Performance Studies - BA

The BA in Performance Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of performance. The BA provides a foundation in critical reflection, analysis, and creative practice from which students can launch a variety of careers. In the core Performance Studies courses, BA Students are immersed in performance theory, learn the craft of creating live performance, and cultivate essential research and writing skills to be successful citizens, scholars, and artists in the 21st century.

Four Pillars of the BA in Performance Studies

  • Performance as Research
  • Intercultural Performance Practices
  • Performance and Technology
  • Performing Communities

Performance as Research

In Performance Studies, we embrace the fact that live, embodied performance provides a unique way to know and understand the world. We value and champion such repertoires of knowledge alongside the many other ways of knowing represented in institutions of higher education. Students in our BA program use performance as a method for conducting research. In every Performance Studies class, students stage plays and concerts, conduct ethnographic research, make films and podcasts, or present to varied audiences. This practice embraces the fact that a musician, an actor, a dancer, or performer of any stripe knows the world differently by virtue of their performance practice. BA students are trained to translate that knowledge into a format which can be shared widely and effectively.

Intercultural Performance Practices

Faculty privilege performance as a location of intercultural encounter. Artists are brought in from around the world to campus to work with students, and equip them with the tools they need to be responsible global citizens.

Performance and Technology

Faculty emphasize the intersection of performance and technology, and equip students both to take advantage of technological advances in their creative and professional lives, and to recognize the risks and rewards technology can provide to our communities. Students can take advantage of our extensive collection of technological equipment while gaining hands-on experience in the recording studio, Black Box Theatre, Electroacoustic Sound Lab, Scene Shop, and Costume Studio.  

Performing Communities

Faculty value the use of performance to create and circulate knowledge for and within communities. Students in the BA program can take classes that study arts administration and work with non-profit organizations, that investigate performance in public institutions as varied as the City Council and the United Nations, and that focus on performance practices in museums, journalism, and so on. Faculty foster the development of informed and responsible citizens who use performance to serve their communities and the wider world.