Contacts | Undergraduate Program of Study | Summary of Requirements for the Major | 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 comparative in multiple ways, requiring students to achieve practical facility in at least two media (e.g., theater, film, video, digital arts, dance, music, creative writing) and to gain fluency in the critical analysis of those media. Students work closely with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and faculty advisors to shape an individual course of study that reflects the student’s interests while fulfilling the program’s interdisciplinary and comparative requirements.

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. Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies (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 Cinema and Media Studies, 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. Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium (TAPS 29800 B.A. Colloquim), to be taken in the student's fourth year, devoted to the preparation of the BA project. Although TAPS 29800 extends over two quarters, students register for the course in only Autumn or Winter Quarter, receiving 100 units of credit and one grade for the course. 

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.

During Spring Quarter of the third year, students, with the support of the Director of Undergraduate Studies and other TAPS faculty, will select a faculty advisor for their project and submit a BA Project Statement (for both Critical and Artistic Components) and Reading List. 

In the fourth year, students will enroll in TAPS 29800, the Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium, which offers a weekly forum in Autumn and Winter Quarters to develop the BA project in collaboration with peers and in accordance with a carefully designed set of deadlines. During Spring Quarter of the fourth year, students will present their artistic works during third or fourth week, and will submit their final complete project by Friday of fifth week. Students graduating in any quarter other than Spring should speak with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about an appropriate timeline. 

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 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 courses600
Five (5) artistic practice courses500
TAPS 29800Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium100
Completion of the BA project by fifth 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 joining the minor program are encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Spring Quarter of their second year or as soon as possible thereafter. Students who have decided to join the program should file an Application to the Minor form with the Director of Undergraduate Studies by the beginning of Spring Quarter in their third year. The signed form must be submitted to the student’s College adviser by the deadline indicated 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). Required courses include: TAPS 22900 Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies and at least two advanced TAPS courses (i.e., 20000-level or higher). The remaining courses must bear a clear and coherent relationship to the original artistic work prepared for the TAPS minor.

In addition, all those minoring in TAPS must register for the Theater and Performance Studies BA Colloquium (TAPS 29800 B.A. Colloquim). 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 counted toward the minor may not also be counted toward the student's major(s), toward other minors, or toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for a quality grade, and more than half of the courses for the minor must bear University of Chicago course numbers.

Summary of Requirements for the Minor

TAPS 22900Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies100
Two TAPS courses (20000-level or higher)200
Two arts electives (20000-level or higher)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, D. Dir     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, T. Pasculli, 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): D. Levin, L. Kruger, S.Bockley, S. Murray, J. Muse     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): K. Boetcher     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. Equivalent Course(s): CRWR 27102

Instructor(s): J. Petrakis     Terms Offered: Autumn,Winter

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: TBD
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: TBD
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.

TAPS 20610. Adaptation & Translation in Theater-Making. 100 Units.

This course combines seminar and studio practices to investigate the ways in which theater and performance-makers create work in relation to shifting contexts. How are theatre adaptations and translations shaped by aesthetics, geography, socio-economic conditions, cultural transition, shifting formulations of race, ethnicity, and gender? How do theatre-makers conceive and realize the resonance of their work within local and across transnational spaces? This course explores these and other questions through practical experiments in adaptation and translation, case studies of artists, attending performances, critical readings on adaptation and translation theory, and discussions of the relationship between art and national and transnational political imaginaries. At the center of the course is a visit from the artistic directors of two theater companies working with translations and adaptations of "World Literature" for a (post)Soviet context, one based in Uzbekistan and the other in Kazakhstan. We hope the exposure to their working processes will animate the questions of the course in exciting and unpredictable ways. For their final project, students will have the option of writing a critical paper, writing a proposal for a speculative work, or creating an artistic work.

Instructor(s): L. Danzig, L. Feldman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 30610

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 21440. Court Theater Artist Master Class. 100 Units.

