Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism

Plan of Study

Students in the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism program receive intensive training to prepare for careers in three areas: to work in theaters as dramaturgs, artistic producers, literary managers, and in related positions; to work in theater publishing as critics and editors as well as in other capacities; to teach theater as practitioners, critics, and scholars.

At the core of the training are seminars in literature, theory, criticism, and history offered by the program’s faculty. These may be supplemented by courses taught elsewhere in the University if approved by students’ advisers. The aim is to impart a comprehensive knowledge of theater and dramatic literature—a knowledge necessary to the dramaturg, the writer and editor, and the teacher. Regarding the latter, while it cannot be guaranteed, every effort is made to give qualified students teaching experience within the University.
Of particular importance in the program of study are the criticism workshops, which are taught by various members of the faculty and which students must take in each of six terms. These courses are designed to improve skills in thinking and writing and are an essential component in the faculty’s evaluation of students’ progress from term to term.

Historically, the David Geffen School of Drama has been a pioneer in this country in introducing and establishing the dramaturg as an essential presence in the creation of theater and as a key member of a theater’s staff. Under the supervision of the resident dramaturg of Yale Repertory Theatre, students are assigned to work on many varied productions, including those of new scripts by School playwrights, workshops and full productions by School directors, and professional presentations of classical and contemporary works at Yale Repertory Theatre. Among the areas in which students participate are text preparation and oversight; translation and adaptation; preproduction and rehearsal work on issues of design, direction, and performance; contextual research; program notes and study guide preparation; the conducting of audience discussions; participation in programs in educational outreach; and related work in conjunction with the marketing and media departments. Students also assist in Yale Repertory Theatre’s literary office with script evaluation and communication with writers and agents. Thus, students are trained in topics in institutional dramaturgy, including the formulation of artistic policy and its communication and implementation, and as production dramaturgs, operating within the rehearsal process.

In recognition of the fact that dramaturgs may not only assume the leadership of theaters under such titles as artistic director and producer but may also found theaters themselves, the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism program has entered into a collaboration with the Theater Management program to create an optional course of study drawing from the strengths of both disciplines. By creating this interchange, the School seeks to remain at the forefront in fostering the discovery and exploration of new organizational models so that the art of theater will continue to flourish. More information on this partnership is available from the program.
In addition to their training in production dramaturgy and literary management, students have opportunities to develop as writers, editors, and translators through their work on the professional staff of Theater magazine, published three times annually by David Geffen School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and Duke University Press.

Theater has been publishing new writing by and about contemporary theater artists since 1968. The magazine’s perspectives are different from those of any other American publication: at once practical, creative, and scholarly. Issues include critical essays; new plays, translations, and adaptations; forums about policy, politics, and productions; interviews with writers, directors, and other artists; creative dossiers and polemics; and book and performance reviews. The publication maintains an electronic archive, a website, and social media pages, and it curates symposia and live events on campus and beyond.
Requirements for the M.F.A. and D.F.A. degrees are discussed more fully in the following pages.

For course descriptions, electives, and additional information, please view the David Geffen School of Drama Bulletin.

Class of 2025

Year One (2022-2023)

DRAM 3(04)a/b - Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism: Faculty
DRAM 6a/b - Survey of Theater and Drama‡: Paul Walsh
DRAM 36a/b - Passion Projects: Catherine Sheehy and guest instructor
DRAM 50a - The Theatrical Event: Liz Diamond, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 96a - Models of Dramaturgy: The New Play Process: Justine Williams
DRAM 96b - Models of Dramaturgy: The Fixed Text: Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 106a - Editing and Publishing Workshop: Thomas Sellar
DRAM 166a/b - Criticism Workshop: Eric M. Glover, Katherine Profeta, Marc Robinson, Thomas Sellar, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 306b - Theory Suite: Dramatic Structure†: Katherine Profeta
DRAM 316a - Theory Suite: Critical Race Theory†: Eric M. Glover, Chantal Rodriguez
DRAM 346a/b - Literary Office Practicum: Justine Williams, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 396a/b - Dramaturgy Practicum: Justine Williams, Eric M. Glover, Catherine Sheehy, and faculty
DRAM 476a/b - Hot Topics: Kimberly Jannarone, Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta
DRAM 863a - Authentic Collaboration: Ben Krywosz

