Beth Kander-Dauphin

COLUMBUS, Miss. — Beth Kander-Dauphin, a student in Mississippi University for Women’s new low-residency master of fine arts program in creative writing, has been selected for an internship as screenwriter with Mississippi Film Studios in Canton.

Kander-Dauphin went through a rigorous application process of interviews and writing samples to be selected for the paid internship, which will also earn academic credit. Mississippi Film Studios is an independent creative company and full-production capability studio facility.

Her duties during the internship will involve writing the screenplay for a movie project. An A-List actor seeking to make his directorial debut personally chose Kander-Dauphin to help outline and write the screenplay to be based on a true story that happened to this actor. Kander-Dauphin will also conduct research, interview persons involved in the story on which the project is based and scout locations for the film.

“We hope to complete the script and be in pre-production by late fall or early winter 2016,” said filmmaker Opie Cooper.

Kander-Dauphin was selected in part due to her knowledge of and ties to the state of Mississippi, having lived in Jackson for a number of years. She has been heavily involved in the Mississippi Theatre Association and has published four play scripts, including “Running Mates,” which premieres Feb. 11-14 at the Warehouse Theatre in Jackson, presented by the Fondren Theatre Workshop and Unframed at New Stage Theatre.

“I feel very fortunate to have this internship opportunity, on so many levels. First, it’s a project I would have been thrilled to take on in any context, and getting to focus some of my academic attention on this writing task is not only gratifying for me but is already strengthening the script process.

“Second, the team involved with this project is incredible– some big name talent, and some of Mississippi’s most inspiring homegrown creatives and business-people. Third, since screenwriting is an interest area of mine but wasn’t a course offered in the MFA program (yet), it’s a nice chance to self-design an immersive learning experience around this topic,” she said.

This past year, Kander-Dauphin’s play script, “The Bottle Tree” was featured at the Ashland New Play Festival in Ashland,Ore., and the LeapFest at StageLeft Theatre in Chicago, where Kander-Dauphin now lives while taking online classes in the W’s Low-Residency MFA Program in Columbus..

Kander-Dauphin was drawn to The W’s program after seeing some of her friends’ posts about the program on social media.

She said, “I thought it was cool, but my initial click on the informational link was fairly idle curiosity; I was no longer living in Mississippi, and I work full-time, so why would I apply for the program?

“But when I read the initial information about its low residency nature, and the program’s commitment to being accessible even for working professionals, my idle curiosity became a strong feeling of serendipity.”  

Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg, director of the MFA program stated, “We are thrilled for Beth to have this opportunity and are proud to support her in this next step of what will undoubtedly be a vibrant career. We also look forward to finding more ways to collaborate with Mississippi Film Studios on future projects.”

Kander-Dauphin added that she appreciates the program’s value placed on personal creativity, pointing to faculty and Dr. Dunkelberg, who also serves as her adviser.

“They are so committed to giving students platforms built around continuing to create personally meaningful and challenging work, while grounding our work in more knowledge and collaborating with our peers and internship sites to build our skills and take our writing to the next level,” she said.

Contact: Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg
    Mississippi University for Women
    Dept. of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy
    1100 College St., P.O. Box MUW-1634
    Columbus MS 39701
    662-329-7169, fax 662-329-7387