• UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
    mission and concentrations

PROGRAM MISSION

MISSION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

The mission of the undergraduate program in Theater and Performance Studies is to provide a strong, non-conservatory program that joins the study and practice of performance within the context of a liberal arts curriculum.

joins the study and practice of performance within the context of a liberal arts curriculum

The department gives students a strong grasp of historical, cultural, and practical contexts in which live performance develops. With close faculty contact, department majors pursue areas of interest that may include acting, directing, writing, dance, devised theater, design, stage management, performance theory, and cultural studies. During the senior year students complete a capstone project as part of fulfilling the 60 units required for the major.

LEARNING OUTCOMES
  • write analytically about theater and performance
  • put aesthetic and creative skills into practice
  • find meaningful ways of integrating theory and practice
  • research effectively
  • articulate ideas about theater, dance and live arts

concentrations

All TAPS majors are required to select a concentration in Acting or Theater-Making. TAPS minors may also choose to concentrate in Dance. General guidance on course sequencing is available from the TAPS Director of Undergraduate Studies, Diana Looser; the Coordinator of the Acting Concentration, Amy Freed; the Coordinator of the Theater-Making Concentration, Leslie Hill; and the Coordinator of the Dance Concentration, Alex Ketley.

ACTING CONCENTRATION

The Acting concentration develops students’ skills in acting for the theater and related performance contexts. In practicum classes, students enhance their creative abilities under the guidance of teaching artists. Students also complete complementary coursework in performance studies and are encouraged to explore playwriting, directing, and/or devising in order to expand their exposure to major ideas and approaches in the field. Students in this concentration are encouraged to take the required course TAPS 120A Acting I: Fundamentals of Acting early in the major as a gateway for their further technique classes.

theater-making concentration

This concentration develops students' creative skills in theater-making. The theater-making concentration reflects the collaborative interdisciplinary nature of theater practice, with rich partnerships and dialogues between the crafts of directing, playwriting, producing, design and stagecraft. Students learn skills to build original theater productions. The disciplines grouped under this concentration offer a broad cross-section of theater-making skills and approaches. Students in this concentration are encouraged to take the required course TAPS 101P Intro to Directing and Devising Theatre early in the major as a gateway for their further studies.

DANCE CONCENTRATION (MINOR)

The Dance concentration offers diverse approaches to dance as a performing art, cultural practice, political act, and embodiment of ideology and beliefs. The minor requirements integrate academic and creative studio work to help students develop a command of dance as an art form and as a subject of critical inquiry. Students study a range of techniques grounded in Western dance practices as well as a variety of global dance forms, and have regular opportunities to perform, choreograph, and collaborate. Guidance on course sequencing is available from the TAPS Director of Undergraduate Studies, Diana Looser and/or from the coordinator of the Dance concentration, Alex Ketley. Students in this concentration are encouraged to take the required course TAPS 160 Performance and History: Rethinking the Ballerina early in the major as a gateway for their further studies.