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Committee on Theater and Performance Studies


  • Ellen MacKay, Department of English Language & Literature


  • Philip Bohlman, Department of Music
  • Thomas Christensen, Department of Music
  • Martha Feldman, Department of Music
  • Theaster Gates, Department of Visual Arts
  • Loren Kruger, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature
  • David Levin, Departments of Germanics and Cinema & Media Studies, Senior Advisor to the Provost for the Arts
  • William Pope.L, Department of Visual Arts
  • Sarah Nooter, Department of Classics
  • Larry Norman, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Rocco Rubini, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Christopher Wild, Department of Germanic Studies
  • Judith Zeitlin, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations

Associate Professors

  • Seth Brodsky, Department of Music
  • Leah Feldman, Department of Comparative Literature
  • Matthew Jesse Jackson, Departments of Art History and Visual Arts
  • John Muse, Department of English Language & Literature, Director of Graduate Studies
  • Noémie Ndiaye, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Steven Rings, Department of Music
  • Catherine Sullivan, Department of Visual Arts

Assistant Professors

  • Jessica Swanston Baker, Department of Music
  • Ariel Fox, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Khalid Lyamlahy, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Tina Post, Department of English Language & Literature, Director of Creative Research
  • Danielle Roper, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture
  • Melissa Van Wyk, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations

Professors of Practice

  • Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Associate Professor of Practice in Theater & Performance Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Senior Instructional Professors

  • Heidi Coleman, Associate Senior Instructional Professor
  • Devon de Mayo, Assistant Senior Instructional Professor, Director of Performance
  • Julia Rhoads, Assistant Senior Instructional Professor, Director of the Dance Program


  • Scott Elmegreen
  • Shade Murray
  • David New
  • Pamela Pascoe


  • Ben Caracello, Technical Director
  • Brian Maschka, Production Manager
  • Neel McNeill, Managing Director
  • Jenny Pinson, Props Manager
  • Samantha Rausch, TAPS North Theater Manager
  • Nathan R. Rohrer, Costume Shop Manager
  • Vicki Walden, Academic Administrator



The PhD program in Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS) at the University of Chicago is designed to be dialogical, experimental, and highly individualized. Students not only develop a program of study within the TAPS graduate program that reflects their particular training and interests, but also complement their training with a joint doctorate in a cooperating field: Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages & Civilizations, English Language and Literature, Germanic Studies, Music, or Romance Languages & Literatures. Students extend their experience through the development of performance work, engaging with nationally and internationally renowned artists. Students will graduate with a joint PhD in TAPS and an aligned discipline, attesting to multiple capacities and preparing them for professional possibilities within and beyond the academy.

The program consists of four main components: course work, the preparation of oral fields 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) 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. It is designed to take advantage of the vitality and rigor of the MAPH program, while capitalizing on the university’s faculty strengths in theater and performance studies and the culture of collaboration between the TAPS program and Chicago's professional theater and performance communities. 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 in conjunction with a partnering department and pursue their degree jointly. Degree requirements for the combined degree in TAPS will of necessity vary somewhat from student to student, but all candidates should expect to complete the minimum requirements below.


Students take a total of 12 courses toward the TAPS degree, typically by the end of the third year. Those who have completed relevant graduate coursework prior to matriculation can petition the DGS to count up to three of those courses toward the 12 course total. The coursework in TAPS will include:

  • Two core classes designed to provide a rigorous introduction to advanced study in the discipline: One graduate course in performance theory and one in performance practice as research (typically TAPS 49700).
  • At least three seminars within the partner department, to be determined in consultation with the TAPS DGS. These may be but need not be cross-listed in TAPS. Please consult with the DGS if the partnering department is unlikely to offer three relevant graduate courses during your coursework years.
  • The September Lab in Performance as Research (SLIPAR): This required practicum is typically taken before the beginning of year 3, but the timing may vary for students in some degree pairings. If this 3-week course is taken for credit, it may count as one of the 12 courses toward the TAPS degree. It may also be taken as a non-degree course. Students may be allowed to participate in SLIPAR more than once, but in any case will only be allowed to take it for credit toward the TAPS degree once.
  • Six elective courses, of which up to 3 can be courses in neither TAPS nor the partner department.

 In addition, students in TAPS will be expected to:

  • Participate in the TAPS graduate workshop. The TAPS workshop brings together students, faculty, and invited guests to discuss work in progress as well as current developments in the wider field of theater and performance studies.
  • Adhere to the Language Requirement(s) of their partner department.
  • Fulfill a teaching requirement: Students will be expected to complete two quarters of TAPS-related teaching, one of which is typically a teaching assistantship or instructorship in the partner department, and one of which is assigned by the TAPS program. Teaching opportunities in TAPS include teaching assistant positions, preceptor positions for undergraduate thesis courses, instructorships of TAPS core courses, and instructorships of self-designed courses. In addition, the program encourages students to pursue, in consultation with faculty, less structured pedagogical training and experiences designed to equip them to teach in performance departments. For more information, please refer to the TAPS Pedagogical Training Plan.

We also recommend, depending on one’s career’s trajectory, that students complete one internship in theater or performance practice with a professional theater, dance, or performance company, either in Chicago or with national or international partners.

Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Proposal

Students are expected to complete the oral exam in TAPS at the outset of the fourth year, and by the end of the fourth year to compile a qualifying portfolio that includes a dissertation proposal, and to assemble a dissertation committee including members from both the partner department and TAPS. Note that some of our partner departments, including Music, may expect students to complete the proposal on an earlier schedule.

Oral Examination

The qualifying oral exam provides an opportunity for the student to look back and lend coherence to their 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 makeup and timing of the qualifying exam will vary by partner department; please refer to the expectations for particular pairings in the graduate handbook. Ideally preparation should begin in the third year or earlier, and the exam should be completed no later than the beginning of Autumn quarter in year 4. Where there is disciplinary overlap between the two programs, relevant examinations may be counted jointly toward both programs’ requirements, with approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in both programs. In general, we expect TAPS students, including those whose partner departments have written exams only, to complete an oral exam based on a list of 20-30 items relevant to their TAPS research before a joint exam committee. In any case, the TAPS exam should be prepared and administered in consultation with at least one faculty member in TAPS and a second faculty advisor from the partner department.

Qualifying Portfolio

The qualifying portfolio offers a snapshot of the student’s independent work in the TAPS program in the first 3-4 years. In most cases, we expect that assembling it will involve collecting material already completed rather than undertaking a substantial new project. The portfolio will typically be completed and the proposal defended one quarter after the PhD exam (not counting the summer). Students should aim to complete the portfolio by the end of year 4, and in any case no later than the end of the fifth year.

