I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
~ Oscar Wilde
Theatre and Performance Studies (TAPS) strives to illustrate Wilde daily, for theatre is above all a way of life and an approach to living. The first century Roman philosopher Seneca knew this well when he wrote "Life's like a play" and our program provides students with opportunities to investigate all aspects of theatre and performance, from theatre's origins in antiquity to contemporary performance practices. We draw together three groups: students who major or minor in TAPS, those who specialize in other aspects of the Visual and Performing Arts, and students from other programs and majors who have a casual interest in theatre and performance. To address the needs of our diverse student body we offer courses in the history of theatre and performance as well as contemporary theory based and practical courses. Our students gain an intellectual and critical grounding in theatre and performance while also acquiring experience in the elements of theatre production as actors, directors, and technicians.
The program benefits from ongoing connections to Toronto’s vibrant arts scene. Field trips, guest lectures, workshops, and unique collaborations with working artists provide students with new knowledge and skills and exposure to working professionals in the field. In the 2011-2012 academic year, guest lectures included internationally renowned avant-garde performance artist Jess Dobkin and Dora and Gemini award-winning playwright and actor Rick Miller. An ongoing collaboration with the dynamic community arts collective Jumblies Theatre included a workshop and a student placement within its December 2011 production, Like an Old Tale. The TAPS program also has a history of international exchange. The Prague-Toronto-Manitoulin Theatre Project, co-founded in 1998 by Professor Emeritus Michal Schonberg was a theatrical collaboration with a company in Prague, Czech Republic and the First Nations De-Ba-Jeh-Mu-Jig Theatre Company based in Wikwemikong, Ontario. New international connections are currently being forged to continue the valuable legacy of this exceptional experiential education project.
As Shakespeare said: "All the world's a stage." Come and take your place upon it!