Theatre Department Faculty

Stuart J. Hecht

Associate Professor

Department

Theatre

Biography

Stuart 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. He was recently recognized as a pioneer in the field by a panel of leading contemporary Chicago dramaturgs.

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 five 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, Theatre Survey and The Journal of Popular Culture, amongst many others.

He is the long-standing Editor-in-Chief of New England Theatre Journal, and is an editorial board member for both Theatre Annual and the Journal of American Drama and Theatre. Stuart also 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 also been interviewed on National Public Radio about his work.

He has presented over ninety-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, and continues to publish and speak on the American musical and issues of identity.

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 BC, has supervised over seventy student productions, and overseen over fifty student independent studies, research and honors projects. Stuart was Founding Chair of the Boston College Theatre Department, a position he held for thirteen years.