Courses

TAPS 29900 Reading and Research

This is a reading and research course for independent study.

2022-2023

TAPS 10100 Drama: Embodiment and Transformation

This course introduces students to a range of theatrical concepts and techniques, including script analysis and its application to staging, design and acting. Throughout, we investigate how theater – as a collaborative art form – tells stories. Students will act, direct, and design. In doing so, they will gain an understanding of a variety of processes by which scripts are realized in the theater, with an emphasis on the text’s role in production rather than as literature.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
College Core

TAPS 10200 Acting Fundamentals

This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation. Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
College Core

TAPS 10300 Text and Performance

This course offers an introduction to a number of significant dramatic works and seminal figures in the theorization of theater and performance. But the course's aspirations go much further: we will be concentrating upon the intersection of interpretation and enactment, asking how these pieces appear on stage and why. This will not be merely descriptive work, but crucially it will be interpretive and physical work. Students will prepare and present applied interpretations-that is, interpretations that enable conceptual insights to take artistic form. Throughout, we will be searching for that elusive combination of philological rigor, theoretical sophistication, and creative inspiration-probing the theoretical stakes of creativity and testing the creative implications of analytic insights.

Staff
2022-2023 Autumn
Category
College Core

TAPS 10700 Introduction to Stage Design

Approaching theatrical design as a visual art, we will achieve a basic understanding of the theory, methodology and artistic expression fundamental to each area of design for the stage—scenic, costume, lighting and sound. We will learn how each discipline approaches and executes visual (aural in the case of sound) communication involved in the design process. Students will learn the professional design process, from contracting through production. Projects for this course will be completed using a combination of mediums and materials. If students are away from campus, there will be discussions of what materials may suit each student best based on available resources. Creativity in execution of visual communication will be of great importance. Students will learn to show collaborators ideas instead of talking about them.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
College Core

TAPS 10800 Contemporary Dance Practices

This studio-based course with a seminar component offers an overview of the formal practices and contemporary trends that shape dance as an art form. The class is designed for students who seek to gain a working knowledge of dance and deepen their physical skills. A range of contemporary dance forms and practices will be covered. Topics may include modern dance, hip hop, partnering techniques, social dance forms, improvisation, somatic practices, dance composition, and more. Lectures, viewings, and discussion will support experiential practice components. No previous experience with dance or performance is required. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
College Core

TAPS 10900 Moving and Thinking / Thinking and Moving

Though we often imagine a divide between the physical practice of dance training and the intellectual practice of dance history and theorization, in reality they overlap: movement training is embodied research and a form of intellectual labor, while dance theorization and scholarship is deeply connected to the physicality of thought. This course offers an introduction to dance with an integrated approach to thinking and doing. Students will explore a range of embodied research methodologies that draw from improvisational forms, codified techniques, and social and cultural dance practices. No prior dance experience is required for this hybrid seminar/ studio course.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
College Core

TAPS 15500 Beginning Screenwriting

(MAAD 25500, CRWR 27102)

This course introduces the basic elements of a literate screenplay, including format, exposition, characterization, dialog, voice-over, adaptation, and the vagaries of the three-act structure. Weekly meetings include a brief lecture period, screenings of scenes from selected films, extended discussion, and assorted readings of class assignments. Because this is primarily a writing class, students write a four- to five-page weekly assignment related to the script topic of the week.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Writing
Media Arts

TAPS 20755 Making "I'll Take You There: The Life of Mavis Staples" at Court Theatre

(RLST 28755, HIST 20300, CHST 20755, MUSI 20755)

Court Theatre has acquired the rights to Greg Kot's 2014 biography of Chicago-born music legend Mavis Staples, "I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the Music that Shaped the Civil Rights Era." Kot joins Court as consultant as the theater starts the work of adapting Mavis Staples's life for the stage. He is the former music critic for the Chicago Tribune, editorial director of the multimedia music platform the Coda Collection, and co-host of Sound Opinions. This course invites students to take a lead role in Court's creative development Theater and Performance Studies - DRAFT COPY 5 process for the Mavis Staples story. Using the methods of history, dramaturgy, biography and musicology, students will work with Kot and Court's artistic team to map the story's rich historical landscape, excavate the essential characters and identify the key events-social, political and musical-that a playwright might explore. Students will pursue individual research projects grounded in the epic journey of the Staples family and its powerful mobilizing role in the Civil Rights movement. Mavis Staples continues to blend gospel, blues, folk, rock and protest music in her work; her collaborators have included Bob Dylan, Prince, David Byrne, and Chuck D. Students will trace the Staples family's story via multiple archives to build a portfolio of sound recordings, oral history interviews, photographs, newspapers, film and video recordings that will help the bring the production to life. Kot will be a regular guest in class.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 21700 An Actor Observes

This course addresses techniques and modes of observation and their application to scene study. Observation study is used to strengthen acting choices, build the physical world of the play, and create original, vital characterizations. It also serves to deepen awareness of group dynamics; integrate symbolic, psychological, and physical meaning in a character's behavior; and guide the process of breaking down a scene. Students will perform observation exercises and apply their discoveries to scene work.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Acting

TAPS 21805 Sondheim and After

(ENGL 10610)

Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021) reinvented the American musical. This course explores his work as a lyricist and composer, and his influence on writers including Jonathan Larson, Jeanine Tesori, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Musical Theater

