Study Programmes

The Theatre Studies department at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the Goethe University offers two M.A. programmes in Dramaturgy in cooperation with the Hessian Theatre Acadamy (HTA):

M.A. Dramaturgy

The M.A. Dramaturgy was founded in 2002 and offers a full university course in Frankfurt that combines theory and practice.

M.A Dramaturgy
Programme Contents


The international study programme Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research offers studying both at Goethe University in Frankfurt and at one of currently four international higher education institutions and leads to a Double Degree.

Programme Contents

Logo Goethe Universität
Logo Hessische Theaterakademie
Logo Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Academy of Theatre
Logo Université Libre de Bruxelles
Logo Université Paris Nanterre
Logo Theatre Academy University of the Arts Helsinki

Dramaturgy as Political Practice

We understand “Dramaturgy” as a political practice. Dramaturgy can open the creative process – the artwork in progress – where it threatens to refuse the demands of the constitutively excluded Others. Dramaturgy remembers, that conflict is key for every theatre and opposes its ‘extorted reconciliation’ (Adorno). With dramaturgy, we can negotiate the question of who is allowed to take up space and perform on stage and who isn’t again and again. The vanishing point of every political dramaturgy is that impossible theatre that negates the present as the realm of possibilities: In the interest of a different theatre or perhaps of something completely different from what we call theatre today.

Current Events

27.04.2022, 19h

Jour Fixe mit Marta Keil (Warschau/Utrecht)

Campus Bockenheim, Hörsaalgebäude, Probebühne D.108

Im Rahmen des „Jour fixe“ lädt die Professur für Theaterwissenschaft Gäste aus dem Bereich des Theaters in allen seinen Sparten sowie der Kulturpolitik an das Institut ein, um mit ihnen in informellem Rahmen über ihre Arbeit zu diskutieren. Die Treffen dienen speziell der Begegnung der Studierenden mit diesen Gästen. Gäste sind willkommen.

Marta Keil is curator, editor, dramaturge and researcher. She lives and works between Warsaw and Utrecht. Her curatorial and research practice is focused on possible alternative processes of instituting and on redefining modes of working transnationally. At the moment she curates transnational project Breaking the Spell, focused on feminist practices in contemporary performing arts and co-curates with NorthEastSouthWest project in Dresden. In October 2021, she curated “Forecast. A School of Thinking-With” for Dublin Theatre Festival. In 2020, she co-curated the international, multigenerational performative project Grand Re Union which reflected current choreographic practices in their socio-political context. She often works in tandem with Grzegorz Reske (ResKeil), recently they curated together with Tim Etchells the Common Ground season at Komuna Warszawa (2020) and did the performance “Sunny Sunday” together with Lina Majdalanie and Rabih Mroué (2020). Since 2019 she has been cooperating as facilitator with the RESHAPE project that searched for new models of transnational cooperation and solidarity in the arts field. In 2011, Marta initiated the East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP), that aimed at facilitating transnational mobility and sharing knowledge in the Eastern European region. She has collaborated with the platform until 2019. In 2021, she was commissioned by IETM to prepare together with Marie Le Sourd (On the Move) a study on strategies undertaken by European arts institutions against transgressive behaviour. Marta is also a guest teacher at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and SWPS University in Warsaw. She edited several books, including:  Choreography: strategies (together with Joanna Leśnierowska, forthcoming), Choreography: politicality (2018) and Reclaiming the Obvious: On the Institution of the Festival (2017). Holds PhD in Culture Studies.

17.05.2022, 18h

Diego Rotman (Hebrew University Jerusalem): Fragile Structures of Knowledge: The Dramaturgy of an Art Based Research Project on Contemporary Sukkot. Antrittsvorlesung der Friedrich Hölderlin-Gastprofessur

Campus Westend, IG Farben-Haus, Raum 1.314

Acquiring and moving temporary structures, building unauthorized replicas, transporting homes in order to build an architecture of political collective and individual historical criticism, thinking through landscape, being attached to an unattached home, aiming at a portable sovereignty. Those and other thoughts were first formulated, (de-)constructed and smuggled through a series of Art Based Research Projects about a temporary dwelling structure charged with symbolic meaning of remembrance – the sukkah – the huts in which the Israelites lived in the desert during their exodus from Egypt.

