At Spalding, we offer tracks in playwriting and screenwriting, with an opportunity for interdisciplinary study for students interested in writing for both screen and stage. Spalding’s playwriting faculty includes prize-winning professional working artists with expertise in areas including musical theatre, theatre for puppets, experimental theatre, adaptation, site-specific plays, theatre for young and family audiences, TV writing, and the production of one’s own work. At residency, playwriting students can opt to participate in Dramashop, a collaborative, generative workshop experience. Playwriting students take a proactive approach to getting work produced in their own communities by engaging in student-produced stage readings in consultation with their mentor. Students 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 alumni and students are accomplished dramatic writers who run their own theatres, produce their plays all over the country and Off Broadway, teach at major universities, and win prestigious national awards including the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, the Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship of the Cleveland Public Theater, and The Ebell of Los Angeles Playwright Prize.
Current and past visiting playwrights include the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman (’night, Mother) as well as award-winning playwrights Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire), Rebecca Gilman (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter), lyricist-composer Michael Roberts (The Fartiste), and Keith Reddin (Rum and Coke).
All Spalding MFA students have the option to spend a residency or an entire semester studying a second area of concentration as a way to enrich and expand their craft and understanding of aesthetics.