Theater & Performance Studies Major

CONTENTS

1. Learning Goals
2. Path to Achieving Goals
3. Statement of Methods of Evaluation and Feedback Mechanisms
4. Declaring the Major
5. Things to Know About Transfer Credits
6. Contact Us

LEARNING GOALS

By the end of their time in Theater & Performance Studies, students should possess:

  • The ability to synthesize a well-organized argument from textual or other evidence and to express it in formal, written form
  • Proficiency in research methods (i.e. utilization of public and private archives, libraries, electronic databases, oral histories; textual and performance analysis)
  • Collaborative skills
  • Foundational stagecraft and production skills and knowledge (design, craft and technology, stage management, new media)
  • Literacy in foundational dramatic texts and fundamental concepts of performance theory
  • Basic knowledge of the history of Euro-American theater practice, including issues of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in the performing arts.
  • Basic acting technique

Through upper-division course work, electives, and capstone experiences students should also possess advanced training in at least one of the following:

  • Directing
  • Playwriting
  • Acting (Check out our Acting Program)
  • Design
  • History/Theory/Literature
  • Stage Management
  • New Media

 

PATH TO ACHIEVING GOALS

The path to achieving the aforementioned Learning Goals includes building Foundational Skills, developing Advanced Abilities and undertaking Capstone Experiences.

  • FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS
    • Introduction to Acting (Theater 10)
    • Introduction to Performance Studies (Theater 26)
    • Stagecraft (Theater 60)
    • EITHER Drama of American Cultures (Theater 25AC) OR Reflections of Gender, Culture and Ethnicity in Dance (Theater 52AC)
  • ADVANCED ABILITIES
    • Advanced Production or Design: participation in main stage or lab productions
    • Performance Studies: Three courses from areas of Performance Theory, Performance History, Performance Literatures, or Performance and Culture
    • Four upper-division electives in student’s choice of area (directing, acting, design, etc.).
  • CAPSTONE EXPERIENCES
    • Productions (from blackbox workshops to main stage productions)
    • Professional workshops and classes with Artists-in-Residence
    • Honors Theses (both written and production projects)
    • Independent Studies
    • Internships with professional companies, studios, agencies
    • Student-created performance projects
    • Leading/teaching DeCal courses

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STATEMENT OF METHODS OF EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK MECHANISMS

In addition to traditional methods of assessment such as analytical papers, research projects, and examinations (which are used primarily in the Performance Studies courses), the TDPS faculty and lecturers use a variety of qualitative and competitive feedback methods. Among these are:

  • Graded, Written, and Oral Assessment
  • Competitive Evaluation and Selection
    • Students compete with one another for limited spaces in classes and productions.
    • Those who work hard, perform well, and show promise in classes are provided increasing challenges and opportunities.
  • Distribution of prizes
    • Every year, the faculty distributes endowed awards to our students. These awards are given to students whom the faculty have known in both classes and productions, and who have been seen to excel in all areas of the curriculum. While production work is often the immediate anchor of these awards, academic achievement and good collaborative skills are also required of students who receive awards. Students lacking in either of these arenas can be disqualified from receiving awards.
    • These awards are the culmination of long-term assessment over the student’s time in TDPS. In other words, it is highly unlikely that a student will receive an award without having received extensive feedback leading up to that award.
  • One-on-one mentorship and supervision
    •  Students in choreography, dance technique, design, acting, directing, and stagecraft classes are encouraged (and often required) to solicit detailed assessment on particular projects from their faculty
    • For classes that require group projects, faculty give feedback to individual groups within a course, rather than one-on-one. However, these groups are generally small (4-6 students)
    • Students may ask for more detailed feedback on auditions from relevant directors or faculty
    • Guidance on written thesis
    • Supervision of internship or apprenticeship projects
    • Guidance through the major tailored to student’s long-term goals
    • Professional career feedback

 

DECLARING THE MAJOR

Students may declare a major in TDPS after passing two pre-requisite courses: one Theater course (10 or 60) AND one Performance Studies course (25AC or 26 or 52AC).

Why declare early? This allows the best use of the many curricular and production opportunities offered by TDPS while at Cal. Additionally, majors are prioritized in decisions about enrollments, auditions, special offers, newsletter info, departmental awards, Main Stage subscriptions, design/choreographic/directing opportunities, and other department resources.

To read about Theater & Performance Studies Major Requirements: Current requirements

You should also know that, as a major, it is expected that students will maintain a 2.0 GPA. Additionally, letter-graded courses for the major MUST be taken for a letter grade.

Please see the Department’s Undergraduate Handbook for more information.

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TRANSFER CREDITS

  • A maximum of 8 units of equivalent coursework from EAP or other 4-year colleges transfer into the major as electives, upon departmental approval.
  • Equivalent courses to Theater 10 transfer into the major.
  • All L&S-approved credits from other colleges transfer into your degree, but rarely into the major.
  • Transfer students should bring a copy of previous transcripts/course descriptions to Michael Mansfield for evaluation

 

CONTACT

Academic questions, declare major, class schedule planning:

Michael Mansfield, Undergraduate Advisor
D-33 Hearst Field Annex (office hours: Mon-Fri, 1pm to 4pm)
(510) 643-4050
tdpsugadvisor@berkeley.edu

Resources, advice, career questions:

Abigail De Kosnik, Faculty Advisor for Theater
adekosnik@berkeley.edu

SanSan Kwan, Faculty Advisor for Dance
sansankwan@berkeley.edu