Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

Engaged Scholars Program

TAPS is no long accepting new ESP applications. However, current ESP students will be supported through graduation.

Please follow this link to Swearer Center's ESC website for more information on the Engaged Scholar Certificate. Questions concerning the certificate program may be submitted to

Engaged Scholars Certificate concentrators who are interested in studying the theory and practice of performance, while simultaneously working in partnership with local communities to co-create and investigate complex social issues can find more information concerning the certificate at, on Swearer’s website, and in the ESC Student Handbook.

Engaged Scholars in TAPS build community, break down hierarchies and prejudgments, and tell stories about who we are and who we can become as citizens and stewards of the earth.

For more information contact:
Michelle Bach-Coulibaly,


TAPS and the Swearer Center have developed partnerships with local arts organizations such as:


These courses are those that "direct the student towards the compassionate application of learned skills to the discovery and sustenance of communities in and beyond Brown." - Erik Ehn 

Community-engaged courses at Brown

  • investigate significant, real-world social challenges;
  • involve collaborative inquiry and the co-creation of knowledge with community stakeholders; and
  • Provide students with structured ways of reflecting on the connections between classroom learning and real-world experience, with the goal of developing civic-minded leadership and innovative curriculum.

I have taken three Engaged courses within the TAPS department, Mande West African Dance, Music, and Culture, New Works/World Traditions, and Dance History in the 20th Century. All three courses allowed me to engage with the Providence community and establish relationships with local artists and students, and they opened my eyes to new ways of integrating my academic pursuits with my love for the Arts and Education.

This work has been the most fulfilling part of my time at Brown thus far, and I may never have done any of it without the Engaged Scholars program and the training and opportunities that the Engaged courses and Practicum experience have provided. I am now applying to Graduate Schools in order to pursue my Masters in Teaching for Secondary Arts/ ELA Education, and I feel confident and excited about this path.

Elizabeth Basso '18
ASaP Symposium

Explores basic acting/directing concepts from a variety of perspectives including the use of the actor's imagination/impulsivity in the creation of truthful, dramatic performance; the body, as a way of knowing and communicating knowledge; and the voice, as a means of discovering and revealing emotion/thought. There is a mandatory tech requirement and some evening hours are required. Please go to the TAPS website for specifics on admission and the technical requirement ( Enrollment limited to 18 first-year students. Instructor permission required. No permission will be given during pre-registration.

(in collaboration with Deanna Camputaro, master teacher with the Arts, Communication & Teaching Academy (ACT) of Central Falls High School), invents new relationships between academic content, new pedagogies, and community engagement. 

These two courses examine the life-cycle celebratory dances, music and folklore of the Mande people of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea. Students work with Master Artists and community leaders from around the globe during the co-curricular annual international festival The Rhythm Of Change.

an Engaged Scholarship course at Brown University with a focus on training young actors, musicians, and dancers in Mindfulness practices towards the development of new theatre for the stage, street and screen. Here international and professional artists work closely with New Works members to educate, deliberate and inspire social engagement through cross-cultural exchange and co-creation. These new works address important political, public health, and social landscapes and exist at the intersection of science, art, and social activism. 

Comprised of Brown University faculty, alumni, undergraduate students, graduate students, professional international artist-activists and community partners, TAPACityArts, Troupe Yeredon, Pushed Learning and The Funk Underground


For general inquiries about the Engaged Scholars Program, please contact or go to the Engaged Scholars Certificate page on the Swearer Center web site.