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motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 21, 2008, 3:11 PM

Post #1 of 52 (15217 views)
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Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA Can't Post

This thread is for discussions of MFA playwriting, dramatic writing and screenwriting programs.

Weigh the pros and cons of the various programs and what schools you think might be overlooked. Tell us where you're applying, where you're going and why, and all in a topic of your own.


theotherlily


Mar 21, 2008, 4:10 PM

Post #2 of 52 (15188 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hurray!

Anybody else here a playwright?


twoheadedboy


Mar 21, 2008, 5:20 PM

Post #3 of 52 (15167 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Besides the Michener Center, are there any MFA programs where you can study screenwriting on a fellowship/with some kind of funding? From what I've gathered, it seems like most film schools don't fund their students the way creative writing programs do. What are some well-respected programs in screenwriting, and what kind of funding options are available? Are there any others like the Michener Center that are housed in the creative writing rather than film departments? There doesn't seem to be a comprehensive listing/ranking the way there are for fiction and poetry.

Besides the big film schools like USC and NYU, the schools I know of so far that have screenwriting are UT Austin, Northwestern, Hollins, and...? Anyone know how to find more information? Thanks!


kellieyraines


Mar 23, 2008, 8:32 PM

Post #4 of 52 (15111 views)
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Re: [theotherlily] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a playwright that is still waiting to hear from Iowa for their MFA in playwriting. Didn't get into Brown (who does?) and messed up my application to USC that resulted in a "thanks, but sorry" letter. I couldn't afford to apply to more schools, but UCSD was on my list as well as Austin, Northwestern and Yale.


theotherlily


Mar 24, 2008, 7:17 PM

Post #5 of 52 (15042 views)
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Re: [kellieyraines] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Kelliey-

I'm still waiting to hear back from Iowa too, along with Juilliard and NYU (I've heard some people got in, but they stagger notification.) Iowa drama seems to be lagging behind fiction.

And brown, whatever, w/o Paula Vogel, who cares!

-Lily


Chris Ketcham


Mar 24, 2008, 8:45 PM

Post #6 of 52 (15027 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello!
I applied to Northwestern's MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage, and I had an interview on February 11th. Has anyone heard anything since then? Any idea when they'll be letting us know one way or the other? I keep logging in and checking the webpage, but there is no "View Decision" link yet.


theotherlily


Mar 25, 2008, 12:10 PM

Post #7 of 52 (14978 views)
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Re: [Chris Ketcham] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow- that's kind of a long time. I didn't apply to Northwestern (funding was a problem), but if it's been over a month since your interview maybe you should call. Of course, this depends on what they said to you during the interview. Was it like a final round thing, or was it fairly preliminary?

Also, I think someone else on the boards (or maybe elsewhere on the internet) said they did a creative writing program MA at Northwestern which was 80% paid for because they got a job at the university. I live in Chicago, on the North Side, so if NW wasn't so expensive I would totally have applied there. What do people know about this clever get-a-job at the U trick? Should I feel stupid that I didn't go for it?


Chris Ketcham


Mar 25, 2008, 12:25 PM

Post #8 of 52 (14969 views)
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Re: [theotherlily] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi The Other Lily,

I only had one interview, and it seemed to go pretty well. I don't know if there was more than one round of interviews, because I only had the one.

I had a friend make a call to NU because I was too chicken, and they said that they would be sending out notifications over the next month or so. That means it could be as late as the middle of April. You are right about it being a long time. If I don't hear from them by mid April, I'm just going to call and ask myself.

Regarding getting a University job to help with costs, yes, I hear the same thing you did. A good friend of mine got an administrative assistant job at DePaul (another expensive school), and they paid for her entire MBA. I think a lot of schools do this.


Gness7


Apr 6, 2008, 12:26 AM

Post #9 of 52 (14870 views)
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Re: [imariel] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so happy this thread came up. I've been wondering about film film and schools for a long time now. I'm the only one I know who went that route and my professors couldn't offer much insight either.

