Historically, the dramaturge is the person in the theatre who views the production with critical distance. A part of it, but also removed, the dramaturge continuously questions the production as a whole. He reflects on its needs, necessities and obstinacy but also on its practical constraints, regulated processes and automatisms. In a best-case scenario he relates the production back to the contexts in which it stands. In this way he embodies the demands of history, society and politics within the artistic process and, on the other hands, represents these to the outside world. In order to achieve this he needs – aside from specialist knowledge – above all the basic virtues of every researcher: he should be able to read, see, think, listen, write and have the courage to avail himself of his own intellect.
And by the way, if you’re bothered by the continuous use of the masculine form in this text, we absolutely agree with you: The history of the dramaturge in the theatre – from Lessing over Hölderlin over Brecht and Rainer Schlösser to Heiner Müller – is like the history of all of the leadership figures in the theatre up to the early 70s of the past century – a male-dominated history. We cannot change this history. However, we envision its continuation differently.
The Frankfurt Programme
With the class of 2012 the Masters Programme in Dramaturgy has started its second decade under new direction. Founded by Hans-Thies Lehmann in 2002, the concept of the programme was an answer to major upheavals in the theatre in the decade before. In the face of experimental forms that traversed the boundaries of the traditional areas of theatre, visual arts and audio-visual media and in view of new forms of music theatre, dance and performance, the tasks of dramaturgy had become more complex. The programme quickly became a successful model Graduates work in many city and state theatres as well as in the venues of independent production companies.
In view of the dramaturge’s rapidly changing job description, it is particularly important for the Frankfurt programme to convey content that prepares students not just for the theatre that already exists, but also for a future theatre still unknown to students and lecturers. Next to knowledge of the theatre as it actually exists, of its traditions and general framework, characteristics that a good dramaturge should posse include a social imagination, a knowledge of other possibilities, a sensitivity for the new and the unknown, the ability to articulate it, and the willingness to assert it in the face of the economic and political obstacles of enterprise and society. For this reason we place particular value on an international focus, tight networking with contemporary artistic practice in all areas of the theatre and neighbouring arts, and the promotion of autonomous scenic research and students’ independent academic-theoretical practice.
Teaching and Research Focus
The programme content of the Masters in Dramaturgy includes, amongst other things, the fundamental issues of dramaturgical practice and theory, artistic-practical work in scenic projects, workshops and theory-practice seminars, independent artistic, theoretical and organisational-curating work, the theory, history and analysis of the theatre in all of its variations and manifestations, the representation and critique of theatrical forms, theatre technology, production dramaturgy and insights into the fundamentals of theatre organisation.
The Masters Programme in Dramaturgy is a programme of the Chair of Theatre Studies at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies. At the same time it is part of the Hessian Theatre Academy, an academic and production association of programmes in Hessian academies and universities which provide theatre qualifications, and the most important Hessian city and state theatres. The tight connection between academic and practical theatre work arises due to the double positioning of the programme – on the one hand in the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies and, on the other, in the Hessian Theatre Academy. This means that the Dramaturgy programme already enables students to participate in exchange and cooperation with students from other theatre areas (Theatre Studies, Directing, Acting, Scenography, etc.) in seminars and concrete projects within the framework of their studies, which constitute a full-time university course.
Students will benefit from the advantages of a full university education: From a wide range of seminars that is oriented towards the primacy of education and doesn’t reduce the course to an instrumental training, over the possibility of making use of specialist libraries and the TFM media library, to a great variety of courses (lectures, workshops, symposia) at the institute and in related subjects and departments. In addition to the university courses, students have a self-managed rehearsal stage, technical equipment to work with video, sound and light, a digital platform for the documentation of their own works as well as the possibility to use the rehearsal rooms at Frankfurt LAB.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Inga Bendukat, M.A. (coordination).
Furthermore, Dr. des. Leonie Otto, Sophie Osburg, M.A. and Julia Schade, M.A. teach as full-time Theatre Studies lecturers at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies.
In addition, the following lecturers currently work and teach at the institute:
Gerardo Naumann (Artistic Visiting Professor)
Dr. Hakan Altun (Philipp Schwarz-Fellow)
Digital theatre research platform
We have been recording guest lectures, discussions, artist talks and scenic performance projects for quite a few years and make them public for students of the Institute.
Hessian Theatre Academy
Due to the dual anchoring of this course in both the Institute for Theatre-, Film- and Media Studies and the Hessian Theatre Academy, the course has developed a close connection between theoretical and practical theatre work. The dramaturgy programme enables students to exchange and collaborate with students from other theatre areas (theatre studies, directing, drama, scenography, etc.) in courses and specific projects during their studies.
Friedrich Hölderlin Guest Professor for General and Comparative Dramaturgy
With the support of the DAAD and the International Office of the Goethe University, the Chair of Theatre Studies regularly staffs a Friedrich Hölderlin Guest Professorship for General and Comparative Dramaturgy with international guests whose work combines theory and artistic practice in an exemplary manner. In past semesters, theatre scholar Freddie Rokem (Tel Aviv), academic Esa Kirkoppelto (Helsinki), theatre scholar Dr. Markus Wessendorf (Mānoa), theatre maker Dr. Lina Majdalanie (née Saneh), academic Annalisa Piccirillo (Naples), the director and theatre scholar Tore Vagn Lid (Oslo), the theatre scholar Khalid Amine (Marokko), the theatre scholar Kélina Gotman (London) as well as the theatre scholar Enrico Pitozzi (Bologna) were guests in Frankfurt.
