Theater is a form of human expression, shaped by social, economic, technological, personal, and artistic forces. Duke's Department of Theater Studies combines scholarly theater research with productions of plays both old and new, from all over the world and the creation and development of new performance works. We offer students unique opportunities to study and interpret the rich world of drama, with specializations in critical studies in theater and performance, dramatic writing, acting, design, dramaturgy and directing. We create enlightened artists and scholars who approach theater as both an art and a discipline for exploring and expressing the concerns and hopes of our human communities.
Our faculty include scholars in dramatic literature, theory, theater history, dramaturgy, and performance studies and theater professionals in acting, administration, design, directing, and playwriting. Classes are small, insuring a high level of interaction between students and faculty.
A major area of interest among faculty members is the development of new theater, both student and professional. Students are encouraged to write plays, and new writing by Duke students is presented annually. This is complemented by professional productions hosted by Theater Studies and workshops of new plays, during which the playwright is in residence. These professional projects offer students the opportunity to intern and learn from visiting artists and practitioners.