Integrated Writing Requirement for the Theater & Performance Studies Program
The Theater & Performance Studies major integrates creative and critical inquiry. Writing presents a core pathway for that integration, fostering students’ cultural and professional development. Creative thinking and writing involves the imaginative generation of new ideas, artworks, and performances through study of creative practices and methods (including, for instance, via playwriting, performance, design, and direction). Critical writing and thinking requires analytic and reflective engagement with theatrical texts, processes, histories, methodologies, and creative works. Writing specific to the TPST major manifests variously, for instance as playwriting, adaptation, curatorial notes, critical essays, artist manifestos, grants, and performative scholarship; advanced students may apply to pursue an honors thesis project that can manifest as a creative research project, a more traditional scholarly thesis, or a community-based research project.
Our majors and minors learn interdisciplinary thinking via writing, bringing seemingly disparate bodies of knowledge to bear when problem solving which will prepare them not only for careers in the arts, but also for work in education, legal fields, public service, consulting, media, and politics.
Our students engage in many writing modalities across the major, including the academic, creative, informal, and editorial. In both studio and seminar settings, our writing curriculum prepares students to craft creative solutions to problems —whether social, theoretical, artistic or historical—based on careful study, research and analysis. Virtually all courses incorporate formal and informal writing to cross-fertilize critical and creative inquiry, to cultivate each writer’s fluency, and to foster collaborative learning.
Majors will experience three phases of engagement with writing across their degree to ensure an integrated, iterative experience of writing, regardless of their trajectories:
- Phase One is fulfilled by taking our gateway courses of TPST 130 (Play Analysis) and TPST 200 (Adaptation and Performance of Literature), at least one of which must be completed by the spring semester, junior year. These gateway courses demonstrate the integration of writing in the curriculum, laying the groundwork for majors’ and minors’ cross-fertilization of critical and creative inquiry.
- Phase Two may be fulfilled by several elective intermediate and/or advanced courses that assure research and revision for writing projects. Exemplary courses include Writing Stage Adaptations, Performing Black Citizenship, and Thesis Projects, among others.
- Phase Three: As of Spring 2017, all majors will submit a portfolio at the end of their trajectories which highlights their work across the major (and their own areas of specialty, whether design or dramaturgy, scholarship or playwriting, direction or performance). This final portfolio will be due in the Major’s Colloquium via a protected word press and can serve as an excellent calling card for their entry in the field, as well as an archive of their work in this often ephemeral field.