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People and Programs


The Department of Theater offers a broad-based training program that emphasizes collaboration and mentoring. Broad-based training teaches students a shared vocabulary and instills a mutual respect, better enabling them to collaborate and to create exciting theater. Our commitment to mentoring fosters many productive relationships between students and faculty, between graduates and undergrads, and between those at the university and artists from the community and beyond.

The Undergraduate Program

On the undergraduate level, the Department offers a B.A. in Theater. Students pursue a multi-faceted course of study divided into 1) dramaturgy 2) performance (acting and directing), and 3) design and production. Students take courses in all these areas within a flexible program that allows them to take additional classes in areas of individual interest. Currently, the Department counts about 200 majors. No audition is required for the major.

Learn more about the undergraduate program

The Graduate Program

On the graduate level, the Department offers the M.F.A. in Directing, Dramaturgy, Costume Design, Lighting Design, or Scenic Design. The program values personal mentorship, with the production season serving as a teaching laboratory. Students are able to tailor their programs of study to individual interests as a complement to the rigorous core curriculum that teaches them the skills to collaborate successfully. Most graduate students receive full tuition-waivers and assistantships during their three years.

Our next admission deadline is January 15, 2017, for the class to enter Fall of 2017.

Learn more about the graduate program

The Multicultural Theater Certificate

The Multicultural Theater Certificate blends the teaching of history and theory with the practical aspects of theater-making by offering students throughout the university an opportunity to deepen their studies in this important and growing area of arts and academic study. Students explore, examine, contest, and define the roles of artists of color within and outside of the American theater canon. Work in the classroom is enhanced through internships that bring students into direct contact with professionals in the field at multicultural arts organizations locally, regionally and nationally.

Learn more about the certificate

The Grahamstown Festival Course

Focused around the National Arts Festival that takesplace over ten days in Grahamstown, South Africa, students will experience the second largest theatrefestival in the world (outside Edinburgh in Scotland) and the largest in the southern hemisphere. Join Prof. Megan Lewis, South African theater studies scholar, to see new plays and cutting edge international performances that we would not be able to encounter anywhere else. We will meet playwrights, actors, artists and other students interested in performance and theatre and engage with, and reflect upon, the historic, sociopolitical, and creative contexts of the work we see. The performing arts will offer us a lens through which to examine questions of social justice, race, class and gender politics, history, language, memory, and the role of the arts in our global world.

Learn more about the Grahamstown Festival course

Department Gallery and Archives

Theater students learn in the classroom and in the theater. The Department has two major performance venues: The Rand (a 560-seat proscenium space) and The Curtain (which seats about 90). These theaters, along with our classrooms and studios, bustle throughout the year. We produce 4-6 fully mounted “main stage” shows annually, plus a number of special presentations and co-productions. Additionally, we host dozens of more informal lab offerings as part of our Cabaret 204 series, along with many other classroom- or student-generated projects.

View images of recent and past productions and special events

Meet the Faculty and Staff

Students on both levels work with faculty and staff who are active in their field, producing work nationally and internationally and offering students the benefit of their experience and industry contacts.

Learn more about the faculty and staff

milan class 2

A student in Milan Dragicevich's Suzuki movement class.( photo by John Solem)

Professional and Funding Resources for Students at UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Theater is dedicated to the professional advancement of both our undergraduate and graduate students and provides a number of resources and services to enhance student development in building successful careers both during their time at UMass and beyond:

Learn more about professional and funding resources for students at UMass Amherst

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