From dance theater and music theater to improvisational theater and spoken theater to mask theater – the variety of contemporary theater forms is great. Some of them have a long tradition.
Theater – then and now
Even the ancient Greeks and Romans built huge amphitheaters in which tragedies and comedies were performed. In the Middle Ages traveling drama troops entertained the people. Courtly tragedies and operas were reserved for the princes.
Today there are more than 350 state and private theaters in Germany . Despite 3D films and home entertainment, more than 35 million people decide to go to the theater every year. The theater still has an important entertaining, but also socially critical function.
The theater studies course
Theater studies deals with theater from its beginnings to the present . She examines the content of individual pieces and is dedicated to the forms of performance and the social functions of theater. To do this, she draws on other scientific disciplines such as sociology or literary and media studies .
A degree in theater studies is currently possible at around ten universities in Germany. At the beginning of the bachelor’s degree, students get an overview of the history of theater and get to know areas such as drama , music theater or children’s theater. At some universities, the range of courses is supplemented by seminars on film studies.
In the higher semesters, students analyze plays and ask about the social function of theater. The relationship between the theater and the new media is particularly important. Each university offers different focuses, for example
- Stage design
- Theater music
- Theatrical cultures
- individual forms of theater
After the bachelor’s degree it is possible to study further and in the master’s program specialize . Students who are aiming for a management position or an academic career are well advised to take a master’s degree.
There are several focal points to choose from at the universities , such as scenic research or performative arts . Basically, the courses can be divided into
- artistic-practical master’s programs
- theoretical-analytical master’s programs.
The courses in which the students work artistically and practically are an exception, both in the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. The most degree programs in the field of theater studies are oriented scientific theory . It is therefore important to be clear about your own focus before starting your studies and to choose the course accordingly.
Depending on the course structure, different entry requirements apply. Proof of artistic aptitude is sometimes required for artistically oriented courses . Students who choose a scientific focus should be willing to deal with and analyze sophisticated historical sources and texts. Many universities also require language skills in English , sometimes also in French .
Theater studies – what afterwards?
Similar to other degree programs in the humanities and cultural studies, theater studies does not provide training for a specific professional field . It is all the more important for students to gain practical experience during their studies in order to orientate themselves professionally and gain further qualifications.
Many graduates work in theaters and opera houses after completing their studies . A possible job description is that of the dramaturge . This example is developing new game plans and takes care of the publicity of the house. Museums, cultural offices and other cultural institutions also employ theater scholars, for example as archivists or PR specialists.
Specialized publishers and journals employ theater scholars as editors or lecturers . Master’s graduates can also do a doctorate and pursue a scientific career.
Why it is worth studying abroad
One or more semesters abroad offer students the chance to get a taste of international theater . Other teaching content at the foreign university can broaden the academic profile and, last but not least, provide new impulses for the upcoming Bachelor or Master thesis. In addition, the students have the opportunity to improve their foreign language skills and make their first international contacts.