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Core Seminars

To provide a foundation in the methodologies of theatre literature, history, theory, and criticism, students are required to take TH 610 Performance Research, usually in the first semester of coursework. PhD students who have taken an equivalent course elsewhere may substitute another graduate seminar. All PhD students take two additional seminars: TH 620 Performance Scholarship and TH 630 Performance Proseminar. MA students may enroll in TH 620 and TH 630 after successful completion of  TH 610 and with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.

TH 620 Performance Scholarship is a grad-only seminar concentrating on the field of contemporary scholarship in theatre & performance. Building on the foundation of research skills from TH 610, students learn how current scholars translate their research into original contributions to the fields of theatre and performance studies.

TH 630 Performance Proseminar builds on the skills of TH 610 and TH 620 as students learn to turn their knowledge of research methods and scholarly argument into original, high-quality publications and presentations. In this seminar, students learn the fundamental professional skills required of theatre and performance studies faculty, including the production of a scholarly abstract, conference presentation, grant proposal, and either a critical essay or dissertation chapter.

Graduate Studio

The MA and PhD in Theatre & Performance requires that students register for TH 540 (MA) or TH 640 (PhD) Graduate Performance Studio every spring of their matriculation. This weekly studio course is taught by the graduate faculty (rotating each year) and is designed to give all MA and PhD students in the program a practical outlet for performance theory studied in other courses. Based on a Practice as Research model, this studio course includes on guided explorations designed to facilitate student-initiated collaborative work and experimentation. The course concludes with public presentations and group critique of these projects. The Studio meets in the Katharine Cornell Theatre, a fully equipped performance space run by the Department of Theatre & Dance with a repertory lighting plot, computerized light board, and projection capabilities. (See Facilities for more information.) This course is repeatable for credit.

Theatre & Performance Seminars

Each semester’s seminars are selected by graduate faculty according to the interests, skills, and needs of incoming and continuing cohorts. The following list includes representative courses that will most often be offered to fulfill the distribution requirements for the Graduate Degree Programs. A complete listing of all available Graduate Theatre Courses are listed in the UB Graduate Course catalog. More specialized topics may also be covered through independent studies with available faculty.

Dramatic Literature, Theory, & Criticism:

TH 568 Sources of Modern Theatre
TH 570 Theatre and the Moving Image
TH 580 Shakespeare on Stage
TH 588 Major Principles of Acting Theory
TH 668 Critical Theories of World Theatre & Performance
THD 506 Dance Theory and Aesthetics


TH 581 Topics in History and Literature
TH 670 Performance Historiography
THD 530 Dance History

Advanced Production:

TH 501 Problems in Acting
TH 502 Acting for the Camera
TH 515 Advanced Dramaturgy
TH 551 Studies in Scenic Design
TH 556 Theatre Technology
TH 571 Studies in Costume Design
TH 590 Advanced Playwriting 1
TH 592 Advanced Directing
TH 594 History and Theory of Directing
THD 506 Mind-Body Integration
THD 541 Choreography I

Independent Study courses (TH 599, 699) may be used to fulfill above requirements when a student’s specific topic or area of research interest is not offered as a graduate seminar. These courses are developed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor and will fulfill specific requirements with prior approval by the Director of Graduate Studies.