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Selma Thompson

Part-time Faculty
619 - 1 Wash Pl

Office Hours
Friday 11:00 TO 1:00 & 1:00 TO 3:00 (ADVISING)

A.B., English, Princeton University, 1980
M.F.A., Dramatic Writing, New York University, 1983

Screenwriter and playwright Selma Thompson has put words in the mouths of Hal Holbrook, Angela Bassett, Keith Carradine, Jane Seymour, Patty Duke, Valerie Bertinelli, Jasmine Guy, and others. She has written feature screenplays for Universal Studios, Twentieth Century Fox, Roger Corman's New World Pictures, and several independent filmmakers, as well as developed material for actor/producers including Lou Gossett, Jr., Geena Davis, Marlo Thomas, and James Keach. Her teleplay credits include Beauty, A Song From the Heart, No Child of Mine, Before He Wakes, The Absolute Truth, Men Don't Tell (which garnered a Golden Globe Best Actor Nomination for Peter Strauss), Woman With a Past, Taken Away, The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana, Locked Up (all for CBS) and Perfect Crime (for USA Network). Additionally, she has worked as a "script doctor" for Miramax and for CBS. Her play, A Modest Proposal, is published by Samuel French. At NYU, Thompson has designed and taught classes in playwriting, screenwriting, and script analysis at both the Gallatin School and the Tisch School of the Arts (where she served as screenwriting area head in the Graduate Film Program); she currently teaches courses related to writing for stage and screen in Tisch's Undergraduate Film Program as well as at Gallatin. She has been honored with a Cine Golden Eagle Award, a Prism citation, and lifetime membership in the Writers Guild of America, where her extensive credits qualify her to serve on the credits arbitration committee.

Teaching and Research Interests

screenwriting; playwriting; adaptation; script analysis and development; business issues for writers; cinema studies; New York City culture 

Recent News

Professor Selma Thompson’s short play, Princeton in the Nation’s Service, was written and read for The Bechdel Group’s 24-Hour Script Marathon in 2016.


In March 2016, Selma Thompson hosted a “Dinner with Twelve Tigers” event at the invitation of Princeton University, her alma mater, where she met with “First Gen” scholars, students who, like Thompson, are the first in their family to attend college.


Selma Thompson