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Committee on Theater and Performance Studies



Core Faculty


  • David Levin,  Departments of Germanic Studies and Cinema & Media Studies


  • Philip Bohlman, Department of Music
  • Thomas Christensen, Department of Music
  • Martha Feldman, Department of Music
  • Theaster Gates, Department of Visual Arts
  • Tom Gunning, Departments of Cinema & Media Studies and Art History
  • Elaine Hadley, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Loren Kruger, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature
  • Larry Norman, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Freddie Rokem, Wiegeland Visiting Professor of Theater & Performance Studies
  • Judith Zeitlin, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations

Associate Professors

  • Berthold Hoeckner, Department of Music
  • Matthew Jesse Jackson, Departments of Art History and Visual Arts
  • Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Ellen MacKay, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Sarah Nooter, Department of Classics
  • William Pope.L, Department of Visual Arts
  • Steven Rings, Department of Music
  • Catherine Sullivan, Department of Visual Arts
  • Christopher Wild, Department of Germanic Studies

Assistant Professors

  • Seth Brodsky, Department of Music
  • Ariel Fox, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations 
  • John Muse, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Rocco Rubini, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

Professors of Practice

  • Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Assistant Professor of Practice in Theater &  Performance Studies 
  • Annie Dorsen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice in Theater &  Performance Studies

Emeritus Faculty

  • David Bevington, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature
  • Yuri Tsivian, Departments of Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and Slavic Languages & Literatures

Postdoctoral Scholars

  • Danielle Roper, Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture


  • Heidi Coleman, Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Shade Murray
  • David New
  • Pamela Pascoe
  • Kurtis Boetcher



  • Laura Ashlock, Production Manager of University Theater
  • Corrie Besse, Managing Director of University Theater, Undergraduate Academic Coordinator TAPS
  • Ben Caracello, Technical Director
  • Jenny Pinson, Props Manager
  • Samantha Rausch, TAPS North Theater Manager
  • Nathan R. Rohrer, Costume Shop Manager
  • Vicki Walden, Graduate Program Coordinator for the Center for Theater & Performance Studies
  • Kurtis Boetcher, Director of Design
  • Andrew Meyers, Lighting Manager


The PhD program in Theater & Performance Studies is a joint degree program that affords students rigorous and comparative work across two disciplines. Students develop a program of study within TAPS that reflects their particular training and interests, and pursue that program together with a degree from an affiliated department: Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Classics, East Asian Languages & Civilizations, English Language and Literature, Germanic Studies, Music, or Romance Languages & Literatures. Students may also extend their curricular experience through the development of performance work, engaging national and international artists in intellectual and artistic collaborations. Graduates are well prepared for professional opportunities in a variety of fields within and beyond the academy

The program consists of five main components: course work, artistic work, oral examinations, a joint PhD dissertation, and teaching. Compared to single degree programs, we expect the joint degree to involve up to an additional year of coursework.

The TAPS program option in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) offers a concentrated introduction to the comparative aspirations and rigorous expectations of TAPS at the University of Chicago. For more information about the TAPS option in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH), including details about admissions and aid, visit the program’s website.


The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Students cannot receive a stand-alone PhD in TAPS. Rather, they enter through another department and pursue their degree jointly with that other discipline. Degree requirements for the combined degree in TAPS will of necessity vary slightly from student to student in order to accommodate the requirements of the participating entry department, but every student is required to complete the following minimum requirements. Each student will take a total of 12 courses toward the TAPS degree, typically by the end of the third year. The coursework in TAPS will include:

  1. A two-course graduate sequence in the History and Theory of Theater and Performance, designed to provide a rigorous introduction to advanced study in the discipline.
  2. Three TAPS-related seminars within the entry department, to be determined in consultation with the Chair of TAPS.
  3. Five courses outside the entry department.
    • Three courses in theater or performance practice (e.g., advanced acting, directing, set design, choreography, etc.).
    • Two seminars, selected in consultation with the Chair of TAPS that complement the student’s disciplinary training.
  4. Two-Term qualifying paper and/or performance project, to be developed in consultation with a faculty member in TAPS and a second faculty advisor from the entry department.  The qualifying paper and/or performance project are typically undertaken during the fall and winter quarters of the student’s fourth year. This work is typically accommodated in two independent research courses that count toward the 12 courses for the degree..