It looks like decisions are finally coming in and I'm looking for some advice. I got into the New York Film Academy but am still waiting for decisions from more "prestigious" programs like UCLA and USC. Being the enduring pessimist, I'm preparing for the need to settling for NYFA--but I don't know that much about it. It's a short-term film school (the kind that offers 4, 8, or 12-week programs for aspiring filmmakers who don't have the time to fully immerse themselves long term) that also offers an MFA like any other college or university.

The few reviews I found on the internet have not been the kindest. People tend to be intent on comparing it to the USC's, UCLA's, and NYU's of the world, and never in a complementary manner. I'm also discouraged that (according to wikipedia) most of the academy's faculty come from those programs but I'll be darned if I can find an NYFA grad teaching elsewhere. Considering that I've already been rejected by the AFI and Northwestern, I'm starting to wonder what their admission standards are and, by extension, what the true quality of the program is.

This will all be moot if I get in elsewhere, but, just in case, I'm hoping that any screenwriters who are familiar with NYFA can offer some insight. Does the MFA make it as intense as more traditional programs, is it just underrated, or am I being trapped? This was too long. Whoops.


bighark


Apr 6, 2008, 2:03 AM

Post #10 of 52 (14858 views)
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Re: [Gness7] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I suspect the reason why you haven't heard many positive things about the NYFA is because it's an open-enrollment (read: accepts anybody who can pay) and for-profit.

I'm sure you can learn a great deal while you're there, but you should know what you're getting into.


Gness7


Apr 6, 2008, 12:09 PM

Post #11 of 52 (14827 views)
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Re: [bighark] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely was not aware of that. Although things are starting to make sense now. But if I'm learning something useful, I'm happy. Thanks for the info!


Chris Ketcham


Apr 6, 2008, 12:51 PM

Post #12 of 52 (14822 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello,
I got accepted to the MFA at Northwestern in Writing for the Screen and Stage. The letter was dated April 3, 2008 and I got it on April 5th. Website notification was also April 5.


theotherlily


Apr 7, 2008, 1:32 PM

Post #13 of 52 (14776 views)
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Re: [Chris Ketcham] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats! Do you think you're going to go?


Chris Ketcham


Apr 7, 2008, 2:27 PM

Post #14 of 52 (14764 views)
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Re: [theotherlily] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi theotherlily,

Thanks so much for the congratulations.

I am really excited, and yes, I am going to go. Right now I'm just trying to get through funding freak out!


(This post was edited by Chris Ketcham on Apr 7, 2008, 2:28 PM)


luvrbuoy


Apr 9, 2008, 12:27 AM

Post #15 of 52 (14714 views)
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Re: [Chris Ketcham] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

IOWA Playwriting? Has anyone heard freaking ANYTHING. I've checked on-line boards for awhile. Last Friday, I called the Department and was told they did not even have a list yet (?). And, that there was to be a committee meeting that afternoon. What's the slow-ass deal here? My ISIS account says my application is "in decision". What the heck? Isn't this a bit late in the game? What's going on with their program in general? All feels questionable. Anyone?


didi


Apr 11, 2008, 1:24 AM

Post #16 of 52 (14649 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a playwright who applied to both Yale and Brown. I have just learned that Paula Vogel is importing her current first- year class at Brown with her to Yale. In other words, they are dropping out of Brown and enrolling in Yale as first-year grad students. So all of us who applied to Yale, paid the hundred dollars, did so for nothing. Um.... seems a little unfair? And what about Brown? Have they named a head of the playwriting program? Considering they now have no second-year class, are they going to enroll a new MFA class or suspend the program? In any case, it's an additional waste of my money and more BULLSHIT. Thoughts? I feel like we deserve a refund.


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Apr 11, 2008, 1:56 AM

Post #17 of 52 (14644 views)
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Re: [didi] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you kidding me? So, anyone who applied this year for the Yale playwriting program didn't have a chance of getting in?