TAPS 22900 Introduction to Theater and Performance Studies

This course is designed to introduce students to foundational concepts and critical skills relevant to the study of theater and performance. In addition to wide-ranging readings and discussions, students will attend a variety of performances and screenings representing a cross-section of genres, interpretive styles, and institutional settings. Although the course will be directed by Prof. Buxbaum Danzig, it will be divided into discrete units, each led by a different instructor from the TAPS teaching staff. Thus, students will gain exposure to a variety of teaching styles, areas of expertise, and approaches to the field. The course is open to all undergraduate students as an elective; it also serves as a required course for all TAPS majors and minors.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Major/Minor Requirement

TAPS 23000 Introduction to Directing

(CHST 23000)

This course employs a practice in the fundamental theory of play direction and the role of the director in collaboration with the development of textual analysis. By examining five diversely different texts using three different approaches to play analysis (Aristotle, Stanislavski, Ball) students begin developing a method of directing for the stage in support of the written text. In alternating weeks, students implement textual analysis in building an understanding of directorial concept, theme, imagery and staging through rehearsal and in-class presentations of three-minute excerpts from the play analysis the previous week. The culmination is a final five-minute scene combining the tools of direction with a method of analysis devised over the entire course.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Directing

TAPS 23600 Improv and Sketch

This course adapts curriculum originally designed for the various schools of modern improvisation (including the iO, the Annoyance and The Second City). Listening skills, the ability to work well with others as a team, and building scene work organically are highlighted. You will leave this class a better communicator, with interpersonal tools that support other facets of your life.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Acting

TAPS 24050 New Play Development: Playwrights and Dramaturgs

This class explores the new play development process from first to second draft and will culminate in a staged reading at the end of the quarter. All the roles of a traditional production process will be a part of this class, with students serving as: playwrights, directors, actors, and dramaturgs. What happens once the playwright is ready to invite in collaborators to develop a script? How does each person bring their unique point of view to the play? How can this process serve both the play and the artists involved? The class is studying the art, theory and process of development as well as working on our feet to try our hands at what we are discovering. We will work to develop student plays in which a first draft is already written. Playwrights with a complete, first draft of a play are encouraged to submit their work for this course and will be selected the quarter before this course is offered. To apply, please send your script and note of introduction to ddemayo@uchicago.edu. Students interested in taking on any of the other designated roles of a production team (actors, directors, dramaturgs) should select either TAPS 20450 New Play Development: Playwrights and Dramaturgs OR TAPS 20451 New Play Development: Directors and Actors. Once enrolled, course instructors will assign tasks taking into consideration student interest. For further information on the course or how to enroll, please contact ddemayo@uchicago.edu.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Writing

TAPS 24051 New Play Development: Directors and Actors

This class explores the new play development process from first to second draft and will culminate in a staged reading at the end of the quarter. All the roles of a traditional production process will be a part of this class, with students serving as: playwrights, directors, actors, and dramaturgs. What happens once the playwright is ready to invite in collaborators to develop a script? How does each person bring their unique point of view to the play? How can this process serve both the play and the artists involved? The class is studying the art, theory and process of development as well as working on our feet to try our hands at what we are discovering. We will work to develop student plays in which a first draft is already written. Students interested in taking on these designated roles of a production team (actors, directors, dramaturgs) should select either TAPS 20450 New Play Development: Playwrights and Dramaturgs OR TAPS 20451 New Play Development: Directors and Actors. Once enrolled, course instructors will assign tasks taking into consideration student interest. For further information on the course or how to enroll, please contact ddemayo@uchicago.edu. Playwrights with a complete, 8 Theater and Performance Studies first draft of a play are encouraged to submit their work for the companion course TAPS 24050 and will be selected the quarter before this course is offered. To apply, please send your script and note of introduction to ddemayo@uchicago.edu.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Directing
Acting

TAPS 26230 Dance and the Archive

In this class, dance and the archive are addressed through three relationships: documenting dance for the archive, researching dance in the archive, and dancing as an archive of past events. The course unveils major topics in dance history and practice, such as alternative ideas about historical narratives and categories, the ephemerality of live performance, and how bodies hold knowledge and lived experience, with an emphasis on how racial structures shape archives. In course assignments, students will conduct research using archival sources and build archives that document and consist of their own moving bodies.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Dance & Movement
History & Theory

TAPS 28470 Molière

(FNDL 25001, FREN 25000, FREN 35000)

Molière crafted a new form of satirical comedy that revolutionized European theater, though it encountered strong opposition from powerful institutions. We will read the plays in the context of the literary and dramatic traditions that Molière reworked (farce, commedia dell'arte, Latin comedy, Spanish Golden Age theater, satiric poetry, the novel), while considering the relationship of laughter to social norms, as well as the performance practices and life of theater in Molière's day. Taught in French.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 29800 BA Colloquium

This two-quarter sequence is open only to fourth-year students who are majoring and/or minoring in theater and performance studies.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Major/Minor Requirement

TAPS 20040/30040 Black Shakespeare

This course will introduce students to theories and practices of performance that center East Asian forms and experiences. We will engage with East Asian performance not as essentialized and static cultural displays, but as sites for disciplinary intervention and innovation that can motivate more capacious theories of performance. The course will feature a number of guest scholars and practitioners who will introduce forms such as noh, kabuki, Kun opera, pansori, butoh, and K-pop through guided discussions and workshops. No background required; all readings in English.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 32312 Virtual Theaters

This course probes the nature and limits of theater by exploring a range of theatrical texts whose relation to performance is either partially or fully virtual (philosophical dialogues, closet dramas, novel chapters in dramatic form, twitter theater, digital theater, algorithmic theater, transmedia games, remote theater.) One unit attends to experiments in remote theater since the COVID-19 pandemic.

