MFA Dramaturgy and Theater Studies Program

About Dramaturgy and Theater Studies
The Moscow Experience
Gainful Employment Disclosure

About Dramaturgy and Theater Studies

The dramaturgy program provides practical and academic graduate training for literary directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, and theater critics. The program is both individualized and flexible. Classes are small and students complement class work by participating fully in the professional life of two of the world’s most prestigious theaters. Courses are taught by the dramaturgs of the A.R.T. and Moscow Art Theater, whose professional experience provides an ideal bridge between the worlds of academic study and theatrical practice. Students work on a wide range of productions. They play an active role in the daily life of the theater: assisting directors, participating in season planning discussions, writing articles for the theater’s journal, delivering pre-show talks, preparing program notes for A.R.T. productions, evaluating new scripts, and participating in the development of new plays. Working with some of the world’s most exciting directors, students become familiar with a wide range of theatrical styles and are encouraged to translate, adapt, direct, and write dramatic texts. Some students' new plays and adaptations recieved their premiers at the Institute. In Cambridge, students spend mornings in class and afternoons in rehearsal for Institute and A.R.T. productions.

The Moscow Experience

In Moscow, students are taught by Russian dramaturgs and critics and assist in the development of Institute productions. Students also have an opportunity to attend numerous productions by Russian and foreign troupes. With hundreds of theaters and important arts festivals, Moscow offers students an unparalleled opportunity to round out their education by experiencing great theater every night. Our students apply immediately what they learn in classes in the context of two world-renowned professional theaters. Given the broad-based nature of their training, our students have gone on to careers in dramaturgy, playwriting, academia, film and theater script development, theater administration, and theater criticism. Dramaturgy students also have opportunities to serve as paid Teaching Assistants for Dramatic Arts courses at Harvard University. Students have the opportunity to audit lecture courses at Harvard University as well. Students complement their academic study with intensive practical work, including dramaturgical support of productions at the Institute, American Studio of the Moscow Art Theater, and A.R.T.

Click here to read articles written by A.R.T. Institute dramaturgs, from the Moscow Art Theater School Journal.


To earn the M.F.A. in dramaturgy, students must write a thesis on an aspect of dramatic literature, history, or practice. In some cases, an original play or a new translation of a foreign play will be accepted as a thesis, but it must include a critical introduction.

Some of the required courses dramaturgy students take over their two years of graduate study include:

  • Dramatic Structure
  • Theories of Representation
  • Aesthetics
  • Dramatic Literature & Theater History
  • Practical Dramaturgy
  • The History of Set Design
  • New Play Development
  • Russian Language and Culture
  • The History of Soviet & Russian Cinema
  • 19th & 20th-Century Russian Literature
  • The History of Russian Art & Architecture
  • Translation and Adaptation
  • Writing for Publication
  • American Music Theater
  • Critical Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • 19th & 20th-Century Russian & European Theater
  • The History of the Institutional American Theater
  • The History of Dramatic Criticism


Gainful Employment Disclosure –Program in Dramaturgy

American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University: Program in Dramaturgy
Occupational Employment Statistics
Standard Occupational Classification: 25.1121.00

Costs for duration of the 2-Year Dramaturgy Program (based on actual costs for the Class of 2013)
Tuition and fees: $63,656
Estimated cost for room/board/personal expenses: $44,475
On-time Graduation Rate for the Class of 2013: 100%

Because fewer than 10 students have been enrolled these programs in applicable years, DOE excuses ART/IATT from disclosing (and urges that ART/IATT should not disclose) median loan debt amounts and on-time completion rate information, in order to protect student privacy. See Gainful Employment FAQ.


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