Dr. Stuart J. Hecht
History of Theatre I & II
Shakespeare on the Stage
American Musical Theatre
American Theatre History and Drama
Modern Theatre and Drama
Introduction to Theatre
Stuart received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s and doctorate from Northwestern University. He worked on the artistic staff of the Goodman Theatre and was resident dramaturg for the Wisdom Bridge Theatre, both in Chicago. He has worked with a range of prominent theatre artists, included Bob Falls, Gregory Mosher, David Mamet, Wole Soyinka, Frank Galati and Del Close, to name a few. Articles about his dramaturgical work have appeared in publications ranging from The Chicago Tribune to Yale University’s Theater.
Stuart is an American theatre historian who has worked extensively in Chicago theatre history and more recently on assimilation and the American musical. He has published over thirty scholarly articles, both here and abroad, as well as chapters in four major books. His articles have appeared in Theatre Journal, The Journal of American Theatre and Drama, Theatre History Studies, Chicago History, The Sondheim Review, American Theatre, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and The Journal of Popular Culture, amongst many others. He is the long-standing Editor-in-Chief of New England Theatre Journal, sits on the board of the New England Theatre Conference, and is an officer of the American Theatre and Drama Society. He is also a board member of the Chicago Theatre History Project. Stuart was also named to the New England Theatre Conference’s College of Fellows. Stuart was an advisory board member for, and also appeared as an interviewee in, the Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary, “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy,” which grew directly out of his research and writing.
He has presented over seventy-five talks and papers at national conferences, organized several conferences, served as an evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and was also briefly a member of Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards committee. His book Transposing Broadway: Jews, Assimilation and the American Musical, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011, received Recommended status by the Journal CHOICE, and was later released in paperback. He is currently researching a book on Chicago’s professional theatre and its Hull House social settlement roots.
Stuart has worked at Boston College since 1986 where he has taught classes in directing, playwriting, dramatic literature and theatre history. He has directed over twenty productions at Boston College, has supervised over seventy student productions, and overseen over fifty more student independent studies, research and honors projects. Stuart was Founding Chair of the Boston College Theatre Department, a position he held for thirteen years.