100001011no


Apr 11, 2008, 11:21 AM

Post #18 of 52 (14617 views)
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Re: [didi] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Two other writers and myself are enrolling in the playwriting program at Brown. And while there is an uncertain future for us in terms of the program's leadership, there is also a consensus among the program's alumni that their experience was much more than studying with the departing chair. Also, for me, the greatest asset of what it offers is 2 years without financial burden and the time to write. There aren't too many programs like that for playwrights, but from I know Yale is now also fully funded and with an even larger stipend than Brown. The history of the creative writing department at Brown and its reputation ensure that ultimately the new chair is going to be someone fantastic. And the current plans for next year are really exciting: Bonnie Metzgar, who will still be there for at least one more year, is incredible, the faculty for the other genres is also phenomenal, and there are talks of bringing in some stellar writers and artists to study and collaborate with...

And yes, it's true that the three 1st year students at Brown were accepted as the new class at Yale, and how the department at Brown will handle that is uncertain as well. I know the three students completed applications like everyone else. I know that there were 3 additional finalists at Yale.


didi


Apr 11, 2008, 5:15 PM

Post #19 of 52 (14577 views)
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Re: [100001011] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats and I wish you the best of luck at Brown, as I wish the incoming students at Yale all the best. They have a wonderful opportunity right now during a resurgent time at Yale.

However, I don't believe, despite there being three finalists, that it was fair and open and that they should have accepted applications and fees, considering all three Brown students got in. Had two been accepted and one not, it would somehow seem more fair. But all three? It makes you wonder if the three finalists were her top choices at Brown before she jumped ship.

And I don't expect Ms. Vogel, who handpicks the top writers for her MFA program, to abandon them a year into the program. She already selected her cream of the crop, why undergo the process again? If I was in her shoes I would do the same thing. And... I would not have accepted applications and fees because it was a fixed outcome.

Am I supposed to believe that she can throw her former students' plays into the pile and judge objectively? Could you? I couldn't.

And we're talking about thousands of dollars. If Yale had two-hundred playwriting applicants that's $20,000. They probably had more. Despite what one might think, they need that money (probably to produce the Carlotta Festival) and no way could the Dean and the powers-at-be let the opportunity slide in the interest of fairness and integrity.

Unless someone can prove to me otherwise it was a fixed game and we deserve our money back.


luvrbuoy


Apr 11, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #20 of 52 (14556 views)
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Re: [didi] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

OMG. I had a feeling. I just posted in the IOWA thread about how I didn't think Yale even read my script!! Didn't anyone else think it suspect how quickly Yale had sent rejection letters?! I made the deadline and I got a rejection within 4 weeks of submitting. There is NO WAY they could get through all the applications that quickly. I do think they owe us back our money for applying, and an apology. And, I think if there is a governing body that oversees the legitimacy of university admission procedures than Yale should definitely be reported. They held a "fake" and clearly biased admission process that only benefitted as a money making project. This is truly disgusting coming from one of the most well-endowed universities in the country. Pain, suffering and rage on this end. Who's with me?


luvrbuoy


Apr 11, 2008, 7:15 PM

Post #21 of 52 (14542 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

This is just to give an idea of how well Yale is doing at the moment in terms of their endowment and investments. From their website:

"Yale’s Endowment generated extraordinarily strong results in fiscal year 2007, as investment returns of 28.0 percent produced record-setting investment gains of $5.0 billion. For the third straight year, Yale enjoyed returns well in excess of 20 percent. Over the past ten years, the Endowment grew from $5.8 billion to $22.5 billion. With annual net investment returns of 17.8 percent, the Endowment’s performance exceeded its benchmark and outpaced institutional fund indices. The Yale Endowment’s twenty-year record of 15.6 percent per annumtimes that of 1987. "

If Yale can "enjoy" returns in excess of 20% on 22.5 billion dollars, they can damn well hold a legitimate admissions process or give us all our money back.


