Program Overview

The University of Texas at Austin's M.F.A. in Playwriting is a vital and ascendant program situated in a vibrant and non-traditional theatre city. This acclaimed three-year program combines a rigorous immersion in the tactical craft of playwriting with a bold and aesthetically-diverse embrace of collaborative theatre models. 

Drawing on the resources of both the prestigious Michener Center for Writers and the highly-ranked Department of Theatre and Dance, the Playwriting program at UT is committed to a professionally-mentored creative environment and a highly-engaged pedagogic reach. There are two ways for candidates to apply for admission as a playwright: through the Department of Theatre and Dance or Michener Center for Writers. Both programs share faculty and curriculum. Below is information on the M.F.A. in Playwriting in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Learn more about the Michener Center for Writers.

Targeted courses in entrepreneurship, devised work, collaboration, and advanced story-making for the stage provide the cornerstone of a program that seeks to incite and inspire the next generation of American theatre makers.

Graduate playwrights at UT-Austin have access to an unparalleled breadth and depth of production and play development resources, including the Cohen New Works FestivalMainstage, Workshop and Lab Seasons; ongoing Professional Development Workshops;  and regular world premiere productions in UTNT (UT New Theatre).  These opportunities are supplemented by world-class research centers such as the esteemed Harry Ransom Center Library, which houses the papers of many of the most acclaimed playwrights of the last century:  Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Lillian Hellman, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, David Hare, David Mamet and others. 

Recent guest artists include playwrights Sarah Ruhl, Lisa d'Amour, Mac Wellman, Julie Marie Myatt, Robert Schenkkan, Octavio Solis, Sherry Kramer, James Still, Kevin Kling, Alice Tuan, and Jeffrey Hatcher;  writer/performers Mike Daisey, Laurie Anderson and Daniel Alexander Jones;  directors Anne Kaufman, Jonathon Barry, Ken Russ Schmoll, Lee Breuer, Juliette Carillo, and Sheila Daniels;  and artistic leaders Sarah Benson (Soho Rep), Molly Smith (Arena Stage), Emily Mann (McCarter Theatre Center), Marc Masterson (South Coast Rep), Maria Goyanes (Public Theatre), Adam Greenfield (Playwrights Horizons), Polly Carl (Center for Theatre Commons), Henry Godinez (Goodman Theatre), Maria Striar (Clubbed Thumb), Kristin Marting (HERE), Dan Rothenberg (Pig Iron Theatre Company), Victoria Vazquez (Elevator Repair Service), Lue Douthit (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), John Baker (Woolly Mammoth), Jil Rafson (Roundabout Theatre Company), Aimee Hayes (Southern Rep), Gary Garrison (Dramatists Guild), Chris Coleman (Portland Center Stage), Mead Hunter (New Harmony Project), Seth Rozin (InterAct Theatre), Ed Herendeen (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), Janet Allen (Indiana Rep), David Sarr (Childsplay), and Wendy Goldberg (O'Neill Theater Center).

Beyond their core course of study, the Department of Theatre and Dance offers MFA Playwriting students innovative curricula in Acting, Directing, Design, Media Arts, Performance as Public Practice, Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities, and Dance.  The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest public universities in the United States.