About TAPS

Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) seeks to animate the intersection of practice and theory in the arts. TAPS offers studio classes, seminars, and studio-seminars, which combine academic and practice-based inquiry.

The TAPS curricular program offers:

  • coursework in acting, dance, devising and writing (across media), design, directing, dramaturgy, media arts, performance studies, and theater history;
  • a teaching roster of distinguished faculty and professional artists drawn from Chicago's vibrant theater and dance community;
  • intensive studio classes, seminars, and studio/seminars, typically with a ratio of 1 instructor to 8-14 students;
  • a unique and vibrant collaborative relationship with Court Theatre, the nationally renowned professional theater on campus, via coursework and internships.
  • a flourishing environment for collaboration and interdisciplinarity that includes the Smart Museum, Media Arts & Design Center, and Chicago Performance Lab

TAPS is also home to an extraordinary variety of productions, both student-initiated and professionally-led. Each year, the performance/production side of our program supports:

  • 30+ productions involving approximately 500 student actors, dancers, designers, dramaturgs, writers, musicians, directors, choreographers, comedians, circus artists, filmmakers, and production staff in our theaters and performance labs.
  • fully designed productions and intimate laboratory workshops.
  • on- & off-campus internships and student staff positions where students gain experience in artistic, technical, managerial, and administrative positions while being mentored by professionals.

TAPS activities take place all across campus but are headquartered in the Logan Center for the Arts, which houses two state-of-the-art theaters, two studio-lab classrooms, a scene shop, a costume shop, and a welcoming, informal student lounge located in the TAPS suite.

TAPS Leadership

Ellen MacKay
Associate Professor, Dept of English Language and Literature

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Leslie Buxbaum
Associate Professor of the Practice

Director of Graduate Studies
Leah Feldman
Associate Professor, Dept of Comparative Literature

Director of Creative Research
Tina Post
Assistant Professor, Dept of English Language and Literature

Director of Performance
Devon de Mayo
Assistant Senior Instructional Professor

Director of the Dance Program
Julia Rhoads
Assistant Senior Instructional Professor

Director of Design
Rasean Davonté Johnson
Assistant Senior Instructional Professor