In addition, students in TAPS will be expected to:

  • Participate in the TAPS graduate workshop. The TAPS workshop brings together students and faculty to discuss work in progress as well as current research in the wider field of Theater and Performance Studies.
  • Complete two internships in theater or performance practice with a professional theater, dance, or performance company. At least one of the internships should be completed over the summer (e.g., with the Chicago Performance Lab), while the other can be completed outside of Chicago with one of our national or international partners.

Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Proposal

Students are expected to complete the Qualifying Exam in TAPS at the outset of the fourth year and to prepare a dissertation proposal and assemble a dissertation committee by the end of the fourth year. 

  • The qualifying exam is an oral exam based on a reading list of 20–30 works and a brief thesis paper (5-10 pp.) summarizing key issues and concepts guiding the student’s intellectual agenda. The exam provides an opportunity for the student to look back and lend coherence to his or her coursework and also to look forward to the dissertation proposal and to the longer-term project of developing a profile as a scholar, artist, or scholar-artist.
  • The dissertation proposal and dissertation committee should reflect the program’s joint nature by including at least one faculty member from the Committee on TAPS. The exact structure of a student’s dissertation proposal will be determined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies of the entry department. Ideally, the proposal should be approximately 15-20 pages in length and should detail three things: (1) the scholarly and artistic stakes of the project; (2) the methodologies to be employed; and (3) a detailed outline of the planned chapters and, if appropriate, the planned creative work. The proposal should be completed and defended one quarter after the Ph.D. exam (not counting the summer) and no later than the end of the fourth year. The dissertation should be completed no later than the end of the sixth year. 


Students admitted to doctoral study are typically awarded a five-year fellowship package that includes full tuition, academic year stipends, summer stipends, and medical insurance. Pedagogical training is a vital part of the educational experience at the University, so all fellowships include a required teaching component. 

Practical Opportunities

TAPS offers students access to a strong network of professionals throughout the area.  There are many opportunities to develop administrative skills and technical training, understand the inner workings of a theater company, and forge substantial contacts in the theater community. Chicago’s theater scene is collaborative and inclusive. UChicago faculty and students have collaborated with a variety of partners on campus as well as companies throughout the greater Chicago area, including:

About Face Theatre

Chicago Performance Lab

Court Theatre

Doc Films

Every House Has a Door

First Floor Theater

Goodman Theater

The House Theatre

Hubbard Street Dance

The Hypocrites

Joffrey Ballet

Lookingglass Theatre

Lucky Plush Productions

Manual Cinema


Second City

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Theater Oobleck

University Theater

Victory Gardens Theater

Writers Theatre


Foreign Language Requirement

Students must adhere to the Foreign Language Requirement of the entry department.

Teaching Requirements

Students in a joint degree program need to meet teaching requirements of their entry department. In conjunction with that requirement and in consultation with the Directors of Graduate Studies in the entry department and TAPS, they are expected to teach two quarters of courses related to TAPS. This could take the form of teaching a section in the TAPS core, or a teaching assistantship or instructorship for a TAPS-related course in the entry department. Two annotated syllabi for courses in Theater and Performance Studies - one undergraduate, one graduate - will form part of the Ph.D. exam materials.


How to Apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in the Division of the Humanities is administered by the Divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at Questions about admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-1552.

Theater and Performance Studies Courses

TAPS 30610. 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): ENGL 20610, CMLT 30611, TAPS 20610, HMRT 20610, HMRT 30610, ENGL 30610, CMLT 20610

TAPS 30700. Shakespearean Dramaturgies: Text/Medium/Performance and the Magic of the Theatre. 100 Units.

The interactions between a dramatic text and its actual and potential performance-realizations in a specific artistic medium serve one of the fundamental points of departure for "Theatre and Performance Studies" (TAPS). This seminar will explore the dynamic relations between 'text', 'medium' and 'performance', exemplifying with some of Shakespeare's key plays, in particular emphasizing his treatment of the magic of art/theatre, the appearance of supernatural figures, political power and social violence. The dramaturgical perspective for 'staging' these themes (on the stage, as theatre and opera; on the screen; or by radical textual adaptation etc.) theorizes the artistic practices of each particular medium (its 'language' or constitutive features) and the application of these practices for performing Shakespeare. The aim of this course is to examine and analyse existing realizations of some of Shakespeare's key dramas in a broad range of media as well as to investigate the possibilities for making them meaningful today, through dramaturgical analysis in the class. By providing the tools for a self-reflective dramaturgical process where academic research methodologies, philosophical thinking, and artistic creativity are combined these investigations we will strive to integrate such a dramaturgical process in academic as well as artistic contexts.

