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Graduate: Theatre Arts
- Program Overview
The Department of Theatre Arts offers a 30-credit Master of Arts in Theatre. The M.A. offers an interdisciplinary, collaborative curriculum encourages our graduate students to produce, write and adapt their own work, serve as dramaturgs for department productions, and to apply the historical and theoretical knowledge they attain in course work to the practice of innovative theatre making and new play development.
Among the world-class faculty are directors, actors, playwrights, theorists, dramaturgs and designers all of whom work closely with graduate students. The Staller Center for the Arts is Long Island’s hub of creative activity, and provides a wonderful inter-arts working atmosphere for students of Theatre, Art and Music. Students are also introduced to the art of devising new work in collaboration with faculty and students from Art and Music.
The goals of the M.A. program are (1) to study the dramatic tradition and the history of the performing arts, (2) to develop an understanding of the vital relationship between theatre theory and onstage practice, and (3) to prepare students qualified to matriculate in programs of study at the M.F.A. or Ph.D. level.
The Department of Theatre Arts recognizes the contribution of the dramaturg in institutional American theatre. In the United States and throughout the world, the dramaturg plays a vital part in the direction of professional theatre. He or she must be well informed in historical, critical, and comparative studies, and sensitive to every aspect of theatre practice. Training in dramaturgy is useful even to students who later decide to pursue other careers in the theatre or other media, or in teaching. Professional dramaturgs often become directors, producers, administrators, drama critics, teachers, or playwrights, and many combine two or three different careers.
The Stony Brook program offers opportunities for students with a wide range of interests in theatre practice and dramatic criticism to pursue individual development with an applied orientation. This can mean, for example, that graduates could find themselves working with a psychology professor on autism research, as one of our graduates are, or working with an artist on a video installation piece.
The 2-year program culminates in the creation of a Thesis.
Interested students should request information from the department and find application information at http://www.grad.sunysb.edu/admissions/
app_info.shtml. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially if they plan to apply for financial aid.
For admission to the M.A.
program in Theatre Arts, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate
School requirements, are normally required:
A. A bachelor’s degree from
an accredited college or university.
B. Advanced undergraduate
courses in theatre history, dramatic literature, and/or theatre practice.
C. Undergraduate grade point
average of at least 3.0.
D. Three letters of
E. Graduate Record
Examination (GRE) General Test scores.
F. Supporting materials must
include a sample of the applicant’s writing as well as other materials such as
scripts, essays, publications, portfolio, etc. (For the returned work, the
applicant must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with the completed
G. Acceptance by both the
Department of Theatre Arts and the Graduate School.
H. If a student accepted into
the M.A. program wishes to offer, either for credit toward the degree or for
exemption from enrollment in courses required by Stony Brook, analogous courses
taken at another university, he or she must present transcripts and other
supporting materials for consideration by the graduate program director before
the end of his or her first semester in the program (see Transfer of Credit
from Other Universities).
- Degree Requirements
In addition to the minimum
Graduate School Requirements, the following are required:
required for the degree are:
THR 500 Introduction to
THR 510 and THR 521 Western
and South and Southeast Asian Theatre and Drama or
THR 511 and THR 520 Far Eastern Theatre and Drama and
Western Dramatic Literature
THR 535 Theories of Theatre or
THR 635 Theories of
THR 550 Teaching Practicum
THR 590 M.A. Thesis (6
In addition, students select
from among a range of courses in consultation with the graduate program
director and a faculty advisor. A minimum of 30 credits is required for
Successful completion of the
M.A. exam is required, normally at the end of the second semester of full-time
Proficiency in a foreign
language must be demonstrated.
D. Teaching Experience
Teaching for at least one
semester at the University level is required of all graduate students.
E. Master’s Thesis
A master’s thesis must be
successfully completed under the direction of a faculty advisor.
F. Residency Requirement
This program is normally
completed in one to two years of full-time residency. Students may be enrolled
in the M.A. program on a full-time or part-time basis.
G. Time Limitations
Depending on the student’s
first-time, matriculated enrollment in the Graduate School, full-time students
must complete all degree requirements within three years, part-time students in
The Theatre Arts department is located in the Staller Center for the Arts, which houses a 1,106-seat proscenium stage and three black box theatres. Additional theatre spaces are also available on campus. A newly acquired studio/theatre space in the basement of the Staller Center is the home of the Graduate Student Cabaret. This flexible, intimate, 50-seat performance space can also be used as a studio/classroom. The Cabaret serves M.F.A. Dramaturgy students as a production space and theatrical laboratory.
The University Library is adjacent to the Staller Center and holds in excess of 27,000 volumes related to the study of theatre arts. Special collections of play texts, including translations, and theatre archives are being developed continually. Manhattan is an easy commute by train, bus, or car, and its many theatres, exhibitions, archives, and libraries (most notably the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center) are easily accessible.