Since 2014 the Sala-manca Group collaborates with other artists in a series of projects on sukkot (plural of sukkah). They bought an “illegal” structure from the al-Korshan family of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, a community uprooted from its lands in southern Israel in 1948 and relocated to the West Bank as refugees. The group of artists dismantled and smuggled the hut into Israel as construction waste and reassembled it as a public Jewish sukkah in the garden of the Hansen House in Jerusalem for the duration of the Sukkot holiday. The Bedouin “home” originally destined for demolition changed its status. Disguised as a legal Jewish structure it became an object of divergence between different places, traditions and stories.


Diego Rotman is Senior Lecturer, researcher, multidisciplinary artist, and curator. His work focuses on performative practices as related to local historiography, Yiddish theater, contemporary art and folklore. Since July 2019 he is the Head of the Department of Theater Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 2000, Rotman and Lea Mauas founded the Sala-manca Group, which is active in contemporary art, performance and public art. In 2009, they founded the Mamuta Art and Research Center, today based at the Hansen House, Jerusalem, as a center for research, production, and presentation of art. In 2021 Rotman published The Yiddish Stage as a Temporary Home – Dzigan and Shumacher’s Satirical Theater (1927-1980). Possession and Dispossession: Performing Jewish Ethnography in Jerusalem (co-edited with Lea Mauas and Michelle MacQueen is forthcoming in 2022.

28.06.2022, 18h

Daphna Ben-Shaul (Tel Aviv University): Unsettled Rope-Dancers: Performing on Sites of Heightened Sovereignty

Campus Westend, IG Farben-Haus, Raum 1.411

The street show of the Seiltänzer, the rope-dancer, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra is performed by two performer-types moving between two towers, embodying Nietzsche’s metaphorical rhetoric – the tamed rope-dancer and the transgressive, creative trickster. About a century later, in De Certeau’s urban theory, the agency of the rope-dancer is present in the distinction made between the point of view from the World Trade Center, and the “walking rhetorics” in the city’s maze. The elevated position is also the one that – physically or symbolically – characterizes areas of increased sovereignty. Among them, border zones charged with differences, flooded with power by means of urban planning. Having taken place in these areas, did the performances that will be discussed create an alternative to this super-imposition? Is Philippe Petit’s walk above the abyss between West and East Jerusalem in 1987 equivalent to the trespassing of his 1974 walk between the WTC towers in New York? How do contemporary on-site performances taking place in Israel transgress heightened sovereignty, or rather place themselves between the heightened gaze and the unsettled maze?

Daphna Ben-Shaul is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts, Tel Aviv University. She heads the Multidisciplinary and the Interdisciplinary Programs in the Arts at the Faculty of the Arts, TAU, as well as the Actor-Creator-Researcher MFA Track, and teaches at the School of Visual Theatre (SVT). Her theatre and performance research addresses civic and political issues, reflexive performance, performative voiding, creative collectives, and spatial thought and practices. She has published an extensive book on the collective Zik Group, and articles in major periodicals. Her research of contemporary site-specific performances in Israel was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).

Jour Fixe

The Jour fixe invites students of the Hessen Theatre Academy to take part in discussions with guests from theatre and cultural policy on the rehearsal stage of the Institute for TFM in an informal context.In the past years with: Amelie Deuflhard, Martine Dennewald, Tim Etchells, Sigrid Gareis, Heiner Goebbels, Kirsten Haß, Carl Hegemann, Stefan Hilterhaus, Susanne Kennedy, Burkhard Kosminski, Elisa Liepsch and Julian Warner, Matthias Lilienthal, Jan Linders, Stefanie Lorey, Florian Malzacher, Bettina Masuch, Barbara Mundel, the production office „Ehrliche Arbeit“, Milo Rau, She She Pop, Carena Schlewitt and André Schallenberg, Julia Stoschek, Tom Stromberg, Hasko Weber and many more. On irregular Wednesdays at 19 o’clock (c.t.). Le Studio. Rehearsal stage of the Theatre Studies department (Probebühne der Theaterwissenschaft), Jügelhaus, building section D, room 108, 1. Floor, Campus Bockenheim.