Lecturers and Partner-Institutions
In addition to the full-time lecturers at the Institute and the Hessian Theatre Academy, as well as the lecturers of the partner universities, amongst others, the following lecturers teach and have previously taught this course: Prof. Dr. Norbert Abels, Dr. Ira Avneri, Sibylle Baschung, Hauke Berheide, Esther Boldt, Dr. Miriam Dreysse, Prof. Wanda Golonka, Prof. em. Dr. Werner Hamacher (T), Prof. em. Dr. Ulrike Haß, Prof. em. Dr. Carl Hegemann, Rolf C. Hemke, Hans Hollmann, Prof. Ruth Kanner, Alexander Kerlin, Konrad Kuhn, Christof Loy, Thomas Maagh, Florian Malzacher, Bettina Milz, Sergio Morabito, , Matthias Naumann, Christof Nel, Benedikt von Peter, Christine Peters, René Pollesch, Richard Schechner, Imanuel Schipper, Dr. Philipp Schulte, Bernhard Siebert, Dr. Tim Schuster, Amy Stebbins, Prof. Dr. Malgorzata Sugiera, Friederike Thielmann, Susanne Traub, Norihiko Tsukinowa, Gerd-Theo Umberg, Dr. Dr. Marion Victor, Prof. Dr. Sam Weber, Prof. Dr. Kristin Westphal, Prof. Dr. Susanne Winnacker, Olaf Winter.
The Master Programme in Dramaturgy is engaged in close exchanges with, amongst others: dasarts Amsterdam; Frankfurt LAB; Kampnagel Kulturfabrik, Hamburg; Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt; Oper Frankfurt; PACT Zollverein, Essen; Plateforme de la jeune création franco-allemande; Ruhrtriennale; Schauspiel Frankfurt; Tanzlabor 21, Frankfurt; dem Festival „Frankfurter Positionen“ der BHF-Bank-Stiftung; dem Festival Impulse, NRW; Théâtre des Amandiers, Nanterre; Tanzquartier Wien; Theater der Welt; Wiesbaden Biennale; Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe; Volksbühne Berlin.
The Masters Programme in Dramaturgy has a distinct international orientation due to the invitation of international scientific and artistic guest lecturers and the collaboration with different european and non-european universities. Cooperation partners include the following universities: Universitetet i Bergen, Stockholms universitet, Teatterikorkeakoulu Helsinki, Aberystwyth University, Københavns Universitet, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis, Université Paris 10 Nanterre, Universidad da Coruña, Universität Wien, Univerzita Karlova Praha, University of Chicago, Universität Tel Aviv, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo.
Information and Application
Application for the Masters Programme in Dramaturgy at the Institute for Theater, Film and Media Studies in the framework of the Hessian Theatre Academy
Standard duration of study: four semesters
Degree: Master of Arts in Dramaturgy
Programme commencement: every winter semester
Application deadline: 31 May (date of postmark)
- Successfully absolved tertiary degree
- Practical experience in the occupational field of dramaturgy – as a rule of at least two months duration
- Language Skills in German at the completed level C1, English (B2) and one other language (B1).
Based on the submitted documents the board of examiners invites suitable applicants in writing to an admission examination (presumably a weekend in June).
Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies
Master programme Dramaturgy
D-60323 Frankfurt am Main
- Certified copy of tertiary degree diploma
- Curriculum vitae with academic background
- Letter of motivation that establishes why the applicant now would like to begin studies in Dramaturgy
- Proof of interest in dramaturgical questions (e.g. in documentation of previous artistic or theoretical work)
- Analyse and mediate an artistic work that impressed you deeply, with the aim of awakening the interest of a specific group of readers (on two printed pages, 3600 characters including spaces)
- Please send all documents in one pdf
- Please send your application without a folder
FAQ about the application
What does „evidence of interest in dramaturgical questions (i.e. through documentation of artistic or theoretical work)” mean?
We have left this open on purpose. Please send us what you think is sensible.
Do I have to send an original copy of my degree certificate or is a copy enough?
Please don’t send either. We need certified copies of both your Bachelor degree certificate as well as of your language certificates.
At the end of the application deadline, I haven’t completed my Bachelor’s degree/I haven’t received my degree certificate yet. Can I still apply?
Yes. In this case we just need a Transcript of Records. This should indicate an average grade and should certify that you have achieved at least 80% of the total Credit Points of your course of study so far. The Transcript of Records should either be equipped with a stamp by an authority that gives grades or should be verifiable online. We also need verification that the Bachelor course will be finished by the end of the first Master-Semester. This also needs to be certified by a grade-giving authority. If you are offered a place on one of our courses, you are eligible for preliminary enrolment; the Bachelor certificate has to be submitted in the first semester at the University-Service-Centre of the Goethe University.
Study regulations Dramaturgy
Link to the study regulations:
Link to the module handbook:
Link Framework FB 10, MA: