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Playwriting MFAs

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On 3/22/2019 at 5:12 PM, lonewolfe094 said:

Also, I just looked at the film school forum again and I’m surprised to see that NYU is throwing an accepted student lunch before they’ve even contacted all the people they’ve interviewed about their status? I get that there’s still waitlist possibilities, it just seems a little cold to start planning a party without letting the rest of the applicants know where they stand. 

Agreed! I find that to be pretty rude, actually...

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I had my interview with University of Southern California yesterday. It was 30 minutes via skype with three of the playwriting faculty members. They wanted to make extra sure that I understood that their Dramatic Writing MFA was primarily focused on playwriting, and that students take exactly two screenwriting classes (no more, no less) through the School of Cinematic Arts. Which is fine by me. I'm a theatre geek through and through. I also asked them about teaching opportunities, as I believe someone on this forum a few years back said they had guaranteed teaching positions their second and third years. Alas, this is not the case these days. Everyone who is admitted into the program gets a 75% remission on tuition, which means that if I got no other assistance in my admission package I should expect to pay about $14K per year for this program. Offers are going out in a week, so I have the next six days to ponder whether I would pay $42K for this three year program. 

 I know I would make great connections through the USC program, but I've also built up a ton of regional theatre connections in the last decade that I've been doing theatre in Chicago. And all of my playwriting mentors have moved to LA and are currently writing on very successful tv shows. I've already decided that I'm moving to LA at the end of the summer, whether I get into USC or not. So the question I'm left with is would USC be worth this much money? Would it be better for me to save that money (and that debt) by investing in myself? Right now I work full time and write part time; perhaps this should be the moment in my life that I flip that ratio to working part time and writing full time. And if I still want to take a couple screenwriting/TV writing classes, perhaps it would be better (and cheaper) to just do the professional certificate program at UCLA? I welcome all thoughts and insights.

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7 hours ago, Not Sarah Ruhl said:

I had my interview with University of Southern California yesterday. It was 30 minutes via skype with three of the playwriting faculty members. They wanted to make extra sure that I understood that their Dramatic Writing MFA was primarily focused on playwriting, and that students take exactly two screenwriting classes (no more, no less) through the School of Cinematic Arts. Which is fine by me. I'm a theatre geek through and through. I also asked them about teaching opportunities, as I believe someone on this forum a few years back said they had guaranteed teaching positions their second and third years. Alas, this is not the case these days. Everyone who is admitted into the program gets a 75% remission on tuition, which means that if I got no other assistance in my admission package I should expect to pay about $14K per year for this program. Offers are going out in a week, so I have the next six days to ponder whether I would pay $42K for this three year program. 

 I know I would make great connections through the USC program, but I've also built up a ton of regional theatre connections in the last decade that I've been doing theatre in Chicago. And all of my playwriting mentors have moved to LA and are currently writing on very successful tv shows. I've already decided that I'm moving to LA at the end of the summer, whether I get into USC or not. So the question I'm left with is would USC be worth this much money? Would it be better for me to save that money (and that debt) by investing in myself? Right now I work full time and write part time; perhaps this should be the moment in my life that I flip that ratio to working part time and writing full time. And if I still want to take a couple screenwriting/TV writing classes, perhaps it would be better (and cheaper) to just do the professional certificate program at UCLA? I welcome all thoughts and insights.

Thank you for this. I was looking at applying this upcoming year to USC because of that post a couple of years ago. I'd consider them if it was 75% year one then full remission,  but $42K seems egregious. 

If you're moving to LA, be on the lookout for playwriting classes through local theaters. Ones on my radar:

Antaeus in Glendale has a playwriting course, though you have to audition for it since it's through their academy.

Echo Theater Company in Atwater has classes as well, and one of their instructors got their MFA in Dramatic Writing at USC.

Boston Court in Pasadena also has the occasional playwriting class. 

Also if you are interested in sketch writing or storytelling a lot of the improv schools have classes that vary in affordability. I've heard very good things about The Pack's sketch program, and I went to Upright Citizens Brigade for storytelling, and they also give you a certificate for finishing their core sketch and improv programs.

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Hey everyone! I hope everyone is doing well with decisions and the stress of this application process. I’ve decided to officially accept Brooklyn College; it’s a great culture fit and with the scholarship they’ve given me, I won’t have to take out any loans, which is a dream. I wanted to let everyone know in case anyone lurking is on the waitlist for New School.

As anxiety inducing as this forum can be, it also has felt really comforting to have other folks who are in the similar situations on here. Best of luck to everyone and I hope y’all keep writing.

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Dear @brillantina, congratulations on your choice, and on the scholarship! That's thrilling. May I ask, did you ever receive a determination from Columbia? If it was an acceptance, was it with any kind of financial offer? Feel free to DM me if you prefer to discuss it there. Thank you very, very much.

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Assuming no one’s heard anything from Hunter yet? Right now I’m planning to accept my offer from Columbia but Hunter would be a lot cheaper if I got in...At this point I think I’d probably choose Columbia anyway because it seems like a better fit for me. I got a decent financial aid offer, I’d still have to take out a healthy chunk of loans and work my ass off but from what I’ve heard from current students/alumni they feel like it’s worth it.

