The School of Drama Dramatic Writing Option provides students with rigorous, hands-on writing instruction.
Combining playwriting, screenwriting, and writing for television, the Dramatic Writing MFA prepares you to immediately enter the field. Graduates of the program achieve a high level of craft, discipline, and openness to wild experimentation.
Dramatic Writing students collaborate on productions of their stage and television scripts. They have the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses and to participate in the Sloan/CMU Screenplay Competition, which awards $35,000 in prizes to current students each year. Both during and after their time at CMU, writers have access to an established framework of professional connections.
Recent alumni include Kate Mickere '13 (Actors Theatre of Louisville Ten-Minute Play Contest winner), Liza Birkenmeier '12 (Ars Nova artist in residence), RN Healey '12 (Brave New World Rep's NUN$), Joshua Harmon ‘10 (Roundabout Underground’s BAD JEWS), John-Paul Nickel ‘08 and Marque Franklin-Williams ‘09 (Syfy’s WAREHOUSE 13), France-Luce Benson ‘08 (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Commission), Chris Dimond ‘07 (Fred Ebb Award, Jonathan Larson Award, Lorenz Hart Award), James McManus ‘06 (New Dramatists/Cornerstone Theatre Company/Mellon Foundation commission), Sallie Patrick ‘05 (REVENGE, DIRTY SEXY MONEY) and Matt Schatz ‘05 (Kleban Prize). Dan O'Neil '11 and Murphi Cook '12 have been the subjects of articles in American Theatre magazine.
The program is headed by Rob Handel, a founding member of the playwrights’ collective 13P, which won four Obie Awards. Prof. Handel is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a resident opera librettist at American Lyric Theater.
Visiting faculty have recently included Anne Washburn, Madeleine George, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Lucas Hnath, Aurorae Khoo, Mac Wellman, Richard Nelson, and Kia Corthron.