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In the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M, students and faculty members explore performance in all aspects of social life. Performance Studies at Texas A&M is unique in its integration of artistic practice in music and theatre in the disciplinary frame of Performance Studies. At the graduate and undergraduate levels, we cultivate analytical, interpretive, and creative skills that prepare individuals for diverse careers in and beyond the arts. We emphasize artistic collaboration in composition and devised performance, while helping students develop as critical thinkers and engaged citizens. Our approach to the study of the arts includes courses that focus on music theory, acting and directing, music and theatre technology, cultural history, and creating performances. Performances investigate questions, pose solutions to problems, and explore aesthetic challenges. In 2015, the Department launches its new BA in Performance Studies. This degree is unique its integration of music and theatre, and forward-looking in its curricular offerings. We join music to theatre in classes that explore how performance shapes human experience as students learn to perform. Students can apply for the new BA now and will be formally admitted into the BA in Performance Studies in Fall 2016.
BA students will have the opportunity to collaborate with students pursuing the MA in Performance Studies. MA students research traditional art forms (such as music, theatre, and dance), and a broad range of cultural expressions, including rituals, festivals, religious ceremonies, games, parades, storytelling, clothing, folklore, indigenous arts, and the mass media. The MA program emphasizes the ethnographic study of vernacular culture and performance as research. BA students work with scholars and artists on the Performance Studies faculty who examine how social, intellectual, and historical conditions shape human expression, and pursue the knowledge performance reveals about human experience and culture. The Department’s faculty bring to the BA in Performance Studies their expertise in music composition, ethnomusicology and folklore, performance ethnography, popular music studies, religious studies, theatre and media studies, and women’s studies.