Undergraduate Programs

The School of Drama Dramaturgy Option is a rigorous, highly structured academic and artistically focused program.

The dramaturgy curriculum provides students with a strong background in theatrical practice, dramatic literature, and humanities. A core course of study focusing on building the skills for production dramaturgy is augmented by an English minor along with directed electives in history, foreign languages, and other non-drama courses to build a firm foundation in both theater and the liberal arts.

Students in the dramaturgy option also cultivate their intellectual prowess, analytical skills, and artistic passions through integral involvement in the School of Drama's productions. Dramaturgy students work with directors, playwrights, designers, managers, and actors in the conception and execution of productions, bringing their knowledge of theater history and dramatic structure, their skills in script analysis and contextual research, and their capacity to engage in collaborative conversation into the rehearsal room. These skills also serve dramaturgy students as they practice the art of audience outreach and engagement.

The Dramaturgy Option specializes in new play development, production support, critical writing, audience outreach, season planning, and artistic leadership. The wide ranging curriculum makes it an excellent program of study for students interested in theater history and theory, playwriting, and cultural studies.


Students in the School of Drama Dramaturgy Option have a core curriculum of Drama courses that are augmented by a wide array of electives from across the university.

Dramaturgy students are required to take six dedicated dramaturgy courses as well as courses in musical theater history, special topics in drama, directing, playwriting, history of costume and scenic design, basic design, theater management, professional preparation, and theatrical collaboration. These classes prepare students to work on productions as dramaturgs in their junior and senior years.

In addition to core requirements, students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language and take a range of English and History courses. Elective courses may include additional courses in Directing, Playwriting, and Screenwriting, as well as Stage Management, Scenography, Design, and Themed Entertainment Design; students can also choose electives from a wide-ranging array of courses from across departments in the university.

Students are required to complete an internship through one of the many partner theaters and schools with which the School of Drama is connected. Students are also encouraged to pursue a semester abroad.


Dramaturgy students are guaranteed the opportunity to work on School of Drama productions. Production assignments vary depending on program needs and individual student goals. Students assist on production work in their sophomore year and serve as production dramaturgs beginning in their junior year.

Dramaturgy students work on a variety of productions. Students may collaborate with professional guest directors, faculty directors, and undergraduate and graduate student directors. Many students work with local companies in the Pittsburgh area as production dramaturgs and script readers, and in outreach and education.

Unique Platforms

All School of Drama students have to opportunities to participate in the following:

Dance/Light is a performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the creation of original dance and movement pieces.

A Festival of Independent Student Work: Playground is the annual School of Drama three-day performance festival showcasing independent, student-produced work across multiple disciplines.

The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests on to campus to work with students across all disciplines.

The School of Drama Showcase presentations in New York and Los Angeles are designed to give all graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals. When conditions warrant, this Showcase may be augmented by virtual online networking events.

``The dramaturgy program really teaches its students to approach a play with an open and inquisitive mind and to ask questions of the text.``

- Olivia O'Connor (A 2013), Literary Manager & Dramaturg, Geffen Playhouse


Undergraduate Dramaturgy Curriculum


Wendy Arons

Kristi Good

Amanda Olmstead

Ryan M. Prendergast

TJ Young

News & Alumni

Graduates from the School of Drama Dramaturgy Option enter the professional world as production dramaturgs, literary managers, agents, film or TV script consultants, and researchers and developers of new plays.

    Some students go on to pursue graduate study in theater history and theory, cultural studies, and more specialized dramaturgy. The program provides an excellent foundation for a career in playwriting, screenwriting, directing, and arts management.