The portfolio will include:

  • A joint dissertation proposal prepared in consultation with a committee comprising faculty from both programs, typically following the proposal writing conventions of the partner department. The exact structure and length of a student’s proposal will be determined in consultation with both Directors of Graduate Studies. In any case, the proposal should include three components: (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.
  • An annotated portfolio of creative work to date, including written work and documentation from projects in the Performance Practice as Research class and SLIPAR
  • A TAPS-relevant article-length paper, of 6000-10,000 words, that can be submitted for publication. This could be a paper prepared in a partner department’s article-writing or advanced writing workshop. If the partner department has no such proseminar, students will work with a TAPS faculty advisor to revise a piece of writing, typically from their coursework, for publication.
  • Copies of the qualifying and oral exam lists for the partner field & for TAPS
  • Evidence of completion of the partner department’s language requirement(s)
  • Evidence of regular participation in the TAPS workshop


TAPS aims to equip students to pursue a range of careers within and beyond the academy. To that end, as a supplement to the formal and informal mentorship offered by faculty, we ask that all students submit, typically one quarter after advancing to candidacy, a draft of a TAPS-oriented teaching portfolio together with an articulation of their professional aspirations. We encourage students to contact the program for samples of these materials.


Students complete a single dissertation which has committee members from both programs and meets all requirements of each program. The dissertation will be defended in accordance with standard processes, typically at a joint dissertation defense before members from both programs. The timeline for finishing can vary and should be discussed with one’s committee, but in general TAPS encourages students to complete the dissertation by the end of the sixth year.

Foreign Language Requirement

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

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 30362. Housekeeping: Domestic Drama and Material Culture. 100 Units.

The theatre represents a new and wildly successful commodity in the early modern English market. Yet it is often kept separate from other fashionable goods of the period by virtue of its intangible form. This course overturns the orthodoxy that an early modern play was a co-imaged event and the early modern theatre was an "empty space" by attending to the Renaissance theatre's frequent recourse to household stuff. We will read plays designed for private performance, that use the fixtures of the household to build theatrical worlds. We will investigate dramatists who liken the playhouse to key venues of commodity culture, including the pawnshop, the Exchange (the precedent of the shopping mall), and the fairground. We will draw from Henslowe's Diary to recover the business of theatrical property-making and the allure of a company as disclosed by its holdings. All the while, we will question how the fiction of emptiness takes hold in theatre history, and how plays that depict a furnished world are relegated to second-class genres like domestic tragedy and city comedy. (Med/Ren)

Instructor(s): Ellen MacKay     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 40250, GNSE 22260, ENGL 20260, TAPS 20362, ENGL 40250

TAPS 30513. Theater of Premodern South Asia. 100 Units.

This course will cover the history and poetics of the stage play in premodern South Asia, which was, according to the eighth-century theorist Vāmana, "the best among the types of literature." The play, according to many premodern critics, was uniquely capable of bringing about a profound aesthetic experience because of its integration of diverse forms of art - plot-driven narrative, poetry, acting, and music. We will read a variety of plays in translation, including works by Bhāsa, Kālidāsa, Bhavabhūti, and Murāri, as well as selections from technical literature such as the Treatise on Theater (Nāṭyaśāstram). We will also watch a number of modern performances. Besides discussing individual plays, we will cover the following topics in detail: the different genres of the stage play; the theory of plot construction; the theory of aesthetic experience (rasa); the languages of the theater; the role of music, dance, and gesture; theater and ritual; and the performance tradition of Kūṭiyāṭṭam.

Instructor(s): Andrew Ollett     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): No prior knowledge of South Asian languages is required. Students who can read Sanskrit, however, are strongly encouraged to take an accompanying reading course.
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 20513, TAPS 20513, SALC 30513

TAPS 31500. Advanced Acting. 100 Units.

This advanced acting course builds upon fundamental acting training and develops advanced skills for the performer. The focus will be on acting methods that are useful for multiple types of material; best practices in monologue, scene study, and ensemble work; and multiple approaches toward rehearsal processes. In preparation for weekly in-class performance work, students will be required to collaborate with scene partners outside of class and to dedicate themselves to a disciplined practice of self-study. For enrollment in this course, please submit a Statement of Intent at this link: Questions? Email

Instructor(s): M. Lyons     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Previous acting experience is encouraged.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21500

TAPS 31510. Back Room Shakespeare: Practical Tactics For Acting in a Madhouse. 100 Units.

Shakespeare's theatre was a madhouse. Losing sight of this was a bad mistake. This class will give you strong practical skills for performing in the style of those playhouses: under-rehearsed, deeply un-precious, in constant dynamic relationship with your audience. Techniques will focus on personalizing the plays, delivering them with clarity and force to a modern audience - not on 'doing it right'. Our time will be spent primarily on hands-on exercises and scenework. Materials will include the instructor's books, My Life with the Shakespeare Cult & Blueprints for a Shakespeare Cult. Course concludes with the presentation of a play for an invited audience. Some on-stage experience recommended. No prior experience with Shakespeare necessary. Chips on shoulders about Shakespeare are welcome and helpful.

Instructor(s): S. Taylor     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is MANDATORY.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21510

TAPS 31600. Acting Workshop. 100 Units.

This course will develop acting skills required for the professional world. The classes are based in text analysis, physical practices, action work, and scene study with one or many partners. This class will prepare you for various audition scenarios as well as adding to rehearsal room tools and techniques. Previous experience is encouraged.

Instructor(s): M. Lyons     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21600

TAPS 31730. 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.

Instructor(s): D. de Mayo     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 21730

TAPS 31860. Songwriting for Musical Theater. 100 Units.

This course is a practical introduction to the art and craft of songwriting for musical theater. Students will analyze and practice song form, storytelling through music, and the writing of lyrics and melody for character and tone. In addition to sharing and workshopping new song material weekly, students will learn about orchestration, arrangement, and the structure of the theatrical score by discussing standout examples of the genre. Students will develop a catalog of character- and story-driven songs to be presented at the end of the quarter. A basic knowledge of music theory is expected; experience in songwriting is not required.

Instructor(s): S. Elmegreen     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 24321, MUSI 34321, TAPS 21860

TAPS 32315. Performance Art Installation: Imagining the End. 100 Units.

Perhaps the most important American play dealing with the prospect of the end of the world is Thorton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth (1942). This class will use this strange and remarkable play that moves through human and geological time to explore contemporary concerns about the end of life as we know it. Our work will culminate in a site-specific performance piece making use of the skills, talents, and experience of the members of the group.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 20945, ARTV 30945, TAPS 22315

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): TAPS 22318, MUSI 32318, MUSI 22318

TAPS 32360. Advanced Musical Theater Writing. 100 Units.