This advanced acting class will develop the actor's ability to apply contemporary acting technique to the performance of classical roles. Additionally, there will be opportunities to attend different stages of the rehearsal process for Harvey at Court Theatre, question the process techniques observed, and learn from guest lecturers affiliated with Chicago's top classical theatres.

Terms Offered: TBD
Note(s): Attendance at first course meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 31440

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.

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

TAPS 21730. Movement for Actors. 100 Units.

This course will explore how an actor uses movement as a tool to communicate character, psychological perspective and style. The foundation of our movement work will center on the skills of balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, breath control and focus. Building on the skills of the actor both in terms of naturalistic character work and stylized theatrical text. Students will put the work into practice utilizing scene work and abstract gesture sequences through studying the techniques of Michael Chekov, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Anne Bogart, Complicite and Frantic Assembly.

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 22880. Theorizing Performance. 100 Units.

An exploration of the intersection of performance theory and performance practice. Each week we will consider a particular production (e.g., theater, dance, opera) and seek out theoretical material that helps us to elucidate that production. Our goal will be interpretive rather than applicational: we will attempt to develop a theoretical vocabulary that is duly nuanced, illuminating, and sensitive to the particular aspirations and problems of a given production. In addition to weekly screenings and readings, we will attend rehearsals and performances around Chicago.

Instructor(s): David J. Levin     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Previous coursework in theater & performance studies or related fields required.
Note(s): Course is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduates.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 32880

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): F. Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 32900

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: Winter
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: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

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 23410. Camp and Theatre of the Ridiculous. 100 Units.

Looking at the writings of Charles Ludlum and his Ridiculous Manifesto, we will explore the role of camp, homage, collage and The Ridiculous. Students will stage existing works and be asked to create their own original scenes that use camp, collage and the ridiculous to explore current politics and ideas.

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

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 23610. Fundamentals of Musical Improv. 100 Units.

Learn story and song structure and game-in-song techniques using real theatre-driven emotional response preparation with working industry professionals Julie Nichols Matthew Van Colton. This course explores the fundamental concepts of improvisation, comedic games and theatre-based techniques for on-the-spot musical improvisation. Students of all experiences and backgrounds are encouraged to enroll.

Instructor(s): J. Nichols & M. Van Colton     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.

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. Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

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

TAPS 23910. Advanced Playwriting Workshop. 100 Units.

A workshop that explores and develops authenticity in playwriting with playwright, Calamity West. Students will write original full-length plays to be developed over the course of ten weeks.

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

TAPS 24410. Transmedia Puzzle Design & Performance. 100 Units.

This course will introduce students to the burgeoning field of immersive puzzle design. Students will develop, implement and playtest puzzles that are suited for a range of experiences: from the tabletop to the immersive, from online puzzle hunts to broad-scoped alternate reality games (ARG). Students in this course will work directly with master puzzler, Sandor Wiesz, the commissioner of The Mystery League.

Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 24410, TAPS 34410

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 Timeline, Raven, Steppenwolf, Theater Building, and Green House. ATTENDANCE AT THE FIRST CLASS IS MANDATORY.

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

TAPS 24902. Performance Lab: Non-Fiction Sources. 100 Units.

How do you create a solo or group performance from sources other than a play? How do you build original performance out of personal stories, interviews, research, an historical or current event? What are the methods for collecting non-fictional material, learning about someone else's experience, uncovering the complexities of something that has occurred? And how does one compose that material into a staged event? This course explores what constitutes a story, the blurred boundaries between what's 'real' and what's 'fiction', the status of interpretation, the stakes of performing as oneself and as other people, and the ethics of turning lived experience into staged performance. Students will work individually and collaboratively on creating original performances based on topics of their choice, in addition to viewing live and recorded performances, reading essays and scripts, and meeting visiting artists.

Instructor(s): L. Danzig, E. Lansana     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 34902

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. PQ: TAPS 15500/ CRWR 27102, and consent of instructor based on twelve-page writing sample in screenplay format. Limited class size. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY. CONSENT ONLY via APPROVAL FORM.

