Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) teaches performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression, and public engagement. Through performance training and research, we create liberal arts graduates with expanded analytical, technical, and imaginative capacities. As a public institution, we make diversity and inclusion a key part of our teaching, art making, and public programming.

Located within the College of Letters and Science, the faculty, staff, and students in TDPS — and in the allied PhD in Performance Studies — pursue a wide spectrum of research and production activities. We see performance as an interdisciplinary form, exploring verbal, visual, spatial, and embodied registers of experience. We see performance as a transnational cultural form, exploring the politics and poetics of social life in all parts of the world. We see performance as a public forum for contemporary ideas, allowing us to test and debate the central concerns of our time in a space that is at once critical, emotional, and collective.

The faculty and staff are nationally and internationally known, both for their scholarly research and their artistic work in design, directing, choreography, acting, and experimental performance. Our curriculum ranges from the classics to the contemporary; it cuts across theatrical, dance, and visual art forms; it spans all corners of the globe, using the site of performance to deepen UC Berkeley’s critical education in the humanities.

Undergraduate majors and minors are well prepared for the future, both as artists and as engaged citizens of the world. Through the course of their studies, students pursue intensive work in acting, technical theater/design, or dance. At the same time, they take critical and cultural studies courses that set the literary, historical, political, theoretical, and aesthetic concerns of performance in dialogue with other disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. This flexibility and integration of our programs in Theater and Performance Studies and in Dance and Performance Studies make our students excellent candidates for a variety of professions in the social, corporate, legal, and arts sectors, as well for admission to graduate programs in the arts and to professional schools.

All professors teach at all levels, and students have an ample opportunity to study with important scholars and practitioners in theater, dance, and performance studies. Playhouse Productions and Workshop Performances breathe life into an annual season of classic, modern, and original works, along with the annual concert of the Berkeley Dance Project. Auditions are open to all students, staff, and faculty on campus, and students receive course credit for successfully completing a production. Most entry-level performance courses (acting, directing, dance technique, playwriting, choreography, and technical design) are open to all Berkeley students. Declared majors and minors can deepen their study with challenging courses and performance projects. Advanced students can also receive course credit for internships and apprenticeships and can propose Honors Projects (in both critical writing and performance) for their final year.

The faculty, staff, and students welcome you to our diverse and energetic department. In the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, you will find small class sizes, inspiring faculty, engaged staff, talented colleague students, and multiple opportunities to pursue your artistic creativity and intellectual adventures in ways that are both challenging and fulfilling. We look forward to working with you.

Undergraduate Programs

Dance and Performance Studies: BA, Minor
Theater and Performance Studies: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

The department does not offer graduate degrees; however, the following graduate degree is administered by a graduate group affiliated with the department:
Performance Studies: PhD

Visit Department Website

Courses

Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Associate Professor. African American drama and theater.

Abigail T. De Kosnik, Assistant Professor. New media, performance studies, performance theory, performance, media studies, fan studies, digital culture, social networks, film, television, social media, Internet culture, digital humanities.
Research Profile

Julia Fawcett, Associate Professor. Performance studies, theater history .

Peter Glazer, Associate Professor. Stage directing, 20th-century drama.

Joe Goode, Professor. Dance, choreography.

Philip Kan Gotanda, Professor. Playwriting, Asian American theater, contemporary American drama.

Mark Griffith, Professor. Classical Greek drama.

Shannon Jackson, Profesesor. Rhetoric, performance studies, American studies, 20th century art movements and critical theory, local culture and intercultural citizenship in turn-of-the-century United States, history and theory of theatre and performance art.

Sansan Kwan, Associate Professor. Dance studies, performance studies, Asian American studies.
Research Profile

Angela Marino, Associate Professor. Theatre and performance studies, Latin American and US Chicana/Latino performance, festivals and carnival, political cultures.
Research Profile

Alan Read, Professor. UC Berkeley Global Edge Program.

Shannon Steen, Associate Professor.

Lisa Wymore, Assistant Professor. Modern dance technique, choreography.

Lecturers

Sima Belmar, Lecturer. Dance in popular film and television, US dance-theater, somatic theory and practice, performance and phenomenology, and embodied identity politics.

Jack Carpenter, Lecturer. Lighting Design.

Katie Faulkner, Lecturer. Dance, choreography.

Srijani Ghosh, Lecturer. Dance.

James Graham, Lecturer. Dance, choreography.

Margo Hall-Callender, Lecturer. Acting, directing.

Christopher Herold, Lecturer. Acting, directing.

Jessica Hirigoyen, Lecturer. Voice and dialect.

Jenefer Johnson, Lecturer. Dance history.

Laxmi Kumaran, Lecturer. Stage management.

Domenique Lozano, Lecturer. Intermediate acting.

Maureen Mo Miner, Lecturer. Dance.

Michael Moran, Lecturer. Acting.

Lisa Porter, Lecturer. Acting, public speaking.

Sean San Jose, Lecturer. Acting.

Carol Ann Annie Smart, Lecturer. Set, costume design.

Lindsey Michelle Summers, Lecturer. Dance.

Amara Tabor-Smith, Lecturer. Dance.

Maura Tang, Lecturer. Acting.

Latanya Tigner, Lecturer. Contemporary African dance.

Emeritus Faculty

Martin Berman, Senior Lecturer Emeritus.

Lura Dolas, Senior Lecturer Emerita. Acting.

Robert Goldsby, Professor Emeritus.

Carol Murota, Senior Lecturer Emerita.

Dunbar Ogden, Professor Emeritus.

Debora Sussel, Senior Lecturer Emerita.

John Warren Travis, Professor Emeritus.

Margaret Wilkerson, Professor Emerita.

Marni Wood, Professor Emerita.

Contact Information

Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

15 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-9012

Fax: 510-643-9956

tdps@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Lisa Wymore, MFA

15E Dwinelle Hall

lisawymore@berkeley.edu

Department Vice-Chair

Abigail De Kosnik, PhD

15M Dwinelle Hall

adekosnik@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Academic Adviser

Michael Mansfield, MFA, DMin

15B Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-643-4050

tdpsugadvisor@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Robin Davidson

15A Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-7613

performancestudies@berkeley.edu

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