The playwriting program gives students in-depth training as writers and also offers them the opportunity to have their work produced at the university. Student-written original plays have often been presented in our Purple Masque Theatre season as well as in our Practice in Directing/Practice in Acting (Lunchbag Theatre) class. These plays are frequently entered in the American College Theatre Festival original play competitions.

In 2006, THE LAST BLACK PLAY, by Nathan Jackson, was selected for presentation at the national festival at the Kennedy Center, where his play won the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award. Nathan's play, BROKE-OLOGY, was produced at the 2008 Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lincoln Center, Kansas City Rep, and other theatres nationally. His play AS I CAME TO DIE has been produced at Lincoln Center and Kansas City Rep. He has written for a number of TV shows and currently is Playwright in Residence at Kansas City Rep.