The Ph.D. in Theatre & Performance Research is designed as a five-year program (10 semesters). It provides students with foundational coursework as well as opportunities to devise individual research trajectories and projects. Students are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary research and to work at the intersections of theatre and performance practice and scholarship.
The required core provides students with a strong background in methods and theories of theatre and performance analysis; the practice of criticism; and the writing of history. The core also familiarizes students with professionalization in and beyond the field of Theatre and Performance Research. This allows students to engage with and analyze a wide range of performances, texts, objects of critique, activist work, archives, and historical practices. This foundational work on critical theory demonstrates that political and ethical engagement is integral to work in an expanded field of theatre and performance research.
The equal attention given to these three areas – History, Literature, and Practices & Practical Methodologies – ensures graduates are conversant in theatre history, and that they may draw from a wide range of theatre and performance literatures, forms, and practices across historical periods and geographies. The program also provides training and experience in the practices of theatre production and performance research. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the School of Theatre’s top-ranked theatre production program and its opportunities for graduates to develop practical techniques in theatre production, to build their mentoring and artistic skills, and to use performance practice itself as a basis for research.
The required course in Technical Theatre Methods and Practice facilitates collaboration between PhD students and the production work of the School of Theatre. This course emphasizes the practical knowledge of theatre production, which supplements students’ academic scholarship and provides working experience with the languages of theatrical production.
Electives outside the School of Theatre offer students the opportunity to pursue interests in complementary disciplines, network with world-renowned faculty in other departments, and hone skills that will take them into a wide array of positions beyond the academy. Examples include courses in media studies, popular entertainment, literature, history, grant-writing, religion, library science, dance dramaturgy, entrepreneurship, human rights, and more.
Comprehensive exams are fully integrated into the curriculum wherein they facilitate the development of an original research proposal and a publishable essay. As part of their comprehensive exams, students will practice skills in oral presentation and pursue intellectual inquiry in their own specializations. In concert with program coursework, these mentored exams prepare students to write a dissertation and to succeed in and beyond the degree.
At end of their first year:
During year two:
During year three:
Upon passage of these exams, students are admitted to doctoral candidacy and may begin their dissertation research.
Total: 54 units (without dissertation)