Why Study Writing for the Stage?

    To articulate your voice and vision through dramatic action is an act of empowerment. Playwriting expands the mind. It requires you to think critically, trust your instincts, see new and differing points of view, and respond to difficult and challenging problems.

    On a more profound level, the writing of a play asks you to not just engage with the world around you but to reflect and illuminate it. And whether you become a professionally produced playwright or completely change career direction, the defined sense of self and your ability to speak truth will serve you in all aspects of your life.

    Why Study Writing for the Stage at MMC?

    The Writing for the Stage concentration at MMC focuses first and foremost on creating a community that is safe yet engaging, inclusive, encouraging, and highly individualized. Our program elevates respect and collaboration in order to empower you to let your true voice land on the page and ultimately in front of an audience.

    You are immersed in the study of core concepts such as world, character, opposition, sequence and language while simultaneously exploring issues of identity, race, gender, class and social justice in your own work as well as in the work of established and emerging writers. From these studies, you are asked to explore the very nature of what writing a play means to you. Do you want to write well-made plays? Ill-behaved plays? Some kind of hybrid? Anything is possible.

    Along with several production opportunities, you have the chance to see your work on its feet through short play festivals and student produced events. In addition, you learn about the profession of Playwriting through connecting with alumni who are working in the field and opportunities to intern at one of the many theatres that focus on new play development in New York City. You are also encouraged to explore other forms of dramatic writing including film, TV, gaming and mixed media.

    What You Will Learn

    • You will learn the foundational elements of dramatic writing – voice, action, place and time. You will then utilize these elements to reflect back, challenge and question the world around them through their original works.
    • You will be exposed to the works and theory of a variety of writers who amplify the voices and stories of historically under and unrepresented communities and be able to articulate how these works and voices are vital to the future of the American Theatre.
    • You will engage in a full production experience – seeing your play move from the page to the stage and along the way acquire skills for collaboration, casting, rewriting and revision and how to assess audience feedback.
    • You will learn how to articulate an individual creative process that is sustainable and malleable.
    • You will understand the landscape of new play development and production in the American Theatre and will acquire the skills needed to enter the professional field.

    Program Highlights

    Every student in the Advanced Playwriting course receives a bare bones production of a short play in our Bordeau Box Theatre. These productions, directed by adjunct faculty allow you an opportunity to engage in collaboration with your peers, work with professionals in the field and see your work in front of an audience. All three of these elements are vital for a writer’s growth and preparation for entering the field.
    Because of MMC’s location and extensive alumni connections, students in the Writing for the Stage concentration have been able to intern at some of New York City’s most exciting theatres. In recent years, students have interned at Primary Stages, The WP Project, Samuel French, The New Group, the Dramatist Guild, Theatre Communications Group, The Tank, and The Flea.
    In furthering our commitment to social justice, the Writing for the Stage concentration is very active in MMC’s Stand Up Speak Out Festival. Each year MMC at 71st street partners with our sister school at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility to create a festival of visual art, dance, film and theatre.
    • When I started at MMC as a playwriting major, I knew that I loved writing and theatre, but had never written a play and had no idea where to start. My classes at MMC taught me the skills I needed to piece together my playwriting tool belt, discover my creative process, and establish my individual voice as a writer.

      Shelby Solla ’18

      2018, B.A. in Theatre Arts (Writing for the Stage)

      Meet Shelby
    • Being in the Writing for the Stage concentration at Marymount Manhattan felt like all the stars aligned for my studies. Learning and honing my craft as a playwright with excellent and supportive teachers, while being in the greatest city in the world for theatre writing and theatre-going? I wouldn’t trade my academic experience here for the world.

      Hayley St. James ’20

      Class of 2020

    • I really feel like the Writing for the Stage program helped me find my voice. I can’t recommend this program enough because it allowed me to reach deep within myself to find what matters most to me in this world and write about that. This caused me to get to know myself in ways I could have never even imagined and in turn, has made me a more confident, curious, and truthful playwright.

      RheAnn Mennefield ’19

      2019, Major in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Writing for the Stage

      Meet RheAnn
    • Playwriting at Marymount Manhattan challenged and molded me into the artist I am today while also giving me the tools to be the artist I dream of being tomorrow. I couldn’t be grateful enough for my experience and the support system I feel I still have even two years after graduation.

      Rodolfo Soto ’17

      2017, B.F.A. in Acting and Writing for the Stage

    • The small class sizes and culture cultivated by faculty encouraged genuine connection between myself and my classmates, and I always felt like we had each other’s backs creatively and beyond.

      Zoe Kamil ’18

      2018, Major in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Writing for the Stage

      Meet Zoe
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    Careers and Outcomes

    The Writing for the Stage concentration prepares you for not only a career as a playwright but also opens the door to possible careers in theatre, management, creative writing, and publishing. Others are pursuing graduate degrees in Arts Education, have taken on full time positions at major non-profit theaters in NYC, work as writers on TV shows, and have seen their work produced in festivals all around the world.

    Careers

    • Playwright
    • Dramaturg
    • Literary Manager
    • Agent
    • Producer
    • Television Writer
    • Graduate Studies

    VIDEO: Prior Engagements | MMC Spring 2020 Playwriting Projects

    “I Did a 48-Hour Play Festival! Here’s What It’s Like.”

    Shelbi Cornelison ’22 details her experience as a featured playwright in the College’s 2019 festival, where participants had just two days to write, stage, rehearse, and perform a complete short play.

    Read Shelbi’s blog post

    Start your journey today.

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