Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

Performance and Production Opportunities

Opportunities for acting, dance, design, directing, playwriting and speech.


Acting opportunities within the department's performance season and the many student groups are open to all Brown students. All undergraduates can audition and be cast in our shows - casting is based on the best audition and the result of a director’s or choreographer’s choice. There is no preference granted for affiliation with the Department, such as status as a concentrator. All are welcome.


If you are interested in the acting concentration, please consider the Theatre Arts concentration track.

Audition Notices

Audition notices are posted throughout the year in the News section of our website. Also look for audition flyers posted throughout Lyman Hall, specially on the main entrance doors (from Simmons Quad). 


DanceThe Dance Program is part of the Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Department and offers both concentrator and non-concentrator students many opportunities to take courses in dance technique, composition, and history. Many of our dancers come from other departments, while others come from any of our three concentration tracks within the Department. If you are interested in dance and want to concentrate in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies you can do this in any of the three concentration tracks. If you just want to dance or choreograph we have a place for you too!

West African Culture

Although we are primarily a modern dance program, we also have a strong West African dance, music, and culture component. We utilize our flexible curriculum to offer courses in pedagogy, anatomy, and body therapies and are very supportive of students who wish to work independently on any of the numerous topics that can enrich one’s knowledge and appreciation of the art of dance.

Performance Opportunities

Performance opportunities for dancers are numerous. The department’s performance season always includes at least two dance concerts, which consist of works by students, faculty and guest choreographers. All students are encouraged to choreograph and/or audition for these shows and there are additional opportunities for dancers to choreograph and perform. Other involvement options include working with faculty-sponsored companies and projects, such as the Rhythm of Change initiative, and applying for academic or extra-curricular grants.


For more detailed information or with specific questions about the dance curriculum, please email

Student Dance Groups

Body and Sole: a student-run umbrella organization that supports the activities of all the vibrant student dance groups and independent dancers at Brown. Please visit their page to learn more and get involved.
While the dancers in the company are encouraged and supported to create their own work, they also have the rare opportunity to work with some of our most revered choreographers and some of our most exciting contemporary innovators.
American Dance Legacy Institute: a network of dance professionals, aimed at transforming how people think about and experience dance through collaborative programming that connects American heritage and building a dance literate public.


Costume ShopYou can focus on design, tech, and production academically within any of our three concentration tracks. You can also contact our Production Director with questions about design and production opportunities at Brown.

John Street Studio

The John Street Studio is the focal point for the department's design initiative and provides classrooms, studio space, and support for designers at Brown and beyond. It is a convergence of students and professionals working on departmental productions, as well as artists from other departments and the local community, including RISD/Brown Design for America, Archaeology, the RISD Sculpture department, A Better World by Design and Brown Opera Productions.

Student Employment

The department relies heavily on students for all of its productions, including the mainstage Sock & Buskin Season, dance concerts, and a myriad of special performance events throughout the year. This includes paid positions for undergraduates with our Costume Shop, Production Manager's office, Scene Shop, Design Studio, and Publicity/Box Office/House Management. Please check the student employment website for current openings with our department. Please note that graduate students and non-Brown students are not eligible for employment with the department.


You don't have to be a concentrator to direct a show or a piece of live art. The Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies not only offers a chance for a TAPS concentrator to direct a mainstage show every year, but we also offer faculty support to all of our students who seek mentorship when directing on any and all of their projects.

Student Performance Groups

Don't forget that there are student directing opportunities all over Brown's campus. Take a look through the list of student performance groups, many of whom offer a myriad of directing opportunities throughout the year.

Senior Slot

A stellar opportunity for TAPS concentrators is directing for the Senior Slot. Every Spring, a junior concentrator is selected to direct a funded and staffed production in their senior year, as part of the Sock & Buskin mainstage season. If you are interested in directing and concentrating, consider the Theatre Arts concentration track. For a more in-depth description of the concentration and the Senior Slot opportunity consult the Undergraduate Handbook.


As with directing opportunities, you do not have to be a concentrator to be a playwright. Many a student playwright has found a home on campus within the many student groups producing theatre.

If you are interested in writing for performance (including writing for dance), and concentrating in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies you would be a great fit for our Writing for Performance concentration track. The Senior Slot opportunity for concentrators provides an invaluable experience for a student playwright to see their play receive a funded and staffed production on the department mainstage. For a description of this opportunity, and the benefits involved, see the Senior Slot opportunity section in our Undergraduate Handbook


The speech program at Brown, led by Barbara Tannenbaum, is highly regarded by other academic institutions. Students interested in the study of human communication will find several relevant courses in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.

Many other departments and programs at Brown share an interest in communication studies. Anthropology, Modern Culture and Media, Linguistics, Philosophy, and English provide a variety of ways to study language, communication theory, message production, and communication analysis.

Barbara Tannenbaum

Barbara Tannenbaum has been invited to deliver guest lectures and communication development in colleges and universities around the country. Beyond academia, the reputation of the speech program at Brown continues to grow. Barbara Tannenbaum is frequently invited to deliver keynote lectures at conferences such as the Chief Judges Conference and the National Association of Women Lawyers General Counsel Institute. She has developed communications training programs for executives at many public and private sector organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Such work outside the University serves not only to enhance the reputation of the department, but also to bring current trends and practices in communications back into the classroom.

Request enrollment in TAPS0220 - Persuasive Communication