The Theater and Performance Studies Option


Beginning in Autumn 2016, The Committee on Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) and the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities will offer a TAPS program option. The TAPS option seeks to animate the intersection of theory and practice in the arts. The program requires its students to develop facility in at least one component of theater or performance practice (e.g., directing, writing, devising, acting, physical theater, choreography, production design, dramaturgy, etc.) while gaining fluency in the critical analysis of that practice and in the field generally.  The TAPS program option is ideally suited to students who seek an intensive immersion in the field of theater and performance studies and/or who seek to extend their training in the theory and practice of theater and performance studies at the graduate level.  

Course Requirements

MAPH students choosing the TAPS option must complete the following courses:

  • The MAPH core course
  • One course designated to fulfill either the theory or history core requirement in TAPS (see the TAPS DGS or MAPH liaison for a list of these courses)
  • Three elective courses in theater and performance studies, of which one or two—depending on the student’s professional ambitions—will have a significant practice-based component (e.g., TAPS courses such as advanced acting, directing, dramaturgy, choreography or design; courses in Visual Arts such as video, experimental animation, writing for performance; or similar courses in Music and Creative Writing)

MA Thesis Requirements

Students choosing the TAPS option must also complete an MA thesis in theater and performance studies under the supervision of a TAPS faculty member. Depending on a student’s focus, the thesis may combine performance work with critical analysis. The final topic and form of the thesis project will be determined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in TAPS.  
Students who successfully complete the TAPS option will be invited to hold a summer internship in Chicago (e.g., through the Chicago Performance Lab, at Court Theatre, or via one of our other partners), affording the student an entry into the city’s professional theater and performance community.