jal123


Apr 11, 2008, 8:51 PM

Post #22 of 52 (14520 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I should feel a little less inadequate about not getting accepted into Yale. Because they won't directly tell us why we are not chosen, the playwriting chair has the opportunity to make unjust decisions like this one. But, it seems Vogel wants to build an army at Yale. Actually, the real reason is probably that she doesn't want anyone to say that they were her student and not get the full indoctrination. Regardless, Yale has certain responsibilities to its applicants, that admitted students have diverse academic backgrounds and the criteria of admission should not be that you have worked with or studied under the faculty head. I know I could not have competed with an applicant that Vogel has evaluated for a year and has confirmed the initial potential she saw in that applicant when she accepted them into Brown's program. How else can you define this except "unfair advantage"? Does anyone have a plan on how to get our money back. I could use a hundred bucks since I'll be going into loan repayment now that I'm not admitted.


luvrbuoy


Apr 11, 2008, 9:20 PM

Post #23 of 52 (14502 views)
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Re: [jal123] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I know the world isn't always fair. But, this is really pathetic. Yale is a accredited by these guys:

http://cihe.neasc.org/

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Their guidelines for accreditation under Chapter 11( Integrity) state:
"11.5 The institution adheres to non-discriminatory policies and practices in recruitment, admissions, employment, evaluation, disciplinary action, and advancement. It fosters an atmosphere within the institutional community that respects and supports people of diverse characteristics and backgrounds."

If this is true about the incoming group of playwrights; they are all coming from Brown with Ms Vogel. And, moreover that the application cluster fuck we were all suckered into was a sham, you can best believe I will file a complaint with their accrediting body:

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

And, at the very least, get my money back. I might even recruit my attorney friend to get my expenses and aggravation compensated. I busted my ass in good faith that my script would be reviewed and that my application would at least be considered.


didi


Apr 11, 2008, 9:36 PM

Post #24 of 52 (14498 views)
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Re: [jal123] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

In terms of a plan, a place to start is getting the word out, talking to people in your theatre community and posting your displeasure online wherever you can, specifically playwriting groups. The theatre world is small. Word will spread quickly and reputations are very precious.

It would be great if one of the theatre bloggers posted about this (Mr. Excitement News, Parabasis, The Playgoer). Given the money involved, and the high artistic stakes, it's newsworthy to our community. (I keep asking myself am I blowing this out of proportion and I don't think I am.)

I think a letter to Ms. Vogel or to Dean James Bundy are necessary first options. Both are intelligent, conscientious people who would absolutely listen and empathize (again, reputations at stake). However, I think what they would tell us is that all the scripts were read and the Brown applicants filled out an application and applied like everyone else. They simply were the best applicants. Which may even be true, but as jal123 points out, there is no way to compete with those writers.

I was also stunned to receive the rejection letter so quickly. I highly doubt my submission was read and carefully considered.

Also, I'd be interested to know what Yale School of Drama's legal obligations are and what the conditions would be for a mass refund. Perhaps there is a formal appeal process. It might even take a lawsuit. Again, Yale has a massive endowment, but the playwrights and the Drama School don't see that money. Yale will fight tooth and nail, I promise, to hold onto the twenty-plus grand.

So e-mail the bloggers, let them know you're angry, and spread the word. And I think it's important to make this about getting a refund and not a personal attack on Yale or Ms. Vogel.


didi


Apr 11, 2008, 9:39 PM

Post #25 of 52 (14495 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Right on. Keep us posted.


luvrbuoy


Apr 11, 2008, 9:51 PM

Post #26 of 52 (12495 views)
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Re: [didi] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Didi

How did you get your facts, generally speaking? You posted first about learning this news. Facts would be good to have before moving forward.


didi


Apr 11, 2008, 10:16 PM

Post #27 of 52 (12488 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I can guarantee to you that the first-year class at Yale will be composed of Paula Vogel's former students at Brown (remember how quickly it was confirmed by that posting by the Brown acceptee? He/she wrote that they will have no second-year class).

