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Dr. Stuart J. Hecht

associate professor


American Musical Theatre
American Theatre History and Drama
Modern Theatre and Drama

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, including Bob Falls, Gregory Mosher, David Mamet, Wole Soyinka, Frank Galati and Del Close. 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. 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 past treasurer and current membership secretary 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.”

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 the Joseph Jefferson Awards committee in Chicago. His book Transposing Broadway: Jews, Assimilation and the American Musical, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011, received Recommended status by the Journal CHOICE, and is scheduled to appear in paperback this Fall. He is currently researching a book on Chicago’s community-based theatre and its Hull House social settlement roots.

At Boston College Stuart has taught classes in directing, playwriting, dramatic literature and theatre history. He has directed over twenty productions at Boston College and has supervised over seventy student productions. He also served as founding Chair of the Theatre Department, a position he held for thirteen years.