Studying at the Institute of Theatre Studies (ITW) in Bern cultivates a versatile academic approach to a broad field of study. The degree program imparts specialist knowledge and first-hand experience of “theatre”. The study of theatre spans a wide range of cultural phenomena, from theatre and dance performances, dramatic, theatrical, performative, and choreographic practices, cultural, historical, social, and political movements, through to self-staging, such as that on social media platforms. At the ITW, theatre studies students gain historical, aesthetic, and theoretical perspectives of such theatrical and performative phenomena and events. ITW courses include European theatre and dance history, contemporary theatre and dance creation from both regional and global perspectives, theories of theatre, dance and cultural studies, and theatre and dance aesthetics.
The organisational chart illustrates the structure of the Institute of Theatre Studies (ITW).
The Institute of Theatre Studies (ITW) regularly cooperates with various institutions and key players from academia and cultural practice, in teaching and research.
The history of theatre focuses on European theatre from antiquity to the present, as well as the methods and discourses of theatre historiography. Guided by the founding mission of the Institute of Theatre Studies (ITW), special emphasis is placed on Swiss theatre history. Over an eight-semester cycle, students are given a chronological overview of the diverse, social, political, and cultural-historical conditions of European theatre.
Within the broad field of theatre studies, dance studies consider phenomena and processes of dance, choreography, and performance. Artistic expressions, practices and surrounding discourses in Europe and the West from the 17th to the 21st century form the central focus. In addition, the wider study of social dance forms, body and movement practices, and global phenomena prompts critical questions of (dance) historiographical constructions.
Contemporary theatre at the Institute of Theatre Studies (ITW) looks at local, regional, and global phenomena and processes of contemporary theatre creation, as well as constructions of “contemporary” in theatre and cultural studies discourse. Current research is concerned with institutional change and critique in the European performing arts. It focuses on festival culture, changing working methods in contemporary theatre, dramaturgical strategies in contemporary performance theatre and theatre in digital change.