You can wait and see once the names of the first years get out there online in the Fall, and double check it yourself, but I urge you to take my word for it. I didn't get in, so I wanted to know who got in instead of me, and I know current students at Yale who confirmed my suspicion. It's soon to be very public knowledge.

A call to Yale or Brown might even confirm this. You don't have to ask under the pretense of being rejected. Use your imagination :) If you hire an attorney he can more easily ascertain and confirm the facts.

Knowing the names of who has been accepted is the only fact you need to proceed (though I understand completely your hesitation). As for anything else I've suggested, it's based on research and contacts and knowing the MFA game.


jal123


Apr 11, 2008, 10:58 PM

Post #28 of 52 (12480 views)
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Re: [didi] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to call Monday and see what I can find out.

Thanks for the advice.


luvrbuoy


Apr 14, 2008, 1:21 PM

Post #29 of 52 (12431 views)
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Re: [jal123] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, that would be great. Anyone care to name names? That would be the easiest way to know, for sure. If this is all true, time will tell. Even that there is a hint of this unfairness; it is really disconcerting.


Mr Excitement


Apr 14, 2008, 4:58 PM

Post #30 of 52 (12407 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Everyone,

This is Mark from Mr. Excitement News. I appreciate the shout-out here and the complimentary, pseudonymous emails I've been receiving. I'm looking into this and would like to write something about it. Some questions I have for you all:

* If the first-year Brown class is indeed re-enrolling at Yale as first-years, why do you think they would be willing to turn an expensive three year MFA into a more-expensive four-year MFA? Do you know that they are enrolling as first year students at Yale or might they be given the opportunity to enter as "transfer students" at the second year level?
* How do you know that there will be no additional first-year MFA students entering Yale? Isn't it possible that these transfers represent "extra" students?
* Is anyone willing to talk on the record with me about this? I'll protect anonymity, but I feel uncomfortable just repeating anonymous internet chatter.

I'll be checking in here and you can also email me at mrexcitementnews@gmail.com. Confidentiality will be ensured.

Thanks -- looking forward to hearing more.

Mark


theotherlily


Apr 14, 2008, 5:16 PM

Post #31 of 52 (12395 views)
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Re: [Mr Excitement] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I don't have the inside info needed to answer everything, but one question is quite obvious. These aren't "expensive" programs. They're both fully funded, meaning that tuition is waived and students receive money for living expenses. Yale used to be expensive, but Paula Vogel changed that. Students at fully funded programs often have to go into debt, just because stipends don't totally cover living expenses and it's hard to find time to work on the side, but it's still a far smarter financial decision than "taking a year off to focus on my writing," and has exponentially greater benefits.

If I'd been one of the first year Brown MFAs, I wouldn't have hesitated to follow Vogel over to Yale.

Transfer students are incredibly rare in MFA programs- when you switch, you usually start over- but this is a special case. I don't know.

Also, it seems unlikely that Yale will double their freshman class. Remember, these are fully funded spots. Yale is already increasing its financial commitment to the playwriting program- I doubt they'd put an addition three students on the rolls for the next three years.


didi


Apr 15, 2008, 1:40 PM

Post #32 of 52 (12357 views)
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Re: [Mr Excitement] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Mark, thank you so much for your interest. Your blog is intelligent, relevant, and read. I trust that your posting on this will forward it's way into the appropriate inbox and we'll get a reply (if not more).

I want to answer your questions publicly on the board and reiterate what theotherlilly correctly pointed out:

-Yale is basically fully-funded now for playwrights. theotherlilly is correct that Ms. Vogel's move coincides with an increase in funding. And Brown has always been 'free', which made it such a desirable program on all fronts. Regardless of the financial details, the incoming class- in the grand scheme of things- are not swallowing a huge amount of debt. That wouldn't have been a factor in a decision to follow Ms. Vogel- which as theotherlilly points out, was an easy one.

And I know for sure they are not transfers and that they filled out applications like the rest of us. They will enter as first-years.

