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Theatre and Performance Studies Specialization

The theatre and performance studies specialization is specifically designed for students with career goals in dramaturgy, teaching in higher education, or pursuing a PhD in theatre history, research, literature, or criticism. The program is designed to build the research and analytical skills needed for an academic career in theatre. This Resident Program focuses on the dramaturgical aspects of production, as well as individual scholarly interests related to theatre arts. With opportunities to both teach and undertake research projects in theatre, this program offers the perfect blend of pedagogy and theory needed to prepare students for careers as theatre scholars.

The theatre and performance studies specialization is designed to build the research and analytical skills students will need for academic careers in theatre.

Through opportunities for hands-on experience in teaching and theatre research, this program offers the perfect blend of theory and practice needed to prepare students for entry into PhD programs, begin teaching careers, and/or professional theatre positions for which they are well qualified.

The program is offered entirely during the academic year requiring a minimum two academic year residency or equivalent.

A limited number of teaching or research assistantships are available to qualified candidates for the academic year. Out-of-state tuition waivers are also available to qualified candidates.

Admission Requirements
Incoming candidates are expected to meet both the requirements for admission to the graduate programs at Central and the following requirements:

  • A writing sample, preferably in the discipline, of at least five pages.
  • Permission of the faculty, which may include prerequisite or background courses.

The GRE is required for admission to this specialization.

Application Deadline
To ensure  full consideration for fall admission, all required application materials should be received by March 1.

Graduate Assistantships
Assistantships are appointed by the dean of Graduate Studies and Research upon recommendation of the department chair. No assistantship covers summer programs.

Assistantship applications must be completed by February 16 in order to insure full consideration; applicants should submit all materials required by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Contact them at (509) 963-3101 to request application materials or visit

International Applicants
International applicants should consult admission requirements of all international students at at this link.  Additional assistance can be obtained by contacting Office of International Studies and Programs

Program Requirements

A minimum of 45 credits is required for the theatre and performance studies specialization. Thesis credits are included in the minimum. An oral examination and defense of the thesis is required.

Theatre and Performance Studies Specialization required courses

  • TH 501 - Introduction to Graduate Studies Credits: (1)
  • TH 510 - Theatre Literature, Theory and Criticism I Credits: (4)
  • TH 511 - Theatre Literature, Theory and Criticism II Credits: (4)
  • TH 700 - Master’s Thesis Project Credits: (6)

In addition to the MA required core of 15  credits, student must complete the following:
Component 1: Research and History

  • TH 505 - Research Methods Credits: (2)
  • TH 525 - Theatre History Ancients-Renaissance Credits: (3)
  • TH 526 - Theatre History Renaissance-Contemporary Credits: (3)
  • TH 528 - Methods in Performance Studies Credits: (3)

Component 2: Performance Studies
Select a minimum of 19 credits from the following:

  • TH 508 - Studies in British and Irish Theatre and Drama Credits: (5)
  • TH 509 - Theatre and Human Rights Credits (5)
  • TH 512 - Studies in Gender, Identity and Performance Credits: (5)
  • TH 513 - Studies in World Drama Credits: (5)
  • TH 514 - Studies in  North American Drama Credits: (5)
  • TH 515 - Studies in  Musical Theatre Credits: (5)
  • TH 585 - Theories of Performance Practices Credits (4)
  • TH 586 - Devised Theatre  Credits (4)
  • TH 587 - Theatre Pedagogy Credits: (4)
  • TH 588 - Analysis of Dramatic Texts Credits: (4 )
  • TH 589 - Performance Studies Practicum Credits: (1- 3)
  • TH 593 - Dramaturgical Practicum Credits: (1-3)
  • TH 594 - Devised Theatre Practicum Credits: (1-3)
  • TH 599 - Seminar Credits: (1-5)

Component 3: Foreign Language
In order to place students in the best position possible for entry into nationally recognized PhD programs, two years of at least one foreign language at the undergraduate level is recommended. This may be completed prior to admission or while enrolled in the Theatre and Performance Studies Program.

Total Credits: 45