When I was asked to put together a new low-res MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen, the first question I asked myself was: who could I bring in to teach and mentor students? And the answer was an immediate no-brainer, because one of the great blessings of my career has been the long list of talented professionals I’ve gotten to know and have worked with over the years.
To my mind, nothing is more important in a graduate degree program in scriptwriting than to gather a powerhouse group of dedicated working professionals who are in the thick of their careers–playwrights and screenwriters and other artists who are out there on the front lines getting their work consistently produced and applauded.
I’ve been fortunate to have made a lot of close and productive connections with these kind of artists. And so it was a pleasure to make contact with a select group of them and ask if they’d be interested in joining me in launching a new MFA. To a person, they all immediately and enthusiastically wanted to be a part of this adventure and suddenly, as Program Director, I knew I had a first-class and not-to-be-beat program in the making.
One of the great features of a low-residency program like this is that it’s possible to attract working professional writers and other artists as teachers and mentors without requiring them to commit to a full-time faculty position. In other words, these individuals can continue in their active careers as they also lend their expertise and experience to the program, both at the 10-day residencies and in semester-long mentoring that takes place between residencies. These artists love teaching and helping emerging writers find their own voices, and so I wasn’t really surprised when everyone I contacted said they’d love to be a part of the program. In fact, to a person, these pros can’t wait to start giving back and to share what they’ve learned in a hands-on and no-nonsense program like we’ve designed. Naturally I’m excited because students in the program will be surrounded by a talented group of nurturing and challenging teacher/mentors dedicated to equipping each student with what they need to excel in their careers.
Hope you check out who they are!