Contacts | Undergraduate Program of Study | Requirements for the Major | Summary of Requirements for the Major | Grading | Minor Program in Theater and Performance Studies | Theater and Performance Studies Courses

Department Website: http://taps.uchicago.edu

Undergraduate Program of Study

Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) seeks to animate the intersection of theory and practice in the arts. The program is inherently comparative, requiring its students to acquire facility in the practice and critical analysis of a chosen medium or media (e.g., theater, film, digital media, dance, music, performance writing).

The program is designed to be flexible (to afford students as much latitude as possible in pursuing their particular interests) and exacting (to guarantee the development of comparative practical skills and rigorous analytic capacities). Students should work closely with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and faculty advisors assigned to the program to shape an individual course of study that reflects the student's interests while fulfilling the program's interdisciplinary and comparative requirements. The student's faculty advisor for the BA project (see below) will provide additional direction during the final year of study.

Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in TAPS. Information follows the description of the major.

Requirements for the Major

Starting with the Class of 2020, students in the TAPS program must meet the following requirements:

  1. TAPS 22900 Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies, designed to introduce students to foundational ideas and critical skills relevant to the study of theater and performance.
  2. Six elective courses in theater and/or performance theory, considered broadly to include history, theory, aesthetics, or analysis. Theory courses may be selected from the TAPS course offerings listed below or from related course offerings in the College. Ideally, at least four of these courses will be taken from members of the faculty in TAPS. Course selection is subject to the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  3. Five elective courses in artistic practice. Many of these courses will be found in the practical course offerings of TAPS listed below, as well as the course offerings in the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies, the Committee on Creative Writing, the Department of Visual Arts, and the Department of Music, among others. Students are encouraged to work with more than one discipline and may need to supplement these course offerings with individually designed "reading" courses. Here, too, the student undertakes course selection in consultation with, and subject to the approval of, the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the time the major is declared.
  4. One course (TAPS 29800 Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium) devoted to the preparation of the BA project, to be taken in the student's fourth year.

Students in the Classes of 2018 and 2019 may adopt these requirements if they so choose.

BA Project

As the culmination of an undergraduate program combining practice and theory, BA projects in Theater and Performance Studies will encompass both original artistic work (e.g., staged reading, site-specific installation, solo performance, choreography) and a critical paper.

BA project proposals are developed by the student in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to the approval of the Chair of Theater and Performance Studies, and supervised by a faculty member.

The TAPS 29800 Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium offers a weekly forum to develop the BA project in collaboration with peers. TAPS 29800 extends over two quarters, but students register for the course in only Autumn or Winter. Students receive 100 units of credit and one grade for TAPS 29800 Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium. Deadlines for the BA project, assuming a spring graduation date, are as follows. Students graduating in any quarter other than Spring should speak with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about an appropriate timeline.

THIRD YEAR: SPRING QUARTER

  • BA Project Statement (for both Critical and Artistic components), Reading List, Advisor Prospects

FOURTH YEAR: AUTUMN QUARTER

  • Friday of Week 5: Prospectus, Reading List, Advisor Confirmation, Project Timeline
  • Friday of Week 10: Revised Draft of Critical Paper

FOURTH YEAR: WINTER QUARTER

  • Friday of Week 5 or 6: Written Notation and Workshop Performance of Artistic Project
  • Friday of Week 10: Complete Draft of Critical Paper and Artistic Project

FOURTH YEAR: SPRING QUARTER

  • Weeks 3 and 4: Presentation of Artistic Project
  • Friday of Week 5: Final Complete Project (for graduation with honors consideration)
  • Friday of Week 8: Final Complete Project (for graduation without honors consideration)

Honors

Eligibility for honors requires an overall cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the TAPS major, and a BA project that is judged by the designated advisors to display exceptional intellectual and creative merit. If the faculty advisors recommend the project for honors, the Chair of TAPS in consultation with the TAPS Faculty Curriculum Committee will issue a recommendation to the Associate Dean and Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division, who makes the ultimate decision.

Summary of Requirements for the Major

TAPS 22900Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies100
Six (6) theory and analysis courses 600
Five (5) artistic practice courses 500
TAPS 29800Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium100
A public presentation of the artistic project by fifth week of the graduating quarter
Critical reflection on the BA project by eighth week of the graduating quarter
Total Units1300

Application to the Major

Students interested in joining the program are encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Spring Quarter of their first year or as soon as possible thereafter. Students who have decided to join the program should file an Application to the Major form with the Director of Undergraduate Studies by the beginning of Spring Quarter of their second year or, in extraordinary circumstances, no later than the end of Autumn Quarter of their third year.  

Students will need to formalize their declaration on my.uchicago.edu and regularly provide documentation of any approvals for the major to their College adviser for the necessary processing.

Grading

All courses in the major or minor must be taken for a quality grade.

Minor Program in Theater and Performance Studies

Students interested in the minor program must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in TAPS before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention. Students must obtain written approval by submitting a TAPS Minor Program form to the TAPS Director of Undergraduate Studies. The signed form must be submitted to the student’s College adviser by the deadline on the form.

The TAPS minor requires a total of six courses plus an original artistic work (e.g., staged reading, site specific installation, solo performance piece, choreography). TAPS 22900 Introduction to Theater and Performance Studies is required for all minors. At least two of the required courses must be advanced TAPS courses (i.e., 20000-level or higher). The remaining required courses must bear a clear and coherent relationship to the intended artistic work of the TAPS minor.

In addition, each student must register for the Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium (TAPS 29800). The focus of this course will be the development of the student's artistic project, as described above, to be presented by the fifth week of the quarter in which the student intends to graduate. Each student must also submit a short critical reflection on the project by eighth week of the graduating quarter.

Courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for a quality grade, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Summary of Requirements for the Minor Program

TAPS 22900Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies100
Two TAPS courses (20000-level or higher)200
Two arts electives (e.g., Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, Music, TAPS, Visual Art)200
TAPS 29800Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium100
A public presentation of the artistic project by fifth week of the graduating quarter
Critical reflection on the BA project by eighth week of the graduating quarter
Total Units600

Theater and Performance Studies Courses

TAPS 10100. Drama: Embodiment and Transformation. 100 Units.

Students examine the performance and the aesthetics of two dramatic works in contrasting styles but with unifying themes. The goal of this course is to develop an appreciation and understanding of a variety of techniques and of the processes by which they are theatrically realized. Rather than focus on the dramatic text itself, we concentrate on the piece in performance, including the impact of cultural context on interpretation. To achieve this, students are required to act, direct, and design during the course.

Instructor(s): D. New, P. Pascoe, S.Bockley, S. Murray, D. DeMayo     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

TAPS 10200. Acting Fundamentals. 100 Units.

This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation. Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study.

Instructor(s): D. New, P. Pascoe, L. Danzig, V. Stalling, S. Murray, D. DeMayo     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory; prior theater or acting training not required. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

TAPS 10300 through 10699. Text and Performance. Experience in dramatic analysis or performance not required. Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. Each of these courses meets the general education requirement in the arts. Workshops in dramatic technique and attendance at performances at Chicago theaters, in addition to class time, are required.

TAPS 10300Text and Performance100
TAPS 10500Staging Terror100
TAPS 10600Staging Desire100

TAPS 10300. Text and Performance. 100 Units.

This course offers an introduction to a number of significant dramatic works and seminal figures in the theorization of theater and performance. But the course's aspirations go much further: we will be concentrating upon the intersection of interpretation and enactment, asking how these pieces appear on stage and why. This will not be merely descriptive work, but crucially it will be interpretive and physical work. Students will prepare and present applied interpretations—that is, interpretations that enable conceptual insights to take artistic form. Throughout, we will be searching for that elusive combination of philological rigor, theoretical sophistication, and creative inspiration—probing the theoretical stakes of creativity and testing the creative implications of analytic insights.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman, D. Levin, L. Kruger, S.Bockley, S. Murray     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. Experience in dramatic analysis or performance not required. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

TAPS 10500. Staging Terror. 100 Units.