Scenic performance projects

The Frankfurt Theatre Studies programme puts great emphasis on integrating experience with artistic practice into the programme, no matter whether students aim for a career on stage or behind the scenes later in life. Students regularly work with professional artists within the framework of scenic performance projects, theory-practice-project workshops and weekend-seminars on the rehearsal stage of the Institute. In past years with: Robin Arthur, Sebastian Blasius, Laurent Chétouane, Prof. Dr. Katrin Deufert und Thomas Plischke, Tim Etschells, Manuela Infante, Jason Jacobs, Rupert Jaud, John Jesurun, Katharina Kellermann, Chris Kondek, Prof. Stefanie Lorey, Lina Majdalanie, Uwe Mengel, Gerardo Naumann, Boris Nikitin, Prof. Mike Pearson, Katharina Pelosi, redpark, Felix Rothenhäusler, Tucké Royale, Johannes Schmit, Jan-Philipp Stange, Katharina Stephan, Tore Vagn Lid, Camila Vetters, Rosa Wernecke, Ivna Zić.

Research-Colloquium and Masterclass

The Theatre Studies Department highly values the connection of teaching and research. We are committed to teaching our research. That is why each semester, we offer a Research-Colloquium for Master-students, where we discuss current questions in research as well as the final projects of students. Furthermore, we regularly hold Master Classes. They give students the opportunity to present and discuss their own academic work within the framework of a public event with international academic and theatre practitioner guests. Past events have concerned themselves with these topics: “[Bühnen]Besetzungen” (Winter 20/21), “Sound Knowledge: Exploring the Dramaturgies, Philosophies, and Politics of Listening” (Winter 19/20), „Implosion of the municipal theatre? History, Analysis, Perspective“ (Winter 18/19), „Theatre and Identity Politics“ (Winter 17/18), „Theatre of the A-Human“ (Winter 15/16), Kafka and Theatre“ (Winter 13/14). Presentations, contributions and results are documented here:




Dramaturgy and CDPR students will be supported in their artistic projects by choaches who come from the field of dramaturgical practice. That’s why we work with practitioners from municipal and state theatres as well as from the Free Scene. In the past few semesters, students worked with: Björn Auftrag, Laurent Chétouane, Marcus Dross, Martin Hammer, Maria Magdalena Ludewig (T), Katja Leclerc, Kris Merken, Malin Nagel and Jonas Zipf.

Friedrich Hölderlin Guest Lectures in General and Comparative Theatre Studies

Within the framework of this lecture series we will situate Theatre Studies in the context of those philosophical and political questions that are always at play when thinking about theatre, but that are often obscured. Next to questions that strictly concern theatre, the talks of our guests will also deal themselves with questions on theatre theory and theory referring to theatre. These talks deal with theatre in all its four meanings, in accordance with the Leipzig discourse on theatricality: Theatre, anti-theatre, theatre in a wider sense and not-theatre. Our extended understanding of “Theatre“ is situated closely to newer findings in the field of Theatre Studies: We want to establish a notion of Theatre Studies that places it outside of the national-philological explanation of 1930s Germany as well as outside of the limitation of the staged performance, suggested by Max Hermann, the founder of Theatre Studies in the German-speaking context, at the turn of the 19th century. Theatre is more than the ephemeral product of an evening, but is also process, interaction, action and especially critical practice.
By choosing Hölderlin as the namesake for this lecture series, we seek to remember that Hölderlin, who lived in Frankfurt for some time, wasn’t just a great poet, but also a great theatre theoretician and dramaturgical thinker, who opened up the thinking of modern theatre with his Sophocles translations, fragments of writing and comments on “Ödipus” and “Antigone”. This is especially true when considering the ineluctable condition of “mediation”.

Recordings of past lectures:


Digital Archive

With the project “Digital Theatre Research” the institute is pioneering in the field of digital documentation, digital mediation and experimentation with theater.

At “Digital Theatre Research” documentations of conferences, lectures, symposia and other events will be uploaded. On the “Digital Stage” you will find video experiments, tutorials and documentations of student projects. In the “Laboratory Video⇄Stage” various workshops with specialists from the interface of video and theatre took and take place.