News and Events
Pepperdine to Launch New MFA in Screen and Television Writing
Emmy award-winning writers Dick Blasucci and Anne Opotowsky have been tapped to teach in Pepperdine University's new master of fine arts (MFA) degree program in Screen and Television Writing. The new MFA launches in the fall of 2008.
Three-time Emmy winner Blasucci has written for The Muppet Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Tracey Ullman Show, among others. A well known television comedy writer, he has worked with such legends as Martin Short and Billy Crystal and has been co-teaching an undergraduate class at Pepperdine titled "Writing for Screen and Television." He will co-teach a course called "The Storyteller as Cultural Leader" in the new MFA program.
Opotowsky will teach "Writing for Screen and Television," which will concentrate on feature-length screenplays. The two-time Emmy winner holds an MFA from the American Film Institute (AFI) and is the daughter of famed journalist Stanford Opotowsky, editor of the New York Post and director of news coverage for ABC News. She has worked in the news business as a writer, producer, and director, and has done feature film rewrite work for such companies as Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films, Paramount, New Line Cinema, and Miramax. She earned an Emmy for her documentary The Poisoning of America, and has written original scripts such as Break Up starring Kiefer Sutherland and Bridget Fonda.
Leslie Kreiner Wilson, Ph.D., is directing the new MFA program, which takes a unique values-centered approach to nurturing and supporting the storyteller as cultural leader. The program is a groundbreaking new degree for Pepperdine and the university's first MFA program.
Wilson notes that Pepperdine's approach to the MFA emphasizes screenwriting as vocation. "We believe that writers don't have to think about their career on one road and their belief systems and values on another road," she says. "Rather, we'd like to encourage writers to intersect those two roads. At that intersection is where cultural transformation occurs."
Adds Wilson, "We looked around at other universities and noticed that business programs and law schools were engaging ethics in their respective disciplines, but we couldn't find any writing programs that were doing that. Our location in the heart of the entertainment industry, Los Angeles County, and our commitment to strengthening student lives in service, purpose, and leadership makes Pepperdine the ideal venue for this kind of program."
For more information, please visit the MFA Web site.