2022-2023 Autumn

TAPS 23930/33930 Fundamentals of Playwriting

This workshop will explore the underlying mechanics that have made plays tick for the last 2,500-odd years, from Euripides to Shakespeare to Büchner to Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Annie Baker, etc. Students will be asked to shamelessly steal those playwrights' tricks and techniques (if they're found useful), and employ them in the creation of their own pieces. Designed for playwrights at any level (beginning or advanced), the workshop's primary goals will be to develop a personal sense of what "works" on stage within the context of what's worked in the past, and to generate a one-act play, start to finish.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Writing

TAPS 24410/34410 Transmedia Puzzle Design & Performance

(MAAD 24410)

This course will introduce students to the burgeoning field of immersive puzzle design. Students will develop, implement, and playtest puzzles that are suited for a range of experiences: from the tabletop to the immersive, from online puzzle hunts to broad-scoped alternate reality games (ARG). Students in this course will work directly with master puzzler Sandor Weisz, the commissioner of The Mystery League.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Media Arts

TAPS 26110/36110 Choreographic Methods

This studio course introduces students to a wide range of methods for creating choreography, while considering the complex relationship between bodies, form, aesthetics, cultural contexts, technology platforms, and performance objectives. Grounded by interdisciplinary inquiry and ethical collaboration practices, the course will provide students with a robust toolkit for experimentation and play within dance and movement-based work, including compositional structures, improvised scoring, and choreographic prompts that are inspired by students’ unique thematic interests. The course also invites students to consider how choreographic methods can be activated as a problem-solving tool across disciplines. Supplementary readings and viewings will highlight contemporary choreographic practices from around the globe, driving discussion and analysis while giving students a broad understanding of how choreography engages current social and political issues.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
Dance & Movement

TAPS 28479/38479 Theater and Performance in Latin America

(GNSE 29117, GNSE 39117, LACS 29117, CRES 39117, TAPS 38479, SPAN 29117, CRES 29117, SPAN 39117, LACS 39117)

What is performance? How has it been used in Latin America and the Caribbean? This course is an introduction to theatre and performance in Latin America and the Caribbean that will examine the intersection of performance and social life. While we will place particular emphasis on performance art, we will examine some theatrical works. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate ideologies of race, gender and sexuality? What is the role of performance in relation to systems of power? How has it negotiated dictatorship, military rule, and social memory? Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students an overview of Latin American performance including blackface performance, indigenous performance, as well as performance and activism.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 28480/38480, The Worlds of Harlequin: Commedia Dell'arte

(ITAL 39601, ITAL 29600)

This course is an introduction to the Italian art of theatrical improvisation or commedia dell'arte, a type of theater featuring masked characters and schematic plots. We will look at the influence of Boccaccio's Decameron on the formation of stock-characters, the introduction of women into the realm of theatrical professionalism, the art of costume and mask making, and the Italian knack for pantomime and gestural expression. Readings include such masterpieces in the tradition of comic theater as Machiavelli's The Mandrake and Goldoni's Harlequin Servant of Two Masters, as well as their renditions in film.

2022-2023 Autumn
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 10100 Drama: Embodiment and Transformation

This course introduces students to a range of theatrical concepts and techniques, including script analysis and its application to staging, design and acting. Throughout, we investigate how theater – as a collaborative art form – tells stories. Students will act, direct, and design. In doing so, they will gain an understanding of a variety of processes by which scripts are realized in the theater, with an emphasis on the text’s role in production rather than as literature.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
College Core

TAPS 10200 Acting Fundamentals

This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation. Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
College Core

TAPS 10300 Text and Performance

This course offers an introduction to a number of significant dramatic works and seminal figures in the theorization of theater and performance. But the course's aspirations go much further: we will be concentrating upon the intersection of interpretation and enactment, asking how these pieces appear on stage and why. This will not be merely descriptive work, but crucially it will be interpretive and physical work. Students will prepare and present applied interpretations-that is, interpretations that enable conceptual insights to take artistic form. Throughout, we will be searching for that elusive combination of philological rigor, theoretical sophistication, and creative inspiration-probing the theoretical stakes of creativity and testing the creative implications of analytic insights.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
College Core

TAPS 10800 Contemporary Dance Practices

This studio-based course with a seminar component offers an overview of the formal practices and contemporary trends that shape dance as an art form. The class is designed for students who seek to gain a working knowledge of dance and deepen their physical skills. A range of contemporary dance forms and practices will be covered. Topics may include modern dance, hip hop, partnering techniques, social dance forms, improvisation, somatic practices, dance composition, and more. Lectures, viewings, and discussion will support experiential practice components. No previous experience with dance or performance is required. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

Staff
2022-2023 Winter
Category
College Core

TAPS 10900 Moving and Thinking / Thinking and Moving

Though we often imagine a divide between the physical practice of dance training and the intellectual practice of dance history and theorization, in reality they overlap: movement training is embodied research and a form of intellectual labor, while dance theorization and scholarship is deeply connected to the physicality of thought. This course offers an introduction to dance with an integrated approach to thinking and doing. Students will explore a range of embodied research methodologies that draw from improvisational forms, codified techniques, and social and cultural dance practices. No prior dance experience is required for this hybrid seminar/ studio course.