This course is an advanced, project-oriented writing workshop with an emphasis on dramatic structure, storytelling through music, and the exploration of character as practical matters. Each student will propose a new, full-length musical and will work towards the creation of a first draft over the course of the quarter. In addition to presenting and workshopping new scene or song material weekly, students will study, discuss, and draw inspiration from standout examples of the genre. Students will present excerpted readings from their musicals at the end of the course. Some experience in writing for musical theater is expected.

Instructor(s): S. Elmegreen     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 24322, TAPS 22360, MUSI 34322

TAPS 32550. Performing Nature. 100 Units.

What is it like to be a bat? A tree? A slime mold? Art that attempts to represent non-human experience helps to orient environmentalism around radical and highly personal moments of inter-species empathy. Portraying non-human perspectives, we escape the abstraction of environmental data, and instead approach ecological entanglement on the level of individual imagination. Giving voice and human embodiment to nature is a theme in much 19th, 20th and 21st century creative writing (fiction/nonfiction) and performance work (theater, dance, puppetry). Accordingly, this class offers a broad survey of non-human representation in these arts with special attention to first-person narratives and embodiment of flora and fauna. The course draws on philosophers of mind (i.e. Shaviro's 'Discognition') and nature-science writing, plus contemporary performance projects and digital works by art/technology companies who deploy virtual reality and electronic media to explore the points of view of natural beings and systems. Reading about anthropomorphization and the problem of the subject in nature writing from Erasmus Darwin to the present will allow students to adopt a critical as well as appreciative eye toward this field of study and expression. Creative writing assignments will ask students to write (and perform) monologues from nonhuman perspectives.

Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 22550, TAPS 22550, ENST 22550

TAPS 32670. Queer Performance. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the field of queer theory and its intersections with performance studies. We will consider the many meanings of queerness and multiple modes of queer performance, analyzing dance, dramatic literature, music, film, digital media, and performance art alongside queer nightlife, activist street protest, public health discourses, and underground culture. Looking at processes of identity formation and expression through the body, we will investigate how queerness interconnects with other axes of social difference, including race, class, citizenship, and ability.

Instructor(s): E. Mercer     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 23163, TAPS 22670, GNSE 32670

TAPS 32690. (re)Queering the American Musical. 100 Units.

In this combined studio and seminar course, we explore a selection of musicals (tentatively including Fun Home, Falsettos, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, A Strange Loop, and Indecent) considering their dramatic structure, character construction, performance norms, and musical conventions. In what sense(s) are these works "queer"? Students will investigate course materials through readings, discussions, staging experiments, and a choice of either a final paper or an artistic project. Open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Previous experience in theater, music, and/or film analysis or production is preferred but not required; an interest in detailed textual analysis, rigorous discussion, and focused creative engagement is essential. Team-taught by Leslie Buxbaum (Professor of Practice in TAPS), Erin McKeown (Visiting Gray Center Fellow and composer of the musical "Miss You Like Hell"), and David Levin (Professor in TAPS, CMS, Germanics, and Sr Advisor to the Provost for Arts) as part of their collaborative Gray Center fellowship "An Un-dosical" which seeks to explore the norms of the American musical.

Instructor(s): L. Buxbaum, E. McKeown, D. Levin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22690, GNSE 32690, MUSI 22622, MUSI 32622, GNSE 22690

TAPS 33910. Advanced Playwriting Workshop. 100 Units.

The goal of this playwriting workshop is for each student to end the quarter with a first draft of a full-length play. In addition to generating new material on a weekly basis, students will be expected to attend two Chicago-based productions for in-class discussion and criticism.

Instructor(s): C. West     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 23910

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 33950. Latin American Women Perform. 100 Units.

This course examines the ways women from Latin America and the Caribbean wield performance art to engage their social realities and to engage questions of race, gender, and sexuality. How do women both produce and disidentify with constructs of womanhood on stage? How do they use performance to explore the ways histories of genocide, dictatorship, and imperialism shape constructs of gender? We examine the works of performance artists Congelada de Uva, Fomma, Regina Galindo, Nao Bustamante among others.

Instructor(s): D. Roper     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taught in English. Basic knowledge or comprehension of Spanish is strongly recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 33950, LACS 33950, SPAN 33950

TAPS 33980. Writing the Short, Short Play: Investigations in Micro-Drama. 100 Units.

Never in the history of western theater has brevity gotten so much attention. Festivals around the world are devoted to plays five minutes in length or less; perhaps the most revered playwright of the 20th century, Samuel Beckett, guided his career towards the writing of smaller and smaller works; Chicago's Neofuturists have profitably run their show of "thirty plays in sixty minutes" for over thirty years; Twitter accounts disseminate multiple two to three line scripts daily; and sketch comedy continues to evolve and thrive. This course will give an overview of the development of the very short play over the last one hundred and twenty years, but will primarily focus on the writing and development of same, asking students to complete - through workshop prompts - 20 to 30 scripts by end of quarter. A particular effort will be made to bring "traditional" elements of standard-length plays - character, arc, anagnorisis, pathos, backstory, etc - to these miniatures, to test and expand their assumed limitations.

Instructor(s): M. Maher     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 23980

TAPS 34051. New Play Development: Directors and Actors. 100 Units.

This class explores the new play development process from first to second draft and will culminate in a staged reading at the end of the quarter. All the roles of a traditional production process will be a part of this class, with students serving as: playwrights, directors, actors, and dramaturgs. What happens once the playwright is ready to invite in collaborators to develop a script? How does each person bring their unique point of view to the play? How can this process serve both the play and the artists involved? The class is studying the art, theory and process of development as well as working on our feet to try our hands at what we are discovering. We will work to develop student plays in which a first draft is already written. Students interested in taking on these designated roles of a production team (actors, directors, dramaturgs) should select either TAPS 20450 New Play Development: Playwrights and Dramaturgs OR TAPS 20451 New Play Development: Directors and Actors. Once enrolled, course instructors will assign tasks taking into consideration student interest. For further information on the course or how to enroll, please contact Playwrights with a complete, first draft of a play are encouraged to submit their work for the companion course TAPS 24050 and will be selected the quarter before this course is offered. To apply, please send your script and note of introduction to

Instructor(s): Devon de Mayo     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24051

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.

Instructor(s): S. Weisz     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 24410, MAAD 24410

TAPS 34750. Antigone and the Making of Theater. 100 Units.

This class on Sophocles' Antigone will be held in lockstep with the upcoming production of the play at the Court Theatre, which will allow us to think about the construction of the play and its performance, both in its original setting and each time it is adapted and staged. We will attend rehearsals and talk to the director, crew and performers of the play as the play takes shape. We will also attend the production. Readings will include Antigone by Sophocles, as well as adaptions and theory on the play. Greek is not required for the class, but those who have it will be asked to read some passages in the original language.