Instructor(s): F. Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring

TAPS 31440. 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 21440

TAPS 31715. A Physical Approach to Acting. 100 Units.

This course offers students a multi-faceted approach to making acting choices and tactics concrete, legible and dramatic-through physical training, adventurous scene work and developing a critical framework for understanding acting as a corporeal practice. The first half of each class will be dedicated to rigorous physical training building strength, extending range of motion, and developing skills, which may include head and handstands, juggling, balance, and basic tumbling. In the second half of each class, students will work on scenes with a focus on strong physical choices. Over the course of the quarter, students will research theater-makers and forms that approach physical theater in a variety of ways, and will attend one to two professional productions in Chicago.

Instructor(s): A. Danzig     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Instructor consent required. To apply, submit writing through online form at; see course description. Once given consent, attendance on the first day is mandatory. Questions:
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21715

TAPS 31750. Physical Approaches to Acting. 100 Units.

This course offers students a multi-faceted approach to making acting choices and tactics concrete, legible and dramatic - through physical training, adventurous scene work and developing a critical framework for understanding acting as a corporeal practice. The first half of each class will be dedicated to physical training: building strength, extending range of motion, and developing skills, which may include head and handstands, juggling, balance, and basic tumbling. In the second half of each class, students will work on scenes with a focus on strong physical choices. Over the course of the quarter, students will research theater-makers and forms that approach physical theater in a variety of ways, and will attend one to two professional productions in Chicago.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21750

TAPS 32110. Kafka and Performance. 100 Units.

This laboratory seminar is devoted to exploring the texts of Franz Kafka through the lens of performance. In addition to weekly scenic experiments and extensive critical readings (on Kafka as well as performance theory) we will explore the rich history of adapting Kafka in film, theater, puppetry, opera, and performance.

Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 23110, CMST 28310, FNDL 22115, GRMN 32110, TAPS 22110, CMST 38310

TAPS 32310. Performance Art Installations: Performing Diaspora. 100 Units.

We are living in an age of unprecedented movements and migrations of populations, some voluntary, many under extreme duress. The course will focus on the lives of those who have in one form or another lived through this great displacement. On the basis of material developed through our examinations and experimentations, we will create a performance installation piece. The "archive" for the piece will be drawn from a variety of sources: plays, essays, popular and social media, student-conducted interviews. Further material will be generated through acting exercises and our own work with video and visual arts.

Instructor(s): P. Pascoe     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course is available only by Instructor Consent. Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22310

TAPS 32312. Virtual Theaters. 100 Units.

This course probes the nature and limits of theater by exploring a range of theatrical texts whose relation to performance is either partially or fully virtual. Like the works we will read, the course transgresses disciplinary, generic, and temporal boundaries, bringing together from various centuries philosophical dialogues (Plato), closet dramas, novel chapters in dramatic form (Melville's Moby-Dick, Joyce's Ulysses), radio drama, impossible drama, and new media forms that test conventional definitions of theatrical performance: social media theater, digital theater, algorithmic theater, and trans-media games.

Instructor(s): John Muse     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 32312

TAPS 32318. Music and Disability Studies. 100 Units.

This course studies the ways that attitudes toward disability are constructed within a cultural sphere. From the perspective of disability studies, bodies and minds have many kinds of differences, but what is considered "disability" is determined by culture, not given by nature. Music, as well as film, literature, visual art, theatre, and so on, participate in the complex process of constructing and modulating attitudes toward disability. In this course, we will examine the interaction of disability and music in several ways: composers and performers whose creative production is shaped by bodily difference and disability; opera and film characters who embody and stage disability for our consumption; and more abstractly, music whose formal, sonic unfolding seems to engage issues of disability, even in purely instrumental art-pour-l'art works. We will read from the disability studies literature that critiques and theorizes disability themes in literature, film, and visual art, as well as musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology literature that shows how disability themes are crucial in music. In this interdisciplinary class, students will gain a much more intimate understanding of the ways that attitudes toward abilities and bodies are constructed in art works, as well as be able to think, analyze, critique, write, and create with this understanding in mind. It is not necessary to read music notation for this course.

