This is the home page for a program that lives and thrives in one of the most truly public universities in the world. Like this storied institution itself, the playwriting program is short on resources, but long on experience, daring, and verve. In Spring 1998, when the A.S.K. Theatre Projects journal "Parabasis" surveyed ten playwriting programs in the country, there we were, along with the likes of Yale, Brown, Julliard, and NYU --definitely the most grassroots, the most working class, the most upstart of them all.
Surviving and thriving is the hallmark of this program, which has grown in the last ten years from a program centered on the classroom to one that continues to value intense classroom experiences while building active and spirited "on its feet" components powered by the communal efforts of faculty, students, and alumni. These components include:
- GreenHouse, an independent production program created and run by playwriting faculty and students. GreenHouse presents, during the Spring semester, three workshop productions and a festival of ten minute plays by graduate playwrights. These productions run at El Teatro de la Esperanza's black box theatre in the Mission District. GreenHouse presentations play to sold-out houses, and include in the company graduates, undergraduates, and faculty from both the Creative Writing and the Theatre Arts departments, as well as guest artists from the Bay Area professional theatre community.
- The One-Act Festival of plays written, designed, and acted by SFSU students - a regular feature of the Theatre Arts Department's major production season, and an award-winning entry in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.
- The One-Act Fringe: a series of short play productions that draw on the vibrant talents of Theatre Arts performance and design students to present low-tech, fully staged, fully memorized and rehearsed productions of plays by SFSU student playwrights.
At the 2004 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 3 out of the 10 playwrights chosen to present their work at this nationally renowned fest were graduates of our program. And two of the 6 honorable mentions also studied at SFSU.
And out in the world, the program is making an impact that continues to grow. In the past few years plays by students and alumni of the program have been seen in New York, Chicago, Singapore, Los Angeles, and a number of well-known Bay Area theatre venues. All of our most recent information is listed on our Venues page.
For more on the program, see our About the Program pages. Are you a current student? Find information on production opportunities, campus organizations, Bureaucracy survival, and more. Plus be sure to check out profiles of program Alumni, and see what the greater theater world is up to.
"And oddly enough, everything starts with a word." Pablo Neruda