The Theatre School MFA in Directing Theses

Date of Award

Spring 6-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Elizabeth Portes

Second Advisor

Damon Kiely


In his thesis paper, entitled: Theatre of Trauma , MFA Directing candidate Nathan Singh uses his three years of graduate school to further develop his theories of a theatre of trauma. He uses class-work, productions and the philosophies/works of other theatre-makers to articulate how theatre is a powerful outlet to show survivors processing different types of trauma. In doing this, he has expands his vision and aesthetic on directing (or generating) works about trauma and human suffering. He also investigates how theatre can help heal and/or reclaim trauma. In the first part, he shares his background on how to got to The Theatre School at DePaul University. The work he was doing in Los Angeles, both theatrically as a freelance director and personally in therapy, was subconsciously pushing him towards the topic of trauma. In his first year of grad school, he learned text analysis that helped track the journey of characters, directed a play about Repressed Memory Syndrome, learned about (and was influenced by) directing theorists who were tackling social and societal trauma in their work, and generated postdramatic theatre pieces that combined images with different types of emotional scars.