Brooklyn College English Department
Master of Fine Arts Program

Brooklyn College ImageMac Wellman, Program Coordinator

Shakespeare's colleague and friend, Ben Jonson, wrote: What a deal of cold business doth a man misspend the better part of life in! In scattering compliments, tendering visits, gathering and venting news, following feast and plays, making a little winter-love in a dark corner.

The playwriting program at Brooklyn College was started over thirty years ago by Jack Gelber, one of America's most important experimental writers. The current director of the program, Mac Wellman, is endeavoring to continue that tradition, while seeking to embrace the widest definition of that concept.

The playwriting program is dedicated to the proposition that writing for the theater is not a business of finished thought and dead rules. Rather, we endeavor to pursue kinds of writing that involve an ongoing conversation with theater of the past and (hopefully) the future. To this end, we encourage our MFA playwrights to become students of the theater in every sense: to follow the current scene as well as study the classics from as many traditions as possible; to study the techniques of making theater as well as theory; and lastly, to become as well-read as possible in all the written arts, with special emphasis on what is most contemporary, most challenging, most alive. It is our conviction that each generation must reinvent a theater appropriate to the time; a theater the time deserves; a theater that refuses to settle for the merely tendencious, and the dreary dead hand of the already known.

We are looking for aspiring writers who follow the theater because they love theater and all that pertains to theatricality. Theatricality diversely considered, rotated in four-dimensional space. We are looking for writers unwilling to settle for less.

Here at Brooklyn College we cannot provide a little winter-love in a dark corner. But we do offer a great deal of play-following, and a good deal of vigorous and hopefully cogent discussion of the theater in These States in these complex and often bewildering times.


If you have questions you'd like to ask students in Brooklyn College’s program, please feel free to contact the following alums:

Frank Boudreaux
Zarina Shea —