Staff
2022-2023 Winter
Category
College Core

TAPS 20240 Performing the U.S. Supreme Court

(MUSI 23622)

How do American Supreme Court justices engage with performance? How do performing artists engage with the United States Supreme Court? This class explores the intersections between music, theater, dance, and “the highest court of the land.” We will discuss how the court has defined “performance” in various intellectual property and arts-related opinions. We will analyze recent justices’ own performances in the courtroom, at the Washington National Opera, and on the salsa dance floor. And we will watch, listen to, and interpret songs, operas, plays, and films that set the text of Supreme Court opinions. By the end of the quarter, students should understand how performance shapes the making and the memory of American law, and how law shapes the concept and the content of artistic performance.

Weekly readings and screenings will include excerpts from secondary sources, Supreme Court oral arguments and opinions, and musical and theatrical performances. To gain experience both reading law and presenting in public, students will perform a short spoken, danced, and/or musical setting of a Supreme Court opinion (this can be an existing artistic setting or one of students’ own devising), and will write a five-page paper analyzing how their chosen artistic setting inflects the judicial rhetoric of the opinion.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 21810 Introduction to Musical Theater Writing

This course is a practical introduction to writing for musical theater. Students will analyze and discuss character development and dramatic structure across musical theater scripts, scores, and songs, and they will apply these lessons to their own writing. Students will develop treatments and excerpts towards new works of musical theater, and as individuals or in teams they will write, workshop, and present ten-minute musicals at the end of the quarter. No prior experience in script writing or songwriting is required.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Musical Theater
Writing

TAPS 22100 Solo Performance

This is a "maker's" course that takes full advantage of working in a design lab to create a portfolio of short solo performance that could be stand-alone pieces, or further developed into longer works or possibly a TAPS BA thesis. Through the quarter we will examine varied approaches that include personal narrative, adaptation, object work, and projections while investigating the unique performer-to-audience dynamic. Benefiting from a historical approach that originates in the performance art work of the 1970's through contemporary approaches to stand-up, students will research and present on artists including Marina Abramović, Spalding Gray, Anna Deavere Smith, Taylor Mac, Hannah Gadsby, Tig Notaro, Lynn Needle, Heidi Schrek, César Cadabes, and Debra Ann Byrd. Students will generate new works through in-class and take-home assignments and this quarter will culminate in a final showing of selected work for an invited audience. Prior experience is not required.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Creating & Devising
Acting

TAPS 22500 Styles and Practice in Storytelling

(CHST 22500)

“What is storytelling? It can be said that it is the oldest form of observing, synthesizing, and communicating feelings thoughts and information.”—Temujin the Storyteller. Every day we use stories to communicate. This course provides students with an overview of the art and practice of storytelling. Chicago is a storytelling town from the Moth to Second Story and from Story Slams to traditional storytelling; performance artists give voice to a wide range of expression. Throughout this learning experience, students will be encouraged to explore the world of storytelling and to nurture their creative voices. Students will create and adapt tales focusing on personal experience, folklore, history, and ethnography. We will learn through participation and observation. The creative experiences in this course will enable students to further their skills in: oral presentation, story construction, performance, artistic critique, and analysis. Students will develop and perform stories from at least three distinct areas of experience. The course provides a creative space for learning and exploration.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Creating & Devising

TAPS 22680 Queering the American Family Drama

(SIGN 26080, GNSE 20116, ENGL 22680)

In this course, we’ll examine what happens to the American Family Drama on stage when the ‘family’ is queer. We will move beyond describing surface representations into an exploration of how queering the family implicates narrative, plot, character, formal conventions, aesthetics and production conditions (e.g. casting, venues, audiences, marketing and critical reception). Our texts will include theatrical plays, live and recorded productions, queer performance theory, and – where it’s useful to our exploration – select examples from film and television. This course will be a combined seminar and studio, inviting students to investigate through readings, discussion, staging experiments, and a choice of either a final paper or artistic project. A background in theater is not required.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 23700 Playwriting: Creating Natural Dialogue for the Stage

This course employs collaboration among the students to help each individual writer create natural dialogue for the stage. Students will utilize improvisation to write a contemporary scene focusing on the natural rhythms and nuances of modern communication. Through these improvisations, the students create a framework for their narrative with a special focus on developing unique voices for each character. Students read scenes from contemporary plays which emphasize spontaneous and realistic dialogue. Students have weekly assignments that further explore the characters they are writing. Each class includes an active roundtable discussion of the weekly assignments as well as collaborative exercises that further explore the voices of their characters. In addition to the weekly assignments, students write two complete scenes that will receive readings by their classmates. Note(s): Attendance at first class meeting is mandatory.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Writing

TAPS 24252 Black Quietude

(ENGL 24252)

This course considers modes of quietude as they intersect experiences of blackness. What can be conveyed or contained in moments of stillness or quiet? Is black quietude a moment of universalism that transcends the determinations of race? Or do black subjects carry or project the experience of racialization into their spaces of quiet? Do we define quiet for the black subject on the same terms as for other racial categories?

