Launched by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and now headed by acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Alice Tuan, this MFA program facilitates the development of unique and original voices in playwriting and other forms of writing intended for performance. The curriculum extends traditional notions of play- and screenwriting into unconventional means of generating texts. It encourages an evolutionary sense of theater as a tool for social critique and activism, and embraces new collaborative ventures. This challenging program accepts two students each year. Applicants must show significant prior experience in theater.
The curriculum revolves around intensive writing classes in which students work closely with the head of Writing for Performance and with their peers and collaborators to develop texts for both stage and screen. During the three-year residency, each student is expected to develop a significant body of work—including at least six plays. Additional coursework consists of classes in voice and movement and in literature and theater history—ranging from the Greeks to contemporary writers. Students in this program also work with visiting artists, and survey and analyze theater productions throughout the Los Angeles area.