In 1946, noted theater director Harlan F. Grant helped the Conservatory establish its Drama Department. Using the school’s unique access to music and dance, he laid the foundation for today’s musical theater and contemporary theater programs. When Neil Donohoe took the helm in 1985, he sparked innovations that made the Conservatory one of the leading schools in the world for musical theater, setting the standard for other colleges. The Conservatory continued to break new ground by offering an M.F.A. in musical theater in 2012, and launching a B.F.A. program in contemporary theater in 2015, becoming the first conservatory to offer a degree in this subject.