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.

The Institute for Theater, Film and Media Studies mourns the death of Hans-Thies Lehmann

(c) privat/ADK

Hans-Thies Lehmann was appointed professor of Theatre Studies at the Goethe University in 1988. Here, in 2002, he conceived the M. A. programme in Dramaturgy, which was the first university programme in the field to establish a new form of education for aspiring dramaturgs, linking a passionate practice of theory and reading with experimental practices of contemporary theatre. Lehmann was a co-founder of the Hessian Theatre Academy, where he shaped conception and development as a network of theatre study programmes and theatre institutions in Hessen with commitment, great mediation skills, and a sharp mind up until his retirement in 2010. His theatre theory has been epoch-making. His work combined original readings of classical as well as contemporary texts from theory, theatre and literature with a great curiosity for theatre as well as the related arts. He succeeded in inspiring students with his passion for theatre in all of its forms. His teaching practice was less concerned with conveying his own theses than with joint investigation in the discussions of theatre and theory. He was an open and interested listener and reviewer of his students’ contributions and work. His books on “Theatre and Myth,” on “Postdramatic Theatre,” and on “Tragedy and Dramatic Theatre” offer a comprehensive proposal of how to understand Western theatre history and contemporary theatre. His readings of Brecht, Heiner Müller, Kleist, Büchner and many other authors have shed new light on their work. We owe him much as a teacher, mentor, colleague and interlocutor. His legacy will live on.

For those who want to get to know Hans-Thies Lehmann in action, we recommend the following recording of a lecture he gave as part of a lecture series on the subject of dramaturgy at the University of Hamburg: https://lecture2go.uni-hamburg.de/l2go/-/get/v/10498

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, Marcus Droß, Tim Etchells, Sigrid Gareis, Heiner Goebbels, Kirsten Haß, Carl Hegemann, Katja Herlemann, Stefan Hilterhaus, Marta Keil, 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, Jan Philipp Stange, 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, Diego Rotman, 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.