Dramaturgy Concept


Drama is a specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The structure of dramatic texts is different than other literature as it is directly influenced by collaborative production and reception. Hamlet by Shakespeare and Oedipus the King by Sophocles are examples of dramatic texts. Drama is similar to theater studies. theater studies is an academic discipline that looks at theatrical performance in relation to its sociological, physical, historical and literary contexts.

Program Information

Drama and Theater Studies are two different degrees despite being similar in nature. Theater Studies can be taken at most universities, while Drama is usually reserved to specific specialized schools. The Juilliard School offers both acting and playwriting programs under its Drama section. The two programs are intertwined through staged readings, workshop productions, and labs. The Drama curriculum emphasizes spontaneity and intuition as well as technique, social context, discipline and intellectual development. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama is a four year program and offers intensive class work in movement, acting, voice, and other additional aspects. DePaul University in Chicago is another top Drama school. The Theater School has twelve Bachelor of Fine Arts majors. Application requires submitting the necessary application materials and completing an interview or audition. Admission decisions are heavily weighted towards this process. Each student receives ample production opportunities and personalized instruction from the 28 full time faculty members, all of whom are accomplished theater professionals. Many universities offer Theater Studies, which falls under the Bachelor of Arts. These programs are usually 4 years and include theater intensive courses but also allow you to take other liberal arts classes such as English or History.

drama student

Pros & Cons

One big con is the price of attending a specific drama school. Schools with specialized drama programs tend to be more expensive than regular universities. This can lead to more loans, resulting in more debt. This debt may require you to have another job to provide steady income after you have finished graduating, resulting in you spending less time on your acting career. If you do end up with a career in acting, you may be required to work far from home. Steady work can be hard to find when you first start out as an actor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, casting directors prefer people to have related experience. Drama school can provide this experience. It can also provide connections and opportunities for you to gain valuable experience. Courses in diction, voice, and stage presence may help you gain confidence and skills which can be valuable in other careers, not just drama or theater related.

Graduate School & Career

The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University has one of the top MFA programs in the country. Its curriculum was designed and is supervised by the leadership of the Actors Studio. A Drama or Theater Studies degree can lead to many careers, not just acting. Teaching is a popular career choice (although you may have to attend teacher’s college). Some may become artistic directors. Other possible careers include: box officer manager, playwright, drama coach, director, dramaturge, costume shop supervisor, scenic designer, theater critic, vocal coach, producer, theater consultant, sound designer, or stage crew.