This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course explores the interplay between horror, terror, and pleasure through in-class discussions of theoretical works and the possibilities of practical creative application. The paradox of the attraction to repulsion will be considered as well as the values of shock, suspense, and subtlety. Texts will include Grand Guignol, Shakespeare, Gothic novels, and horror films.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at the first class is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

TAPS 10600. Staging Desire. 100 Units.

This course explores the interplays between romance, attractions, and distractions  through in-class discussions of theoretical works and the possibilities of practical creative application. The paradox of instant gratification and prolonged desire will be considered as well as the values of shock, suspense, and subtlety. Texts will include classic and contemporary drama, vampire cult fiction, fairy tales, films, and theoretic source material.  Working 4-dimensionally, we will examine how theorized stagings can evoke and undermine sentimentality.  This course will constantly question how analysis itself can be a performative practice and how performance can serve as a critical endeavor.  The course will culminate in a series of original scenes to be shown at the end of the quarter. Experience in dramatic analysis or performance not required.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. Course offered in alternate years. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

TAPS 10700. Introduction to Stage Design. 100 Units.

Course explores the application of the visual and aural arts to the varied forms of design for the stage (i.e., scenic, lighting, costume, sound). We pay particular attention to the development of a cogent and well-reasoned analysis of text and an articulate use of the elements of design through a set of guided practical projects.

Instructor(s): J. Wardell     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring
Note(s): Lab fee is required. Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

TAPS 15500. Beginning Screenwriting. 100 Units.

This course introduces the basic elements of a literate screenplay, including format, exposition, characterization, dialog, voice-over, adaptation, and the vagaries of the three-act structure. Weekly meetings include a brief lecture period, screenings of scenes from selected films, extended discussion, and assorted readings of class assignments. Because this is primarily a writing class, students write a four- to five-page weekly assignment related to the script topic of the week.

Instructor(s): T. Brown     Terms Offered: Winter

TAPS 18600. Introduction to Puppetry. 100 Units.

This course explores the basic history and theory of puppetry as a performance art (both Eastern and Western traditions). Lectures are included, but our focus is on construction and performance techniques of basic puppet forms (e.g., hand, shadow, rod, bunraku styles).

Instructor(s): J. Wardell     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years. Please note a $30 fee for supplies and materials applies to this course.

TAPS 20100. Twentieth-Century American Drama. 100 Units.

Beginning with O'Neill's 'Long Day's Journey into Night' through the American avant-garde to the most recent production on Broadway, this course focuses on American contemporary playwrights who have made a significant impact with regard to dramatic form in context to specific decade as well as cumulatively through the twentieth century. Textual analysis is consistently oriented towards production possibilities, both historically and hypothetically.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 20600. Adapting the Unadaptable. 100 Units.

Fiction has always provided rich source material for drama. But much 20th and 21st century fiction can seem unadaptable—it is often sprawling, poetic, interior, fragmentary, or cerebral (or all of the above!). This hands-on course will challenge students to approach modern and contemporary literature with unconventional tools of staging, editing, and design. Students will also be introduced to the work of contemporary theater companies and productions that have taken on seemingly impossible adaptation projects, and closely study adaptations of Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf and others.

Instructor(s): S. Bockley     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 20700. Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. 100 Units.

This course is an orientation and practicum in contemporary dramaturgy. After surveying Enlightenment treatises that occasioned Western dramaturgical practices, students will critically engage present-day writings that consider the objectives and ultimate raisons d’être for the production dramaturg. Students then undertake dramaturgical research, exploring different methodologies and creative mind-sets for four representative performance genres: period plays; new plays; operas or musicals; and installations or performance art. Special attention will be given to cultivating skills for providing constructive feedback and practicing dramaturgy as an artistic collaborator and fellow creator. The class culminates in the design and compilation of a sourcebook for actors, directors, and designers, followed by a dramaturgical presentation intended for a professional rehearsal room.

