2023-2024 Catalog


The heart of Theater and Performance Studies is practice and production. Our shows are supported by rigorous training and analysis through the study of performance theory, history, technique, and literature.  Students learn through embodied practice, applying their research in performance contexts. With numerous opportunities to explore areas ranging from dramaturgy to acting, from set design to stage management, and from playwriting to directing, students also learn to apply a performance studies lens onto other phenomena in the world outside the traditional boundaries of theater.  Embedded within a Liberal Arts institution, our classes are interdisciplinary and the pathway to a major or minor is holistic.  After completing the introductory courses, students can craft their trajectory through the major, taking  advanced courses in their areas of interest, such as in acting, playwriting, solo performance, directing, design, performance studies and theater research, stage management, and technical theater. 

A Theater and Performance Studies major culminates with a senior comprehensive project in the student’s area of interest supported by direct mentorship and guidance from department faculty and staff. 

Located in the arts capital of Los Angeles, the department engages with community partners and arts institutions. From attending productions at southern California theaters to bringing arts education into local schools to a sustained internship program to bringing in local artists into our classes and to our relationship with Oxy Arts, being in the city of Los Angeles is integral to our work. 

The department taps into national and international theater movements, and frequently hosts guest artists, speakers, and performers from around the world. 

Students in Theater and Performance Studies will: 

  • Become collaborative artist-scholars with a deep understanding of the power of performance in and on the world.
  • Find their own voices and the means to express those voices through learning aesthetic and creative skills.
  • Combine theory and practice through embodied expression.
  • Engage with the local and global community through the practice and study of live performance.
  • Transform their ideas into performed expressions inside and outside of the theater.