For Students Matriculating prior to Fall 2019 Only

This program is for students who wish to pursue careers and opportunities that lie at the intersection of the fields of theatre and education. As such, this program provides professional training in both theatre and education and in the uses of theatre and drama as vehicles of education in a multitude of settings. The program also serves as preparation for doctoral work in theatre, education, or related fields. The graduate program is designed with two course streams, the Theatre Educator stream and the Theatre and Community stream, each of which includes foundational and core courses, with additional work in areas of special interest to students, in order to support a broad range of individual career goals. 

The Theatre Educator stream is primarily for those students who plan to teach theatre and drama to children, adolescents, or adults within schools, theatres, or similar institutional settings (many of whom earn initial licensure in Massachusetts as a teacher of theatre, all levels). Theatre and Community, the second stream, is for students primarily interested in the uses of theatre in a variety of community settings. This stream’s curriculum focuses on theatre practices and points of view that provide for cultural exchanges and social change. Opportunities to work with diverse peoples in both classes and in communities, including professional and grassroots artists in the field, are also offered. Either stream can be appropriate for students who wish to continue their graduate studies, pursue a doctorate in the field of theatre, and teach at the college level.

Students in both streams complete a set of foundational and core requirements (outlined below) and work with their graduate program director or faculty advisor to design individual plans of study to meet the remainder of the degree requirements. Late afternoon/evening coursework and intensive summer institutes make it possible for students and practicing teachers to pursue this program part-time or to concentrate their study within a 12- to 14-month period.

The Theatre Education program is reviewed and accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. For students in the licensure track, permission to proceed to the student teaching practicum is required and based upon the successful completion of coursework and field experience. A portfolio review for these same students is required at the end of their student teaching practicum. These students must also pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure in order to receive their initial license.

Following are the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for the Theatre Education program:

  • Students will access learning needs, develop appropriate educational goals and objectives, and design and implement drama/theatre teaching strategies based on understandings of the theoretical and historical foundations of drama/theatre education and the practices of applied drama and theatre.
  • Students will demonstrate skills for creating theatre in and with a variety of communities based on understandings of the relationships between theatre and culture as informed by economics, history, sociology, cultural studies, politics, and performance theory.
  • Students will develop their individual potentials and interests in performance, production, theatre education, applied theatre, and related fields as demonstrated by portfolios, theses, or capstone projects.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree requires the successful completion of 40 credit hours, including 20 credits of foundation and core course requirements. In addition, students must complete 4 credits of either a master’s thesis or capstone project, or a comprehensive exam (0 credits). Students may fulfill the remaining credit requirements by taking electives approved by their advisors.

The comprehensive examination may be taken after the student has completed 28 credit hours of graduate work. The examination is administered by a committee of two faculty members who have expertise in the specialty area.

Stream 1: Theatre Educator

The Theatre Educator stream is primarily for those students who plan to teach theatre and drama to children, adolescents, or adults within schools, theatres, or similar institutional settings (many of whom earn initial licensure in Massachusetts as a teacher of theatre, all levels).

Students must complete at least one course in each of the following areas of drama or theatre-related studies:

Foundation Requirements
Number Course Credits
TH 660 Drama as Education I 4
TH 625 Performance: Theatre and Community or 4
TH 661 Drama as Education II (required for licensure) 4

Stream 2: Theatre and Community

Theatre and Community, the second stream, is for students primarily interested in the uses of theatre in a variety of community settings. This stream’s curriculum focuses on theatre practices and points of view that provide for cultural exchanges and social change. Opportunities to work with diverse peoples in both classes and in communities, including professional and grassroots artists in the field, are also offered.

Foundation Requirements
Number Course Credits
TH 625 Performance: Theatre and Community and
TH 660 Drama as Education I or
TH 668 Practicum: Multicultural Education or
TH 669 Contemporary Issues in Education

Core Requirements

All students must take one 4-credit course from any three of the five following areas for a total of 12 credits:

Acting Courses
Number Course Credits
TH 521 Ensemble Workshop Topics  4
TH 621 Special Topics in Acting 4
TH 622 Principles of Acting  4
TH 625 Performance: Theatre and Community 4
TH 627 Playing the Self  4
TH 628 Playing the Other 4
Directing Courses
Number Course Credits
TH 521 Ensemble Workshop Topics  4
TH 584 Directing the Musical 4
TH 680 Directing: Theory and Practice 4
TH 681 Special Topics in Directing 4
Playwriting/Devising Courses
Number Course Credits
TH 521 Ensemble Workshop Topics  4
TH 567 Playwriting for and with Youth 4
TH 589 Playwriting Workshop 4
TH 662 Playmaking 4
Dramatic Literature/Theatre History Courses
Number Course Credits
TH 562 Theatre for Young Audiences 4
TH 611 Seminar in Dramatic Literature 4
TH 612 20th-Century Dramatic Theory 4
TH 614 Theatre Studies Seminar 4
Theatre Design/Technology Courses
Number Course Credits
TH 540 Puppetry 4
TH 640 Special Topics in Design and Technical Theatre 4
TH 650 Design in Production 4

Master’s Thesis or Capstone Project or Comprehensive Exam

Students must complete either

  • TH 696 Capstone Project
  • TH 699 Master's Thesis
  • A successful completion of a comprehensive examination in an area in their concentration of study. This requirement may be fulfilled via a portfolio review undertaken as a part of TH 663 Student Teaching Seminar