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NYU Dramatic Writing Program - Fall 2012

I agree, Forms of Drama is history, theory, etc., not writing. But, it's the history of theater. It goes from ancient times to the present over the course of the two classes, FOD 1 and 2. I think the classes sound great. I'm interested in the subject, but I'm just questioning if I really need to take two classes about the history of stage plays, and take two classes in writing plays (which require a lot of playwriting), all while what I'm really trying to do is write screenplays. I can read books about the history of theater, I can go back and read Sophocles, Shakespeare, Moliere, etc., on my own time, and if I really get a burning desire I can dabble in playwriting, also on my own time, but to be required to spend probably 50% or more of my first year writing for the stage and studying work for the stage...

I don't have the checklist in front of me (got it on the internet somewhere, now I can't find it), so I don't know about the Grad Playwriting 2 not being required. Is the current checklist you're referring to online?


The history/theory classes are what they are. I'm not familiar with other programs, but I expect these courses are common. We need to take 17-18 credits per semester and there are 3 required text analysis courses in the 2 year program. Although I would like to exclusively take writing workshop classes, the course load makes this impossible (they also told us we're not allowed to take more than 3 workshop courses per semester).

I don't believe the grad checklist is online. The sample graduate progression that I think you're referring to appears to follow a playwright's track through the program and, thus, emphasizes the playwriting courses.

Maybe a current NYU student can provide some better insight on this.


New Member
I haven't been on this forum for a while as I was travelling. Congratulations to everyone who got into Tisch NY or Asia.

For people who have got through Tisch Asia and need help settling in Singapore, you can always PM me. I've lived there for eight years and I would be glad to help anyone out.

I received two emails from DDW last night with two attachments. One was the Fall 2012 course schedule and the other was the graduate check sheet.

I agree with dmtr that taking more than 2 to 3 writing workshops per semester is not advisable. I spent the summer in Tisch NY last year and had taken only two courses per semester and I was still scrambling towards the end.

As writing workshops demand submissions (8 to 10 pages minimum) every week, juggling three projects at a time really affects the quality of your work.

I'm not a big fan of theory classes but I guess they provide some quality time where you can switch your brain off and simply listen.
I got the info from the DW department...

First semester for Screenwriters:
(2 screen/film, 3 playwriting)

Graduate Screenwriting 1
Film Story Analysis
Graduate Playwriting 1
Forms of Drama 1 (stage history-ancient to 1800s)
Graduate Playwriting Lab

Second Semester for Screenwriters:
(2 screenwriting, 2 playwriting, 1 TV)

Graduate Screenwriting 2
Graduate Screenwriting Lab
Graduate Playwriting 2
Forms of Drama 2 (stage history-modern to now)
Intro to 1/2 hour TV writing

Total playwriting output for screenwriters:
one 10-minute play, one one-act play, one full-length play, and maybe another play (full or?) it's not clear, all in the first year.

The second year is almost all screenwriting (if that's your concentration), with a few other things thrown in. I guess I'm posting this to continue my conversation with dmtr, and also to let the unaware know that you will be doing a lot of playwriting and play studying in your first 2 semesters.

All of this applies to TV writers, also.


@ Rohan

That's cool you took some summer classes. Which ones did you take and how did you like them?

@ Fred

Thanks for posting this. I agree it's important for prospective students to know what they're getting into. The grad checklist they gave us at the meet n' greet was different than the version they circulated yesterday. The one I was given did not say Grad Playwriting II was mandatory (though it may have always been).

The "Grad Playwriting Lab" is a course in which you write scenes and actors/directors stage your work so you can hear it. So, while it is technically a playwriting course, it would seem useful to all writers.

Fundamentally, the program cross-trains in the three mediums and there will be playwriting courses as you posted above. It's something that appeals to me, but may not be right for other people. I've said it before, but I know I'm not in a place with my writing where I'm too good to learn to work in a different medium from world-class faculty. There are programs where you only work on screenwriting and certainly if you never want to write a play, NYU is not the place to be.

On the theory courses, I agree with Rohan. It sounds like lecture classes on the history of dramatic writing will be welcome breaks from the rigorous workshop courses. I'd add that it could only benefit my writing to deconstruct and learn from master works. Nothing new under the sun and all that.

I guess, that's all I got. Just wanted to provide a bit more shading based on the (limited) information I've a gathered. I'd again welcome any current students to chime in to correct/modify any of the above.
I'm pretty much with dmtr. I did some limited playwriting in high school, but nothing really that would compare with learning from well known playwrites. I mean as a TV focus I'm not nearly as excited as I am about taking a television class with a professor who was a staff writer for Seinfeld, but it's all still really cool.

If any of you guys want to form a facebook group for the people going this fall so we could get to know each other before hand, hit me up. I'm not in love with facebook, but everybody's on it.


New Member
I did four courses,

Half Hour Sitcom
Playwriting I
Screenwriting I
Sketch Comedy.

Of these my favorites were the Half-hour which was taken by James Felder and the Sketch Comedy by Charlie Rubin.Felder and Rubin were fantastic. They were always very involved in your work and constantly encouraged everyone to work harder.

When I went to Tisch for the summer I had no intention of enrolling in the MFA. However, spending time there changed everything and I decided to enroll.

I agree with dmtr that cross-training can only make you better at what you want to do. Playwriting can be a bore at times but you also get to meet some genuine talent in your class, be it a professor or your fellow student.
What's the latest news? Are there any accepted writers who are considering giving up their spots? This info would be very much appreciated by the few of us who are still waiting.


Hi Fred,

I haven't heard anything on this front. As I mentioned, last year an international student had to drop the Thursday before classes started. NYU scrambled to fill the spot at the last minute (and did). DWs haven't registered for Fall classes yet, so it is conceivable that they may have drop at that time. Best of luck to you!


New Member
Those who attend the dramatic writing program - do you know what the program schedule is like? Do you have class everyday? Multiple times a day?

Thank you.

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