Theatre Arts and Performance Studies



The Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS) is the intellectual and artistic center for the aesthetic, historical, literary, practical, and theoretical explorations of performance in global perspective – theatre, dance, speech, time-based art, and even performative “roles” in everyday life. The TAPS concentration offers three tracks with many points of overlap among them: Performance Studies, Theatre Arts, and Writing for Performance. Concentrators gain exposure to a broad spectrum of performance modes  and methods -- acting, directing, dance, and writing, and chose an avenue of focus among them.  In addition, TAPS concentrators with an interest in socially engaged performance that tackles complex social issues may pursue the Engaged Scholars Program. Everyone graduates having studied craft, gained familiarity with history, and investigated the role of performance arts in culture.


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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Gain skill in one or more of the practical crafts of theatre, dance, public speaking, or performance art
  • Increase abilities in speech and communication
  • Gain familiarity with the history of theater, dance, and other performing arts from transnational perspectives
  • Explore areas of performance theory
  • Gain familiarity with dramatic texts and theatrical contexts
  • Enhance their writing abilities
  • Produce a body of creative work
  • Create a capstone project in the senior year


Click here for a list of requirements. Click here for a list of requirements for the engaged scholars program in TAPS.

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

Capstone: The Capstone is a culminating project/experience designed by the student that fulfills the concentration track. TAPS capstones can take a variety of forms, such as a solo performance or dance piece, the writing of a play, an honor’s thesis or a design project, or directing a production. Students begin working on their capstone in the required senior seminar course, which is offered in the fall term. Capstone projects may be completed in either the fall with the termination of the Seminar, or in the subsequent spring term.

Honors: The standard pattern above, plus an honors thesis course taken in Semester VII (TAPS 1990), the topic of which would be determined before Semester VII. Candidates for the honors program should have an outstanding academic record and must apply to the Department by April 1 of Semester VI.  Proposals can be submitted electronically.  Honors are awarded for theses in all concentration tracks.  All theses are substantive pieces of writing.  Some these are strictly academic.  Other honors theses may include a creative component (such as the directing of a play, a solo performance piece, the study and performance of a major role, or the design of a production) but the thesis itself will be a critical, written work based in research relative to that artwork.  For plays submitted for honors, the essay should accompany the play, reporting on the research and the process of writing, through the play itself counts as the substantive written work.   See the Honors Advisor for more information about proposal and thesis guidelines.




  • Performance Studies
  • Theatre Arts
  • Writing for Performance

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201320 20 
201422 22 
201518 18 
201614 14 
201717 17 

Alumni Pathways

Theatre Arts and Performance Studies alumni work in a range of areas, including as media and finance executives, management consultants, physicians, engineers, architects, as well as in the arts and entertainment as directors, singers, lighting designers, and actors. Visit the TAPS website for more information.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Conor Sweeney
  • Kathy Ng

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.