Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama is consistently ranked as one of the top theatre schools in the nation and believes that theatrical productions and classroom study are of equal and complementary value in an academic institution. Consequently, courses in acting, directing, scenic design, costume design, lighting design, technical theatre, playwriting, theatre history, theory and criticism, and dramatic literature are considered to be vital and interrelated aspects of the total theatre and drama program at Indiana University.
The Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and offers graduate degrees in all levels of theatre research and praxis. In addition to the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Theatre History,Theory, and Literature, we also grant the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Acting, Directing, Playwriting and all of the major Design and Technology areas including Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Theatre Technology (TD).
The M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. programs are structured for students who intend to pursue professional careers in theatre as either scholars or artists. At any given time, the Department of Theatre and Drama has roughly 55 graduate students and approximately 250 undergraduate majors who go on to hold key positions in hundreds of universities and professional theatres throughout the nation and in related professions such as film and television.
In essence, graduates of the theatre program at Indiana University find that the department’s reputation for scholarly excellence and high artistic standards serve them well in a variety of careers.
When you become a student at Indiana University, you join an academic community internationally known for the excellence and diversity of its programs. With 320 degree programs, the Bloomington campus attracts students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Indiana University was founded at Bloomington in 1820 and is one of the oldest and largest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest, with 100,000 students on eight campuses. The largest campus is at Bloomington, which serves 32,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students.
The University Graduate School awards approximately 300 doctoral and 500 master’s degrees annually. In addition to the Doctor of Philosophy, the University Graduate School at Indiana University has sole jurisdiction over the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts for Teachers, Master of Science, and Master of Law degrees wherever they are offered on the university’s eight campuses.
Indiana University is proud of its faculty, which upholds a standard of excellence in education. College faculty who are at the forefront of their disciplines teach at all levels of the curriculum, from freshman through senior and graduate courses. When considering a graduate school, your primary concern is the department and the faculty. But there are other significant factors to be considered – such as the choice of setting for your graduate education, the university itself, and the city where you'll live. IU Bloomington offers graduate students an intriguing variety of tangible and intangible advantages.
Admission to the Department of Theatre and Drama's Graduate Programs requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution with a major in theatre or equivalent training and experience. Incoming students who are deficient in areas of performance, design, history, theory, or dramatic literature will be expected to make-up their deficiencies with appropriate undergraduate courses.
All students seeking admission to Department of Theatre and Drama's graduate programs must complete Indiana University's Graduate and Professional Schools Online Admissions Application and pay the required application fee. Individual programs may also require additional suplementary material, auditions or interviews. Please see the section pertaining to your area of interest for details on application procedure.
Upon recommendation of the department and with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School, work taken for graduate credit at other institutions may be transferred in partial fulfillment of degree requirements. No course may be transferred from another institution unless the grade is B or better and unless the course was completed within the time limit prescribed. The following restrictions apply:
Theatre History, Theory, and Literature
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This course is designed to answer the question, how can we as scholars think with, respond to, document and otherwise engage performance? Where are we now that performance ethnography, reviews, and casebooks seem outmoded, but blogs, crowd-sourcing and Twitter feeds seem intellectually undercooked?
We believe the question is a timely one. In this election year, authenticity, liveness, typecasting, theatricality and performativity are uniquely pressing public concerns. We will seize on the opportunities afforded by this cultural moment, including debates, rallies, scholarly presentations and theatrical productions, but in equal measure, we will take our cue from the interests of the class. Students will help select and curate the course readings, and all assignments will be designed to serve individual research interests. Our goal will be to discover, develop and discuss the best practices for the performance-based scholarship we each mean to pursue.
How do theories of ritual and the examination of ritual as a kind of theatre influence the way we view theatre? How do these complicate our understanding of theatre artists who use ritual in their performance? What kind of analytical lens does the study of ritual give to our understanding of theatre and performance within a variety of cultures and contexts?
Ritual, sometimes cited as a possible origin of theatrical performance, has often excited ideas about theatrical creation, experience, themes, and relevance from the Greeks to the American avant-garde. Rituals can also be understood as a special kind of performance or action that contains religious or spiritual significance. Rituals involve the human body, dance, music, masks, puppets, and trance in performances that reveal and reify cultures around the world. In this class we are going to examine ritual in a transnational and transtemporal context in order to better understand the significance of and relationship between ritual and theatre. We will:
Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be performed and this course will take an in-depth look at the plays from the perspective of the performance of which they are (an unreliable) record. We will learn about the performance conditions of the early modern period, the textual history of the plays, and scrutinize the language of the plays for signs of the performance it commands. In particular we will track the signs of staging (entrances, groups, asides), props, the body of the boy player, and the sounds the verse makes in the (imagined) Globe. Assignments will include a short video demonstrating the relationship between a creative concept for Troilus and Cressida.
