From classical antiquity to the present, education and theatre have shared common goals and uses. The Program in Educational Theatre at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development consciously brings the two fields together – in the classroom, workshop, studio, and on the stage. Here, we develop new strategies in teaching and learning through drama. We encourage experimentation by students, faculty, and alumni in the creation and presentation of theatre for audiences of all ages. Staged productions become the laboratory for testing new ideas and methods, while program research disseminates these findings through books, articles, and plays that are published and performed throughout the world.
Programs of study lead to the bachelor of science, master of arts, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of education degrees. These programs provide comprehensive training in all aspects of educational theatre for careers in preschool through college and university teaching as well as for professional theatre for children. Students gain an educational experience that offers:
- Challenging academic studies grounded in both theory and practice
- Stimulating theatrical experience
- Mastery and expansion of creative talents
- Performance of research and individual works
- New York City – one of the world's most exciting cities in which to live and study and the nation's center for theatrical production, as well as research and experimentation in the performing and related arts
To prepare professionals who will foster the participation, understanding, and appreciation of the dramatic arts in the daily life of young people, families, school, and community, the program strives to produce the artist who is a teacher and the teacher who is also an artist.
Educational theatre offers exciting and rewarding careers that combine creative achievement with the genuine satisfactions of teaching. Graduates of our program are teachers of drama and theatre at preschools; elementary, junior and senior high schools; and colleges and universities. They hold positions in education departments in museums and art galleries. They are directors of drama and theatre for community centers, camp and recreation programs, and religious organizations. Others are successful performers, directors, playwrights, and producers of theatre for young audiences.
Notable alumni of the program include playwrights and filmmakers (John Patrick Shanley, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for Doubt and winner of the 1988 Academy Award for his script for the film Moonstruck and author of numerous plays produced off-Broadway), directors (Myrna Casas, director of her own prize-winning company in Puerto Rico), authors (Dr. Nellie McCaslin, prolific author of widely employed texts on drama for children), and numerous theatre professionals.
Specific admission requirements are listed in the description of each degree program. See also the general NYU admission section for more information.
The Educational Theatre Program frequently offers a number of teaching fellowships to graduate students qualified to teach courses in stagecraft, acting, or other undergraduate areas. Teaching fellows also supervise productions and prepare teaching guides and educational materials for the program's performances and dramatic activities. See also the general Financial Aid section for NYU.
Each summer, the Program in Educational Theatre offers a Graduate Study Abroad Program in Great Britain. Students may earn up to 12 graduate credits in a variety of intensive courses and field experiences conducted by leaders in British, Irish, and Scotish educational theatre. In the past they have included such notable authorities as Dorothy Heathcote, Cecily O'Neill, Rosemary Linnell, and Gavin Bolton, as well as representatives from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. Open to teachers, university students, recreation leaders, librarians, language and speech arts specialists, theatre directors, and actors, the summer program offers unique opportunities to work with elementary through high school age students in both formal and informal dramatic activities. Coursework spans play production for youth audiences, improvisation, pantomime, street theatre, playground activities, story dramatization, and role-playing.
Students may choose to enroll in Independent Study and Practicum in Educational Theatre in order to undertake internships and fieldwork throughout the city or to work with faculty members on special research or creative projects. With leading collections for research in the performing arts, New York City affords doctoral students excellent sources for projects and dissertation subjects.
We also offer a popular three-summer option with the opportunity to study in New York City, London and Dublin for those who can devote their summers to immersive experiences and intensive study.