Department of Theatre

The Theatre Department at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, with a history spanning over sixty years since its establishment in 1957, offers a comprehensive range of educational programmes. It provides four-year bachelor’s degrees in acting, directing, and dramaturgy, and two distinct master’s programmes: one in Contemporary Physical Performance Making, taught entirely in English, and another in Theatre Art and Pedagogy, taught in Estonian. Additionally, there is a doctoral programme in dramatic art based on artistic research.

Founded in 1957 by esteemed Estonian theatre director, actor, and educator Voldemar Panso, the Tallinn State Conservatoire’s theatre faculty was initially led by Panso for two decades. Panso, a graduate of both the Higher Theatre School at the Tallinn Conservatoire and the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts, infused his teaching with Stanislavski’s methods. This pedagogical approach was later enhanced by Ingo Normet and others, particularly during Estonia’s re-establishment of independence in the 1990s.

The department’s teaching methods blend traditional Estonian theatre techniques with Stanislavski’s principles, incorporating contemporary performing arts trends and influences from other European theatre schools. The faculty features well-respected theatre practitioners both from Estonia and internationally, including names like Tiit Ojasoo, Elmo Nüganen, and Lembit Peterson. Historically focused on acting, the department has also produced many of Estonia’s renowned directors and dramaturges.

In 2019, the department introduced its first international Master of Arts degree in Contemporary Physical Performance Making (CPPM), taught in English. This addition complements the existing master’s programme in Theatre Art and Pedagogy, conducted in Estonian.

Graduates from the department have achieved prominence in Estonian theatres, film, television, radio, and beyond, earning international recognition. The department actively collaborates with Estonian professional theatres and maintains strong connections with theatre schools across Europe, particularly in the Nordic and Baltic countries.