Theater & Performance Studies Major
By the end of their time in T&PS, students should possess:
- 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 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:
- Stage Management
- New Media
Path to Goals
Foundational Skills: (numbers refer to TDPS course numbers)
- Introduction to Acting (10)
- Introduction to Performance Studies (26)
- Stagecraft (60)
- One of the following:
- Drama of American Cultures (25AC) OR
- Reflections of Gender, Culture, and Ethnicity in Dance (52AC)
Development of 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.).
- Productions (from blackbox workshops to main stage season)
- 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 DeCal courses
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
Declare the major after passing two pre-requisite courses:
- one Theater course (10 or 60)
- one Performance Studies course (25AC or 26 or 52AC)
A maximum of 8 units of equivalent coursework transfer into the major from EAP or other 4-year colleges as electives upon departmental approval. Theater 10 equivalent courses transfer into the major. All L&S-approved credits from other colleges transfer into your degree, but rarely into the major. We remind transfer students to bring a copy of previous transcripts/course descriptions to Michael Mansfield for evaluation.
- It is expected that students will maintain a 2.0 GPA.
- Letter-graded courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade.
- Please see the Department’s Undergraduate Handbook for more information.
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.
Theater Major Requirements: