Stanislavski, Brecht and Beyond: An Integrated Approach to Actor Training in Berlin

The spring 2023 study abroad program is currently planned to run; however, we must remain flexible in our response to changing developments due to COVID-19. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our first priority.

Create and perform realistic and devised theater. Strengthen and deepen your presence on stage. Craft performances that are intellectually informed, viscerally exciting, and theatrically courageous.

Experience a cosmopolitan city that holds a complex and crucial place in modern European history. Youthful, artistic, and hip, Berlin has traveled a path that led from the defining cultural avant-garde of the Weimar Republic to the devastation of World War II, from a divided city symbolizing the Cold War to today’s reunified and renewed capital. 


Program Overview

Stanislavski, Brecht and Beyond: An Integrated Approach to Actor Training in Berlin is a one-semester program in theatre and actor training for advanced drama students. It is offered by NYU Berlin in conjunction with the Tisch Department of Drama, in affiliation with faculty from the world-renowned Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Berlin University of the Arts, and the internationally acclaimed Berlin Schaubuhne.


Your semester abroad consists of your core program course and three additional companion courses, completing a full-time, 16-unit semester.

Please Note: Students studying abroad on a Tisch track are not eligible to pursue an internship (except for Theatre in Ghana and Television Writing in London). Tisch programs do not provide work visas.

Actor Training in Berlin (Core)

THEA-UT 9455 | 8 units

The curriculum will focus on the study and practical application of aspects of German theatre that have made and continue to make a significant contribution to international theatre practice. It includes the integration of the Russian based Stanislavski Method of Physical Actions and Active Analysis with Brecht’s Epic Theater, Advanced Realistic scene study, classes in video performance with the company Gob Squad, Brecht scene study, Devised theater, Post Dramatic Theatre, movement, voice and rigorous actor-oriented Dramaturgical research. Students will study the history of 20th Century German Dramatic Literature, Dramatic Theory and Theatrical practice, German language, attend productions in several major theatres and take field trips to other cities in Germany. The program will culminate with workshop performances of several original devised theatre pieces based on short plays (Lehrstucke) by Brecht.

Students will also attend performances in the FIND Festival, a two-week theatre festival hosted by the Berlin Schaubuhne, for many years the premier theater in Germany. Designed to foster international artistic exchange this festival brings together a select group of international theatre students for ten days. They attend several contemporary professional productions, meet with the directors and participate in a series of master classes led by an international team of major teaching artists including Mr. Ostermeier.

The overall goal of the program is to enable students to create and perform realistic and devised theater that balances full physical and emotional embodiment with critical distance and actively interfaces the dramatic story and the theatrical context. This integrated approach aims to strengthen and deepen their presence on stage and their ability to create performances that are intellectually informed, viscerally exciting, and theatrically courageous.

German Theatre of the 20th Century

THEA-UT 9612 | 4 units

This course examines German theatre of the 20th century, from Expressionism to contemporary postdramatic forms of writing and performance. The course will first offer an overview of German theatre traditions before 1900 and will then engage in analyzing specific developments in German theater starting with Max Reinhardt and his work at the Deutsches Theatre Berlin. Other case studies will focus on Brecht’s epic theatre, theatre during the Third Reich, postwar theatre trends in East and West Germany, and current developments in reunified Germany. Not only will we closely read relevant plays and theory by the theatre makers of the respective periods but we will also explore aesthetics and performance issues as they have changed over time. As the involved practice of dramaturgy in Germany has greatly influenced theatrical developments, we will investigate this major aspect of theatrical work in Germany as a contribution to world theater and study how the extensive debate of ideas is being concretely realized in the theatre through the choices being made in a production. An integral part of the course will include visits to Berlin theatres, attending performances, which we will analyze in class, and engaging in discussion with contemporary theatre makers in Berlin.


German Language

Course Number TBA | 4 units

You will take one of the German language courses offered through NYU Global. Placement is based on your experience. 


If you are a non-Tisch NYU student or visiting undergraduate student, please check with your home school advisor on how Tisch study abroad courses will apply to your degree.


Program Dates

Spring 2023

Student Arrival: January 23, 2023
Student Departure: May 16, 2023

Arrival and departure dates are tentative and subject to change.



Tisch Drama Majors: Four semesters of studio training or equivalent.
NYU and Visiting students:  One year of college or professional training.


The spring 2023 application is closed.

Application: Acceptance to the program is by audition/interview as well as application review. Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.

Note: Students should wait to receive their admissions notification and confirmation that the program is running prior to purchasing airline tickets. Students accepted to the program should purchase refundable airline tickets and/or travel insurance in the event the program is canceled or program dates are changed due to world events. It is strongly recommended that students purchase insurance for trip cancellation, flight cancellation, luggage loss or damage, as well as medical and accident coverage.


  • Academic Year 2022-2023 Full-time Tuition, 12-18 unit flat rate per term: $30,556

Additional Fees Include:

  • Nonrefundable Registration and Services Fee: $1,392
  • NYU Housing: Visit the NYU Berlin website for options and costs

Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.

Visit the Office of Global Programs for additional study abroad costs.


Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are opportunities for financial assistance to study abroad.
Please review the Scholarships and Financial Aid for Study Abroad page for more information.


Visit the NYU Berlin website for housing options and descriptions.