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 25515. Contemporary Political Strategies in Performance. 100 Units.

The emphasis of the course is on strategies-in the words of curator Florian Malzacher, "artistic strategies in politics, and political strategies in art." In moments of political struggle, what can art DO, and what can it not? We will be combining case studies with theoretical background, examining strategies like occupation, participation, parafiction, 'technologies of care,' détournement and the art strike. Students will have the opportunity to put some of these approaches to the test by designing one or more local interventions according to the interests of the group.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 35515

TAPS 25910. Short Form Digital Storytelling: Creating a Web Series. 100 Units.

This course examines the short form storytelling of the digital web series. Through lectures, viewings and discussions in weekly meetings students will determine what makes a strong web series and apply the findings to writing and polishing the pilot episode of their own web series. Students will write weekly 4-5 page assignments building toward the creation of a 5-6 episode series.

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 class 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.

Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 36401, GRMN 26400, TAPS 36400

TAPS 26530. Staging the Internet. 100 Units.

The theater has often been used as a means to embody psychic spaces, from Medieval mystery plays and other allegorical works to Richard Foreman's attempt to give theatrical form to consciousness itself. This practice-based lab class will propose to 'stage the internet' - what techniques and strategies can we develop to give tangible shape to the virtual world? Our explorations will be catalyzed by readings on data and interfaces, networks and protocols, procedural/algorithmic art, digital labor, and competing notions of the virtual.

Instructor(s): A. Dorsen     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Course is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduates. Previous coursework in theater & performance studies or related fields required.
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 46530

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): K. Boetcher     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.

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

TAPS 27700. Introduction to Puppetry. 100 Units.

Introduction to Puppetry invites students to explore the vast and dynamic world of the history of Puppet Theater and expertly trains students in multiple forms of the medium. From Bun Ra Ku to hand puppetry, Mask Performance to Shadow Puppetry, Toy Theater to banners and contastorias, students will be exposed to the form through real examples of sophisticated objects and expert direction. Students will be immersed in the history, literature, and philosophy of the ritual and performance of the puppet, and will be provided the opportunity to build their own draft of a short production.

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

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): K. Boetcher     Terms Offered: Winter
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 28320. The Mind as Stage: Podcasting. 100 Units.

Audio storytelling insinuates itself into the day-to-day unlike other narrative forms. People listen to podcasts while they do the dishes, drive to work, or walk the dog. This hands-on course will explore the unique opportunities that this intimate relationship with an audience affords the storyteller. Documentary techniques and practices will form the basis of the course, with assignments from audio fiction and non-fiction, oral history, documentary theater, and comedy. Students will complete several short audio exercises and one larger podcast project.

Instructor(s): S. Geis     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 38320

TAPS 28466. Alternate Reality Games: Theory and Production. 100 Units.

Games are one of the most prominent and influential media of our time. This experimental course explores the emerging genre of "alternate reality" or "transmedia" gaming. Throughout the quarter, we will approach new media theory through the history, aesthetics, and design of transmedia games. These games build on the narrative strategies of novels, the performative role-playing of theater, the branching techniques of electronic literature, the procedural qualities of video games, and the team dynamics of sports. Beyond the subject matter, students will design modules of an Alternate Reality Game in small groups. Students need not have a background in media or technology, but a wide-ranging imagination, interest in new media culture, or arts practice will make for a more exciting quarter.

Instructor(s): Patrick Jagoda, Heidi Coleman     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. Instructor consent required. To apply, submit writing through online form at http://bigproblems.uchicago.edu; see course description. Once given consent, attendance on the first day is mandatory. Questions:mb31@uchicago.edu.
Note(s): Note(s): English majors: this course fulfills the Theory (H) distribution requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 32314, CMST 25954, CMST 35954, BPRO 28700, ARTV 30700, ENGL 25970, ARTV 20700, MAAD 25954

TAPS 29900. Reading and Research. 100 Units.

This is a reading and research course for independent study.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 49900

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