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Master of Fine Arts in Writing – Playwriting


In our playwriting program, you will work with a faculty that includes prize-winning professional working artists with expertise in areas including musical theatre, experimental theatre, adaptation, site-specific plays, theatre for young and family audiences, theatre for puppets, TV writing, and the production of one’s own work. You will take a proactive approach to getting your work produced in your own community by engaging in student-produced stage readings in consultation with your mentor. You will also receive a professional reading with local actors and gain valuable exposure to visiting theater and film professionals connected with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Stage One, The Kentucky Film Lab and an ever-widening network of writers, artists, filmmakers and producers from Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad.

Our faculty’s unique skill sets complement one another to help you become a multi-faceted dramatic writer who is prepared to cross genres and mediums.


Past visiting playwrights include:

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley (Doubt)
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman (’night, Mother)
  • Sheila Callaghan (Dead City)
  • Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire)
  • Rebecca Gilman (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)
  • Lyricist-composer Michael Roberts (The Fartiste)
  • Keith Reddin (Rum and Coke)


  • Alumni prizes include the Edgerton New American Play Award and the City of Atlanta Emerging Theatre Artist of the Year
  • Alumni plays have been produced at regional theatres and internationally, from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis to Malaysia and Tasmania
  • Alumni fellowships include the Nord Playwriting Fellowship at the Cleveland Public Theatre
  • Alumni awards include Best Play and Best Script, both from San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle; Best Production and Best Playwright , Short + Sweet Hollywood; and “Best of the Fringe” selection, New York International Fringe Festival
  • For more alumni successes, see The Little Dramatic Writing Program that Could.