Writing for performance is distinctly different from other creative writing practices. We know that playwrights best learn to write plays by experiencing productions of their work in front of audiences. Over the course of a playwright's study at Fordham, the program sponsors three full productions in the studio theatres. Two productions are typically directed by outside professional directors based in New York City. One production will be directed by a collaborator from within Fordham's directing track. We believe, as Paula Vogel famously stated, that “circles rise together” and encourage meaningful collaboration between our playwrights and fellow students.
The playwriting track typically accepts only one to two new students each year and does not accept transfer applicants. All playwriting students must begin as incoming freshman in order to complete the proper sequence of courses in our program.
Playwriting students begin the writing sequence in the first semester of their freshmen year. After two semesters, playwrights begin producing their own plays. Playwrights take six semesters of writing workshop. We address four major areas: character, story, structure, and poetic voice throughout our training. This workshop deliberately engages diverse aesthetic perspectives. It exposes writers to a range of approaches to craft while emphasizing discipline and rigor. Ours is a community of writers from various levels of experience in one dynamic space, each developing their craft and exploring their individual voice. We actively cultivate a range of voices and resist any cookie-cutter approach.
The program is led by Doris Duke Artist, Daniel Alexander Jones.
For a complete list of guest playwriting instructors, see our guest faculty.
We also feature many guest speakers for the entire Fordham Theatre community. Recent speakers have included: Sarah Ruhl, Edward Albee, John Guare, Tony Kushner, Eduardo Machado, and Eve Ensler.
Recent graduates of the program have been accepted into the MFA Playwriting Programs at Brown University, Yale School of Drama, CalArts, New York University, Columbia University, the University of Iowa, and the University of East Anglia in England. One graduate was accepted for an artistic residency at London's Royal Court Theatre.