2022-2023 Winter
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 26050 Dance for Musical Theater

This course introduces students to the dance styles and performance aesthetics that are foundational to American musical theater. Moving between seminar discussion and studio practice, the course will integrate historical, theoretical, and embodied approaches to traditional and contemporary jazz dance, as well as the vernacular and social dance forms that led to the birth of musical theater. Students will have the opportunity to learn iconic choreography sequences and no previous dance experience is necessary. Readings, viewings, and written assignments will contextualize embodied work.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Dance & Movement

TAPS 26170 Dance Pro-Show

This course gives students the opportunity to learn repertory and new works by professional guest choreographers and faculty, culminating in a weekend of performances at Logan Center for the Arts. Within an immersive quarter-long production schedule, students will be exposed to a wide array of movement vocabularies, choreographic methods and performance aesthetics, while also gaining practical skills within the many facets of professional production work. Readings, viewings, and weekly journals will supplement studio and production work, connecting each student's experience to broader conversations within dance and performance studies. With a range of performance and production opportunities, this course will accommodate and challenge both trained dancers and movement-curious beginners.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Dance & Movement

TAPS 28435 Brecht and Beyond

(ENGL 24400)

Brecht is indisputably the most influential playwright in the 20th century, but his influence on film theory and practice and on cultural theory is also considerable. We will explore the range and variety of Brecht's work, from the Threepenny hit to the agitprop film Kühle Wampe) to classic parable plays, as well as Brecht heirs in German theatre and film (RW Fassbinder & Peter Weiss) theatre and film in Britain (Peter Brook & John McGrath), African theatre and film influenced by Brecht, and the NYC post-Occupy adaptation of Brecht’s Days of the Commune. Note: This is not a basic introductory course. Students must have completed HUM Core and one or more of the following: International Cinema or equivalent and/or TAPS and/or working German. Please ask about other courses you have taken that may count as PQs.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 28466 Alternate Reality Games: Theory and Production

(CMST 25954, MAAD 20700, ENGL 25970, BPRO 28700, ENGL 32314, ARTV 20700, ARTV 30700, CMST 35954)

Games are one of the most prominent and influential media of our time. This experimental course explores the emerging genre of "alternate reality" or "transmedia" gaming. Throughout the quarter, we will approach new media theory through the history, aesthetics, and design of transmedia games. These games build on the narrative strategies of novels, the performative role-playing of theater, the branching techniques of electronic literature, the procedural qualities of video games, and the team dynamics of sports. Beyond the subject matter, students will design modules of an Alternate Reality Game in small groups. Students need not have a background in media or technology, but a wide-ranging imagination, interest in new media culture, or arts practice will make for a more exciting quarter. Theater and Performance Studies - DRAFT COPY 11 Instructor(s): Patrick Jagoda, Heidi Coleman Terms Offered: Winter Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. Instructor consent required. To apply, submit writing through online form at https://www.franke.uchicago.edu/big-problems-courses; see course description. Once given consent, attendance on the first day is mandatory. Questions:mb31@uchicago.edu.

Heidi Coleman, Patrick Jagoda
2022-2023 Winter
Category
Media Arts

TAPS 29800 BA Colloquium

This two-quarter sequence is open only to fourth-year students who are majoring and/or minoring in theater and performance studies.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Major/Minor Requirement

TAPS 21730/31730 Movement for Actors

This course will explore how an actor uses movement as a tool to communicate character, psychological perspective and style. The foundation of our movement work will center on the skills of balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, breath control and focus. Building on the skills of the actor both in terms of naturalistic character work and stylized theatrical text. Students will put the work into practice utilizing scene work and abstract gesture sequences through studying the techniques of Michael Chekov, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Anne Bogart, Complicite and Frantic Assembly.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Acting
Dance & Movement

TAPS 35960 Staging Modernism

(ENGL 35960)

This course examines the close but conflicted relationship between modernism and the stage. Theater provided modernist thinkers both a crucial venue for experimentation and a series of powerful tropes, including play, histrionic display, confrontation, and performance. At the same time, it threatened to falsify or corrupt aesthetic autonomy, one of the cornerstones of modernist art. We will consider the various ways modernism was staged in plays, fiction, manifestos, and poetry.

2022-2023 Winter

TAPS 26280/36280 Site-Based Practice: Choreographing the Smart Museum

(ARTV 30027, TAPS 36280, ARTV 20027, ARCH 26280, CHST 26280)

This course gives students the unique opportunity to create a collaborative, site-based work that culminates in a final performance at UChicago’s Smart Museum of Art. Using embodied research methods that respond to site through moving, sensing, and listening, we’ll explore the relationship between the ephemerality of movement and the materiality of bodies and place, and consider how the site-based contexts for dance shift how it is perceived, experienced, and valued. Our quarter-long creation process will begin with a tour of the Smart Museum, guided by curators and members of the Public Practice team, that will provide context to the museum’s exhibitions, programming, and its relationship to geography and community. Assigned readings, viewings, and conversations with guest artists will delve into the relationship between dance and the sites where it happens, including museums—from the material relationship between bodies, objects, and architecture to the digital flows of choreography online.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Dance & Movement

TAPS 28320/38320 The Mind as Stage: Podcasting

(MAAD 23820)

Audio storytelling insinuates itself into the day-to-day unlike other narrative forms. People listen to podcasts while they do the dishes, drive to work, or walk the dog. In this hands-on course, we will learn to produce a podcast from idea to final sound mix, and explore the unique opportunities that the podcast form affords the storyteller. Students will complete several short audio exercises, and one larger podcast project. The class will be held remotely, with an emphasis on remote recording techniques and what it means to document this moment using tools of non-fiction, fiction, and oral history.

