Arts Leadership

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DePaul University

The Theatre School’s Arts Leadership program is a two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree that combines full-time employment at Chicago Shakespeare Theater with full-time coursework at DePaul University. Management, leadership, and cultural decision-making coursework through both The Theatre School and Kellstadt Graduate School of Business is applied and synthesized through the fellowship at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This rigorous and nationally distinct program is designed to prepare highly skilled leaders in the complex and sophisticated world of the arts. Two students are selected to enter the program each year.

Goals and Objectives

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) brings a broad spectrum of theater to Chicago each year, engaging and entertaining visitors from all walks of life. Through the World’s Stage Series, CST brings international productions to Chicago audiences, presenting new cultural and artistic experiences. For family audiences, CST presents abridged Shakespeare productions and classic musicals. The education outreach program, Team Shakespeare, has reached more than one million students and helps Shakespeare come alive for students and teachers throughout the Midwest. Chicago Shakespeare Theater sets a high standard for entertainment and storytelling that ensures everyone will find something to enjoy—whether it be traditional classical theater or new classics.


Arts Leadership students are introduced to all phases of work at CST and assume management positions for specific projects. Students undertake staff management, line production, and strategic development duties in various departments and in doing so, interact with several of the CST’s constituencies, from patrons to artists to donors. Students administer the routine tasks that keep a theater running smoothly, and helm company-wide programs that require the highest standard of execution and accountability. Front-line involvement in day-to-day operations coupled with access to the CST’s “big picture” planning afford students a unique opportunity to develop the skills and vision necessary to lead an arts organization into the future.

DePaul Theatre School

DePaul University

Alan Salzenstein

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