Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Theatre and Performance Studies, B.A.

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The College of Arts and Sciences  undergraduate program in Theatre and Performance Studies (TAPS) provides students with an innovative and engaged approach to performance. Bridging theory with practice, the verbal with the visual, the major situates performance -from theatrical presentations proper, to acts of everyday life -as a transformative agent of social, cultural, political, and personal change. Committed to the art of storytelling, TAPS considers performing the stories of others as well as the self-imperative for initiating and sustaining a dialogue of shared human experience across identities, diversities, and desires. Through courses that target performance technique, application, design, history, analysis, theory, and criticism, the program seeks to create well-rounded students, cultivating creative, critical, collaborative, and compassionate voices that move toward fulfilling careers and meaningful lives.

Integrating the interdisciplinary traditions of Theatre and Performance Studies, a TAPS degree prepares students to make connections between performance and the human condition. Beyond classroom performance experience, students are asked to participate in main stage productions throughout their program of study, providing continued opportunities to enhance their skills in artistic creation and process, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, self-discipline, teamwork, and public presentation. Furthermore, students are encouraged to gain professional experience by participating in internship opportunities throughout the Chicagoland area. Ultimately, TAPS prepares students -as artists, citizens, and scholars- for work in all aspects of theatre, whether onstage, backstage, or in arts administration; for employment in civic engagement, activism, nonprofit organizations, public relations, among others; as well as for graduate study.

Program Expected Student Outcomes

Course within the major will address one or more of the following program outcomes:

1. Synthesize the disciplinary traditions of Theatre and Performance Studies and their interrelationship within a variety of texts and contexts.

2. Exhibit proficiency in performance vernacular, technique, and etiquette, including the vocal, physical, improvisational, imaginative, and collaborative skills essential to performance.

3. Analyze and evaluate the aesthetic, historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions of performance, including significant figures, movements, and issues.

4. Conceptualize performance as a transformative agent of social, cultural, political, and personal change, grounded in the art of storytelling.

5. Develop artistic abilities, sensibilities, and creativities with integrity, confidence, and critical thought resulting in the creation of a capstone project.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor’s degree. In addition, students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all required Theatre and Performance Studies courses. Students not receiving a “C” or higher are only allowed to repeat the course once. In addition, students must submit transfer courses to the advisor for approval by the first week of the semester of intended graduation.

Some required and selective courses are offered only once per academic year. Students are strongly advised to register well in advance of the start of courses, and to consult closely with their academic advisors upon entering and while in the program to ensure individual study plans are aligned with the university schedule.

General Education Requirement (37 Credit Hours)

See Bachelor’s Degree Requirements  for general education requirements.

Specializations (12 Credit Hours)

Select one of the following three specializations:

Advanced Selectives (9 Credit Hours)

Select three courses at or above the 3000-level.

Electives (34 Credit Hours)

In addition to the core and specialization credits required, students must take an additional 34 hours of elective credits, which may be used toward a second major or a minor. Students in this major are encouraged to complete a minor that complements their degree and career objectives.

Total Credit Hours - 120

* An asterisk denotes courses that can be completed through the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) or transfer credit.

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