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Media Arts

TAPS 28360/38360 Screendance: Movement and New Media

(CMST 28360, MAAD 23860)

This course will explore the evolving relationship between moving bodies and video technologies. From early filmmakers using dancers as test subjects, to movie musicals and contemporary dance for the camera festivals, mediatization of the body continues to challenge the ephemerality of live dance performance. This course focuses on the growing field of screendance, videodance, or dance-on-camera, working to define this hybrid genre and to understand the collaborative roles of choreographer, director, dancer, cameraman, and video editor. This course is both a practical and scholarly approach to the genre of screendance, each component essential to a full understanding and mastery of the other. Course work will be divided between the studio and the classroom. For the studio component, students will learn basic video editing and filming techniques. For the classroom component, students will be asked to watch screendance and read a cross-section of criticism. Assignments will be both technological and choreographic (making screendance) and scholarly (written reflections and a seminar paper).

2022-2023 Winter
Category
Dance & Movement
History & Theory

TAPS 40899 Opera without Borders

(CDIN 40899)

“Opera without Borders” explores how markers of race, indigeneity, and other identities blur historical time and disrupt geopolitical space on the operatic stage. How does opera operate in the new arenas of cosmopolitan citizenship during our present historical moment, when the unitary monoliths of nations, citizens, and identities are no longer firmly in place and means of travel and communication are quickly transforming? How and why have patterns of exploration, trade, and migration, forced and voluntary, colonial and decolonial, generated new operatic genres, new means of operatic production, and new kinds of opera producers (librettists, composers, directors, choreographers, dramaturgs, etc.)?

Among our cases are the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Orphan of Zhao (2012); the Paris Opera’s hiphop staging of Rameau’s Les indes galantes (2019); Schikaneder and Mozart’s Magic Flute (1791) reimagined as Impempe Yomlingo (2007-2011) by the township artists of Capetown; and circulations of Cantonese opera in Chinatowns from Vancouver and San Francisco to New York and Honolulu.

Weekly screenings required. Advanced undergraduates may request permission to enroll.

2022-2023 Winter

TAPS 10100 Drama: Embodiment and Transformation

This course introduces students to a range of theatrical concepts and techniques, including script analysis and its application to staging, design and acting. Throughout, we investigate how theater – as a collaborative art form – tells stories. Students will act, direct, and design. In doing so, they will gain an understanding of a variety of processes by which scripts are realized in the theater, with an emphasis on the text’s role in production rather than as literature.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
College Core

TAPS 10200 Acting Fundamentals

This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation. Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
College Core

TAPS 10300 Text and Performance

This course offers an introduction to a number of significant dramatic works and seminal figures in the theorization of theater and performance. But the course's aspirations go much further: we will be concentrating upon the intersection of interpretation and enactment, asking how these pieces appear on stage and why. This will not be merely descriptive work, but crucially it will be interpretive and physical work. Students will prepare and present applied interpretations-that is, interpretations that enable conceptual insights to take artistic form. Throughout, we will be searching for that elusive combination of philological rigor, theoretical sophistication, and creative inspiration-probing the theoretical stakes of creativity and testing the creative implications of analytic insights.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
College Core

TAPS 10700 Introduction to Stage Design

Approaching theatrical design as a visual art, we will achieve a basic understanding of the theory, methodology and artistic expression fundamental to each area of design for the stage—scenic, costume, lighting and sound. We will learn how each discipline approaches and executes visual (aural in the case of sound) communication involved in the design process. Students will learn the professional design process, from contracting through production. Projects for this course will be completed using a combination of mediums and materials. If students are away from campus, there will be discussions of what materials may suit each student best based on available resources. Creativity in execution of visual communication will be of great importance. Students will learn to show collaborators ideas instead of talking about them.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
College Core

TAPS 10900 Moving and Thinking / Thinking and Moving

Though we often imagine a divide between the physical practice of dance training and the intellectual practice of dance history and theorization, in reality they overlap: movement training is embodied research and a form of intellectual labor, while dance theorization and scholarship is deeply connected to the physicality of thought. This course offers an introduction to dance with an integrated approach to thinking and doing. Students will explore a range of embodied research methodologies that draw from improvisational forms, codified techniques, and social and cultural dance practices. No prior dance experience is required for this hybrid seminar/ studio course.

