The Playwriting and Screenwriting BA Program

Professional writers increasingly work in multiple modes of expression. In the BA program in playwriting and screenwriting at Purchase College, students learn to write for both the stage and the screen through studies that encourage engagement with these disciplines at the introductory through advanced level. The curriculum also helps students to develop a sophisticated eye and gain a deeper understanding of the art and craft involved in making theatre and film. The college’s proximity to New York City provides a distinct advantage: students are taught by industry professionals and have access to theatre, film, and television production facilities for their studies and internships.

The program includes required and elective courses in playwriting, screenwriting, theatre and film history, writing for television and documentaries, and directing for both stage and screen. Because playwriting and screenwriting are performance arts, students are encouraged to perform their work in front of an audience as much possible. In their final year, students work with a faculty mentor to develop a substantial senior project: a play, screenplay, teleplay, or documentary script.

This BA program also provides a solid foundation in the liberal arts, with plenty of room for students to explore other interests—all of which enriches their abilities as dramatic writers. The program also offers two minors for students in all disciplines: playwriting, offered by the Conservatory of Theatre Arts; and screenwriting, offered by the School of Film and Media Studies.

Playwriting and Screenwriting Faculty (Board of Study)

Playwriting (Conservatory of Theatre Arts):
Christina Anderson, MFA, Yale University
Imani Douglas, MFA, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Ryan Dowler, MFA, Ohio University
Sylvan Oswald, MFA, Brown University
Kathleen Tolan, MFA, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Screenwriting (School of Film and Media Studies):
A. Dean Bell, BFA, Purchase College
Eric Mandelbaum, BFA, Purchase College
Edward Pomerantz, MFA, Yale School of Drama
John Young, BFA, Purchase College
J.D. Zeik, BA, Purchase College

For additional information and updates during 2013–2015, please visit

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