Instructor(s): Sarah Nooter     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 26123, GREK 26123, GREK 36123, TAPS 24750, CLAS 36123

TAPS 34770. Digital Media Aesthetics: Interaction, Connection, and Improvisation. 100 Units.

This course investigates the ways that digital and networked media have changed contemporary aesthetics, forms, storytelling practices, and cultures. Along the way, we will analyze electronic literature, Twine games, interactive dramas, video games, transmedia narratives, and more. Formally, we will explore concepts such as multilinear narrative, immersive and navigable worlds, network aesthetics, interactive difficulty, aleatory poetics, and videogame mechanics. Throughout the quarter, our analysis of computational media aesthetics will be haunted by matters of race, gender, sexuality, class, and other ghosts in the machine. Students need not be technologically gifted or savvy, but a wide-ranging imagination and interest in new media cultures will make for a more exciting quarter. (20th/21st)

Instructor(s): Patrick Jagoda     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 67870, CMST 37870, ENGL 34770, GNSE 34770

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 and Nicomedes Santa-Cruz, Carlos Martiel, Las Nietas de Nonó, and others.

Instructor(s): Danielle Roper     Terms Offered: Winter
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): LACS 35501, RDIN 35500, SPAN 35500

TAPS 35001. Theatricality in Modern Art from 1700 to the Present. 100 Units.

We examine the dramatic dimension of art in the modern era broadly speaking, paying attention to recurring themes like the Aristotelian theory of acton, the Diderotian theory of acting, and the linguistic theory of speech acts, as well as to momentous historical events like the French Revolution, the rediscovery of antiquity, and the advent of photography and motion pictures. Paradigms that have been influential in one or another discipline like Michael Fried's theory of theatricality (in art history), Heinrich Kleist's theory of puppets (In German literature and theatre theory) and Friedrich Nietzsche's theory of tragedy (in music and philosophy) and will also be scrutinized.

Instructor(s): Andrei Pop
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 35001, ARTH 35001

TAPS 35214. Theater in East and Central Europe: Between Power and Powerlessness. 100 Units.

National independence movements, revolutions, authoritarian regimes, and the decline of empire: playwrights in East and Central Europe wrote major works of world literature in response to these events - and sometimes in prescient anticipation of them. This seminar introduces students to the plays that, from Chekhov to Havel, shaped the fates of nations. Topics include: the avant-garde, theater of the absurd, acting methods, performance art, and documentary theater.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 25214, CMLT 26040, REES 34404, REES 24404

TAPS 35215. Between Power and Powerlessness: Theater in East and Central Europe. 100 Units.

National independence movements, revolutions, authoritarian regimes, and the decline of empire: playwrights in East and Central Europe wrote major works of world literature in response to these events - and sometimes in prescient anticipation of them. This seminar introduces students to the plays that, from Chekhov to Havel, shaped the fates of nations. Topics include: the avant-garde, theater of the absurd, acting methods, performance art, and documentary theater.

Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 25215, REES 36040, REES 26040

TAPS 35950. Beckett and Media. 100 Units.

Though best known for a single play, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett was a poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, translator, and critic with a voluminous output. This course introduces students to the variety and influence of one of the central figures in twentieth-century literature and theater by considering Beckett's better-known plays-both on the page and in recorded performances-alongside select novels, criticism, film, radio, and television pieces. Among the questions we will ask are: What can Beckett's experiments across media teach us about the presumed and actual limits of form? What happens when a medium becomes the means of its own undoing? What can we learn from Beckett's career about cardinal developments in twentieth-century drama, literature, film, and television? (20th/21st, Drama)

Instructor(s): John Muse     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 35950

TAPS 36110. Choreographic Methods. 100 Units.

This studio course introduces students to a wide range of methods for creating choreography while considering the complex relationship between bodies, form, aesthetics, cultural contexts, technology platforms, and performance objectives. Grounded by interdisciplinary inquiry and ethical collaboration practices, the course will provide students with a robust toolkit for experimentation and play within dance and movement-based work, including compositional structures, improvised scoring, and choreographic prompts that are inspired by students' unique thematic interests. The course also invites students to consider how choreographic methods can be activated as problem-solving tools across disciplines. Supplementary readings and viewings will drive discussion and analysis while giving students a broad understanding of how choreography engages current social and political issues.

Instructor(s): J. Rhoads     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26110

TAPS 36170. Dance Pro-Show. 100 Units.

This course gives students the opportunity to learn repertory and new works by professional guest choreographers and faculty, culminating in a weekend of performances at Logan Center for the Arts. Within an immersive quarter-long production schedule, students will be exposed to a wide array of movement vocabularies, choreographic methods and performance aesthetics, while also gaining practical skills within the many facets of professional production work. Readings, viewings, and weekly journals will supplement studio and production work, connecting each student's experience to broader conversations within dance and performance studies. With a range of performance and production opportunities, this course will accommodate and challenge both trained dancers and movement-curious beginners.

Instructor(s): J. Rhoads     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26170

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 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): TAPS 26217, FREN 26217, FREN 36217

TAPS 36220. Dance, Identity, and Appropriation. 100 Units.

This survey course will look at the ways that dance-across genres, geographies, and histories-has negotiated, challenged, and complicated ideas of identity and authority. Grounded in histories including the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, where Swedish-American Christine Olson performed Turkish dance on the Midway, as well as modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis' imitation of the Indianness she encountered on a cigarette ad, we will explore case studies including American minstrel traditions, hip hop dance, the Nutcracker and other classical ballets, dance tourism like Hula and West African forms, viral K-pop dance tutorials, and more. These case studies will be used to discover how dance, and the dancing body, performs and problematizes appropriation. Part seminar/part practicum, assignments will include short written papers and performance projects including dance reconstructions.

Instructor(s): E. Leopold     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 36220, TAPS 26220, RDIN 26220

TAPS 36225. Dancing Chicago. 100 Units.

With the forthcoming publication of Dancing on the Third Coast: Chicago Dance Histories as text (University of Illinois Press, eds. Susan Manning and Lizzie Leopold), this course would take students out of the classroom to experience, historicize, and critically engage with dance across the city. Students will ask how social and theatrical dancing has shaped the city, and how the city in turn has shaped dancing bodies-in nightclubs and in settlement houses, at world's fairs and in theaters, on film and in the street. With the new historical perspective and critical view, students will produce a dance event as a final project.

Instructor(s): L. Leopold     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26225, CHST 26225

TAPS 36230. Dance and the Archive. 100 Units.

In this class, dance and the archive are addressed through three relationships: documenting dance for the archive, researching dance in the archive, and dancing as an archive of past events. The course unveils major topics in dance history and practice, such as alternative ideas about historical narratives and categories, the ephemerality of live performance, and how bodies hold knowledge and lived experience, with an emphasis on how racial structures shape archives. In course assignments, students will conduct research using archival sources and build archives that document and consist of their own moving bodies.

