SDA Partners with Pasadena Playhouse to Launch Pilot Program, Greenhouse, for MFA Playwrights

In partnership with SDA, The Pasadena Playhouse has announced the launch of a new pilot program, GREENHOUSE at The Playhouse for the 2013-2014 academic year.

With GREENHOUSE, USC and The Pasadena Playhouse are partnering to develop the work of emerging playwrights through a year-long process of development, artistic mentoring, experimentation, and staged readings of MFA works with a professional theatre company. GREENHOUSE brings three first-year students in the Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing program of the School of Dramatic Arts to The Pasadena Playhouse’s HOTHOUSE new play development program.

“We are pleased and excited that our first year graduate playwriting students will have the opportunity to work within the context of a professional regional theatre,” said Dean Madeline Puzo of the USC School of Dramatic Arts. “What they learn will be invaluable to them in their future work at USC, as well as when they begin their own professional careers. This opportunity rounds out our MFA Dramatic Writing program giving each year a distinctive and unique feature – from working with the professionals at The Playhouse in their first year, to fully mounted workshop productions in their second year and finally upon graduation, concert readings of their thesis plays staged by professional directors and actors.”

“I have always believed that it is both the pleasure and the responsibility of theatres such as The Playhouse to develop new work and to nurture young writers. This exciting incipient connection with USC will help us to further our sincere and gratefully successful efforts in both of those initiatives,” said Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse. “I am very pleased to join forces with my respected colleagues at the university, and I know that our joint efforts will indeed cause great things to grow and blossom in this exciting venture.”

“In addition to the development of new plays and musicals by more established artists, with GREENHOUSE at The Playhouse we’re harkening back to our past as a College of the Arts and looking toward a future of continued artistic education and collaboration by nurturing these very talented new playwrights during their first year in graduate school,” said Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director of The Pasadena Playhouse.

GREENHOUSE supports the dramaturgical skills of the MFA students via apprenticeship with HOTHOUSE in fall 2013 and spring 2014; support the presentation of the students’ plays; and provide Pasadena Playhouse with the dramaturgical insights of MFA students, who will have first access to the work of emerging playwrights.

FALL 2013

USC students will participate in a dramaturgical project based upon PPH’s October 2013 HOTHOUSE play, Remnants of a Liquid World by Bianca Bagatourian. This dramaturgical work will be integrated into a required course, THTR 512 Studies in Dramatic Analysis, which in fall 2013 will be taught by noted director Michael Arabian.

Students will be provided with access to the process of the development of the play, including reading early drafts, attending readings and rehearsal, and have an opportunity to interview the playwright.

At the same time, the students will be writing their own original play in THTR 567a Studies in Playwriting I, a course taught by playwright Velina Hasu Houston; the student process for developing their own plays will mirror that process that they are observing on Remnants of a Liquid World.


The students’ coursework and play development continues with THTR 567b Studies in Playwriting II, taught by playwright Oliver Mayer. Each of student will have their own GREENHOUSE experience including one day of rehearsal; two sessions of revision work, a follow-up rehearsal and a staged reading at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre in April, 2014 — New Works Festival Year I readings in conjunction with GREENHOUSE at The Playhouse, a branch of HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse – including a moderated talkback.

Mayer will mentor the three first-year students as part of his teaching of the course. For the final examination for THTR 567b Studies in Playwriting II, Mayer will conduct one-on-one feedback sessions with each of the students about their GREENHOUSE experience.