TLDR I’m so excited about Columbia but feel like I should wait to hear from Hunter to be responsible but it’s kiLLing mE. 

Edited by grlldchz

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7 minutes ago, grlldchz said:

Assuming no one’s heard anything from Hunter yet? Right now I’m planning to accept my offer from Columbia but Hunter would be a lot cheaper if I got in...At this point I think I’d probably choose Columbia anyway because it seems like a better fit for me. I got a decent financial aid offer, I’d still have to take out a healthy chunk of loans and work my ass off but from what I’ve heard from current students/alumni they feel like it’s worth it.

TLDR I’m so excited about Columbia but feel like I should wait to hear from Hunter to be responsible but it’s kiLLing mE. 

I haven't heard from Hunter...

 

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On 4/2/2019 at 8:08 PM, TheLumosChronicles said:

Dear @brillantina, congratulations on your choice, and on the scholarship! That's thrilling. May I ask, did you ever receive a determination from Columbia? If it was an acceptance, was it with any kind of financial offer? Feel free to DM me if you prefer to discuss it there. Thank you very, very much.

Hey @TheLumosChronicles - waitlisted at Columbia, so no aid offered there. I was gonna dm about financial aid stuff, but realized I'd much rather someone share info with me publicly!

In regard to your question about Brooklyn, I think I got one of the POC scholarships (unconfirmed but seems likely). Speaking to a lot of alums and people currently in the program the aid is generally impressive regardless. From what I can tell, it's a set amount that I can use for tuition and... other costs (?), so more likely a stipend. Since I'm out of state/city my first year, there's a deficit of $5k for my first year between cost of attendance & my scholarship. HOWEVER that can be made up with teaching undergrads and they set you up really well to teach at Brooklyn, which is great for those of us who want some college teaching on the resume.

I'm likely gonna pay the shortfall out of my savings so I can really focus on reading everything Erin Courtney & Mac Wellman share my first year... I wanna soak up everything I can. I'll probably hold off teaching until year two; having taught high school theater for some years, I know how much teaching can end up being all about my students and leave little room for the rest of my life, esp because teachers are so rarely paid for prep time & grading. Also like... only paying ~$5k really for grad school is totally okay with me. Hope that helps!

Edited by brillantina

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On 4/1/2019 at 1:52 PM, brillantina said:

I’ve decided to officially accept Brooklyn College; it’s a great culture fit and with the scholarship they’ve given me, I won’t have to take out any loans, which is a dream.

Congratulations, @brillantina! That’s incredible!

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On 3/27/2019 at 4:08 PM, Playwrightress said:

Hello fellow playwrights! The results page says that Juilliard has already notified the applicants they wish to interview. Can anyone confirm? 

Confirmed. I called and spoke with Juilliard's lit mngr in March. They have already had interviews at this point so if you haven't been notified, sadly it's a no (letter is coming much later in their process which is really disappointing, wish they could cut us off EARLY so we're not holding out hope!). 

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I spoke to Gregory Mosher (the chair of theatre) today. They’re reaching out to finalists this week. He got in touch with me today because I’d called this morning to check in (since I need to give Columbia an answer) but I’m not sure he’s reached out to everyone. 

From my brief conversation with him, it doesn’t seem like they’re going to know who the new director of playwriting is going to be before they make offers, which is too bad. The program definitely has some solid qualities (and an attractive price) but I don’t know how I’d feel about accepting an offer if I got one if don’t know who I’d be studying with...

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Gregory just reached out to me via email, saying they want to schedule an in-person interview in the next week or so. I’m still drafting my “sorry, already going somewhere else email” but I wanted to let y’all know.

Edited by brillantina

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3 hours ago, brillantina said:

Gregory just reached out to me via email, saying they want to schedule an in-person interview in the next week or so. I’m still drafting my “sorry, already going somewhere else email” but I wanted to let y’all know.

@brillantina thank you for letting us know! And also thanks to @grlldchz for keeping us in the loop as well. 

Anyone else happen to hear anything from Hunter?

Edited by lonewolfe094
.

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On 5/14/2019 at 8:04 PM, PlayWitch said:

Has anyone heard from Hunter?

Hey all - I received an email this morning, inviting me to interview next week. Has anyone else heard anything? 

Also received some intel through the grapevine that they've been delayed especially in reaching out to folks because many of the current students are actually following Annie + Branden to Austin. So I'm guessing they didn't know how many spots they had to fill until recently.

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On 5/17/2019 at 12:59 PM, kevinmalone said:

Hey all - I received an email this morning, inviting me to interview next week. Has anyone else heard anything? 

Also received some intel through the grapevine that they've been delayed especially in reaching out to folks because many of the current students are actually following Annie + Branden to Austin. So I'm guessing they didn't know how many spots they had to fill until recently.

I just got an email letting me know they were still reviewing my application.

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On 5/20/2019 at 3:22 PM, PlayWitch said:

I just got an email letting me know they were still reviewing my application.

oyyy vey. good luck!

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