Theatre and Performance
Excellent, innovative, and forward-thinking research and research training are the hallmarks of The Graduate Center’s top-ranked Ph.D. Program in Theatre and Performance.Request Information
Students in our program, along with our renowned faculty, investigate the live arts in social, political, aesthetic, and cultural contexts and in diverse places and times. Through their scholarship and artistic discoveries, they make meaningful contributions that benefit humanity.
The program is distinguished in its field for research, and ranks among the top two universities nationwide for placing graduates in tenure-track positions.
Students in the Theatre and Performance program may choose to pursue specializations in historical, modern, and contemporary theatre and performance studies.
The land upon which we gather is part of the unceded territory of the Lenape peoples. We ask you to join us in acknowledging the Lenape community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. We honor and respect the many Indigenous people(s) still connected to this land.
Thoughts from our Faculty
No program in the country is better situated, geographically or academically, to train the future leaders of the American theatre.
— Marvin Carlson
Theatre, Comparative Literature, and Middle Eastern Studies
The Graduate Center encourages students to explore interdisciplinary study opportunities with distinguished faculty across its many areas of study. The Graduate Center is also a member of the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium, which allows matriculated Graduate Center doctoral students to pursue related study at other members institutions, including Columbia University and NYU.Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium
Take Advantage of NYC
Students draw inspiration from New York City’s theatres, which encompass Broadway, off-Broadway, and legendary downtown performance spaces. The city is known for producing the most important, groundbreaking performances in the U.S. and, arguably, the world. Students also have access to special research facilities at institutions like Lincoln Center, the Players Club, the International Theatre Institute Archives, numerous art galleries and museums, and The New York Public Library.
Focus on Film
The Certificate in Film Studies is offered under the auspices of the Theatre and Performance Program, which facilitates a close relationship between these disciplines. The program is grounded in the conviction that film is related to and illuminates other academic fields and disciplines, and that prospective teachers in many disciplines are better equipped to teach aspects of that discipline if they have some knowledge of film and its modes of theoretical and critical discourse.Film Studies
Segal Center Ties
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center embraces disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects in theatre, dance, and film and serves as the research and communications center of the Ph.D. Program in Theatre and Performance. The center sponsors symposia and conferences and publishes three journals, with faculty members serving as editors and Ph.D. students working as managing editors and editorial assistants, gaining important experience and connections in theatre studies publications.Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
Thoughts from our Faculty
Located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the Graduate Center has at its doorstep unparalleled resources for studying theatre: more performances than anywhere else in the U.S., a vibrant community of artists, and many of the best and most extensive theatre archives in the world.
— David Savran
Apr 28, 2022
The distinguished professor is best known for his scholarship on dramatic theory and theater history.
- Faculty News
- GC Stories
Sep 28, 2021
After teaching theater and performance studies online during the pandemic as a visiting professor at Governors State University, alumna Alison Walls (Ph.D. ’20, Theatre and...
- Alumni News
Apr 13, 2021
The 2021-2022 awards, ranging from $5,000 to $25,0000 each, will support doctoral candidates in successfully completing their dissertations.
- Student News
Apr 9, 2021
A Ph.D. student in Theatre and Performance talks about using theater as a tool for social justice and her experience as a first-generation college student and becoming a documentarian and activist.