We offer programmes of study in the following areas:
Directing for Stage
Writing for Performance
Film, Media and Cultural Studies
Students work with specialists, educators, facilitators and scholars in a creative community alongside colleagues from the Divisions of Music, Fine Arts, History of Art and Television Studies in the Wits School of Arts. Students explore different facets of life in theatre, but are also part of a broader artistic vision.
The Division of Dramatic Arts aims to produce graduates who are informed and critically aware practitioners and consumers of the arts, conscious of their cultural and social environment. Dramatic Arts draws on the diversity of its surroundings, a committed staff of artist-scholars, and dynamic student body to promote creative and socially productive engagement through a range of degree programmes.
Dramatic Arts offers a four year undergraduate professional degree (Honours equivalent) in theatre and performing arts. It combines a focused, discipline-specific foundation in areas of specialisation with a flexible, interdisciplinary programme to enhance student innovation and experimentation and preparation for the world of work or further study. We also offer postgraduate degrees at Honours, Master’s and Doctoral levels.
Our mission is to introduce a range of conceptual and creative vocabularies and practices. We value students who enjoy intellectual adventure and the complex challenges and rewards posed by indigenous and globally established systems of knowledge and practice. We strongly encourage critical debate, independent enquiry and active citizenship through understanding as well as challenging established conventions and practices.
ValuesAs a Division we value bold critical engagement, independent experimentation and innovation in both practical artistic and academic work. We value moments of inter-disciplinarity, seeking to collapse borders and foster a community of engagement and dialogue. Through cultivating both curiosity and self-discipline in our student body, there is an emphasis on the technical and conceptual aspects of crafting work and a cultivation of professional excellence balanced with integrity and accountability.
Who is right for Dramatic Arts?
Anyone with an interest in acting for stage, television or film or in theatre studies concerning creative and technical input and administration, movement, design, and arts management. We are interested in developing scholars, performers, theatre-makers, directors and choreographers, production and arts managers, teachers/facilitators/academics, designers and writers. We are looking for outstanding practitioners in their chosen fields of practice, as well as theorists and critics who want to familiarise themselves with the practical aspects of the arts.
Qualifications Offered within the Division of Dramatic Arts
The prestigious professional Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts (BADA) Degree is awarded after the successful completion of 4 years of intensive professional, practical and academic training. [link to DODA UG page for BADA degree info]
BA graduates with undergraduate training in Dramatic Art may apply for the Honours degree in Drama and Film. [link to DODA PG page for Hons info]
Facilities and Opportunities within the Division of Dramatic Arts
Wits University is exceptionally well-resourced. Our four theatres namely: The Amphitheatre, Downstairs Theatre, The Main Theatre and The Nunnery, offer a variety of experiences of diverse works. Together with the Wits Theatre Complex Dramatic Arts stages more than twelve student productions with leading professional directors annually. We also present a range of productions at the National Arts Festival and a number of events in collaboration with the Wits School of Arts.
Dramatic Arts also has six experimental/class/practical theatre laboratory spaces and two movement studios.
Dramatic Arts is home to a dynamic community of outstanding academics in drama, theatre, and performance; drama and theatre artists, directors, educators and scholars. Our members of staff are actively engaged with groundbreaking traditional and creative research.
We collaborate with several community initiatives that facilitate the use of drama and theatre as activism, education and therapy.
The Division of Dramatic Arts has partnered with the Tisch School of the Arts in New York where students are rewarded with an exchange experience of a lifetime both in South Africa and the United States of America. The Tisch School houses over 350 international students per year from different countries. The exchange programme exposes exceptional students in their third year or above to the Tisch system of education and training in the arts. Dramatic Arts also has partnerships with the Southern African Theatre Initiative and several universities elsewhere in Africa.
The Arts Management programme offered at third and fourth year levels enables students to participate in traineeships, providing them with work experience related to their course work, allowing them to network with industry practitioners and to begin to develop their livelihoods.
Wits University offers a scholarship to Matric students who have received three or more distinctions, and a Postgraduate Merit Award to postgraduate students who have excelled academically during their undergraduate studies. Find out more on the Wits Financial Aid and Scholarships page.