Master of Arts in Dramaturgy

Goethe University Frankfurt

Program Description

Master of Arts in Dramaturgy

Goethe University Frankfurt

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.

The Frankfurt Program

With the class of 2012 the Masters Program in Dramaturgy – a cooperation between various tertiary institutions, integrating theory and practice within the framework of the Hessian Theatre Academy – begins its second decade under new academic and artistic direction.

Founded by Hans-Thies Lehmann in 2002, the concept of the program 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 program quickly became a successful model and many of its students were offered engagements even before their studies had ended. 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 program 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 possess include a social imagination, a knowledge of other possibilities, a sensitivity for the new and the unknown, the ability to articulate the new and the unknown, and the willingness to assert these 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 neighboring arts, and the promotion of autonomous scenic research and students’ independent academic-theoretical practice.

Program Content

The program 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 (stage, contract and publishing law, theatre management, press and publicity work).

The Masters Program in Dramaturgy is a program 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 programs in Hessian tertiary institutions that provide theatre qualifications, and the most important Hessian city and state theatre.

The tight connection between academic and practical theatre work arises due to the double positioning of the program – 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 Program already enables students to participate in exchange and cooperation with students from other theatre areas (Theatre Studies, Directing, Acting, Scenography) in seminars and concrete projects within the framework of their studies.

Admission requirements

  • successfully absolved tertiary degree
  • practical experience in the occupational field of dramaturgy – as a rule of at least two months duration –
  • Proof of English language skills (at least niveau B2)
  • good language skills of at least another modern language (B1) or in Latin or Classical Greek
  • Applicants who do not have a German university entrance qualification, nor do they have a degree from a German higher education institution, are obliged to submit proof of adequate German language skills.

Selection process

Based on the documents submitted by mail and e-mail, the board of examiners invites suitable applicants in writing to an admission examination, which is expected to take place in June.

Mode of admission

Admission is not restricted.

This school offers programs in:
  • German
  • English
Goethe University Frankfurt
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
Full time
370 EUR
Approx. 370 € administrative fee per semester (incl. free public transport)
Germany - Frankfurt, Hesse
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
Germany - Frankfurt, Hesse
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info