-There will only be three students in the incoming class and they are all former Brown students. There are a certain number of finalists as well.

As for posting names on the forum, I'd rather not. But feel free to check this out.

http://www.browndailyherald.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&ustory_id=30894819-ea9e-43c2-9b16-fef4c3ec0072

Again, what I want is a refund for all. It's not about Ms. Vogel or the incoming students. It's about the person(s) responsible for assuring the process was open and fair. Which is wasn't.


kellieyraines


Apr 22, 2008, 5:28 PM

Post #33 of 52 (12278 views)
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Notifications for Iowa Playwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone heard anything yet? GradCafe has one post of "wait-listed" that was send via email on April 19. I should assume rejections would have been sent out via email as well to save the cost of postage on us.

Anyone else know anything? My email to the department last week inquiring about a date of notifications went unanswered.

Thanks and good luck!


luvrbuoy


Apr 22, 2008, 6:15 PM

Post #34 of 52 (12267 views)
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Re: [kellieyraines] Notifications for Iowa Playwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw that posting, too. No word at all. it seems so late. Just emailed today, who are you emailing over there?


kellieyraines


Apr 22, 2008, 6:18 PM

Post #35 of 52 (12265 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Notifications for Iowa Playwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I emailed the general department email address listed on the site. No response. It just seems so late to even get rejected. :)


luvrbuoy


Apr 24, 2008, 8:54 PM

Post #36 of 52 (12212 views)
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Re: [kellieyraines] Notifications for Iowa Playwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

"At the patron's request, this post has been deleted."




(This post was edited by motet on Nov 28, 2008, 6:39 PM)


februarystar27


May 22, 2008, 1:39 PM

Post #37 of 52 (12127 views)
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Re: [didi] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a bit late to this thread. I went into hiding a bit as the rejections started pouring in. But it's interesting to hear about Brown's students moving over to Yale. But congrats to those who did get into Brown (and Yale) ...both seem like amazing programs.

I just heard that I'm on the waitlist for BU, but other than that it's been four rejections this year. I didn't have a lot of money to spend on applications so I limited myself to five and tried to stay within the northeast (but not NYC because I was afraid it would be too expensive). Next year I'm going to have to just apply to more places and see what happens. It was nice to at least get the waitlist news though, because it makes me more confident about next year's applications. Again, congrats to everyone who did get accepted someplace this year!


luvrbuoy


Nov 5, 2008, 7:27 PM

Post #38 of 52 (12035 views)
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Re: [luvrbuoy] Notifications for Iowa Playwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Hi, I did get a response back today (to an email). Rejection, as I suspected.


twoheadedboy


Jan 29, 2009, 4:20 PM

Post #39 of 52 (11924 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Are there any other screenwriters on here? Where did you apply? I'm feeling lonely.


tobyscales


Feb 27, 2009, 1:52 AM

Post #40 of 52 (11819 views)
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Interview - Columbia Playwriting [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Hello,

I just got an offer to interview for the Columbia MFA program. I don't live in NYC, so an in-person interview is an outlay of $400-500, which is doable but not easy.

Columbia is not my top pick, but it's obviously a great and very competitive school. Should I hold out for my top choice (NYU/Tisch), and do the Columbia interview over the phone? How much does it matter whether I do the interview in person or over the phone?

Also: anyone else had interview offers yet?

Thanks!


luvrbuoy


Mar 7, 2009, 11:47 PM

Post #41 of 52 (11752 views)
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Re: [tobyscales] Interview - Columbia Playwriting [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello,

I interviewed in New York. Not sure how it went. You?


Twinkie


Jun 2, 2009, 6:19 PM

Post #42 of 52 (11674 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi All,

I haven't seen much in the way of recent activity, but I'm beginning my search so I can apply for MFA programs in playwriting this year (2009). I just had a couple of questions for anyone who's out there monitoring.

My wife is receiving her Ph.D. this year and is pursuing post-docs at schools with playwriting programs. Does it make me more or less applicable to say that I'm am potentially arriving with someone who is bringing research experience/grants/etc. for the school?