Instructor(s): Tara Aisha Willis     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26230, CRES 26231

TAPS 36240. Black Experimentation in Dance. 100 Units.

In this course, experimentation is explored as a choreographic approach to dancing and making dances. Grounded in process, practice, inquiry, and improvisation, experimentation has a long history in Black expressive culture. This class pairs readings at the intersection of Black performance theory, feminist and queer of color theory, and Black dance studies with examples of dance performances and artists interrogating topics such as the problem of aesthetic categorization, navigating racial visibility/invisibility onstage, and the politics of Black dancing bodies. The class focuses on concert dance in the United States, but may cover examples from social dance, popular entertainment, performance art, and global contexts.

Instructor(s): Tara Aisha Willis     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 26240, GNSE 36240, TAPS 26240, CRES 26240

TAPS 36260. Katherine Dunham: Politics in Motion. 100 Units.

This course traces the creative, political, and scholarly legacies of Katherine Dunham (1909-2006), exploring the immeasurable impact of her career as a dancer, choreographer, anthropologist, activist, and creator of the Dunham Technique. Students will merge embodied practice with in-class discussions of theoretical texts, questioning the role of Black dance traditions of the 20th century in helping shape transnational and Black diaspora studies. In keeping with the geographic scope of Dunham's practice and research, we will engage Black dance and social movements of the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States, and beyond. Central concepts of performance ethnography, Caribbean studies, and Black feminisms will anchor an investigation of dance as an intellectual process and as social action. We will contemplate the methods of artist-activists and artist-scholars in traversing disciplines and foregrounding new fields of thought. This course will balance training with a certified practitioner in Dunham Technique with field studies, archival research, and short choreographic experiments while taking advantage of concurrent city-wide events celebrating Dunham's legacy. No previous dance experience is required, and students should be prepared to engage through the body as well as intellectually in each class.

Instructor(s): H. Crawford     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26260, CRES 26260, CHST 26260

TAPS 36265. Dance, Labor, Economics. 100 Units.

What is a dance worth? This course offers a critical look at practical skills and structures, with an aim to understand how embodied art is valued (both culturally and financially). How have art markets and cultural ideologies collided within the performing body itself? Case studies come from taxes levied against strip clubs, museum acquisitions of conceptual and choreographic art, artistic estate planning, performance licensing and copyright, and twentieth century mail-order dance instruction. Students take on both historical case studies and tackle contemporary questions of nonprofit management, performer compensation, and market valuation. Students will engage these questions through readings, viewings, and discussion, as well as practical exercises.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26265

TAPS 36275. Dance as History. 100 Units.

This course explores the relationship between dance and history. Rather than investigating the history of dance, we will focus on how incorporating dance can alter the practice of historical research and representation (including public history), and on how history has informed classical and contemporary concert dance since the late 19th century. Through our weekly studio practice we also hope to develop new ways of representing and embodying history through dance. The course will examine the traditional, historical language of storytelling in certain disciplines of dance, and will seek to create a refreshed, relevant language of gesture and intention in the studio that might effectively convey narrative. Our focus will be European and American classical, modern, and contemporary concert dance since the 19th century, but students are welcome to explore other genres, cultural contexts, and moments in their research and in discussion. Assignments will include readings as well as viewing existing choreographic works on video; discussion of these texts and videos; engaging in conversation with contemporary choreographers, writing analyses of dances informed by the readings; attending relevant performances in Chicago, and participating each week in a studio-based class session in which we explore, through movement, the themes under consideration that week. You do not need to have any dance experience to take this course, but you must be willing to move.

Instructor(s): T. Zarah and M. Dincolo     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 39406, HIST 29406, TAPS 26275

TAPS 36280. Site-Based Practice: Choreographing The Smart Museum. 100 Units.

This course gives students the unique opportunity to create a collaborative, site-based work that culminates in a final performance at UChicago's Smart Museum of Art. Using embodied research methods that respond to site through moving, sensing, and listening, we'll explore the relationship between the ephemerality of movement and the materiality of bodies and place, and consider how the site-based contexts for dance shift how it is perceived, experienced, and valued. Our quarter-long creation process will begin with a tour of the Smart Museum, guided by curators and members of the Public Practice team, that will provide context to the museum's exhibitions, programming, and its relationship to geography and community. Assigned readings, viewings, and conversations with guest artists will delve into the relationship between dance and the sites where it happens, including museums-from the material relationship between bodies, objects, and architecture to the digital flows of choreography online.

Instructor(s): J. Rhoads     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ARCH 26280, CHST 26280, ARTV 20027, TAPS 26280, ARTV 30027

TAPS 36290. Mapping Black Social Dance: Hip Hop and House in the Community and Onstage. 100 Units.

This hybrid studio/seminar course offers an overview of the formal techniques, cultural contexts, and social trends that shape current Black social and vernacular dance practices. Modules will be built around Black social culture by looking at key histories and theories around Black dance, music and other cultural aesthetics from hip hop to house. As part of our exploration, we will cover themes such as: the Great Migration, the range of Black social dance forms from blues, jazz, disco, and dancehall that have influenced the evolution of hip hop and house on global scale; and the spectrum of social spaces from clubs to lounges and public events that have been critical to preserving Black cultural heritage and creating safe spaces for belonging and flourishing. Selected readings and viewings will supplement movement practice to give historical, cultural, and political context.

Instructor(s): M. McNeal     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 26290, RDIN 26290, MUSI 33620, MUSI 23620, RDIN 36290

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, MUSI 25918, MUSI 35918, GRMN 39350, GRMN 29350

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. In this hands-on course, we will learn to produce a podcast from idea to final sound mix, and explore the unique opportunities that the podcast form affords the storyteller. Students will complete several short audio exercises, and one larger podcast project.

Instructor(s): S. Geis     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28320, MAAD 23820

TAPS 38330. Oral History & Podcasting. 100 Units.

This class explores the potential of the podcast as a form of ethical artistic and social practice. Through the lens of oral history and its associated values - including prioritizing voices that are not often heard, reciprocity, complicating narratives, and the archive- we will explore ways to tell stories of people and communities in sound. Students will develop a grounding in oral history practices and ethics, as well as the skills to produce compelling oral narratives, including audio editing, recording scenes and ambient sound, and using music. During the quarter, students will have several opportunities to practice interviewing and will design their own oral history project. This class is appropriate for students with no audio experience, as well as students who have taken TAPS 28320 The Mind as Stage: Podcasting.

Instructor(s): S. Geis     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 28330, TAPS 28330, MAAD 23833

TAPS 38360. Screendance: Movement and New Media. 100 Units.