Instructor(s): Jennifer Iverson     Terms Offered: Spring,TBD
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 22318, MUSI 32318, TAPS 22318

TAPS 32510. Performance of Non-Fiction. 100 Units.

In this studio course, students will create short non-fiction performances. Through practical assignments and critical readings, students will be introduced to practices in ethnography, documentary, and storytelling as they work alone and collaboratively on generating and staging non-theatrical source material. The course is co-taught by Leslie Danzig, a professional director of devised theater, and Emily Lansana, a professional storyteller and coach of Rebirth Poetry Ensemble.

Instructor(s): L. Danzig & E. Lansana     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22510

TAPS 32600. 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: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22600, MAAD 22600

TAPS 32880. 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 22880

TAPS 32900. 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 22900

TAPS 33110. 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 23110

TAPS 33810. Playwriting: Crafting Meaning through Action and Image. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 23810

TAPS 33930. Fundamentals of Playwriting. 100 Units.

This workshop will explore the underlying mechanics that have made plays tick for the last 2,500 odd years, from Euripedes to Shakespeare to Büchner to Caryl Churchill, Susan Lori-Parks, and Annie Baker, etc. Students will be asked to shamelessly steal those playwrights' tricks and techniques (if they're found useful), and employ them in the creation of their own piece. Designed for playwrights at any level (beginning or advanced), the workshop's primary goals will be to develop a personal sense of what "works" on stage within the context of what's worked in the past, and to generate a one act play, start to finish.

Instructor(s): M. Maher     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 23930

TAPS 34400. Circus Performance Workshop. 100 Units.

Working with theater-maker Leslie Danzig and guest circus and physical theater artists, this course commits to developing a fully realized performance piece within the ten weeks of the quarter. The focus will be on staging a narrative work through circus arts and physical theater. How do you stage scenes on trapeze? Through tumbling, juggling, rope climbing, dance choreography? How do you compose these shorter scenes into a coherent production? Previous experience with physical practices preferred. Course will be customized to students' backgrounds.

Instructor(s): L. Danzig     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory. Questions:
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24400

TAPS 34410. 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): TAPS 24410, MAAD 24410

TAPS 34415. Games & Performance. 100 Units.

This experimental course explores the emerging genre of "immersive performance," "alternate reality," and "transmedia" gaming. For all of their novelty, 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 videogames, and the team dynamics of sports. Throughout the quarter, we will approach new media theory through the history, aesthetics, and design of immersive games, while working in labs with three Chicago-area companies including The House Theater, Mystery League, and Humans vs. Zombies.

Instructor(s): H. Coleman     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24415, MAAD 24415

TAPS 34610. Research and Performance: Mapping the Effect of Love. 100 Units.

This course will function as a lab for a new performance currently titled: Country Line Dance Grandma.We will build a container for the world of this piece through a series of experiments involving country line dance and the two step waltz. The primary goal of this development phase is to investigate the ritual of moving together in these forms and explore what it means to build a geometry of love and desire.

Instructor(s): Will Davis     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24610

TAPS 34880. New Directions in Afro-Latin Performance. 100 Units.

This class engages contemporary conversations in the study of Afro-Latin performance and explores the work of emerging black performance artists across the hemisphere. Tracing performances of blackness from the Southern cone to the Caribbean, we will examine the ways blackness is wielded by the State and by black communities themselves in performance and visual art across the region. We ask: what is the relationship between race and theatricality? What work is blackness made to do in states organized around discourses of racial democracy and mestizaje? How are notions of diaspora constructed through performances of blackness? We take up these questions in our study of reggaetón, hip hop, samba, el baile de los negritos and examine the works of noted and upcoming black artists such as Victoria Medes Santa-Cruz, Carlos Martiel, Las Nietas de Nonó, and others.

Instructor(s): D. Roper     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Spanish is recommended
Note(s): While the course will be taught in English, many of the performances and at least four of the readings will be in Spanish.
Equivalent Course(s): SPAN 35500

TAPS 34901. Performance Lab: Women in American Plays. 100 Units.

Working with professional female-identifying playwright, actor and dramaturg, director Devon de Mayo will lead this course centered on how male playwrights have portrayed women over the course of American history, and create an imagined space in which these characters can be in dialogue with one another. 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): D. de Mayo     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24901

TAPS 34902. 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.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24902

TAPS 35515. 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 25515

TAPS 35910. Racine. 100 Units.

