The MFA Playwriting Program at OHIO
For the latest news of the MFA Playwriting Program, visit the News link. If you are interested in applying to program, please visit the Apply page; applications are being accepted now through February 15. To see this semester’s featured alumni, visit the Alumni page.
Playwrights in the Ohio University MFA Playwriting Program sustain a high level of achievement. For instance, between 2005 and 2014 the Kendeda Award has become the most important (and perhaps, only) national award dedicated to playwrights engaged in graduate-level training in playwriting. Of the 36 programs that the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Award considers to be “the country’s leading graduate playwriting programs,” only 21 of these programs have had students who either won or ranked as finalists since the inception of the Kendeda program in 2005. Of these 21 playwriting programs, only UT-Austin and Julliard surpasses Ohio University’s record of achievement of four rankings (one winner, three top-five finalists) in nine years. Yale University, NYU-Tisch, and University of California at San Diego all have matched Ohio University’s record of achievement. Using the Kendeda Award as a metric, Ohio University’s MFA Playwriting Program has surpassed the playwriting programs at University of Iowa, Columbia University School of the Arts, Boston University, University of Southern California, Hunter College, California Institute of the Arts, Northwestern University, NYU Musical Theatre Writing Program, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Hollins University, The New School for Drama, Catholic University of America, Florida State, and Carnegie Mellon, as well as the other 15 playwriting programs in the nation that have not yet ranked in this one-of-a kind competition.)
Tony Award-winning theatres that have developed or are slated to produce former and current OU graduate playwriting program students include: Victory Gardens Theater, Steppenwolf, The Mark Taper Forum, The Goodman, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Alliance Theater and New Dramatists. Other major theatres developing OU MFA plays recently include Ensemble Studio Theatre, Magic Theatre, The New Group, Pan Asian Rep, Foundry Theatre Works, Theatre J, Collaboraction, Perishable Theatre, Edge Theatre, Prop Theatre, MPAACT, Chicago Dramatists, Contemporary American Theater Festival, the O’Neill Center and The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, to name a few.
OU graduate playwrights have been awarded many honors such as: the Kendeda Prize (2010), Kendeda Top Five (2007, 2009, 2014), the Wasserstein Prize (2008), The Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting (2015), New Dramatists’ Joe Callaway Award, The Gilman/New Dramatists Playwriting Fellowship, Whitfield Cook Award, Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, New York Innovative Theatre Awards, Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays’ Roger Stevens Award, Drama-Logue Awards, commissions from the Jerome Foundation and Théâtre du Soleil Levant in Switzerland, a Hugo Award nomination and numerous Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Awards.
Works published by current and recent MFA playwriting students are available from Smith and Kraus, Dramatists Play Service, Heinemann, Northwestern University Press, Samuel French, and Playscripts, Inc.
Film & Television
In addition to plays, recent MFA playwriting alums have also gone on to write for film and television, including such shows as 24, Battlestar Galactica, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Chuck, Smash, HBO’s In Treatment with Gabriel Byrne, Netflix’s Grace and Frankie with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and Get Shorty on Epix.
For further information on the Ohio University MFA in Playwriting, or to learn more about our students and alumni, use the links along the top of this page. Or, subscribe to our RSS feed, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and sign up for email updates on the News page.