The certificate in Theater of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Change prepares students to be agents of change in educational and professional theatrical arenas. Emphasizing the relationship between what happens on stage and what happens in the world around us, this program promotes an embodied and intellectual understanding of theater as a catalyst for empathy, empowerment, and action. We welcome teachers, artists, administrators, critics, community organizers – those with theater and interdisciplinary backgrounds who are committed to equality, diversity, and access in the arts.
Situated in the context of The Department of Theatre & Dance’s MA in Theatre, which centers on core classes in theatre history, theory and dramatic literature, the Certificate in Theater of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Change emphasizes global and interdisciplinary perspectives. Courses for the certificate including Black Theatre & Performance, Theatre for Social Change, and Drama Therapy are part of an expansive range of elective offerings that provide training in criticism and applied theater. The flexible curriculum links theater theory and history to stage practice and allows students to tailor course selections to individual goals. Small classes, independent study options, and courses grounded in current professional and theoretical perspectives promote student research and practice.
In Theatre for Social Change, for example, students explore theatre as a catalyst for social change through a hybrid face‐to‐face, online, and offsite interface. Coursework consists of readings and performance viewings spanning artists including Bertolt Brecht, Augusto Boal, and Anna Deveare Smith. Students will engage both intellectually and experientially with historical and contemporary strategies for creating theatre for social change. Assignments include research papers and presentations as well as the application of theatrical and community‐building techniques in a workshop setting.
Montclair State is home to the renowned Kasser Theatre’s Peak Performances, where graduate students have the opportunity to connect with the work of notables such as Robert Wilson and The Abbey Theatre. Students in both the BA and MA program have the opportunity for deep engagement with the internationally renowned artists and companies who come through the Peak Performances series and perform in this world-class space.
Partnerships exist outside the department as well in the relationships built with professional theatres such as Luna Stage. Through this relationship, BA and MA students have collaborated with Luna artists, performed and stage managed on Luna’s stages, and contributed to the season through dramaturgical support. Opportunities to create work outside the department continue to grow as these professional relationships deepen.
More than 75 permanent faculty members and visiting professionals – including internationally renowned celebrity guest artists and artists-in-residence – mentor our Theatre and Dance students each semester. These working professionals teach, choreograph, and share insights (gleaned from their professional experiences in the “real world” of theatre) with students in workshops and master classes. Faculty mentoring often leads to opportunities beyond the classroom.
Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications. There are six well-equipped theatres, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium; our 2000-seat amphitheater, and the intimate L. Howard Fox Theatre.
This exceptional range of performance spaces reflects industry opportunities and prepares students for future performances in a variety of settings.
The Certificate enhances the careers of P-12 teachers; theatre artists, administrators, and critics; artists and critics seeking to deepen their knowledge of theatre; and community organizers. The program is open to interdisciplinary backgrounds. This course of study provides professional development for those already working in the fields of theatre and social change, diversity, and inclusion and gives those who want to shift gears to this work a strong foundation for doing so.