Master's Degree in Applied Theatre (M.A.)

Program Description

The Master's Degree in Applied Theatre (M.A.), the first program of its kind in the United States, is a sequential, ensemble-based program for students interested in the use of theatre to address social and educational issues in a wide range of settings. The program stresses the unity of theory and practice, and is linked to the professional applied theatre work of the renowned CUNY Creative Arts Team.

Applied theatre is a specialized field that uses theatre as a medium for education and social development. It involves the use of theatre and drama in a wide variety of non-traditional contexts and venues - in teaching, the justice system, healthcare, the political arena, community development, museums, social service agencies, and business and industry.

The goal of the program is to educate scholar-practitioners to become future leaders in the field of applied theatre. Students explore key theories in the fields of theatre, education, youth development, and community building, and acquire the skills and strategies necessary for creating and implementing the work.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the Master's Degree in Applied Theatre are prepared for careers and work opportunities such as:

Students wishing to obtain New York State Teacher Certification may take additional classes with the Educational Theatre program at CUNY's City College of New York.

Admission Criteria

Applicants of the Master's Degree in Applied Theatre must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, to qualify for admission. A background in appropriate theatre studies will be an advantage but is not necessarily essential. Theatre experience, formal or informal, is expected. Applicants are also required to write a personal statement, upload a resume, and provide two letters of recommendation. Applicants who meet the basic eligibility criteria may be asked to take part in an ensemble artistic review before final acceptance is determined.

Application Deadlines

For further information about the admissions process please contact Michael Wilson at the email address and phone number listed below.


Michael Wilson

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Frequently Asked Questions

What production opportunities will the Applied Theatre program entail?
Students will have a number of opportunities to collaborate with members of diverse New York communities to devise applied theatre experiences. Some of the work will be shared in class only, permitting first-time experimentation in a safe environment. At other times, work will be created for or with chosen communities and shared externally.

Can the M.A. in Applied Theatre be taken over a series of summers?
No. Although a variety of courses will be offered in the summer, it would not be possible to obtain the M.A. solely through summer study. At the moment, the fall is the only entry point of the program. A central tenet of the program is the importance of ensemble. Underpinning the curriculum is the goal of developing a supportive learning and performing environment conducive to individual and group creativity, artistic experimentation, informed risk-taking and critical reflection. The curriculum of the program is structured sequentially to introduce the core connecting strands of theory and practice in the first semesters. This gives all students a common experience and builds a strong base from which they can begin to explore distinct pathways of their own choosing.