If you're a creative, self-starting collaborator with an interest in theater making and management, the Directing, Playwriting + Production program at the University of the Arts' Ira Brind School of Theater Arts is the best place for you.

In fact, we offer the only undergraduate program in the U.S. that combines directing, new play development, stage management and producing in one major.

Students in the Brind School's Directing, Playwriting + Production program act as producers and artistic leaders of Equinox, an annual new play festival that brings together student producers, playwrights, performers, directors, stage managers and designers for a collaborative production—without the assistance of faculty. Our partnership with Philadelphia’s Merriam Theater gives students experience with large-scale productions that operate under union rules.

Monique Chambers Headshot
Monique Chambers

'21

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Theater shot from 'Edison' directed by Joshua Logan Walker at UArts
Joshua Logan Walker

'17

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Toured his original play Edison to Europe
Dante Green photo
Dante Green

BFA '19

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Hometown: Bloomsburg, PA

Experience the passion and creativity of young artists on the threshold of professional success. See this season's lineup of shows.

On Stage

The talented faculty who will lead your courses are trained professionals in a variety of areas. You'll learn how to use your voice for maximum impact on stage from gifted public speakers. You'll understand the ins and outs of set design from designers of top Philadelphia performances. Meet the faculty in the Directing, Playwriting + Production program.

Click the image below to read more.

Justin Jain black and white headshot
Justin Jain

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Founder of Berserker Residents, ground-breaking theater company
Amy Dugas Brown head shot
Amy Dugas Brown

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Ten Seasons as Associate Artistic Director Award-Winning Arden Theatre Company
David Jacobi head shot
David Jacobi

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Holland New Voices Award, Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences Award, a Relentless Award

Sample Courses in the Directing, Playwriting + Production Major

First Year
Collaboration in Theater
Stagecraft
Suvery of Theater Arts
Thinking Through Science
Writing I Placement
Free elective
Script Analysis
Intro to Practicum
Approaches to Acting
Directing I
Stage Management I
Writing II Placement

Second Year
Exploration of Style
Approaches to Movement
Playwriting I
Intro to Practicum
Theater History I
Critical Studies (your choice)
Theater Management
Theater History II
Directing II, Playwriting II, or Stage Management II
Free elective (your choice)

Third Year
Directing III, Playwriting III, or Advanced Management III
Production Practicum
Director/Design Collaboration
Set Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design or Projection Design
Theater Management
Critical Studies (your choice)
Director's Workshop, Playwrights' Workshop or Contracts & the Law
Production Practicum
Senior Project I
New Play Workshop
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)

Fourth Year
I Am My Own Company
Internship
Senior Project II
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)
Business of Theater
Internship
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)

About the Curriculum

The Directing, Playwriting and Production curriculum trains the generative theater artist, who wants to write, direct, produce and/or manage theater. The DPP Program builds future theater leaders who have rigor, imagination, and a deep and diverse skill set. All students take three core classes that focus on how to lead through collaboration (Theater Collaboration, Director/Design Collaboration, Senior Project II). They all take classes in each core discipline (Directing, Playwriting, Producing, Stage Management), and are required deepen in at least one of those disciplines. Often, students take all four levels of two of the above disciplines, making them rounded theater artists that are ready for a broad range of work after graduation. In additional to rigorous artistic development, they are also all taught financial leadership and management skills. Artistic innovation and entrepreneurship are at the core of this curriculum.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Directing, Playwriting + Production:

  • will make work that exhibits imagination and a strong personal point of view.
  • will engage and connect as a citizen-artist across communities and ideas.
  • will be aware of how the theater artist serves society and the breadth of opportunity available to engage in that service; exhibiting curiosity and empathy supported by a knowledge of the history of their art and the humanities.
  • will possess craft, technique, and professionalism.
  • will assess their own work and that of others, to manage time and resources, to read and analyze plays and source material and to innovate, collaborate and iterate in the service of theater-making under a wide range of conditions.
  • will be ADAPTABLE.
  • will be flexible and fearless in their integration of studio and classroom techniques to meet the varying demands of dramatic forms and theatrical styles.
  • will effectively analyze scripts and source material, apply research, and make specific choices about world building that serve both the needs of the script and the artist’s imaginative impulse.
  • will demonstrate the ability to lead a collaboration, specifically communicating and effectively realizing their artistic goals and aesthetic.
  • will display the ability to work deeply and adroitly in at least one of the three component disciplines (directing, playwriting, and/or management) in the service of initiating an artistic project, building it from the ground up and seeing it through to completion.
  • will demonstrate an understanding of theater producing models, both nonprofit and commercial, as well as theater company structures and organizational functions.

Explore the full curriculum

Students in the program are required to complete an internship, and many do so at one of the region’s many theatrical companies such as the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Wilma Theater, the Walnut Street Theatre, the Arden Theatre Company, InterAct and Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

Click the image below to read more.

Elana Boulos
Elana Boulos

BFA 2009

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Cast member of the renowned Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Elaina DiMonaco head shot
Elaina Di Monaco

BFA '13

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Professional Director, Fringe Festival, Resident Dramaturg for PlayPenn
Jacob Jarrett photo
Jacob Jarrett

BFA '17

Theater - Directing, Playwriting & Production (BFA)
Music-Directed 'Noise', Upcoming new musical Wonder Boi

The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts is committed to developing the individual artistic voice of each student: You will develop both skills and an expanded point of view. Further, you’ll graduate a fearless, innovative and adaptable creator, ready to engage the medium and the world with a strong sense of yourself as a citizen artist.

The Brind School is tailored for those who want to head to Broadway and those who are intent on challenging the status quo. Our faculty includes 60 instructors, the majority of which are current theater professionals. Additionally, alumni regularly return to UArts as educators and hold central positions in Philadelphia’s theater culture, extending your creative community far beyond campus. 

We celebrate acting instruction as the focal point of training in both the Acting and Musical Theater programs, and emphasize vocal and physical training as principal support areas. Our Theater Design and Technology and Directing, Playwriting and Production programs also focus on technique supported by extended collaborative learning opportunities in production. Opportunities abound for master classes, guest speakers, internships and apprenticeships with both nationally prominent guest artists and Philadelphia’s many professional companies.

Through its dozens of performances each year–including the annual Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals–the Brind School is both a school and a producing company. We present an annual season of work which includes projects led by students, faculty and renowned guest artists from the national and local theater scenes. Auditions are open to all Brind School students.

Venues and Learning and Practice Spaces 

The Brind School is primarily located in the Terra Building at 211 S. Broad St. Spaces include seminar rooms and classrooms, as well as studios for individual voice, speech, dance, movement and acting instruction. 

We also utilize five public performance venues.

  • ArtsBank Theater: 230 seats
  • Laurie Beechman Cabaret Theater: 60 seats
  • Caplan Recital Hall: 200 seats
  • Caplan Studio Theater: 90 seats
  • Levitt Auditorium: 700 seats

A production shop, a costume shop, a design studio, a lighting lab, areas for both property and costume stock, and a fully equipped video editing studio round out the comprehensive theater experience Brind provides.

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