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.