Theatre and Performance Studies
Theatre and Performance Studies examines how the theatrical and performing arts reflect and shape our sense of who we are. It studies theatre and performance history and current trends, allowing students to engage deeply with contemporary theatre and performance culture.
Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW
Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW engages with both theory and practice, and subjects the entire spectrum of human performance to critical examination - from the most mundane daily rituals to the conventions of grand opera. The focus includes new, hybrid and technologically advanced modes of performance, combining practical experimentation with intellectual exploration. Courses range from Australian theatre, to technology in contemporary performance culture, the study of stand-up, group and sketch-based comedy, the study of modernist actor-trainers in twentieth-century European theatre, and the history of theatre as well as current performance theory and practice. The program also includes the opportunity to study theatre and cultural performances from Australia, Asia, Europe, and America. UNSW staff have particular expertise in contemporary performance theory and practice, Australian drama and theatre, 20th century European drama, theatre and dance theatre, live art and physical theatres, contemporary dance, multimedia performance, live entertainment and popular culture, especially comedic performance.
Download the Theatre and Performance Studies Information Brochure (PDF) (428 Kb)
While we do not train students as professional practitioners, we do encourage experiential learning as well as awareness of fundamental performance skills. These skills are introduced through practical courses, led by professional artists, which explore text and non-text based work, as well as solo and group-devised performance.
Our unique combination of theory and practice is supported by the Creative Practice Lab, which includes a Performance Designer and Production Manager. It is carried out in a number of well-equipped teaching and workshop spaces in the Robert Webster Building, and in the main performance complex, including the Io Myers Studio, Studio 1 and fully equipped dance studios.
Theatre and Performance Studies has many significant relationships with artists and arts organisations related to theatre and performance practice including: Belvoir Street Theatre, Critical Path, Force Majeure, Griffin Theatre, The Sue Healey Company, NIDA, Performance Space at CarriageWorks, Performing Lines, Playwriting Australia, The Studio - Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, Theatre of Image, Urban Theatre Projects and PACT Centre for Emerging Artists.
Studying Theatre and Performance provides a starting point for a variety of careers including:
Arts Management and Administration
Communications and Journalism
Event Management and Publicity
Performance Making and Writing
Secondary School Drama Teaching
Honours is an extra year of study, usually following immediately on from a pass degree, that combines aspects of undergraduate study with those of post-graduate research. Studying Honours in the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW offers a chance to develop your research and professional skills guided by staff who are passionate about research and the development of new researchers.
As one of Australia's most international universities UNSW encourages students to spend a session or two overseas studying at one of our partner institutions as part of your degree. UNSW manages a large and active exchange program with over 180 different student exchange opportunities in 32 countries.
Theatre and Performance Studies is offered as a major or minor in the Bachelor of Arts and other combined programs. Students have the opportunity to combine Theatre and Performance Studies with a number of other areas within the UNSW BA. Choices include: Languages, English, Film Studies, History, Philosophy, Media and Culture, Music, Sociology and Anthropology.
Discipline Convenor: Clare Grant
Please contact your Student Centre for information on how to include this area of study as an elective or general education course within your program.
Level 1 Courses
Level 2 Courses
Level 3 Courses
- ARTS3122 - TPS Capstone: Program and Repertoire
- ARTS3123 - Solo Performance Making
- ARTS3124 - Performance Production 2: Collaborative Making
- ARTS3125 - Multimedia Performance
- ARTS3126 - Aspects of Theatre and Performance History
- ARTS3127 - Live Art and Physical Theatres
- ARTS3128 - Studies in World Performance
Please check the rules of your program before enrolling in any courses listed. For program rules, please visit the UNSW Online Handbook.
Resources & Important Documents