Stuart Hecht


Associate Professor of Theatre, Boston College

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, Shozo Sato and Del Close, to name a few. Articles about his pioneering Chicago 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 as well as on assimilation and the American musical. He has published over thirty scholarly articles, both here and abroad, as well as chapters in seven major books (on a variety of topics). 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 where he has directly supervised the publication of some 160 scholarly articles.  He also is an editorial board member for both Theatre Annual and the Journal of American Drama and Theatre.  Stuart sits on the board of the New England Theatre Conference and was named to its College of Fellows, was a long-time officer of the American Theatre and Drama Society, a board member of the Chicago Theatre History Project. 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 in part from his book.  He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio. Stuart has also regularly served as a participant in the Articles-in-Progress workshops hosted by the Mid-America Theatre Conference since 2009, as well as an occasional presenter.

Stuart has presented over a hundred 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 just completed editing a new book with two colleagues titled, Makeshift Chicago Theatre: a Century of Theatre and Performance, published by Northwestern University Press (2019), is currently writing a book on Jane Addams’ Hull House social settlement theatre and its legacy.

Stuart has worked at Boston College since 1986 where he has taught classes in directing, playwriting, dramatic literature and theatre history. He directed twenty-four productions at Boston College, supervised over seventy student productions, and oversaw 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.


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