The Theater Management department prepares aspiring leaders to create organizational environments increasingly favorable to the creation of theater art and its presentation to appreciative audiences. The department provides students with the knowledge, skills, experience, and values to enter the field at high levels of responsibility, to move quickly to leadership positions, and ultimately to advance the state of management practice and the art form itself.
Although the focus is on theater, many graduates have adapted their education successfully to careers in dance, opera, media, and other fields.
In the context of an integrated general management perspective, students are grounded in the history and aesthetics of theater art, production organization, hiring and unions, the collaborative process, decision making and governance, organizational direction and planning, motivation, organizational design, human resources, financial management, development, marketing, and technology. While focused primarily on theater organizations, discussions incorporate other performing arts organizations, other nonprofits, and for-profit organizations to help identify the factors that make organizations succeed. It is training in the practice, informed by up-to-date theoretical knowledge.
The training program combines a sequence of professional work assignments, departmental courses, approved electives in other departments and schools, topical workshops, and a case study writing requirement. In a distinctive feature of the Theater Management curriculum, students have the opportunity to engage in the management of Yale Repertory Theatre from the beginning of their training, and to collaborate with students and faculty from other departments in productions of Yale School of Drama and Yale Cabaret. Students are evaluated on their performance in both course work and professional work assignments.
Joint-Degree Program with Yale School of Management
The Theater Management department offers a joint-degree program with Yale School of Management, in which a student may earn both the Master of Fine Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees in four years (rather than the five years that normally would be required). A joint-degree student must meet the respective admission requirements of each school. The typical plan of study consists of two years at Yale School of Drama, followed by one year at the School of Management, culminating with one combined year at both schools. Candidates interested in the joint-degree option are advised to apply to both Schools before coming to Yale. Theater Management students who develop an interest in the joint-degree option while at Yale should apply to the School of Management during their first year. Regardless of the outcome of their application, they must inform the department in January whether they will be in residence in the School of Drama in the succeeding year.