We believe in the power of performance
to build a more just world.

The Department of Performance, Theater, and Dance offers students a multidisciplinary approach to understanding performance; emphasizes social responsibility; focuses on performance praxis as inquiry; and highlights the development of original work. Under its umbrella, the disciplines of Theater, Dance, Design, Media & Performance, and Performance Studies offer multiple, collaborative perspectives on performance-making and study. The program of study emphasizes hybridity both among these disciplines and beyond them guided by four core values: collaboration, leadership, justice, and community reciprocity.

In the spirit of the liberal arts, our multidisciplinary approach invites students to integrate disciplinary knowledge from varied fields into performance work and to understand complex discourses on performativity through multiple disciplinary lenses. The department views performance practice and study as paths to engaged citizenship. As they move through the major, students articulate their individual relationship to the department’s core values demonstrating increased skill in self-reflection, multicultural sensitivity, and the comparison of social values and ethical systems and deepening their understanding of themselves as scholar-artists.

Our annual production season features work by visiting artists as well as students, faculty, and staff. All departmental courses and production experiences are open to non-majors. All public performances are free and open to the community.

CORE VALUES

Collaboration

Our creative processes rely on productive Collaboration, which teaches us to honor shared experience, celebrate diversity of thought, and understand the importance of compromise. In a cyclical dialogue between action and thought, performance-making cultivates experimentation, trust, imagination, critical analysis, revision, and collective problem-solving. How can performance teach us to strengthen interpersonal skills, learn strategies for conflict resolution, and support intergenerational and multicultural communication?

Leadership

By cultivating trust and caring, leaders inspire and motivate action. Those who lead collaborate, take risks, and assume responsibility. Our focus on Leadership emphasizes communication, coordination, empathy, vision, and responsiveness. How can performance help us think about leadership collectively and ethically?

Justice

Our collective pursuit of Justice necessitates that we strengthen our ability to perceive and understand how power operates unequally historically, socially, and politically. We use the analytic tools of performance to identify, feel, and creatively reimagine systems of power. We invoke performance’s embodied and applied methods in pursuit of justice. How can performance actively challenge and disrupt existing systems of oppression and rehearse new realities into being?

Community Reciprocity

Community Reciprocity is a form of political and social participation grounded in mutual care and respect. It allows us to explore and question how our work contributes to and is impacted by the multiple communities of which we are a part. How can we seek, recognize, and incorporate the knowledge and resources at play in our expansive collectivity?

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR 

Major — 41 credit hours 

Courses in Common — 13 credit hours:

TD124 Performance, Politics, and Practice

TD262 Collaborative Company

TD393 Ways of Seeing
Seminar to be taken either Junior or Senior fall; prerequisite TD 124

Humanities Theme Lecture Series
1 credit may be taken at any time as a stand-alone course at any time during a student’s career, but recommended in conjunction with a departmental creative process course related to the theme, such as Collaborative Company or another theme-related faculty-led production. Our departmental productions quite frequently align deliberately
with the annual humanities theme.

Area Requirements:

Production — 4 credit hours; one of the following courses:

TD139 Introduction to Stagecraft

TD245 Stage Management: Leadership Behind the Scenes

TD264 as Production Stage Manager for Faculty-led production

Praxis — 4 credit hours; one of the following courses:

TD135 Introduction to Design

TD 242 Acts of Activism

TD 247 Performing the Museum

TD 281 Directing

TD 258 Improvisational Practices

TD 285 The Choreographic Process

Pathway through the Major — 20 credits:

♦ Students design and justify their own pathways through the major in consultation with their major advisor; advisors encourage a breadth of experience with deep engagement with a student’s developing research questions.

♦ In a written Pathway Rationale, all majors develop and articulate an understanding of the core values of the department: collaboration, leadership, community reciprocity, and justice. These values are introduced in the courses in common, deepened in the area requirements, and will serve as guiding principles for students in their continued study.

♦ Up to 12 credit hours may be taken outside the department, with a written rationale explaining applicability of each course to a student’s focus in the major and approval by faculty vote.

♦ No more than 5 credits of 1- and 2-credit physical practice classes (TD115-118 and 215-218 can be counted toward the major, even though students may indeed take more than 5 such credits during their Colby careers.

SENIOR Capstone Requirement:

All students complete a senior capstone which can be any of the following:

Senior Scholars
Full Year; GPA requirement; College Approved in spring of Junior year) 16-19cr; up to 8cr can be applied to major.

Senior Honors Thesis
Full Year; GPA requirement; Dept. Approved in spring of Junior year) 8cr; up to 4cr can be applied to major.

Independent Study
Full-year or half-year, advisor-approved; no GPA requirement) Variable cr; Up to 4cr can be applied to major.

Declaration of engagement in a class or production
This experience, based on the student’s primary area of interest, becomes the capstone project, and could be fall or spring of Senior Year. Credit is granted in the course the student enrolls in to complete this requirement.

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR 

MINOR — 25 credit hours 

Courses in Common — 9 credit hours:

TD124 Performance, Politics, and Practice

TD262 Collaborative Company

Humanities Theme Lecture Series
1 credit recommended in conjunction with a creative process course related to the theme, but may be taken at any time.

Pathway ­— 16 credit hours:

♦ Students design their own pathways through the major in consultation with their minor advisor; in our department we have a practice of assigning advisors to minors.

♦ Students are encouraged, but not required, to take seminar 3XX, Ways of Seeing as a part of their pathway.

♦ Advisors encourage a breadth of experience with deep engagement with a student’s developing research questions.

Up to 4 credit hours may be taken outside the department, with a written rationale explaining applicability of each course to a student’s focus in the major. No more than 5 credits of 1- and 2-credit physical practice classes (TD115-118 and 215-218) can be counted toward the major, even though students may indeed take more than 5 such credits during their Colby careers.

No requirement for the Minor may be taken Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

PDF of Mission Statement and Requirements:

Performance, Theater, and Dance Mission Statement and Requirements