Summer Certificate: Performance & Culture in the U.S.

Background image: Summer 2017 | Fundamentals of Acting
Image credit:
Fundamentals of Acting I with Margo Hall

Earn a Certificate for Performance & Culture in the U.S. by completing three required courses in one or two consecutive summers.

Develop or deepen your U.S. cultural literacy and intercultural communication skills as you study acting or public speaking, participate in a performance appreciation class, and learn how performance intersects with media and society.

This program is administered by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS). Upon satisfactory completion of the required coursework, the student will receive a certificate from TDPS confirming the completion of the program. All completed coursework will be noted on the student's transcript, but the certificate will not be noted.

Certificate Requirements:

  • Complete one course from each category below to earn the Certificate.
  • Students may complete required courses in one or two consecutive summers.
  • Courses may not count for both the certificate and a TDPS major/minor.
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade and must be passed with a C or higher.

Communication & Creative Expression (Choose One)

Theater 5 | Public Speaking & Presentation Skills

Students will learn to present themselves and material clearly, confidently, and persuasively, using age-old arts of oral communication. They will learn techniques for overcoming stage fright, developing clear enunciation, finding and using their natural, unaffected vocal register, varying tone and intonation to hold audience interest, controlling pacing, moving with assurance and purpose, using appropriate gestures, and eye contact as well as exploring methods to change behaviors that bar effective communication and structure speeches to maximize persuasiveness.

Summer 2023: July 3 – August 11, Monday–Friday, 9am–12pm or 1pm–4pm

See more class details on the Academic Guide website.

Theater 10 | Fundamentals of Acting I

Fundamentals of Acting I is the entry level course for the acting sequence and focuses on releasing and cultivating the actor's inherent creativity. Through exercises, improvisation, scenes, and monologues, the actor begins to develop basic techniques designed to stimulate the imagination, develop vocal and physical ability, increase awareness of self and others, introduce effective ways to analyze texts, think critically about the craft of acting, and enhance self-confidence and communication skills. This class is the essential beginning of the actor's studies, which will ultimately allow her or him to effectively engage and explore work from a rich diversity of genres, styles, and backgrounds.

Summer 2023: July 3 – August 11, Monday–Friday, 9am–12pm or 1pm–4pm

See more class details on the Academic Guide website

Theater 14 | Interactive Theater (Not offered in Summer 2023)

This course will not be offered in Summer 2023. Please select one of the courses above, or contact the undergraduate advisor to discuss alternatives:

Performance Theory & Critical Inquiry (Choose One)

Theater 117AC | California Stories (Not Offered in Summer 2023)

This course will not be offered in Summer 2023. Please select the course below, or contact the undergraduate advisor to discuss alternatives:

Theater 118AC | Performance, Television, and Social Media (Online)

This course examines the intersections of performance and media—specifically the media forms of television and social media in the U.S.—with a focus on how various types of difference (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class) are enacted, articulated, represented, and played on TV and social media platforms.

Summer 2023: June 20 – August 11, Online

See more class details on the Academic Guide website.

Experiencing Live Performance (Choose One)

Theater 190 | Performance Appreciation (Not Offered in Summer 2023)

This course will not be offered in Summer 2023. Please contact the undergraduate advisor to discuss alternatives:

Theater 197 | Field Studies in Theater

Supervised experience in connection with theatrical production in the field of scenic construction, costume construction and conservation, theatrical lighting, stage management, publicity, theater management, or production management.

Application Required — Contact the TDPS Undergraduate Adivisor for details:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I participate in the Certificate program?

Please submit this form if you intend to complete the Certificate. 

To enroll or apply:

How do I learn more about each course?

For descriptions, schedules, and requirements, visit

May I speak with someone about the Certificate program?

For questions related to Certificate courses and requirements, contact the Undergraduate Academic Advisor, Michael Mansfield:

What are the eligibility requirements to participate?

Other than the English proficiency requirements for international students (noted below), there are no eligibility requirements to participate. The Certificate program is open to any student who wishes to take the coursework.

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in all classes to be eligible for the Certificate; meaning, all courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher to count toward the Certificate.

I am a non-native English speaker. What is the English proficiency requirement to participate?

International students are required to show the official proof of their English proficiency. Please review the list of approved English proficiency tests, minimum scores, and criteria for exemption and waiver.

I am a TDPS major/minor. If I complete the Certificate, can the same courses count toward my major/minor?

TDPS students who wish to receive the Certificate will need to complete all TDPS major/minor requirements separately from the Certificate. No courses can count for both a major/minor and the Certificate.

How do I get more information about fees, financial aid, enrollment, and student services?

Visit the Summer Sessions website or contact the Summer Sessions Office.