Instructor(s): D. Matson     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 20800. Engineering Story: Playwriting and Performance. 100 Units.

Great new work can be made very quickly with passion, precision, attitude, and verve. The tools are simple: an aggressive attention to detail, an obsession for truth-telling, and a general fearlessness in the face of total collapse. The class focuses on the bones that make a play: essays that incite action, monologues, articles, and news stories as inspiration for tone; soundtracks and backstory laid out and investigated. The exploration of storytelling plays a crucial part in every single person’s daily life whether they’re a writer, a surgeon, a janitor, or an accountant: Theater makers are encouraged, but everyone has a story and a need to tell it.

Instructor(s): I. Holter     Terms Offered: TBD
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 21600. Acting Workshop. 100 Units.

This advanced acting course will prep you for the professional industry. The classes are based on the Meisner Technique and the Black Box Acting Studio Method. You will work on technique, auditions, and learn to consistently bring your full self to the table.

Instructor(s): C. Woods     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. CONSENT ONLY.

TAPS 21700. An Actor Observes. 100 Units.

This course addresses techniques and modes of observation and their application to scene study. Observation study is used to strengthen acting choices, build the physical world of the play, and create original, vital characterizations. It also serves to deepen awareness of group dynamics; integrate symbolic, psychological, and physical meaning in a character's behavior; and guide the process of breaking down a scene. Students will perform observation exercises and apply their discoveries to scene work.

Instructor(s): P. Pascoe     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 21800. Creating a Musical Revue. 100 Units.

This course is open to students looking to deepen and explore their relationship with music, song writing, theatrical creation, and collaboration. Students will be required to attend three or four performances throughout Chicago and become familiar with a listening, reading, and watching list. Focusing on songwriting and collaboration, though previous songwriting experience is not a requirement. Goals are to explore the nature of songwriting and musical theater, and the relationship between music and storytelling. At the end of the course, students will stage performances of their collaboratively developed, original musical revue.

Instructor(s): J. Nichols     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 22100. Solo Performance. 100 Units.

This goal of this course is to develop solo work and investigate the unique performer-to-audience dynamic of solo performance and its particular challenges and power. This experience offers insight into the collaborative process and develops the ability to evaluate work from an interior and an exterior perspective, through independent as well as group work. Inspired by Oulipian constraint-based exercises, students generate new works through in-class and take-home assignments. Sources include journals, personal research, improvisation, the use of multi-media, and viewpoints. The course culminates in a performance of solo works.

Instructor(s): V. Stalling     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. Prior solo work not required. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 22300. Performance Art Installation: The Dreamer and the Dream. 100 Units.

In this course we will explore the relations between dreaming and waking life using a broad interdisciplinary approach. Our point of departure will be psychological, cultural, and religious understandings of dreams. On the basis of the readings and the skills and backgrounds of participants, the class will develop a “performance installation” around the liminal spaces of dream and wakefulness. Readings will include literary texts by Apuleius, Calderon, Shakespeare,  Schnitzler, and Neil Gaiman, and theoretical texts by Freud, Jung, Klein, and Winnicott. 

Instructor(s): P. Pascoe     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 22500. Styles and Practice in Storytelling. 100 Units.

“What is storytelling? It can be said that it is the oldest form of observing, synthesizing, and communicating feelings thoughts and information.”—Temujin the Storyteller. Every day we use stories to communicate. This course provides students with an overview of the art and practice of storytelling. Chicago is a storytelling town from the Moth to Second Story and from Story Slams to traditional storytelling; performance artists give voice to a wide range of expression. Throughout this learning experience, students will be encouraged to explore the world of storytelling and to nurture their creative voices. Students will create and adapt tales focusing on personal experience, folklore, history, and ethnography. We will learn through participation and observation. The creative experiences in this course will enable students to further their skills in: oral presentation, story construction, performance, artistic critique, and analysis. Students will develop and perform stories from at least three distinct areas of experience. The course provides a creative space for learning and exploration.