This course will read key theoretical texts from the twentieth century on acting and perception and in this way investigate how theatre has staged and challenged what it means to be human in the 20th century. Stanislavsky’s system of acting invents or presupposes a very different idea of the self and the group than does Ann Bogart’s Viewpoints theory. We will read theories of acting from Stanislavsky, Brecht, Grotowski, Anna Deavere Smith, and Ann Bogart against key critical 20th century critical texts on the self and the group, such as Louis Althusser’s Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, Erving Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), Joseph Roach’s Cities of the Dead, Donna Haraway’s "A Manifesto for Cyborgs,” and George Lakoff’s and Mark Johnson’s, Metaphors We Live By, among others.
Course will follow a seminar format, in which students will be expected to come in ready to engage with the material. There will be several short experimental papers/creative projects rather than a final paper, giving students many opportunities to write and have their writing read and commented on.
First of all, this course will examine the distinguished career of Edward Albee. Over a period of five decades, Albee has produced an impressive and wide range of dramatic works that has earned national and international acclaim from theatre critics, scholars and practitioners. We will read nearly all his plays, study his major productions in America and Europe, and review the main interpretations of his work offered by critics and scholars. Given my own attendance at Albee’s rehearsals, we will also study how the author translated these plays into stage performances when he directed professional productions on Broadway and elsewhere.
Secondly, we will locate our study of Albee within the larger context of recent American theatre. To do this we will examine the careers of two or three of his most important fellow playwrights - major figures like Sam Shepard, August Wilson, and Tony Kushner. Some of these playwrights have been influenced by Albee; in some cases he has helped them with artistic advice and practical production support and in other cases he has directed their plays. We will seek parallels between his work and theirs, as well as discuss the many divergences in themes, styles, authorial goals, and professional histories and agendas.
This course will examine some of the most provocative playwrights writing in the United Kingdom and Ireland today. Together these dramatists have radically redefined the theatre they inherited and re-engaged a new and younger generation of audiences and theatre practitioners. Much of this drama (though not all) - labeled variously as In-Yer-Face Theatre or Brutalist Theatre or New Senecan Theatre - is the most exciting and innovative theatre in the English language, and it has defined its own unique theatrical aesthetic.
We will study a broad and representative spectrum of this theatre from 1990 to the present by looking at twenty different playwrights, including two or three who began their careers before the 1990s but have had a significant presence in the theatre of the last decade and a half. We will examine these authors’ characteristic preoccupations, styles, and particular contributions to the shaping of the broad contours of this theatre. We will also analyze how these playwrights critique their era’s society, politics, and culture.
Wherever possible, moreover, we will look at the role of directors, actors, and theatre organizations in the formation of this theatre. Overall, our deliberations should lead to a clear delineation of this theatre’s aesthetics, obsessions, and achievements.
Graduate appointments with financial aid are intended to provide (1) essential services for the department and (2) financial aid for persons of unusual academic or creative ability and promise. While the choice of an institution for graduate work should be made on a basis other than the amount of financial assistance available, we recognize the importance of this factor and explain here our graduate appointment policies.
Several associate instructorships and graduate assistantships are available through the Department of Theatre and Drama. These positions are accompanied by fee scholarships, which cover the entire cost of tuition and with the exception of several non-remittable fees. Application for such positions should be made to the Department of Theatre and Drama. Early application is advised. Persons seeking financial aid through a graduate appointment must submit an application for admission into the University Graduate School (complete with all transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores). If a student has skills in program areas other than for what he/she is applying, a separate statement outlining those skills should be included.
The standard graduate appointment is a 50% Full Time Employment (FTE) position requiring 20 hours of service per week or the teaching of three to four courses per academic year. Stipends for these graduate appointments are paid on a monthly basis and will have all appropriate taxes and deductions withheld. Students holding graduate appointments are eligible for fee scholarships which pay the cost of tuition for 24 credit hours of study during the academic year and six credit hours in the summer, with the exception of certain non-remittable fees. Please contact the head of your area of interest for current values of appointments and fee remittance.
Appointment of associate instructorships and graduate assistantships, as well as the awarding of fellowships, is contingent upon: maintenance of a 3.2 academic average, satisfactory performance of duties of the appointment or fellowship, and enrollment in a specified minimum number of graduate hours.
There are two types of graduate appointments:
Graduate assistants work in various areas of theatre production (costuming, lights/sound, props, stagecraft), administrative offices (audience development, dramaturgy, house management, production management), or departmental offices (accounts, advising).
Associate instructors teach first year courses in acting, oral interpretation, and theatre appreciation. These appointments are open to MFA students and PhD students who have completed 30 hours of graduate work.
For some graduate students there is also the possibility of summer employment at the Indiana Festival Theatre, a professional repertory theatre, run by the Department of Theatre and Drama on the IU Campus.
Student Academic Appointees and Fellowship Recipients are automatically enrolled in the student insurance plan and the cost of the student premium is paid by the university. The plan also includes dental, mental health and prescription drug benefits. Eligible students may also insure their dependents. Eligible dependents are the spouse/same-sex domestic partner (residing with the Insured student) and unmarried children under the age of 26.
Learn more about the Student Academic Appointee Health Insurance Plan.
Additional benefits include a "green conscious" campus with free buses, free Adobe and Microsoft products, and a ubiquitous wireless internet.