. A submission of a workshop application, and permission of instructor are required. 1-6 Credits. Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.) 
May be repeated for credit.

TAF 660: Acting Workshop

Intensive study in acting in a particular approach or technique, including Michael Chekhov, Mesiner, Uta Hagen, etc. Rehearsals outside of the scheduled class time may be required. 
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.).
May be repeated for credit.

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