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Tufts University


Program Offered: M.A., Ph.D.

The graduate program in drama prepares scholars for the academic profession through an emphasis on theatre history, theory and criticism, and dramatic literature. The curriculum is composed chiefly of seminars that focus on historical, literary, and/or theoretical topics; emphasize original research; and give students the chance to work closely with faculty.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in drama is a sixteen-course program culminating in a dissertation. Doctoral students are required to take courses in dramatic and critical theory, research methods and materials, and at least five other departmental seminars such as Russian theatre, domestic tragedy, African American theatre, Ibsen and Strindberg, eighteenth-century theatre, Latin American theatre and performance, and theatre iconography. Following their coursework, students are eligible to take comprehensive exams which, if successfully passed, enable them to complete their graduate studies by writing a dissertation. Before commencing the dissertation, students are required to display reading knowledge of two foreign languages.

As the final requirement for the Ph.D., the dissertation provides students with the opportunity to conduct original research on a topic of interest. Recent dissertations include, A Philadelphia Story: Refinement and Resistance on the Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia Stage; Staging the 'Folk': A History of Harlem's Little Theatre Movement, 1920-1940; Constructed Places: Shakespeare's American Playhouses; Beyond Angels: Broadway Theatre and the AIDS Epidemic, 1981-2006; Cognitive Thinking and Actors Improvisation; and Swordplay in Spanish Golden Age Drama. Important collections, libraries, and archives such as the Harvard Theatre Collection are nearby.

Preparation for teaching is a significant feature of the program, with graduate students gaining practical classroom experience as instructors of Acting I and as teaching assistants. Assignments are based on prior experience, areas of interest, and academic performance. Courses with assistants range from Modern Drama to The American Musical or African American Theatre and Film. Additionally, students at the doctoral level frequently take part-time positions at local colleges and universities. Most graduates find full-time teaching and directing jobs at academic institutions.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in drama consists of eight courses and a thesis. Students are required to have reading knowledge of a foreign language before commencing their thesis. The M.A. is generally a first step toward the Ph.D. If an M.A. or M.F.A. has been completed elsewhere, up to six credits are transferred toward the required eighteen for the Ph.D.

Applicants should have some background in theatre.

Drama: Faculty

Natalya Baldyga
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Theatre historiography and cultural identity, Eighteenth-century European theatre and acting theory

Downing Cless, Chair
Ph.D., Brandeis University
Directing, dramatic literature and theory, theatre and the environment, sociology of theatre

Barbara Wallace Grossman
Ph.D., Tufts University
Theatre history, American theatre and popular entertainment, Holocaust studies, gender in performance, directing

Noe Montez
Ph.D., Indiana University
Dramatic literature and theory, contemporary Latin American performance, U.S. Latino theatre, directing

Monica White Ndounou
Ph.D., Ohio State University
Theatre and film criticism, dramatic literature, African American and cultural studies, acting

Laurence Senelick, Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D., Harvard University
Dramatic literature and theory, Russian theatre, history of popular entertainment, gender in performance, directing

Contact the Graduate Studies Office

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

School of Engineering

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You don't have to be a graduate student to take graduate courses at Tufts. The Graduate Career Advancement Program (GCAP) was created for people who want access to superior graduate-level courses but don't need or want a graduate degree.
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