Are there so few programs/positions out there because nobody wants to write plays or because it's just that competitive?

Does a Masters in education make me more or less desireable for programs?

And...does anybody have the inside scoop on programs for the following schools:

Rutgers
UC - San Diego
UT - Austin

Thanks!


jaywalke


Jun 2, 2009, 9:41 PM

Post #43 of 52 (11636 views)
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Re: [Twinkie] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post


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My wife is receiving her Ph.D. this year and is pursuing post-docs at schools with playwriting programs. Does it make me more or less applicable to say that I'm am potentially arriving with someone who is bringing research experience/grants/etc. for the school?


A post-doc in what? Unless it's English and she arrives with grants in place, I can't imagine that they would care one way or the other. I work in university research, and our institute brings in tens of millions per year. No department that doesn't want to use our high-priced equipment cares, and there's actually a lot of hostility among everyone else because of the attention the $$ generates.


Sam_Wolf


Jun 7, 2009, 1:33 PM

Post #44 of 52 (11449 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard conflicting things from teh internets on this one, but I was wondering, the writing sample for a screenwriting program, is it always a screenplay, or can it be any kind of fiction (short story, novel excerpt)?

Has anyone been accepted or applied without submitting a screenplay sample? It seems like a silly question, but again, I've heard conflicting things on this one, and school websites are not always clear.

Please, drop some knowledge on me.


februarystar27


Jun 10, 2009, 1:44 PM

Post #45 of 52 (11235 views)
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Re: [Twinkie] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Twinkie, if I remember correctly about Rutgers, they only take one or two people, and I don't think they offered much in the way of funding. But I ultimately decided not to apply because I didn't think I could afford to go there even if I were somehow accepted, so I don't know much about the program at all and the info I do have could be outdated/wrong.

I'm pretty sure UT Austin has two different playwriting possibilities--a playwriting MFA in the theatre department and then the writing program at the Michener Center, which is interdisicplinary. You choose at least two genres to focus on out of poetry, fiction, playwriting, and screenwriting. I also didn't apply to either of these though because I was trying to stay in the Northeast (I'll be at BU this fall).

I hope this is at least somewhat helpful, and good luck with your applications!


Twinkie


Jun 18, 2009, 5:19 PM

Post #46 of 52 (11020 views)
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Re: [februarystar27] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks so much for the insight. I feel like the playwriting community where I am (Milwaukee) is either non-existent or invisible. I hope this is not the case in other cities!


taraberyl



Jun 20, 2009, 11:53 PM

Post #47 of 52 (10928 views)
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Re: [Sam_Wolf] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it depends on the program. If they don't specify, just send whatever you're most proud of. For example, the screenwriting program at USC (in the film department) will accept fiction/prose (non-screenplay format) writing - and in fact, I would lean towards sending something like that because they have a maximum page count of 15, and I personally feel like you can do a lot more with 15 prose pages than 15 screenwriting pages.
But, to each his own.


22tape


Dec 22, 2009, 8:02 PM

Post #48 of 52 (9548 views)
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Re: [twoheadedboy] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post


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Besides the Michener Center, are there any MFA programs where you can study screenwriting on a fellowship/with some kind of funding? From what I've gathered, it seems like most film schools don't fund their students the way creative writing programs do. What are some well-respected programs in screenwriting, and what kind of funding options are available? Are there any others like the Michener Center that are housed in the creative writing rather than film departments? There doesn't seem to be a comprehensive listing/ranking the way there are for fiction and poetry.

Besides the big film schools like USC and NYU, the schools I know of so far that have screenwriting are UT Austin, Northwestern, Hollins, and...? Anyone know how to find more information? Thanks!


hey guys, so does anyone know any screenwriting programs that are situated within an english dept. rather than film dept; and offer funding? As was mentioned, most screenwriting mfa's don't offer funding. I know USC and NYU don't offer funding. Northwestern offers very little funding. Not sure about Hollis....