Staff
2022-2023 Spring
Category
College Core

TAPS 20120 21st Century American Drama

(ENGL 27583)

This hybrid seminar focuses on American contemporary playwrights who have made a significant and commercial impact with regard to dramatic form in the past 20 years. Playwrights will include, Tracy Letts, Annie Baker, Lynn Nottage, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Ayad Akhtar, and Amy Herzog. Textual analysis is consistently oriented towards staging, design, and cultural relevancies. Work for the course will include research papers, presentations, and scene work.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 20550 (Re)Orienting Performance Studies: East Asia as Method

(EALC 20550)

This course will introduce students to theories and practices of performance that center East Asian forms and experiences. We will engage with East Asian performance not as essentialized and static cultural displays, but as sites for disciplinary intervention and innovation that can motivate more capacious theories of performance. The course will feature a number of guest scholars and practitioners who will introduce forms such as noh, kabuki, Kun opera, pansori, butoh, and K-pop through guided discussions and workshops. No background required; all readings in English.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 21860 Songwriting for Musical Theater

(MUSI 24321)

This course is a practical introduction to the art and craft of songwriting for musical theater. Students will analyze and practice song form, storytelling through music, and the writing of lyrics and melody for character and tone. In addition to presenting and workshopping new song material weekly, students will learn about orchestration, arrangement, and the structure of the theatrical score by discussing standout examples of the genre. As individuals or in teams of two, students will develop a catalog of character- and story-driven songs to be performed in cabaret at the end of the quarter. A basic ability to read music is expected; experience in songwriting is not required.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Musical Theater

TAPS 22300 Performance Art Installation: The Dreamer and the Dream

(32300)

In this course we will explore the relations between dreaming and waking life using a broad interdisciplinary approach. Our point of departure will be psychological, cultural, and religious understandings of dreams. On the basis of the readings and the skills and backgrounds of participants, the class will develop a "performance installation" around the liminal spaces of dream and wakefulness. Readings will include literary texts by Apuleius, Calderon, Shakespeare, ;Schnitzler, and Neil Gaiman, and theoretical texts by Freud, Jung, Klein, and Winnicott

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Creating & Devising

TAPS 22550 Performing Nature

What is it like to be a bat? A tree? A slime mold? Art that attempts to represent non-human experience helps to orient environmentalism around radical and highly personal moments of inter-species empathy. Portraying non-human perspectives, we escape the abstraction of environmental data, and instead approach ecological entanglement on the level of individual imagination. Giving voice and human embodiment to nature is a theme in much 19th, 20th and 21st century creative writing (fiction/nonfiction) and performance work (theater, dance, puppetry). Accordingly, this class offers a broad survey of non-human representation in these arts with special attention to first-person narratives and embodiment of flora and fauna. The course draws on philosophers of mind (i.e. Shaviro's 'Discognition') and nature-science writing, plus contemporary performance projects and digital works by art/technology companies who deploy virtual reality and electronic media to explore the points of view of natural beings and systems. Reading about anthropomorphization and the problem of the subject in nature writing from Erasmus Darwin to the present will allow students to adopt a critical as well as appreciative eye toward this field of study and expression. Creative writing assignments will ask students to write (and perform) monologues from nonhuman perspectives.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
History & Theory

TAPS 25200 Neo-Futurists Performance Workshop

This course is a hands-on introduction to Neo-Futurism: a method of transforming your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences into creative, task-oriented, audience-participatory, non-illusory, unique theatrical events. Students are encouraged to find their own voice as fully rounded theater artists by writing, directing, and performing their own short performances using their own lives as source material. By pursuing the goal of absolute truth on stage, we focus on an alternative to narrative Realism by embracing such elements as deconstruction, found-text, collage, abstraction, sythesis, and chaos. Classes consist of original group exercises as well as presentations of weekly performance assignments.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Acting
Writing

TAPS 25505 Adaptation for the Screen

This course introduces students to the rewards and difficulties of adapting literary material to the big screen. In addition to reading short stories and viewing the films that were made from these stories, all students will be given the same short story to adapt into a 50-60 minute film. Progress on these scripts will be addressed through in-class readings, leading to final meetings with the instructor about your completed first drafts. Screenwriting experience is helpful, but not essential. Class size is limited to 10 students.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Writing

TAPS 25910 Short Form Digital Storytelling: Creating a Web Series

(MAAD 24910)

This course examines the short form storytelling of the digital web series. Through lectures, viewings, and discussions in weekly meetings, students will determine what makes a strong web series and apply the findings to writing and polishing the pilot episode of their own web series. Students will write weekly four-to-five-page assignments building toward the creation of a five-to-six-episode series.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Writing
Media Arts

TAPS 26225 Dancing Chicago

With the forthcoming publication of Dancing on the Third Coast: Chicago Dance Histories as text (University of Illinois Press, eds. Susan Manning and Lizzie Leopold), this course would take students out of the classroom to experience, historicize, and critically engage with dance across the city. Students will ask how social and theatrical dancing has shaped the city, and how the city in turn has shaped dancing bodies-in nightclubs and in settlement houses, at world's fairs and in theaters, on film and in the street. With the new historical perspective and critical view, students will produce a dance event as a final project.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Dance & Movement
History & Theory

TAPS 26240 Black Experimentation in Dance

In this course, experimentation is explored as a choreographic approach to dancing and making dances. Grounded in process, practice, inquiry, and improvisation, experimentation has a long history in Black expressive culture. This class pairs readings at the intersection of Black performance theory, feminist and queer of color theory, and Black dance studies with examples of dance performances and artists interrogating topics such as the problem of aesthetic categorization, navigating racial visibility/invisibility onstage, and the politics of Black dancing bodies. The class focuses on concert dance in the United States, but may cover examples from social dance, popular entertainment, performance art, and global contexts.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Dance & Movement
History & Theory

TAPS 28455 Transmedia Theater, Live Experience Design, and Networked Performance: A Maker's Lab

