“From evidence to action”—this phrase captures the organizing principle of Graduate Theatre Studies at Florida State University. The faculty is committed to a process that moves from collecting and analyzing evidence to creating action in the form of written and performed research. Whether performances are live or mediated through technology, they are respected as evidence to be approached through scholarly research and analysis. Whether performances originate in ethnographic or archival research or move more traditionally from page to stage, they are this program’s subject matter.
As scholars in Theatre and Performance Studies, our faculty and students use a variety of approaches to collect and analyze various forms of evidence—documents, interviews, images, and objects as well as play scripts. Our methodologies reflect the most current developments in theatre research while still respecting tried and true methods of the past. They include: Historiography, Ethnography, Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, Critical Race, Queer and Gender Studies, Phenomenology, Dramaturgy, and Textual Analysis. These methods are integrated throughout our curriculum.
Each of these methods shares a commitment to exploring performances in their social, historical, and political contexts. Faculty expertise in such areas as devised performance, the ethics of violence, and community activism provide students with examples of how theoretical ideas intersect with performances of the past and present. Our scholarship reflects the belief that performance, from ancient Greek tragedies to the most postmodern performance art, is part of a vital process through which citizens shape their communities. We consider our work as scholars, teachers, and artists integral to that ongoing process.
In keeping with the overarching principle of evidence into action, these themes run through the program:
Primary placement objectives for MA and PhD students include research universities and top liberal arts colleges as well as dramaturgy and literary management positions in regional theatres and leading small theatre companies in urban centers. Specifically, the MA is designed for students interested in pursuing doctoral studies, teaching in secondary schools or junior colleges, or in strengthening their academic preparation for professions such as literary management and dramaturgy.
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The MA degree may be earned under a thesis program or a comprehensive exam program. Students planning to go on for a PhD are advised to pursue the MA with a thesis program. Both options require students to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.
The thesis program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work, including thesis credit. A maximum of 6 semester hours of credit may be taken on a pass-fail (S/U) basis to fulfill the 30 semester-hour minimum. Students must submit an acceptable thesis for not less than 3 or more than 6 semester hours of credit. Students may, depending on their circumstances, complete more than 6 hours of thesis credit; however, no more than 6 hours may be applied to the required 30 semester hours of course work.
The comprehensive exam program requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of course work, of which 11 semester hours may be taken on an S/U basis. In either program, at least 12 hours of course work must be at the 5000-level or above.
Dr. Mary Karen Dahl
Director, Theatre Studies Graduate Programs
239 Fine Arts Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1160