Instructor(s): E. Lansana     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 22600. Chance in Performance. 100 Units.

The course will cover the historical, theoretical, and practical issues surrounding the use of chance in artistic production, with an emphasis on how these techniques have been used in live performance. We begin with the historical avant-garde, particularly Dada and Duchamp, continue with mid-century experiments by Cage/Cunningham and Fluxus artists, and finish with contemporary work like “No Dice” of Nature Theatre of Oklahoma and “Algorithmic Noir” by Eve Sussman. By creating performance projects using, or responding to, the techniques studied, students will have an opportunity to develop their own critical and practice-based point of view.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 32600

TAPS 22900. Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies. 100 Units.

This course is designed to introduce students to foundational concepts and critical skills relevant to the study of theater and performance. In addition to wide-ranging readings and discussions, students will attend a variety of performances and screenings representing a cross-section of genres, interpretive styles, and institutional settings. The course is open to all undergraduate students as an elective; it also serves as a required course for all TAPS majors and minors.

Instructor(s): David J. Levin     Terms Offered: Autumn,TBD
Prerequisite(s):
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.

TAPS 23000. Introduction to Directing. 100 Units.

This course employs a practice in the fundamental theory of play direction and the role of the director in collaboration with the development of textual analysis. By examining five diversely different texts using three different approaches to play analysis (Aristotle, Stanislavski, Ball) students begin developing a method of directing for the stage in support of the written text. In alternating weeks, students implement textual analysis in building an understanding of directorial concept, theme, imagery and staging through rehearsal and in-class presentations of three-minute excerpts from the play analysis the previous week. The culmination is a final five-minute scene combining the tools of direction with a method of analysis devised over the entire course.

Instructor(s): S. Murray     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 23100. Advanced Directing. 100 Units.

This course will investigate the intersections of time, space, text and the body in the creation of performance. The coursework is structured to deconstruct all four ideas and practice their application through a range of scripted and unscripted projects.

Instructor(s): Will Davis     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 23110. Directing Study. 100 Units.

This seminar results from the production work of the quarter, with text analysis, dramaturgical reading, and discussions based on the participating MainStage directors. Typically initiating in weekly sessions the quarter prior to production, academic credit is given the quarter of production following a final written exam.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory. Consent Only.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 33110

TAPS 23600. Improv and Sketch. 100 Units.

This course will explore the many different schools of thought in the Chicago improv comedy community, including but not limited to The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance. Organic discovery and plot will be highlighted within scene work as well as the group dynamic, with comedy as the result. Come ready to play and play hard.

Instructor(s): S. Messing     Terms Offered: Autumn,Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 23700. Playwriting: Creating Natural Dialogue for the Stage. 100 Units.

This course employs collaboration among the students to help each individual writer create natural dialogue for the stage. Students will utilize improvisation to write a contemporary scene focusing on the natural rhythms and nuances of modern communication. Through these improvisations, the students create a framework for their narrative with a special focus on developing unique voices for each character. Students read scenes from contemporary plays which emphasize spontaneous and realistic dialogue. Students have weekly assignments that further explore the characters they are writing. Each class includes an active roundtable discussion of the weekly assignments as well as collaborative exercises that further explore the voices of their characters. In addition to the weekly assignments, students write two complete scenes that will receive readings by their classmates.

Instructor(s): E. Linder     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 23900. Playwriting: Sketch to Play. 100 Units.

This course follows a story from outline to sketch to short play. Using improvisation with their fellow classmates, writers will create sketches that will be the foundation for a short play. These improvisations will help each writer learn more about the characters they are writing, helping a stock character in a sketch grow to a fully dimensional character for their short play. Classes will include roundtable discussions and active improvisation with their classmates. In addition to the weekly assignments, students write three complete sketches and one short play that will receive a reading by their classmates.

Instructor(s): E. Linder     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 24000. Director/Designer Collaboration. 100 Units.

