Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

University of California, Berkeley


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

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Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

Faculty and Instructors


Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Associate Professor. Critical race theory, African American theater, non-traditional casting, racial performativity, gender studies, sexuality studies, American popular culture.
Research Profile

Abigail T. De Kosnik, Associate Professor. Technology and Performance, Artistic Appropriation and Remix, Ethnicity, Gender, and Digital Culture, Cultural Studies, Subcultures and Fan Cultures, Marxism and Post-Structuralism .
Research Profile

Julia Fawcett, Associate Professor. Performance history/historiography, British performance 1650-1800, British literature 1650-1800, disability, gender, social geography, set design.
Research Profile

Peter Glazer, Associate Professor. Directing, Adaptation, Performance Theory, 20th century American Theater, Commemorative Performance .
Research Profile

Joe Goode, Professor. Interdisciplinary Dance Theater, Site-Specific Performance, Playwriting/Devised Theater.
Research Profile

Philip Kan Gotanda, Professor. Theater, Playwriting, Asian American, Japanese American, cross-cultural, Indie Film.
Research Profile

Shannon Jackson, Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Arts + Design. Performance Studies, Contemporary theater, American cultural history and Performance Historiography, Adaptation .
Research Profile

Roshanak Kheshti, Associate Professor. Race, gender and sexuality in sound studies, ethnography, history of anthropology, cultural studies, film studies, psychoanalysis, queer studies, Iran, diaspora studies, postcolonial theory, and Zora Neale Hurston studies.

SanSan Kwan, Associate Professor. Critical Dance Studies, Transnational Asian American Studies, Cultural Geography, Theories of Space and Kinesthesia, Interculturalism, Modern Dance, Ballet, and Yoga .
Research Profile

Angela Marino, Associate Professor. Politics and performance in the Americas, Latin/o American performance and dramatic literature, popular fiesta and carnival theory .
Research Profile

Shannon Steen, Associate Professor. Critical race theory, performance theory, American studies, U.S. histories of popular performance, U.S. urban development, globalization studies.
Research Profile

Lisa Wymore, Professor. Modern dance technique, choreography.
Research Profile


Margo Hall, Continuing Lecturer. Acting.

Christopher Herold, Continuing Lecturer. Acting, directing.

Laxmi Kumaran, Continuing Lecturer. Stage management.

Domenique Lozano, Continuing Lecturer. Acting.

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

Emeritus Faculty

Martin Berman, Senior Lecturer Emeritus.

Jack Carpenter, Senior Lecturer Emeritus.

Lura Dolas, Senior Lecturer Emerita.

Robert Goldsby, Professor Emeritus.

Mark Griffith, Professor Emeritus.

Jenefer Johnson, Continuing Lecturer.

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

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Department Chair

Prof. Joe Goode

15E Dwinelle Hall

Department Vice Chair

Prof. Philip Kan-Gotanda

15H Dwinelle Hall

Undergraduate Student Academic Advisor

Michael Mansfield

15B Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-643-4050

Graduate Student Services Advisor


15A Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-7613

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