The recent pandemic has challenged live performance to consider alternatives in the creation of online spaces and the "pivot to digital," has frequently resulted in innovative approaches of adaptation of texts originally designed for the stage, yet as a result, remain rooted in a "broadcast" modality. Live Experience Design benefits from the exploration of pre-COVID forms including netprov, ARGs, online LARPs, interactive theater, and NFT games as well as popular social media forms including Instagram and SnapChat filters. This course invites directors, designers, and writers to innovate under the influence of networked media with an emerging genre at the nexus between theater, film, and video games to create short-form interactive original work through Zoom, Twitch, Twine, and Discord. Through a series of workshop assignments, lectures, and cross-disciplinary guest artist demonstrations, this immersive course will consider how can we use and build upon existing technologies to make impactful theater in a networked setting that not only creates a story that elicits an emotional but narrative that is depended on audience interaction. Projects will draw from game mechanics and work across multiple platforms and will require no prior experience with coding or video production.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Media Arts

TAPS 21500/31500 Advanced Acting

This course develops acting skills for the current moment in addition to preparing for the future. The focus will be on acting analysis methods that are useful for live or remote performance; best practices in monologue, scene study, and/or audition work on camera; and multiple approaches toward creating engaging digital performance. This class will combine the study of acting theory with collaborative performance practice. Previous acting experience is encouraged.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Acting

TAPS 28330/38330 Oral History & Podcasting

(MAAD 23830)

This class explores the potential of the podcast as a form of ethical artistic and social practice. Through the lens of oral history and its associated values—including prioritizing voices that are not often heard, reciprocity, complicating narratives, and the archive—we will explore ways to tell stories of people and communities in sound. Students will develop a grounding in oral history practices and ethics, as well as the skills to produce compelling oral narratives, including audio editing, recording scenes and ambient sound, and using music. During the quarter, students will have several opportunities to practice interviewing and will design their own oral history project. This class is appropriate for students with no audio experience, as well as students who have taken TAPS 28320 The Mind as Stage: Podcasting.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
Media Arts

TAPS 28421/38421 Theater for Social Change

(CRES 28421)

Augusto Boal argues that theatre is “rehearsal for the revolution.” Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed provides key strategies for collaboratively crafting dramatic narrative. These strategies challenge the conventional Aristotelian structure that privileges a single protagonist and subordinates other stories. Instead, Boal structures a poetics in which the “spect-actor” contributes their voice. Students will engage in devising and embodiment exercises in Image Theatre, Newspaper Theatre, Forum Theatre, and more, by interpreting texts (e.g., religious texts, constitutional documents, or political manifestos), interrogating current events, exploring public narratives, and valuing diverse learning styles. Students will contextualize destinations for the course material according to the aesthetic and academic questions that they bring into the classroom. To consider ethical concerns surrounding participatory theatre, we will examine arts groups past and present that employ the techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed. Readings include Boal, Freire, Jan Cohen-Cruz, Michael Rohd, bell hooks, and Knight and Schwarzman.

2022-2023 Spring
Category
History & Theory
Creating & Devising

TAPS 40500 Adaptation Laboratory: Staging Berlin

(CDIN 40500)

From 2000-2018, the graphic novelist Jason Lutes published Berlin, a sprawling, formally inventive, & idiosyncratic account of life in the Weimar Republic. Court Theatre has commissioned the playwright Mickle Maher to prepare an adaptation of Lutes’ novel; David Levin is the collaborating dramaturg. The production is slated for Court’s 2023-24 season. This interdisciplinary seminar invites students into the process of adaptation, exploring a broad range of conceptual & artistic challenges. We will consider works in a host of genres – e.g., Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home or Walter Ruttmann’s 1927 film “Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis” – to establish a dialogue between Lutes’ work, its progenitors, and a range of theoretical materials. An additional & significant component of our work will involve creative exercises. Students will prepare adaptations of their own – first, of Lutes’ novel, then of works of their own choosing. We will invite collaborators from the production to join us for workshop sessions. The seminar seeks to serve as an adaptation laboratory, exploring & investigating theoretical stakes and practical problems while seeking to reshape those stakes and problems into diverse forms of practice.

Prerequisites: An interest in some combination of theater & performance practice, translation, adaptation, German culture and/or German history would be welcome.
Note: Undergrads admitted by permission

2022-2023 Spring

TAPS 58910 Aethetics and Politics

This PhD seminar will build on the work covered in Marxism and Modern Culture to examine in more detail and where possible in the original German the arguments about the intersections and frictions between aesthetics and politics in high, middle, and mass cultural forms of literature, performance, film and other media, in the work of the above theorists.

2022-2023 Spring

TAPS 49750 SLIPAR (September Lab in Performance as Research)

SLIPAR is intended to support your development of an arts practice relevant to your research and/or career goals while fulfilling the academic requirements of your joint degree. SLIPAR will comprise a mix of supervised and non-supervised studio time, training sessions, consultations with a variety of professional mentors, seminar meetings, and faculty-led critique. It will culminate in a public presentation at the start of fall quarter.

We recommend the SLIPAR practicum for all TAPS PhD students. For those students under the current (beta) requirements, SLIPAR is required, and is intended to be taken before the beginning of year 3, and typically after the student has taken the Performance Practice as Research (PPAR) course.