NEW YORK CITY: Roundabout Theatre Company and Columbia University School of the Arts have teamed to create a new program called Columbia@Roundabout in which the theatre will present public readings of plays by Columbia MFA playwrights, provide apprenticeships to MFA students for a full season, and facilitate teaching artist training.
“This groundbreaking partnership with Columbia strengthens Roundabout’s commitment to showcasing new work as well as our leadership role in educating the next generation of theatre professionals,” said Roundabout’s artistic director Todd Haimes in a statement. “It utilizes our joint resources to continue our dedication to transform the classrooms of New York City and build a community of confident, expressive young people.”
The New Play Reading Series will be held at Roundabout’s Black Box Theatre, with mentorship provided by Columbia faculty members, including David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, and Charles L. Mee. The apprenticeship program will take two MFA students annually, who will train with Roundabout’s executive management and leadership staff, and get assistance in launching their careers. The final component of the partnership will be the training of teaching artists, who will be taught by the Roundabout’s education team; they will also be given an opportunity to shadow professional arts educators into New York City classrooms.
“One of the great calling cards of Columbia’s MFA program has been our location in the theatre capital of the country, which provides our students access to the top professionals in the field,” said Christian Parker, chair of the Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts, in a statement. “This initiative ups the ante: our students stand to benefit tremendously from the exposure offered by the Roundabout, and they will no doubt contribute to the continued growth and dynamism of the Company. I am thrilled to embark on this new partnership.”
The initiative is made possible with a grant from the Tow Foundation. Roundabout is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary season, with a mix of new plays and classics, on and off Broadway.