MFA in Theatre





“The program at Stony Brook Southampton is varied and exciting. This past summer, while teaching a master class in acting there, I found myself in a rich and lively community of writers, directors and performers.  It was an extraordinary well of creative activity where the instructors were all artists and the students knew they were in the presence of the real thing. An electric atmosphere!” – Mercedes Ruehl





“I love teaching in this program. The students are always bright, hard-working and inspiring. Playwriting students are also given opportunities to direct, which I think is a rare thing in most writing MFA programs, and so very important. I count myself lucky to be listed among the other artists who teach here (they're all amazing and accomplished), and the guys who run the program are committed and brilliant artists themselves.” – Annie Baker




"The Stony Brook Southampton MFA Theatre program is filled with delightful, motivated students and devoted teachers. Classrooms are laboratories of life and learning. The students are aware of the value of the program to their futures, and are eager to absorb everything the teachers have to offer." – Marsha Norman




"I was really so impressed by the wide ranging faculty, the diverse theatre approaches & companies, and the great VIBE at Southampton Arts. It's a great place, a place I wish I knew about when I was younger, but am so glad to be a part of it now. The program is generous and solid -- and the people running it CARE about the students." - Stephen Adly Guirgis




“[Program Director] Nick Mangano is a visionary. He is ahead of the curve, incorporating media, diverse cultures, imagination and physicality to the work of directors, playwrights, actors, and filmmakers. A new and exciting kind of collaboration is happening at Stony Brook Southampton. Nick and his talented faculty have created an MFA Program that incites, guides, and prepares artists who will be equipped and inspired to make a rich and original contribution to the theatre of the future.”  – Joanna Merlin




"I love teaching at Southampton. I love the cross pollination of disciplines. I love the supportive environment and the overall great vibe. The feeling is so collegial and fun, but the work is serious. The students are curious, and so talented, and so willing to open up and try anything. It's a rare and beautiful thing to balance rigor and creative freedom, and they do it at Southampton, and do it with élan." - David Adjmi 




MFA Students

"My first year here in the Southampton Arts program has been one of the most inspiring, challenging, and artistically fertile periods in my life. My fellow students are a diverse, intelligent, and talented cohort of artists who have been encouraging and supportive.  I am proud to be among them. The faculty are deeply involved mentors to the students and with their help I have been able to thrive, both as a writer and as a member of the New York City theatre community. The teachers here are professionals with astounding credentials - they are my role models, and through this MFA I get the opportunity to work with these people every week. Nick Mangano has put together a master’s program that is on par with the top programs in the country. The students create a body of work and make professional contacts while earning an affordable degree and being able to use facilities in both Manhattan and Southampton. The school is student-oriented and allows for many opportunities to generate and showcase work. I had four readings of my plays in the first year alone. The classes are small and allow for a lot of individual exploration. This is the perfect home for motivated theater students who want to deepen their practice while learning new skills under the guidance of professional artists." – Elizabeth Fowler (MFA Candidate, Playwriting Track)


“My experience in the MFA Directing track has inspired me to cultivate my entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve had the opportunity to explore my artistic voice, and to develop projects that are meaningful to my education.  The faculty members are all top-notch working professionals who both challenge and encourage my work, and the students are very supportive of each other. Stony Brook Southampton is a breath of fresh air, in that it’s a safe place to hone my craft, while exploring my potential in other areas of theatre.  This is a place where individuality is prized, and the possibilities are endless.”Jenna Mate (MFA Candidate, Directing Track)


“The MFA in Theatre offered by Stony Brook University in Southampton represents a promise in the formation of new artists. I left Brazil searching for a solid education in Playwriting. I've found that and more. Even in its early stages, the program puts together three fundamental pillars: talented and working faculty, good facilities and an intimate and fertile environment. In only eight months, I've written five plays, had four readings, acted, collaborated in a student run venue twice and had close orientation with two nationally known and respected playwrights - both part of the core faculty. Sure there are difficulties and arrangements to be made, but this is also one of the most affordable programs in the country. And...we're by the beach. Free and endless reenergizing. If you want to be a part of an upcoming and promising program; if you want to hone your craft and build up the necessary abilities to navigate the rough but ever seductive waters of the contemporary theatre scene, this is the program for you.”Mateus Ciucci (MFA Candidate, Playwriting Track)


"The MFA in Theatre at Stony Brook Southampton offers the opportunity to work closely with professionals and to benefit from their mentorship. The program provides professional collaborations, in which you find and develop your own artistic voice, as well as the technical support necessary to make any film project happen." - Borna Jafari (MFA Candidate, Film Track)


"I came to Southampton by way of San Francisco hoping for the opportunity to perfect my craft. I was teaching film and participating in local theater as an actor and wanted the devoted time and space to focus on my own work, as that often gets lost in the shuffle when helping to facilitate other people's creativity. I chose this MFA in Theater Arts/Film Track as it would allow me to write and direct for both stage and film. The emphasis on inter-disciplinary artistry and collaboration, access to working professionals in the industry and hands on training create the necessary environment to strengthen my own purpose and vision. I have the calm of the ocean tide and the energy of the City all at my fingertips, the perfect balance to sustain and get my work done and out into the universe!" - Tonilyn Sideco (MFA Candidate, Film Track)


Summer Workshop & Festival Students

"The 2014 Southampton International Theatre Festival was the most invigorating 12 days of theatre I’ve experienced – and I experience a lot of theatre in Chicago.  Working on two plays simultaneously  (a new play developed in David Adjmi’s amazing 5-day workshop, another play which received two readings, rehearsals, and mentor feedback)  while collaborating with some of the most talented and gracious artists on one campus that just happens to be in the Hamptons, is truly a playwright’s dream. The festival was a total immersion experience that allowed me to take artistic risks, stretch my writing muscles, and develop lifelong friendships with my fellow playwrights.  I can’t wait until next year!" - Brenda Kilianski

"Not only did the summer workshops open and focus my mind to new techniques and experiences that I had never fully explored before, but I learned a great deal about myself as an actor and as a person.  I sincerely feel that I have grown as an actor. The staff was more than helpful in assistance throughout the process, regardless of the concern. Overall, this experience has been a real eye-opener, and I genuinely hope to continue my studies at Southampton in the future." - Kara Diana González