This course will explore the evolving relationship between moving bodies and video technologies. From early filmmakers using dancers as test subjects, to movie musicals and contemporary dance for the camera festivals, mediatization of the body continues to challenge the ephemerality of live dance performance. This course focuses on the growing field of screendance, videodance, or dance-on-camera, working to define this hybrid genre and to understand the collaborative roles of choreographer, director, dancer, cameraman, and video editor. This course is both a practical and scholarly approach to the genre of screendance, each component essential to a full understanding and mastery of the other. Course work will be divided between the studio and the classroom. For the studio component, students will learn basic video editing and filming techniques. For the classroom component, students will be asked to watch screendance and read a cross-section of criticism. Assignments will be both technological and choreographic (making screendance) and scholarly (written reflections and a seminar paper).

Instructor(s): L. Leopold     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 23860, CMST 28360, TAPS 28360

TAPS 38421. Theater for Social Change. 100 Units.

Augusto Boal argues that theatre is "rehearsal for the revolution." Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed provides key strategies for collaboratively crafting dramatic narrative. These strategies challenge the conventional Aristotelian structure that privileges a single protagonist and subordinates other stories. Instead, Boal structures a poetics in which the "spect-actor" contributes their voice. Students will engage in devising and embodiment exercises in Image Theatre, Newspaper Theatre, Forum Theatre, and more, by interpreting texts, (e.g., religious texts, constitutional documents, or political manifestos), interrogating current events, exploring public narratives, and valuing diverse learning styles. Students will contextualize destinations for the course material according to the aesthetic and academic questions that they bring into the classroom. To consider ethical concerns surrounding participatory theatre, we will examine arts groups past and present that employ the techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed. Readings include Boal, Freire, Jan Cohen-Cruz, Michael Rohd, bell hooks, and Knight and Schwarzman.

Instructor(s): staff     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Attendance at first class is mandatory
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 28421, TAPS 28421

TAPS 38450. Wonders and Marvels in Premodern Japan. 100 Units.

This course is an exploration of concepts of the wonderous and marvelous in Japanese literature and performance up to 1900. Primary texts and materials will include setsuwa collections, such as the Nihon ryoiki and Konjaku monogatari, poetry and poetics, late Heian monogatari, early modern travel fiction, theater, and encyclopedias.We will also consider theater's engagement with the spacial and embodied aspects of wonder through noh performance and theory, spectacle shows and circuses, exhibitions and worlds fairs, the operating theater and the human body. Alongside these primary texts and performances, we will survey recent scholarship on the history of wonder and marvel, considering along the way theories of fictionality, theatricality, affect and the senses, "objective agency" and the stage prop, and intersections between science, medicine, and the ludic. Readings will be available in English and no prior coursework in Japanese literature or history is required.

Instructor(s): Melissa Van Wyk     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 29450, EALC 39450, TAPS 28450

TAPS 38470. Molière: Comedy, Power and Subversion. 100 Units.

Molière crafted a new form of satirical comedy that revolutionized European theater, though it encountered strong opposition from powerful institutions. We will read the plays in the context of the literary, dramatic, and theatrical/performance traditions which he reworked (farce, commedia dell'arte, Latin comedy, Spanish Golden Age theater, satiric poetry, the novel), while considering the relationship of laughter to social norms, with particular emphasis on sexuality, gender roles, and cultural identities.

Instructor(s): Larry Norman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): FREN 20500 or FREN 20503.
Note(s): Taught in French.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 25000, FNDL 25001, TAPS 28470, FREN 35000

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

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: Winter
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 38702, TAPS 28702, ITAL 28702

TAPS 40500. Adaptation Laboratory: Staging Berlin. 100 Units.

From 2000-2018, the graphic novelist Jason Lutes published Berlin, a sprawling, formally inventive, & idiosyncratic account of life in the Weimar Republic. Court Theatre has commissioned the playwright Mickle Maher to prepare an adaptation of Lutes' novel; David Levin is the collaborating dramaturg. The production is slated for Court's 2023-24 season. This interdisciplinary seminar invites students into the process of adaptation, exploring a broad range of conceptual & artistic challenges. We will consider works in a host of genres - e.g., Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori's adaptation of Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home or Walter Ruttmann's 1927 film "Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis" - to establish a dialogue between Lutes' work, its progenitors, and a range of theoretical materials. An additional & significant component of our work will involve creative exercises. Students will prepare adaptations of their own - first, of Lutes' novel, then of works of their own choosing. We will invite collaborators from the production to join us for workshop sessions. The seminar seeks to serve as an adaptation laboratory, exploring & investigating theoretical stakes and practical problems while seeking to reshape those stakes and problems into diverse forms of practice.

Instructor(s): David J. Levin and Mickle Maher     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): An interest in some combination of theater & performance practice, translation, adaptation, German culture and/or German history would be welcome. Note: Undergrads admitted by permission
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 40500, CMST 40500, ARTV 33834, GRMN 35523

TAPS 40899. Opera without Borders. 100 Units.

Opera without Borders" explores how markers of race, indigeneity, and other identities blur historical time and disrupt geopolitical space on the operatic stage. How does opera operate in the new arenas of cosmopolitan citizenship during our present historical moment, when the unitary monoliths of nations, citizens, and identities are no longer firmly in place and means of travel and communication are quickly transforming? How and why have patterns of exploration, trade, and migration, forced and voluntary, colonial and decolonial, generated new operatic genres, new means of operatic production, and new kinds of opera producers (librettists, composers, directors, choreographers, dramaturgs, etc.)?  Among our cases are the Royal Shakespeare Company's Orphan of Zhao (2012); the Paris Opera's hiphop staging of Rameau's Les indes galantes (2019); Schikaneder and Mozart's Magic Flute (1791) reimagined as Impempe Yomlingo (2007-2011) by the township artists of Capetown; and circulations of Cantonese opera in Chinatowns from Vancouver and San Francisco to New York and Honolulu.

Instructor(s): Martha Feldman and Judith Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Enrollment Limit: 18; Weekly screenings required; Advanced undergraduates may request permission to enroll
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 40899, EALC 40899, GNSE 40899, MUSI 44022

TAPS 41401. Opera Film: China / Europe: Thinking Media Hybridity across Cases. 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): CMST 44601, MUSI 45019, CDIN 41401, EALC 41401, ITAL 41419

TAPS 41450. Peach Blossom Fan: Theater, History, and Politics. 100 Units.