Any others?


travisltate
Travis Tate

Nov 2, 2011, 5:22 AM

Post #49 of 52 (6840 views)
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Re: [motet] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm an undergraduate at UT in the Dept. of Theatre and Dance. I thinking of applying to graduate schools for playwriting.

I don't have any prior work experience. I have taken all the playwriting and new works classes offered by my department. Should I wait to apply (work, fellowships, submissions.) or should I apply to a bunch of schools and see what comes my way? My friend did the same thing last year and was accepted to a few schools and decided on NYU Musical Theatre Writing. What are my chances of getting into programs? I know USC explicitly states on their MFA Playwriting webpage that there is no minimum work experience needed to apply and that they will accept college seniors with high levels of creativity. Is this something that is possible? I just want to weigh my odds before paying applications fees, printing scripts and statement letters, etc.

Also, if I do decided to apply, I was looking at the full tuition schools. I know the top ones are difficult to get into like Brown, etc. But I was also looking at lesser known schools, Indiana University Bloomington and Catholic University of America, which both offer full tuition. Does anyone know anything else about these school? Do you think it would be wise to go to one of these programs if they're not well known?

Any help would be great!

Thanks.


bighark


Nov 2, 2011, 11:38 AM

Post #50 of 52 (6836 views)
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Re: [travisltate] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome of the forum, tavisltate.
If you were asking about an MBA or law school, I'd counsel you to work for a few years to gain the experience that those kinds admissions committees find attractive, but since you're looking at MFAs in playwriting, there's no reason why you can't apply straight from undergrad.
Although the median age of MFA students tend to be a little older, MFA programs routinely accept applicants straight from undergrad. Considering an application at this time is not out of bounds. If you feel your writing is ready and you can benefit from a terminal degree, you should definitely apply.
That said, MFAs are extremely competitive. I'm not as well versed in playwriting and screenwriting programs, but fully funded programs in fiction and poetry tend to have acceptance rates of less than 2%.
Also, there's no such thing as a "lesser known school" when it comes to these types of programs. Indiana University, for example, is home to one of the most selective fiction and poetry MFAs in the country. It also houses one the premiere music conservatories in the nation, and its department of theatre and drama is held in high regard.
Again, I'm not as familiar with playwriting and screenwriting programs, but I can assure you that any place with a fully-funded MFA is not going to fly beneath the radar. Offering this kind of support is the institution's way of announcing its seriousness and commitment to the world. IU and Catholic University--indeed, any program that funds its students--are leaders that will attract the best students writing in English from around the world.


februarystar27


Jan 19, 2012, 3:43 PM

Post #51 of 52 (3727 views)
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Re: [travisltate] Playwriting & Screenwriting MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a few months behind in seeing this, but I find myself checking the site a few times a year. Did you decide to apply? I applied to playwriting MFAs in 2008, and even though I graduated from undergrad in 2004, I had barely any experience. The only playwriting "class" I'd taken was working on my undergrad thesis (which was a play in verse) with an advisor, which basically amounted to a tutorial. In the years in between, I thought about applying a couple times but always psyched myself out. When I did finally apply, I basically had my thesis play and another short play I'd written and that's it. My writing sample was basically my entire body of work to date.

I only applied to five schools (so expensive to apply!) and only got in one of them. They're insanely competitive. But I'm so, so happy I applied and did the MFA. I needed it to strengthen my writing and to make connections in the local theatre community. I went to Boston University, which is expanding their program this year to be three years rather than one year and is becoming even better. Only downside is that longer program = more expensive, and their typical funding package is half tuition. But I loved it. And I'm proof that you can get in places without having a large resume behind you already.


snewo09
James Owens

Apr 6, 2012, 11:51 AM

Post #52 of 52 (3547 views)
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Louisiana State University [In reply to] Can't Post

Has anyone heard anything about, applied to, or is in LSU's creative writing program? I'm looking for places with screenwriting emphasis and this caught my eye.

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