Doctoral Program

** The Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies has extended the application deadline for the PhD to January 1, 2016. We are pleased to welcome applications up until that date. If there are any questions that arise from this extension please email **

  • Admissions
  • Financial Aid
  • Graduate Handbook
  • Application deadline: December 15
  • For questions about the PhD program, contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Rebecca Schneider:
  • For questions about the application process (including GRE/TOEFL submission, LORs and other technical questions), please contact the Graduate School directly at  Applications to the Ph.D. and MFA programs are submitted to, and managed through, the Graduate School. Please do not email the department with technical questions or requests to troubleshoot your online application submission.   You can find detailed instructions about the application process and components here.  The application FAQ can be found here.
  • Transcripts and letters of recommendation and any other supplementary materials should also be sent to directly to the Graduate School mailing address. Sending application materials directly to TAPS will delay the processing of your application.
The Overview

The Theatre Arts and Performance Studies program takes a broad-spectrum approach to the study of histories, theories, and methods of theater and performance.

While offering a rigorous background in theater history in global perspective, we also use performance as an analytical tool, exploring the labor of mimesis in the social. A slate of courses with significant strength in performance theory, theater history, cultural studies, visual studies, and world performance allows students to determine the right mix of theater studies and performance studies for their projects. We offer opportunities to take classes throughout the University and encourage taking full advantage of diverse resources both on campus and in greater Providence.

The consortium with Trinity Repertory Company, Brown's playwriting program, and cross-currents with RISD make the Brown environment alive with intersections between practice and theory. The libraries at Brown provide exceptional special collections, including the Harris Collection of American Drama and Poetry; the Smith Collection of Conjuring, Magicana, and Popular Entertainment Forms; and the Albert-Bernard Shaw Collection.

The graduate program is highly selective, with a small cohort which gives students access to regular individual mentorship and ensures success in the graduate program.

The Department requires that each student gain experience in pedagogy through teaching opportunities within the Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Department itself. Specific teaching assistantships will be determined in consultation with a student’s committee.