The Villanova University Theatre Department aims to inform and inspire theatre artists, administrators, and scholars who will impact the future of this dynamic art form.  Their culture of creativity engages in rigorous study and the practical application of theatrical theories and techniques.  They believe art has the power to transform hearts and minds by challenging both individuals and communities.  

Students undergo a rigorous course of study that is a combination of scholarly, artistic, and practical approaches to theatre. The comprehensive M.A. provides crucial tools for the developing theatre practitioner, educator, or scholar. 

A series of core courses encompassing the history of theatrical production and the theory, criticism, and analysis of dramatic literature supports a comprehensive range of elective studies in acting, directing, design, and playwriting. The program provides experience in the fundamentals of research, as well as several of the component crafts of theatre, culminating in the final semester in a specialized study in a selected artistic or research area.

Students matriculate into the program from a wide variety of undergraduate majors, spanning the humanities and the sciences. The result is a vibrant, diverse community of scholars with passion for theatre as a common denominator.

The experience and knowledge students gain in class, on stage, and behind the scenes allows these well-rounded scholars to embark on careers as actors, directors, stage managers, playwrights, dramaturgs, administrators, teachers, and critics.

Departments/programs/subject areas supported

Subject areas supported include acting, history of theatre and performance, dramaturgy, theatre design, and nonprofit management


The Graduate Theatre program “combines the scholarly, creative and practical curriculum of the M.A. in Theatre with a certificate designed to facilitate a career in the nonprofit sector.

In addition to the theater curriculum, [students] take a course in Theatre Administration and three courses from Villanova’s Master of Public Administration program in nonprofit management:

  • Financial Management of Nonprofits
  • Effective Nonprofit Management
  • Nonprofit Fundraising

This unique combination of creative, practical theatre and nonprofit management expertise can position [students] for a sustainable career in the nonprofit sector.”

“The department also offers a Graduate Certificate in Practical Theatre that gives a broad background in practical theatre to the student who may not wish to pursue the full M.A. degree but would like to acquire the skills, vocabulary, and methodology fundamental to the practice of theatre.

Practical Certificate students take five performance or production-related courses and participate in the theatre season.”


“Students may fulfill a Theatre minor by completing five theatre courses (three required/two elective) and a theatre practicum.”

  • Fundamental Principles of Acting
  • Creativity
  • Scene Study
  • Elective
  • Elective

The program offers a minor in theatre, but is primarily a graduate program offering an M.A. with Certificate in Non-Profit Management.



Resources Collected

NOTE: Electronic format is preferred for all Library holdings unless otherwise noted.

  • Scholarly monographs in electronic and print format (academic and trade press preferred)
  • Academic Journals in electronic (Peer reviewed preferred)
  • Academic Databases (especially those dealing specifically with theatre related content)


Resources and materials collected selectively or by request:

  •  Audiovisual materials
  • Academic journals in Print format (Only if electronic is unavailable)
  • Reference data, handbooks, dictionaries, and other material (electronic strongly preferred)


Resources not collected:

  • Microform
  • Non-Villanova theses and dissertations
  • Conference proceedings (selectively)
  • Ephemera
  • Preprints
  • Print government documents
  • Hardware and software manuals
  • Instructor’s materials
  • Juvenile works
  • Manuscripts
  • Pamphlets

Collaborations within the library

Theatre has strong crossover in areas of English literature and history.


External collaborations