This seminar probes the interplay of history, politics, and theatricality in Kong Shangren's Peach Blossom Fan, his dramatic masterpiece of 1699, which brilliantly depicts the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644-1645 on multiple social, cultural, and ritual fronts, from the pleasure quarters and the imperial court to the Confucian Temple and the battlefield. Issues to be addressed include: the representation and reassessment of late Ming entertainment culture--courtesans, actors, storytellers, musicians, booksellers, painters; metatheatricality; memory and commemoration; props and material culture; the dissemination of news and (mis)information; the reenactment of the past on the stage, as we contextualize Peach Blossom Fan within the early Qing literary and theatrical world in which it was created and performed. We'll also examine the interplay of history, politics, and theatricality in the modern reception of the play by analyzing its modern and contemporary incarnations in spoken drama, feature film, and different operatic genres.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Winter `
Note(s): Reading knowledge of modern and classical Chinese is desirable but not required. The course is open to MAPH students as well as Phd students.
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 41450

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

This seminar explores the interplay of history, fantasy, and theatricality in one of the masterpieces of early Qing chuanqi drama, Changsheng dian 长生殿 (Palace of Lasting Life, 1688), Hong Sheng's 洪昇dramatization of the famous tragic romance between the Tang Emperor Xuanzong and his most favored concubine Lady Yang Yuhan. The play alternates between a restaging of the An Lushan rebellion based on the playwright's research into historical sources and the creation of a parallel fantastical universe in the forms of purgatory and paradise. These seemingly contradictory trends-the increased concern with historical accuracy in drama and the fascination with spectacular, supernatural worlds-are fundamental to many seventeenth-century chuanqi plays. To understand the play's genealogy, we will read influential earlier treatments of the Xuanzong/ Lady Yang romance, but we will also examine the play in light of its relationship to contemporary events, particularly the fall of the Ming, and to contemporary debates on historical drama and the role of the playwright in the publication and production of theatrical works. The course will include consideration of the "afterlife" of the play by screening some dvds of important live performances.

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

TAPS 41455. Music and Sound in Chinese Literature. 100 Units.

This course examines key texts from antiquity through the 18th century related to music and sound. "Literature" is construed broadly to include the many genres in which music or sound play a principle part: philosophical and scientific essays; anecdotes, biographies, and tales; poems and informal essays; songbooks, formularies, and scores; encyclopedias and manuals. The course will be organized historically and thematically. Some of the issues we hope to investigate: the role of music in ritual and governance; theories of the voice and sound production; the translation of sound into words, and what is lost and gained; the pictorial representation of sound and listening; the relation between music and emotion; the social roles of musicians and entertainers; and the cultural significance of musical instruments.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): No PRQ but some familiarity with Music or Chinese literature and history would be helpful. All materials will be available in English but students with classical Chinese will be encouraged to read materials in the original when feasible.
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 45521, EALC 48088

TAPS 42020. The Cabaretesque in Music. 100 Units.

We explore a global range of genres that combine music and the intimate stage through the theoretical formulation of the cabaretesque. The performance practices we examine combine music and theater in ways that are historically and culturally diverse, ranging from medieval and early modern European genres such as mystery plays or Purimspiele to commedia dell'arte and operetta to modern musicals and cabaret itself. We also search for similar forms of intimate musical theater in cross-cultural Asian performance, such as Persian siah-bazi, South Indian kathakali, Korean p'ansori, and Japanese chindon-ya. The genres of music on the intimate stage that underlie the history of cinema (e.g., the first synchronized sound films, The Jazz Singer and Der blaue Engel) will be a consistent focus throughout the seminar. To understand the cabaretesque in opera performance we shall look especially closely at the transformation of Berlin's Komische Oper in the twenty-first-century, applying close readings to several recent productions. Together, we seek to develop the theory of cabaretesque as an approach to understanding complex social and political relations across the fault lines between self and other. Taking Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the carnivalesque as a point of departure, we shall read widely in modern writing on the cabaret as a performance practice that turns the world on its head and history inside-out.

Instructor(s): Bohlman     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 42020

TAPS 42021. Music, Colonialism, and Nationalism. 100 Units.

In this seminar we examine and disentangle the triangulated historical and cultural spaces that form through the complex interaction of the three larger subject areas: music, colonialism, and nationalism. Colonial encounter because audible to the extreme when sound is unleashed as the language of control and resistance by the colonizer and colonized alike. Music, as the amalgam of sonic difference, opens the metaphorical and material spaces in which the struggle for power is also articulated as the aesthetic expression of sovereignty. Song sounds linguistic and geographic borderlands, transforming them into the contested boundaries of nations both in ascendancy and in decline. In the course of the seminar, we seek the ways in which music and sound articulate the counterpoint between colonialism and nationalism, yielding one of the most forceful narratives for understanding the history of the present. We shall draw upon diverse resources and approaches throughout the seminar. We shall devote attention to specific repertories and genres that have the power to represent the colonial and national interests. In addition to reading critically important works on colonialism and nationalism, we shall also listen widely and to different types of sound material, ethnographic and commercial, classical and popular, in literature and in film. It will be our goal to bear witness to the shape of the music-colonialism-triangle in as many shapes as possible.

Instructor(s): Phil Bohlman     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students from many departments and centers are welcome in this seminar. Extensive analytical work with music is not required.
Equivalent Course(s): MAPH 42021, MUSI 42021

TAPS 44016. Modeling the Voice. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 44016

TAPS 44021. Music Spectralities. 100 Units.

The uncanny, the ghostly, the spectral, the dead: terms like these, often housed under the umbrella of "spectrality," have lately haunted the borders of music history. This is especially true where its disciplinary objects-sounding music, listeners, histories, technologies--cannot easily be defined but also cannot be reduced away. They have forced music studies toward a reckoning with its past certainties, challenging its canons but also furnishing new modes of analysis and criticism for refractory sites of research. Most particularly, spectrality has emerged prominently in considerations of race and gender. This seminar will read recent literature, musicological and non, to ask how spectrality as a conceptual paradigm mediates anxious musical relationships to race, gender, and sexuality by focusing on death and mortality, including music's own vanished pasts. Our inquiries will engage the sonic analogues to visibility / invisibility and presence / absence paradoxes conjured by death and haunting in the forms of inaudibility / audibility and silence / noise, especially as they pertain to phonography, film, and other media. We will find that far from circumventing the realms of the material and technological, the seemingly immaterial realms of spectrality turn out to engage and perpetuate them.

Instructor(s): Martha Feldman     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Spectrality and Music History has adjacencies with my 2020 seminar on Errant Voices inasmuch as it aims to prepare graduate students for the conference of that title (now slated for April 28-30, 2022; see the conference website at, password <errantry>). Students from departments outside Music are welcome in the seminar and can write research papers that draw on their own skills and interests as relevant to our themes.
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 44021, GNSE 44021

TAPS 44023. Love and Song: Under-examined Affairs. 100 Units.