The concept phase of the shared creative process in theater requires clarity of vision and impulse to dream while negotiating the realities of budget and space. With students in the roles of director and designer, this class tackles the pre-production period from initial concept meetings to design presentations for rehearsal. Students develop vocabulary that fully expresses the director's vision and simultaneously provides creative room for the designer.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman, J. Wardell     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 24100. Aristophanes: Analyzing and Adapting. 100 Units.

This course will examine the eleven extant plays of Aristophanes, the master of Old Comedy while concurrently analyzing an early-draft conjoined-adaptation of the eleven plays written by the instructor called the Aristophanesathon. Through critical analysis of the texts, both old and new, we will create a method for looking at these Ancient Greek comedies with immediacy, empathy, and hopefully humor.

Instructor(s): S. Graney     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory

TAPS 24500. Chicago Theater: Budgets and Buildings. 100 Units.

This course examines the current state of Chicago theater, focusing on the relationships between facilities, budgets, and missions. Field trips required to venues including Side Project, Timeline, Raven, Steppenwolf, Theater Building, and Greenhouse.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 24900. Performance Lab. 100 Units.

Working with professional artists to create devised work, this course commits to developing a fully realized performance piece within the ten weeks of the quarter. Immersive in intent and demand, writing and performance skills will be developed by participants for participants.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory. Final performance(s) typically take place outside of classroom hours. CONSENT ONLY.

TAPS 25500. Advanced Screenwriting. 100 Units.

This course requires students to complete the first draft of a feature-length screenplay (at least ninety pages in length), based on an original idea brought to the first or second class. No adaptations or partially completed scripts are allowed. Weekly class sessions include reading of script pages and critique by classmates and instructor.

Instructor(s): J. Petrakis     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): TAPS 15500, and consent of instructor based on fifteen-page writing sample in screenplay format.
Note(s): Class limited to eight students.

TAPS 26100. Dance Composition. 100 Units.

When does movement become text? How do bodies combine with time, space, and energy to communicate ideas? In this workshop-formatted course, we explore these questions as we study and create dance. Students develop improvisational skills by exploring the dance principles of space, time, dynamics, and the process of abstraction. Through physical exercises, discussions, and readings, students learn how to initiate and develop movement ideas. Major dance works from many styles (e.g., ballet, modern, avant-garde) are viewed and analyzed, as students develop an understanding of choreographic forms. Students also develop a proficiency in the areas of observation and constructive criticism. The course culminates with a choreographic project.

Instructor(s): J. Rhoads     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 26400. Post-Dramatic Theater. 100 Units.

This course sets out to explore the gamut of contemporary experimental theater, encompassing its varied theories and practices. Using Hans-Thies Lehmann’s path-breaking study Postdramatic Theatre as an ongoing point of reference, we consider a diverse array of practices from an eclectic group of artists spanning a broad range of eras and theatrical cultures (e.g., Annie Dorsen, Elevator Repair Service, Forced Entertainment, Richard Foreman, Heiner Müller, Theater Oobleck, SheShePop, Robert Wilson) in a format that encompasses seminar-style discussion and laboratory-style practical experimentation. Team-taught by Seth Bockley (Chicago-based director) and David Levin (Chair of TAPS). Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. 

Instructor(s): David J. Levin & Seth Bockley     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 26400

TAPS 26500. The Contemporary Sublime. 100 Units.

This course uses Annie Dorsen's upcoming performance project “The Great Outdoors” as a frame within which to explore contemporary notions of the sublime as both an aesthetic and a political imaginary. Our readings include a survey of the classic texts (Longinus, Burke, Kant) as well as modern and contemporary writers (Lyotard, Nye, Costa) as a way into formulating hypotheses about the position of the sublime in our hyper-linked and environmentally fragile era. Practice-based experiments and exercises will respond to the readings, offering an opportunity to test ideas against their applications.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 36500

TAPS 27100. Scene Painting. 100 Units.