Racine's tragedies are often considered the culminating achievement of French classicism. Most famous for his powerful re-imaginings of Greek myth (Phèdre, Andromaque), his tragic universe nevertheless ranged considerably wider, from ancient Jewish queens to a contemporary Ottoman harem. We will consider the roots (from Euripides to Corneille) of his theatrical practice as well as its immense influence on future writers (from Voltaire to Proust, Beckett, and Genet).

Instructor(s): L. Norman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): At least one French literature course 21700 or higher.
Note(s): Taught in French. All work in French for students seeking French credit; written work may be in English for others.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28476, FNDL 25910, FREN 25910, FREN 35910

TAPS 36215. Comedy Central 2: The Body's Genres. 100 Units.

The story of comedy from the classics on focuses on the comedic as a weapon, as play that disrupts communication, and as a scene of moral revelation. This course will take up those relations, but begins with the body. We will focus on the plastic, corporeal, affective, and psychodramatic dynamics of the comedic. So much so, in fact, that we're calling it a studio seminar: it will involve actively participating in exercises adapted from the somatic arts, contemporary dance, music, theatre and contemporary comedy and developing new ones. Recognizing that bodies are as much created by movement as engendering it, and recognizing that the comedic is a register for translating the impact of other bodies including the world's body, the course will partition "the body" into focal themes such as: scale/gesture, the vocal grotesque/irony, movement/interruption, trauma/repair, slapstick/satire, ritual/convention, spontaneity/improvisation; cognitive laughter/belly laughter. Readings will include texts by Linda Williams, Erving Goffman, J.L. Moreno, Elias Canetti, Moshe Feldenkrais, Steve Paxton, Mikhail Bakhtin, Mae West, Jerry Lewis and Fred Moten. Students will contribute their own choices to an exploration of individual performances by Buster Keaton, Louise Lasser, Eleo Pomare, Phyllis Diller, Jackie "Moms" Mabley, and Jerrod Carmichael.

Instructor(s): L. Berlant, C. Sullivan     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 36215, ENGL 36407

TAPS 36216. Imagining the Shtetl. 100 Units.

For many, Fiddler on the Roof has come to define the portrayal of Jewish life in pre-war Europe. Central to this has been an idealized vision of the market town known as "the shtetl." This course explores the construction, manipulation, and iterations of "the shtetl" across a variety of literary and visual texts, including works by the photographer Roman Vishniac, the Yiddish poet Moyshe Leyb-Halpern, the German modernist Joseph Roth, and the American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer. Reading texts by these authors and others, we will consider how ideas of Jewish "shtetl" life shift across genres and languages. We will also confront the difficult task of defining "the shtetl" as a communal space as well as interpreting how varieties of nostalgia manifest in these texts. Alongside these primary works, we will draw on critical work by Svetlana Boym, Dan Miron, and Jeffrey Shandler. All readings are in English. A section may be organized for reading sources in Yiddish.

Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 26216, GRMN 26216, TAPS 26216, CMLT 36216, GRMN 36216

TAPS 36217. Histoire du théâtre français de la Renaissance aux Lumières. 100 Units.

Entre le XVIe et le XVIIIe siècle, le théâtre français connaît une période de remarquable effervescence. La tragédie renaît avec la Cléopâtre captive d'Étienne Jodelle (1553), la pastorale et la tragi-comédie connaissent une popularité sans précédent, la comédie est à jamais transformée par la représentation de L'école des femmes (1663), le théâtre lyrique et l'opéra-comique acquièrent leurs spécificités respectives et le drame bourgeois rencontre ses premiers succès. Ce cours d'Histoire du théâtre français de la Renaissance aux Lumières se propose d'examiner la poétique de chacun de ces genres dans le contexte des grands courants esthétiques de l'époque (humanisme, baroque et classicisme). Tout en soulignant que les pièces produites durant les trois siècles étudiés sont encore tributaires des sources antiques et médiévales, ce panorama montrera de quelle façon le génie de certains auteurs - ainsi que les querelles que suscite l'opposition morale et intellectuelle à l'art dramatique - contribue au développement d'un des spectacles les plus brillants et les plus acclamés d'Europe.

Instructor(s): J. Perrier-Chartrand     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in French.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 36217, FREN 26217, TAPS 26217

TAPS 36310. Dramaturgical Investigations. 100 Units.

Dramaturgy is interdisciplinary, combining discursive practices and traditional academic disciplines as well as theory, history and practice. Dramaturgy primarily refers to the initial, preparatory stages of an artistic process on the basis of which ideas, texts and images will eventually be transposed into a new play/performance script, a stage performance, a film or a work of video art and even to curating, focusing on the conceptual and material prerequisites for a new work or exhibition. At the same time as the dramaturgical process, as a form of investigation, precedes the more concrete and more goal oriented stages of pre-production and rehearsals, it continues in a self-reflexive mode to accompany all the stages of the creative process, including the performances themselves, as well as deepening our understanding of their significance and impact after they have been performed. In the seminar we will discuss the basic theoretical, historical and creative dimensions of dramaturgy as well as examine case-studies based on Antigone, Hamlet and Brecht's Learning Plays.

Instructor(s): F. Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26310

TAPS 36330. The Appearance of Gods, Angels and Ghosts in Modern Drama and Theater and on the Screen. 100 Units.

Beginning with Aristotle there has always been a strong resistance to the appearance of gods (deus ex machina) as well as other supernatural figures on the stage. In spite of this, a wide range of supernatural figures both in drama and theatre, as well as on the movie screen, have always thrived. After studying the historical roots of the appearance of such supernatural figures the focus will be directed toward modern drama and theatre, as well as the movie screen. We will study selections from the work of playwrights like Ibsen, Strindberg, Pirandello, Brecht and Kushner and contemporary productions of classical plays like Medea and Hamlet. Examples of this phenomenon on the screen, focusing on directors like Ingmar Bergman and Wim Wenders will also be discussed. And we will begin by raising a question that will literally haunt us throughout the course: In which sense do we have to 'believe' in ghosts in order to enjoy or even understand a (good) performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet or even be able to read it? Attendance at first class session is MANDATORY.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26330

TAPS 36350. Wagner's "Ring" in Performance. 100 Units.

Offered in conjunction with Lyric Opera's production of "Siegfried", this course considers Richard Wagner's tetralogy "The Ring of the Nibelung" by examining its musical language, scenic terms, political aspirations, and production history. While we will consider "The Ring" in its entirety, we will focus on "Siegfried" complementing our readings and discussions with field-trips to rehearsals at Lyric Opera, seeking to understand the Chicago production in a broader context of stage productions prepared over the course of the past 50 years.

Instructor(s): David Levin, Steven Rings     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): No prerequisites
Note(s): An interest in one or more of the following is preferable: opera, musicology, German studies, theater & performance studies.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26350, GRMN 39350, GRMN 29350, MUSI 35918, MUSI 25918

TAPS 36400. 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, TAPS 26400, GRMN 26400

TAPS 36500. The Contemporary Sublime. 100 Units.

This class 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 26500

TAPS 36510. Drama/Theatre/Performance and Philosophy. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore the multi-faceted interactions between the discursive practices of Drama/Theatre/Performance and Philosophy which have recently become a central focus for theatre and performance studies. The course will explore two interrelated and closely connected dramatic, performative and philosophical constellations: Sophocles' Theban Plays, Plato's Symposium and selected passages from Aristotle's Poetics, on the one hand, and a selection of texts by Kafka, Benjamin and Brecht as well as some of Brecht's key productions like his Antigone and Mother Courage and her Children and the Model-Books that were composed on the basis of these productions. The theoretical discussions and the dramaturgical exercises will focus on the following issues and the connections between them: 1. The agon and the encounter 2. Violence and the ludic logic of tragedy 3. Entrances, exits and supernatural interventions 4. Models 'for' and models 'of' theatrical and performative practices 5. Dramaturgies of thinking and doing As a common backdrop to these issues the seminar will explore the possibilities to outline a coherent basis for a theatrical and performative dispositive, laying the basis for what Brecht in 1929 envisioned as a philosophical future for the theatre. Interested 3rd and 4th year undergraduates allowed by instructor consent. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26510

TAPS 36520. Staging History. 100 Units.

At a time when historical facts are contested, for example by holocaust deniers and even by politicians, it is urgent to examine the conditions of authenticity in works of art that are based on historical facts. In this course we will examine theatre performances and films that are based on past events discussing their role in the public sphere as historical/documentary works of art.

