Columbia Stages Productions Move Downtown

MFA Thesis productions for the Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts are moving to new off-campus venues this year, positioning them in the heart of the Off-Broadway world.

This year's graduating directors will have their work produced at 3LD Art and Technology Center at 80 Greenwich St.; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street; and La MaMa. In addition, Columbia Stages will present the graduating MFA Playwrights' festival, New Plays Now, at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd St.

"The thesis work of Columbia MFA playwrights and directors is their bridge from academia into the professional world and the culmination of three years of intense practice, study and critique," noted Christian Parker, Chair of the Theatre Program at the School. "Our graduates have gone on to great success in all facets of the theatre world, and beyond into television and film. The early days of an artistic career are full of potential and are, of course, also scary as young artists try to get noticed and build connections in the establishment. We believe that by taking their work off campus, and presenting it in vibrant venues throughout midtown and downtown, we will up the ante on our ability to launch our graduates confidently and quickly into exciting, burgeoning theatrical careers."

Upcoming MFA Director's thesis productions include:

• The Corsair, directed by Katie Naka, at 3LD, February 13 - 16
• Marie Christine, directed by Raymond Zilberberg, at 3LD, March 6 - 9
• Sakharam Binder, directed by Nikhil Mehta, at 3LD, March 26 - 30
• The Poor of New York, directed by Tyne Rafaeli, at The Connelly, April 24 - 27
• The Gods and Me, directed by Michel Hausmann, at La MaMa, dates in Fall 2013

New Plays Now, the festival of MFA Playwriting thesis productions, will be produced at The Pershing Square Signature Center, April 17 - May 11.

Details on the productions and tickets are available at columbiastages.org.

Earlier this season, Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program announced an agreement with another off-campus theatre group, Classic Stage Company, to make all third-year MFA students in Acting eligible to join Actors' Equity Association. In addition, two MFA alumni in Stage Management each year will gain eligibility. The agreement marked the first time that a graduate theatre program in New York has offered such an invaluable bridge to the professional acting field.



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