This course is designed to introduce students to the theatrical art of scenic painting for the stage and film. A scenic artist is the hand of the theatrical designer, translating the small scale of the designer’s rendering into full size theatrical environments. In this course, students will explore the unique tools and techniques used by scenic artists to create scenery. The end result of this class will be a basic mastery of painting “faux” surfaces and an understanding of how a scenic artist transforms the designer’s ideas into realized pieces of theatrical art.

Instructor(s): J. Wardell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance for first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years. Please note a $30 fee for supplies and materials applies to this course.

TAPS 27500. Costume Design for the Stage. 100 Units.

In this course, students will learn the basics of designing costumes for theatrical productions, encompassing the skills of text and character analysis, theatrical rendering and sketching. Students will learn to adopt a vocabulary using the elements and principles of design, understand and experience the process intrinsic to producing costumes for the theater, analyze the production needs related to costumes, and prepare a finalized costume design for a theatrical production.

Instructor(s): J. Wardell     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 27800. Story through Music and Sound. 100 Units.

This course will explore ways in which music and sound can be used to tell and support a story in the theater. We will examine how in the simplest moment to the more layered and complex, music and sound are used to create time, place, or emotional context. We will analyze the connections of plot, dialogue, music, and sound in the theater. We will also be learning the basics of Pro Tools and sound system design enabling us to create our own audio productions interacting with live performance.

Instructor(s): R. Bodeen, M. Milburn     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory. This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 28000. Scenic Design. 100 Units.

This course is an exploration of various forms and processes of designing sets for theatrical performance. We pay particular attention to a cohesive reading of a text, contextual and historical exploration, and visual and thematic research, as well as the documentation needed to complete a show (e.g., model, drafting, paint elevations). We also explore, nominally, the history of stage design and look at major trends in modern stage design.

Instructor(s): J. Wardell     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): TAPS 10700 or consent of instructor required; previous experience in stage design or visual art recommended.
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 28100. Lighting Design for the Stage. 100 Units.

This course places equal emphasis on the theory and practice of modern stage lighting. Students learn the mechanical properties of lighting equipment; how to create, read, and execute a lighting plot; the functions of lighting in a theatrical context; color and design theory; and how to read a text as a lighting designer.

Instructor(s): M. Durst     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

TAPS 28414. Writing for Performance. 100 Units.

This course is an exploration of select texts for performance written by performance artists primarily but not entirely operating within the context of art. Via historical context and literary technique, students read, discuss, and analyze texts by various authors spanning the history of performance art: Hugo Ball, John Cage, Richard Foreman, Carolee Schneeman, Joseph Beuys, Karen Finley, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, John Leguizamo, and create and perform their own writing. Field trips and attendance at first class are required.

Instructor(s): W. Pope.L     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): ARTV 10100, 10200, or 10300
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 24301,ARTV 34301

TAPS 28422. Opera in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility. 100 Units.

Focusing on a diverse set of productions of Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" by Ingmar Bergman, William Kentridge, Martin Kusej, Simon McBurney, and Julie Taymor, we will seek to locate opera in the contemporary medial landscape, exploring some of the theoretical stakes, dramaturgical challenges, and interpretive achievements that characterize opera on film, DVD, and via live-streaming. Readings by W. Benjamin, T. W. Adorno, F. Jameson, M. Dolar, C. Abbate, P. Auslander, et al.

Instructor(s): D. Levin
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 37717,TAPS 38422,CMST 28301,CMST 38301,GRMN 27717

TAPS 29800. Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium. 100 Units.

This two-quarter sequence is open only to fourth-year students who are majoring and/or minoring in theater and performance studies.

Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Note(s): 100 units credit is granted only after successful completion of the Winter term.


Contacts

Chair

Chair for Theater and Performance Studies
David J. Levin
LC 219

Email

Director

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Theater and Performance Studies
Heidi Coleman
LC 223

Email

Administrative Contact

Managing Director/Academic Coordinator
Corrie Besse
LC 218
773.702.9315
Email