In the Department of Theater Studies, which brings together different disciplines and diverse realms of knowledge, students are offered encounters between theory and practice and introduced to historical and geographical perspectives on the fascinating field of theater and performance arts. Students have the opportunity to access contemporary creative activity in the world, Israel, and Jerusalem – a city that is home to unique experiments in theater and performance.

Theater and performance studies challenge boundaries and prompt questions about identity, gender, and language. Studies in the Department also focus on issues related to aesthetics and artistic language, and the social, economics, and cultures contexts of a work of art.

The Department is a sphere for learning and researching where a safe, supportive community of students, teachers, and administrators come together to learn, research, and create, while Jerusalem arena of experimental theater and performance serves as a unique and fascinating environment in which to interrogate and experience the field.

Modular Curriculum

In the first year, students study the history of theater and the central theoreticians and creative artists in the field; they learn how to analyze a theatrical performance; they are introduced to seminal works; and they attend an introductory stage acting workshop. In their second and third years, students have the option to choose to focus on: a) general studies of theater and performance; b) applied theater (theater therapy and community theater); c) Jewish theater.

During their studies, students gain familiarity with diverse methods of analyzing works of drama, theater, and performance, including site-specific performances, vocal performances, radio performances, and podcasts. The study of acting and directing methods forms an integral part of the Department's curriculum.

The Department's course of study includes lab lessons, workshops, and master classes, where students have the opportunity to meet with major figures in the fields they are studying, as well as field trips to performances and significant art events in Jerusalem. In the third year, students develop their own individual and group projects, including a final project as part of a special research lab devoted to art as research.

We encourage our students' efforts to engage in their own creative endeavors and organize annual theater festivals and competitions, and we support their independent productions.

In addition, the Department offers a unique curriculum for graduates of the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio and the School of Visual Theater.

Academic Staff

The lecturers teaching in the Department include scholars of international renown and some of the leading artists in these fields in Israel, such as director and choreographer Emanuella Amichai, vocal performance artist Dr. Josef Sprinzak, playwright Dr. Michael Morris-Reich, director and theater critic Shai Bar-Yaakov, scholar and artist Dr. Diego Rotman (Department Chair), and others. Many of the teachers incorporate research and practice in their own theater therapy: Dr. Susana Pendziak, social theater: Nira Moser, Children Theater: Dr. Olga Levitan, Acting: Haim Avramski, contemporary performance: Dr. Keren Cohen, and help prepare students for grappling with practical questions – a preparation that serves our graduates long after they have completed their studies.

Learning and Creative Spaces

Some of the academic classes are held in the Media Department in the library, which offers a large and diverse collection of documentary films and motion pictures. The students also have the Israel Goor Hebrew Theater Archives and Museum at their disposal for viewing and hearing recordings of performances and studying archival materials related to the history of Israeli and Jewish theater.

The Department also enjoys special work spaces, such as the Garage Theater (the Department's own theater) and the Hall of Mirrors. During the academic year, student works, productions created in Department workshops, and guest plays are presented at the theater.

The Department encourages artistic initiatives on the part of its students and helps guide and supervise their theater performances and performance works.


What can you do with it?


What can you do with your degree?

Studies in the Department represent a strong foundation for future involvement and work in theater scholarship and criticism, art institution and theater management, archival work, teaching, formal and information education, therapy using theater and performance art, and art events production and management. Department graduates have assimilated into important nodes in theatrical activity in Israel.



Studies in the Department create fertile ground for future theatre-related activity: employment in the research and criticism of theatre, archival work, teaching, therapy, production, and management of artistic events. The Department’s alumni have achieved prominent positions in major intersections of Israeli theatrical activity. Among them, to name a few: Motti Lerner, the internationally renowned Israeli playwright; Jacky Levi, television personality, author and stand-up artist; Nir Landa, puppet and street theatre artist; Tair Avshalom, production manager and director of renewal at the Gerard Behar Center; Hanin Tarabay, activist and Palestinian theatre actress; Mendy Cahan, head of the Jung Yiddish Center and cabaret artist; Dr. Shelly Zer-Zion, theatre researcher and tenured lecturer at Haifa University’s Theatre Department; Dr. Hava Aldouby, researcher in new-media art and senior faculty member at the Open University.


The Billy Crystal Foundation and the Loewe Foundation


The Billy Crystal Foundation: Peace through the Performing Arts

The Billy Crystal Foundation: Peace through the Performing Arts is a program dedicated to seeking ways to promote peaceful coexistence between the country’s Jewish and Arab citizens. The program was established thanks to the generous contribution of the renowned Jewish-American actor, Billy Crystal. Theatre artists and university students, both Jews and Arabs, participate in this program, which offers a wide range of workshops aimed at creating a social and cultural bridge, as well as attempting to create understanding and identification with the 'other' through theatre work. The program provides financial assistance for students interested in creating projects that deal with Jewish-Arab coexistence and relationships.

The foundation supports the department’s theatre therapy section, artist classes with central, activist figures in Israeli and international theatre, and study days dedicated to theatre as “Tikkun Olam” (Repairing the world). The following are among the recent, special projects of this program, whose significance extended beyond the university campus: the site-specific performance “identity-place” which was presented at the Jerusalem Art Festival by the student performer  Ilham Mahamid and directed by the artist Emanuella Amichai (2015); performances held on the Hebrew University-Mt. Scopus Campus on Arab Culture Day; the bilingual workshop in Hebrew and Arabic conducted by the voice performance artist Dr. Joseph Sprinzak, the results of which were presented to the acclaimed British actress, Dame Helen Mirren, on a visit to the department (2016).

The Frederick Loewe Foundation

The Frederick Loewe program for art and research in musical theatre emphasizes the musical aspects of theatre. Thanks to the generous endowment of the Frederick Loewe Foundation, named after the composer of the musical My Fair Lady (among many others), the department is able to conduct classes and workshops dedicated to musical theatre, including opera, cabaret, musicals and theatre-music relationships. The foundation also supports study workshops and musical theatre and dance theatre productions that are presented in the department each year. Throughout the years numerous master classes have been conducted with the participation of central artists in Israeli theatre, including the composer Josef Bardanashvili; Yonatan Levi, who directs experimental musicals; the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group; the performer Naomi Yoeli; and others. The Foundation has also supported international academic conferences dedicated to music in the theatre arts.


Contact Us

Department Administration


Orlit Keysar, Secretary of the Theatre Studies Department

Room 4607

Reception hours: Sun: 11:30–14:30  Mon–Thu: 10:00–13:00


Phone no. 02-588-393