Love and Song: Underexamined Affairs" will take some less traveled paths on the otherwise well-traveled ground whereon song has long been married to love. We will begin with the courtly Provencal love song cultivated by Petrarchans in late medieval and early modern Europe as foundational to amorous tropes for suffering lyrically. From there we will quickly move to lyric in the age of capitalism, technology, and contemporary geopolitics, considering (among others): Nancy J. Vickers's writings on Petrarch in the video decade, James Baldwin's theory of love, music, and "the beat"; Martin Stokes's work on intimate Turkish publics; Dafni Tragaki's writings on atmospheres and the postpolitical in Greek popular song and rebetiko; Kara Keeling's theories about love, errantry, and the refrain; and my own work on the unsentimental, together with other writings that tie love song to citizenship, abjection, madness, and histrionics. In addition to the writers named above, we will read from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Lauren Berlant, John Freccero, Josh Kun, Roland Barthes, Alain Badiou, Fred Moten, Elizabeth Povinelli, David Hesmondhalgh, and Eric Lott. We will also build our own collective shared archive of love songs complementing our readings and listenings. This seminar is open to graduate students from all disciplines. Students will write final seminar papers of circa 15-20 pp., drawing on their own skills and interests relevant to the seminar.

Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 44023

TAPS 44420. Practices of Classicism in the French Seventeenth Century. 100 Units.

This seminar has two goals. One is to combine the text-based tradition of French literary studies with the image-based, comparative tradition of art history-and, in so doing, to change the taxonomies of both. The other is to re-evaluate French Classicism by attending to practices of reading, writing, performing, looking and making. The seminar's breadth is designed to appeal to all graduate students interested in the theory and history of aesthetics, and the interleaving of visual and literary evidence. Looking will be no less important than reading, as we will conduct sessions with original objects in the Art Institute and in Regenstein Special Collections. Authors studied will include Corneille, Molière, La Fontaine, Pascal, and Descartes; among the artists, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, La Tour, and Callot. Critical readings will range from Leo Spitzer to Louis Marin and Foucault. The seminar will be conducted in English; all primary texts will be made available in both English translation and, for those with reading knowledge, in the French original. This seminar will travel to Paris during exam week (March 13-21, 2020); airfare and lodging covered by university. Consent of instructors required.

Instructor(s): Larry Norman and Richard Neer     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 34420, ARTH 45885, CDIN 44420, CMLT 44410

TAPS 45020. Errant Voices: Performances Beyond Measure. 100 Units.

Listening to trans*, raced, and castrato voices, "Errant Voices: Gender and Performances beyond Measure" will explore voices that escape their confines perforce or by choice, trying to make sense of resistant, insurgent, and resilient voices. Students from various disciplines are invited to join the seminar, thereby helping to advance its themes but working from their own strengths and orientations. Our common goal will be to develop shared theoretical language among differing cases that can lead to new insights into wider paradigmatic shifts across gender and race in our historical moment. The project turns on performances inasmuch as they reveal the workings of bodies, intentions, and interactions. It depends on collective thinking because it is intersectional and thus concerns emergent shared languages developed by encountering questions collaboratively.

Instructor(s): Martha Feldman     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 45020, MUSI 45020

TAPS 46202. Performance Theory: Action, Affect, Archive. 100 Units.

This seminar offers a critical introduction to performance theory organized around three conceptual clusters: a) action, acting, and forms of production or play, in theories from classical (Aristotle) through modern (Hegel, Brecht, Artaud), to contemporary (Richard Schechner, Philip Zarilli, others); b) affect, and its intersections with emotion and feeling: in addition to contemporary theories of affect and emotion we will read earlier modern texts that anticipate recent debates (Diderot, Freud) and their current interpreters (Joseph Roach, Erin Hurley and others), as well as those writing about the absence of affect and the performance of failure (Sara Bailes etc); and c) archives and related institutions and theories of recording performance, including the formation of audiences (Susan Bennett) and evaluating print and other media recording ephemeral acts, including the work of theorists of memory (Pierre Nora) and remains (Rebecca Schneider; Mark Fleishman), theatre historians (Rose Bank, Ellen Mackay etc) and tensions between archive and repertoire (Diana Taylor).(20th/21st)

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Note: This course is intended only for those who have completed their undergraduate degree.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 38346, ENGL 46202, CMLT 46202

TAPS 46900. Theories of Performance and Performativity. 100 Units.

This course offers a critical introduction to theories of performance and performativity across a transnational scope. We will read theories of performance that explore the relationship between text, body and audience alongside the history of performative theory and its afterlives in queer and affect theory. Drawing on comparative literary method, this course presents texts both within and beyond the Euro-American canon, across languages, and across disciplines to consider how empire and post-coloniality, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality shape performances and the publics that they address. We will think about the relationship between performance and politics and how performance as both an aesthetic genre and theoretical concept shapes the relationship between text, language, and embodied experience and explore the role of the spectator and their participatory function in the making of performances.

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): GNSE 48017, CLAS 48017, FREN 48017, CMLT 48017, CDIN 48017

TAPS 49000. TAPS Proseminar. 100 Units.

This course is restricted to TAPS PhD students.

TAPS 49700. Performance Practice as Research. 100 Units.

This course investigates what we mean by "performance practice as research", as well as the related formulations practice as research, arts-based research, arts-led research, performance as research, etc. It will primarily, though not entirely, take the form of a seminar, with the expectation that studio work will follow in companion components of the TAPS PhD program and/or other venues. This course is intended for doctoral students seeking to understand and develop the relationship (and non-relationship) between arts practice and academic research without insisting on a particular approach or outcome. Through readings, case studies, discussions, and small artistic experiments, students will puzzle through their own idiosyncratic constellations of methods and interests, and so gain clarity about expansive and not always obviously intersecting bodies of work. While the course is designed for TAPS PhD students, other graduate students who find this mode of performance-based inquiry relevant to their work are welcome to apply. Please contact the instructor for further information.

Instructor(s): L. Danzig     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.

TAPS 49750. SLIPAR (September Lab in Performance as Research) 100 Units.

SLIPAR is an intensive laboratory for creativity and critique, comprising studio time, training sessions, consultations with a variety of professional mentors, seminar meetings, and faculty-led critique. It will culminate in a public presentation at the start of autumn quarter. SLIPAR is required for all TAPS PhD students under the current (beta) requirements, and is typically taken before the beginning of year 3. TAPS 49700 Performance Practice as Research (PPAR) is a prerequisite for SLIPAR. PhD students in other departments who have taken PPAR and are interested in participating in SLIPAR should reach out to Leslie Buxbaum Danzig

Instructor(s): L. Buxbaum Danzig; D. Levin     Terms Offered: Summer. Offered in the September session
Prerequisite(s): TAPS 49700 Performance Practice as Research

TAPS 49900. Reading and Research. 100 Units.

This is a reading and research course for independent study.

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