Instructor(s): F. Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26520

TAPS 37610. Engineering Shadow Puppetry. 100 Units.

This course will begin with historical research of shadow puppetry and directed design exploration, using both scripting and visual story-boarding to get your concept ready for production. We will then create scenery and visual environments while learning to bring shadow characters to life with movement, sound, and advanced manipulation techniques. We will also learn methods for crafting puppets from durable materials and will utilize mechanisms such as hinges and rivets. Students will be expected to work on projects outside of class time.

Instructor(s): F. Maugeri     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 27610

TAPS 38310. Ingmar Bergman: Cinema & Theater. 100 Units.

This course will focus on cinematographic representations of theatrical and other artistic practices, primarily exemplified by many of Ingmar Bergman's films (e.g. The Seventh Seal and Fanny and Alexander) but also in the work of other film-directors. It will explore historical and theoretical issues related to the mutual interactions between cinema and theatre also discussing cinematographic techniques in playwriting as exemplified in plays by Henrik Ibsen (e.g. Peer Gynt) and August Strindberg (e.g. A Dream Play and The Ghost Sonata). Throughout most of his creative career Bergman worked both in theatre and film and even if he is mostly known outside of Sweden as a film director, his theatrical career was as innovative. The work of the film-auteur and the theatre director are for Bergman closely connected, not only through the actors he worked with - during summers for the screen and during the theatre seasons in stage productions - but also through the choice of themes, which are often in direct dialogue with each other in the two media, generating complex meta-aesthetic, inter-medial discourses, depicting and problematizing the work and role of the artist in a broad range of social and ideological contexts. Interested 3rd and 4th year undergraduates allowed by instructor consent. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.

Note(s): Interested third- and fourth-year undergraduates allowed by instructor consent. Atttendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28310, CMST 26504, CMST 36504

TAPS 38320. 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 28320

TAPS 38479. Theater and Performance in Latin America. 100 Units.

What is performance? How has it been used in Latin America and the Caribbean? This course is an introduction to theatre and performance in Latin America and the Caribbean that will examine the intersection of performance and social life. While we will place particular emphasis on performance art, we will examine some theatrical works. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate ideologies of race, gender and sexuality? What is the role of performance in relation to systems of power? How has it negotiated dictatorship, military rule, and social memory? Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students an overview of Latin American performance including blackface performance, indigenous performance, as well as performance and activism.

Instructor(s): D. Roper     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates must be in their third or fourth year
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28479, GNSE 39117, SPAN 29117, CRES 39117, LACS 29117, SPAN 39117, CRES 29117, GNSE 29117, LACS 39117

TAPS 38702. Italian Comic Theater. 100 Units.

A survey of the history of Italian theater from the Erudite Renaissance Comedy to Goldoni's reform. We will pay particular attention to the tradition of commedia dell'arte (scenarios, stock characters, and plot formation), ancient and medieval influences, evolution and emancipation of female characters, and the question of language. Readings include works by Plautus, Ariosto, Machiavelli, Angelo Beolco (Ruzante), Flaminio Scala, and Goldoni. Toward the end of the course we will consider the legacy of Italian Comedy in relation to the birth of grotesque and realist drama in Pirandello.

Instructor(s): R. Rubini     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 38702, ITAL 28702, TAPS 28702

TAPS 38810. Advanced Study Theater: Games & Performance. 100 Units.

No description available

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21118, CMST 28810, TAPS 28810

TAPS 41401. Opera and Film, China/Europe. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore the mutual attraction of cinema and opera across the two vast operatic cultures of Europe and China in order to interrogate the many cross-cultural issues that their media encounters produce and accentuate. Such issues include changing relations to myth, ritual, history, and politics; cross-dressing and gender-bending; closed forms or open; stock characters wand plots or narrative fluidity. We will ask why in both China and Europe, opera repeatedly became the conflicted site of nationalist and modernizing aspirations, reiterations of tradition, and attempts at avant-gardism. When the presumed realism of film meets the extravagant hyperperformativity of opera, the encounter produces some extraordinary third kinds-media hybrids. Film repeatedly wrestled with the inherent histrionics of opera through the use of such devices as close-ups, camera angles, shot reverse shot, displacement of sound from sight, acousmatic sound, and trick photography. Such devices were generally meant to suture the supposed improbabilities of the operatic art form, incongruities often based on extravagant and transcendent relationships to realism. Such cinematic renderings of opera are highly revealing of fundamental faultlines in the genres themselves and revealing of the cultures that produced them.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin and M. Feldman     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 41401, CMST 44601, MUSI 45019, ITAL 41419, EALC 41401

TAPS 41451. Palace of Lasting Life: History, Drama, Fantasy. 100 Units.