At least three elective courses after consultation with adviser†
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

Year Two (2023-2024)

DRAM 3(04)a/b - Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism: Faculty
DRAM 166a/b - Criticism Workshop: Eric M. Glover, Katherine Profeta, Marc Robinson, Thomas Sellar, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 246a - Translation*: [Not offered in 2022–2023]
DRAM 326a - Theory Suite: Dramatic & Performance Theory†: Katherine Profeta
DRAM 346a/b - Literary Office Practicum: Justine Williams, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 396a/b - Dramaturgy Practicum: Justine Williams, Eric M. Glover, Catherine Sheehy, and faculty
DRAM 466b - Research Methodologies*: [Not offered in 2022–2023]
DRAM 476a/b - Hot Topics: Kimberly Jannarone, Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta
DRAM 616b - Adaptation: [Not offered in 2022–2023]

At least three elective courses and after consultation with adviser†
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

Year Three (2024-2025)

DRAM 3(04)a/b - Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism: Faculty
DRAM 166a/b - Criticism Workshop: Eric M. Glover, Katherine Profeta, Marc Robinson, Thomas Sellar, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 336a/b - Comprehensive Examinations: Catherine Sheehy, and Faculty
DRAM 346a/b - Literary Office Practicum: Justine Williams, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 396a/b - Dramaturgy Practicum: Justine Williams, Eric M. Glover, Catherine Sheehy, and faculty
DRAM 476a/b - Hot Topics: Kimberly Jannarone, Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta

At least four elective courses after consultation with adviser
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

Class of 2024

Year Three (2022-2023)

DRAM 3(04)a/b - Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism: Faculty
DRAM 166a/b - Criticism Workshop: Eric M. Glover, Katherine Profeta, Marc Robinson, Thomas Sellar, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 346a/b - Literary Office Practicum: Justine Williams, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 396a/b - Dramaturgy Practicum: Justine Williams, Eric M. Glover, Catherine Sheehy, and faculty
DRAM 476a/b - Hot Topics: Kimberly Jannarone, Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta

At least three elective courses after consultation with adviser†
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

Year Four (2023-2024)

DRAM 3(04)a/b - Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism: Faculty
DRAM 46a - Special Research Project: Thomas Sellar and Faculty
DRAM 346a/b - Literary Office Practicum: Justine Williams, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 396a/b - Dramaturgy Practicum: Justine Williams, Eric M. Glover, Catherine Sheehy, and faculty
DRAM 476a/b - Hot Topics: Kimberly Jannarone, Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta

At least one production dramaturgy assignment

*Translation (DRAM 246a) and Research Methodologies (DRAM 466b) are not offered every year. When they are offered, all dramaturgs who have not taken these courses previously are enrolled in them.
†In any year in which students must take one or two seminars in the Theory Suite (DRAM 306, DRAM 316, DRAM 326), the number of electives is reduced by one.
‡Dramaturgy students will be required to take the Survey of Theater and Drama (DRAM 6a/b) course to fulfill the program’s theater history requirement.

Class of 2023

Year Four (2022-2023)

DRAM 3(04)a/b - Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism: Faculty
DRAM 46a/b - Special Research Project: Thomas Sellar and Faculty
DRAM 346a/b - Literary Office Practicum: Justine Williams, Catherine Sheehy
DRAM 396a/b - Dramaturgy Practicum: Justine Williams, Eric M. Glover, Catherine Sheehy, and Faculty
DRAM 476a/b - Hot Topics: Kimberly Jannarone, Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta

At least one production dramaturgy assignment

Additional Courses

Students may elect to take appropriate graduate courses in other schools and departments at Yale, subject to permission of the instructor, scheduling limitations, and the approval of the faculty adviser.