Department of Theater - The Dr. Reuven Hecht School of Arts, University of Haifa

החוג לתיאטרון – משכן לאמנויות הבמה

In January 2016, at a scholarship awarding ceremony held at the Municipal Conference Hall, HAF awarded a scholarship to Uri Lev, student of the Theater Department of the Performing Arts Center. Mrs. Hedva Almog, Deputy and Substitute Mayor of Haifa; Bracha Sela, Acting Director of the Foundation and Secretary General; Aviva Spiegelstein, Director of Haifa Arts Foundation; scholars and their families attended the event.

The Department of Theater at the University of Haifa, established in 1995/6, is the youngest of the three theater departments in Israeli universities. Since 2005, the Department of Theater, together with the Department of Music and the Department of Art and Crafts, is located in a new and inspiring building: the Dr. Reuven Hecht Art Center. 

Since 2013, the Theater Department has been part of the School of Arts, which includes the Department of Music and the Department of Art and Crafts, and accordingly the theater students participate in the courses of these departments.
The Arts Center includes an intimate theater hall and spacious rehearsal spaces.

החוג לתיאטרון – משכן לאמנויות הבמה

The Right to Play. Department of Theater, Social-Therapeutic Course. Photo: Nofar Pinto


Closest to the End. Directed by Bashar Murkus. Photo: Yossi Zwecker

The Arts Center also houses the Graduate School for Creative Arts Therapies (drama therapy, psychodrama, movement therapy, art therapy, music therapy), which grants its graduates a master's degree. Undergraduate students in the Department of Theater interested in pursuing a master's degree in drama therapy or psychodrama therapy will be able to apply for a degree at the GSCAT.

The current unique curriculum of the Theater Department combines research and creativity and addresses some of the challenges the performing arts face in the 21st century.

The main themes of the program are performance studies, acting and the acting person, relationships between viewer and performer, theater as a tool for social change, theater as a therapeutic tool, and social activism through art (artivism).


Mazi Michalovsky in Closest to the End, directed by Bashar Murkus. Photo: Yossi Zwecker

The program offers a wide range of fields, including location-dependent shows, performance art, social-therapeutic theater practices, theater and gender, directing approaches in western theater, Palestinian theater and cinema, folklore, children's theater, post-dramatic theater and more.

The program is designed for those who wish to acquire knowledge about the art of theater and performance, to experience theater and performance, and to develop their creative skills. The Department of Theater implements teaching methods that place the creating-researching artist, who is attentive to society and culture, at the center. The teaching staff provides students with personal guidance and experience in group-work, and in the development of a common artistic language. The courses enable cross-cultural and interdisciplinary encounters, equip students with tools, skills and relevant proficiencies for the future generation of theater and performance artists.

The program includes theoretical and laboratory classes, including:
• Actor Director Work
• The Action of Speech
* Theater and Gender
• Post-Dramatic Theater
• From Folklore to Interdisciplinary Work
• Creativity and Research Ensemble
• Acting and Directorial Approaches
• Research and Creativity, Theory and Practice of Contemporary Work
• From Theater to Psychodrama to Drama Therapy and Back
• The Instructor's Work in a Community Theater
• Theatrical Event in the Community
• Art, Community and Social Activism
• Theater, Intellect, Senses
• Children's Theater
• Acting and Mischief
• Working on Scenes
• Stage Craft Workshops



Along with the regular curriculum, the Department produces a variety of activities, including:
• Encounters with theater artists and researchers
• Guest shows
• Educational tours
• Active hiatus (student shows)
• Academic conferences

The Department's curriculum enables single-department studies in directing, acting and social-therapeutic theater; and two-disciplinary studies in the social-therapeutic course and theoretical theater studies with practical experience in acting, directing and ensemble work. Single-disciplinary course: students must accumulate 120 credit points within the framework of the department. Dual-disciplinary course: students must accumulate 60 credit points at the theater department, and 60 more at another department of the university. The Department encourages students to choose theater studies alongside media studies, psychology, sociology, anthropology, Arab literature, Hebrew and comparative literature, philosophy and more. The studies at the theater department promise students an experience of discovery and creativity, broadening of the horizons, expression and self-realization.

The School of the Arts - Faculty of Humanities - Haifa University
University of Haifa - The Dr. Hecht Center for the Arts
199 Abba Hushi Boulevard, Mount Carmel, Haifa 3498838
Phone: 04-8288821 Fax: 04-8249714 


The Dr. Hecht Arts Center, Haifa University - General  

Founded in 2012, the School of Arts brings together three academic units: the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Music, and the Department of Theater. The School offers studies at BA and MA level, and provides a point of theoretical and practical contact between diverse artistic fields and those working within them. Our students study one artistic discipline in depth and are at the same time exposed to expressive forms drawn from other disciplines.

Among the staff of the School of Arts are artists and researchers of the highest level, renowned in Israel and the wider world. They teach with professionalism and sensitivity, training students to meet intellectual and aesthetic challenges, and encouraging them to follow their independent ideas and to actualize them.

Professor Sharon Poliakine (Fine Arts) served as the Head of the School of Arts during 2012-2015, and Professor Yuval Shaked (Music) currently serves in this position.

Around 380 students study in the departments of the School of Arts: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Circassians; veteran Israelis and new immigrants; secular and religious people; students from cities, rural settlements and kibbutzim; from the periphery and from the center of the country. In its daily life, the School of Arts is an exciting multicultural meeting point.

The departments are located in the Hecht Arts Centre, established in memory of Dr. Reuben Hecht. A modern and inspiring building that was inaugurated in 2006, the Arts Centre is built into the sloping peak of Mt Carmel in an area of natural beauty, overlooking an impressive view of sea, mountains and valleys, and secular and sacred sites.

The School of Arts also promotes community engagement projects that envisage the arts as a means to intervene in wider society. Within this framework, students go out to work with socially excluded communities and in organizations that work with populations with special needs in Haifa and northern Israel. These projects enable students to gain experience and to take on responsibilities, and to find opportunities to create positive change in the society around them. They discover how art that is attentive, engaged and adventurous can promote important values such as responsibility, commitment, justice and solidarity.

School of the Arts, University of Haifa

199 Abba Hushi Blvd., Haifa 3498838

Phone: 04-8288821 – Fax: 04-8249714

The Right to Play. Department of Theater, Social-Therapeutic Course. Photo: Nofar Pinto