This course covers the history of Chinese theater from its emergence as a full-fledged art form in the 10th-11th centuries (the Northern Song) up through its incorporation into modern urban life and nationalist discourse in the first decades of the 20th century (the Republican period). In addition to reading selections from masterpieces of Chinese dramatic literature such as Orphan of Zhao, Romance of the Western Chamber, The Peony Pavilion, we will pay particular attention to the different types of venues, occasions, and performance practices associated with different genres of opera at different moments in time. A central theme will be the changing status of the entertainer and the cultural meanings assigned to acting. All texts to be read in English translation, but students are also encouraged to read Chinese texts in the original if feasible.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Good command of classical Chinese.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 41451

TAPS 44016. Modeling the Voice. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 44016

TAPS 45918. Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung" in Performance: Siegfried. 100 Units.

This course seeks to explore Richard Wagner's sprawling 19th century tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung via the history of its interpretation on stage. While the first section of the course will offer an introduction to the Ring in its entirety, the rest of the quarter will be taken up with an in-depth consideration of Siegfried, the 3rd piece in the tetralogy. Our work in the seminar room (which will encompass a range of historical and critical readings and screenings) will be supplemented by attendance at rehearsals for Lyric Opera's production of Siegfried, slated to premiere on November 3rd. As it stands, we will cover a substantial amount of territory from a host of genres, eras, fields, and orientations, seeking to understand the contested and often contradictory place in music history and cultural theory that is occupied by Wagner and The Ring. Since the course is team-taught by a professor of music and of Germanic studies as well as theater & performance studies, our discussions will seek to encompass a range of fields, approaches, and topics. Among the topics we plan to examine are the aspiration to aesthetic totalization, the politics of community, the notion of distress or emergency (the German term is: Not), and some astonishingly lurid fantasies of family life--mostly of family dissolution. Texts will include the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor Adorno, Carolyn Abbate, Alain Badiou, Nicholas Ridout, and Slavoj Zizek.

Instructor(s): David Levin, Steven Rings     Terms Offered: Autumn. Autumn 2018: Wednesdays 1:30-4:20pm in JRL 264
Prerequisite(s): Consent required: Please email Prof. Levin ( or Prof. Rings your background / experience / interest in one more of the following: music history/theory, critical theory, theater and performance studies, Germanic studies, opera studies, cinema and media studies.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 45918, MUSI 45918, CDIN 45918

TAPS 46530. 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 26530

TAPS 48017. Phaedras Compared: Adaptation, Gender, Tragic Form. 100 Units.

This seminar places Racine's French neoclassical tragedy Phaedra within a wide-ranging series of adaptations of the ancient myth, from its Greek and Latin sources (Euripides, Seneca, Ovid) to twentieth-century and contemporary translations and stage adaptations (Ted Hughes, Sarah Kane), read along with a series of theoretical and critical texts. Particular attention will be paid to critical paradigms and approaches in the evolving fields of classical reception studies, theater and performance studies, and gender studies. Reading knowledge of French strongly preferred.

Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 48017, CMLT 48017, GNSE 48017, CDIN 48017, FREN 48017

TAPS 49900. Reading and Research. 100 Units.

This is a reading and research course for independent study.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 29900

TAPS 51420. The Literary and Visual Worlds of Xixiang ji. 100 Units.

This course examines the most influential Chinese drama of all times, the Xixiang ji (Romance of the Western Chamber) in light of its multiple literary and visual traditions. Over 100 different woodblock editions, many of them illustrated, were published during the Ming and Qing dynasties alone. The focus of the class will be on close readings of the original texts in classical and early modern vernacular Chinese. We will concentrate on the earliest extant edition of 1498 and Jin Shengtan's annotated and abridged edition of 1656, along with important sets of woodblock illustrations of the play.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Good reading skills in both classical and vernacular Chinese. Instructor’s permission required.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 51420