Master of Fine ArtsDramatic Writing

writers working on a script

Nahal Navidar (MFA Dramatic Writing), left, discusses script changes with actor Assaf Cohen for her play Pairi Daiza as part of the School’s annual New Works Festival Year 3. Photo by Craig Schwartz

The Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing (MFADW) is an intensive, intimate three-year program presented in association with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. A mentor-based, practicing literary arts program within an elite research university, the MFADW is designed to mine the literary potential of the artist, and prepare the artist to engage meaningfully in global society and the profession.

The MFADW approaches dramatic writing through its critical roots in playwriting and then investigates beyond this foundation into adaptation, screenwriting, television writing, and new media. The program aims to help students utilize their innate artistry to build excellence and to discover their authentic voice. Included are production opportunities that culminate in a new play festival featuring concert readings of graduating students’ works. The festival utilizes professional directors, actors, and literary responders

MFADW also offers collaboration with graduate actors, literary management internships and professional observerships with Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles’ foremost theatrical organization that includes the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Kirk Douglas Theatre), professional theatre reviewing experience via our distinctive relationship with LA Weekly (Los Angeles’ leading independent newspaper), an vibrant partnership with The Pasadena Playhouse’s new development play development program, and exposure to a wide array of celebrated guests artists who have included Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, Amiri Baraka, David Henry Hwang, Christopher Hampton, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and Paula Vogel; and a thesis project that ably prepares students for entry into the professional sphere.

Graduates of the program have found success in all genres of dramatic writing.

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