Theater, Dance, and Media

TBD, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Theater, Dance, and Media (TDM) combines historical and theoretical study with creative art making. Taught by FAS Faculty, experienced professionals from the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and the Harvard Dance Center, as well as numerous visiting artists/scholars each year, students are introduced to the rigor and discipline required to master the interlocking fields out of which theater, dance and media practices are composed.  The goal of the concentration is to combine rigorous conservatory-style training with a cognitive approach to art making. Students are encouraged to range broadly across all art forms, including literature, music, and the visual arts, all so important to the performing arts.

The concentration emphasizes collaboration. Actors, producers, directors, choreographers, dancers, writers, designers, and stage managers necessarily work together to create and produce a successful performance. Many of our studio courses model this kind of collaboration; they also include reading or other analytical components to enhance the studio work.  Similarly, scholarly courses are often reinforced with practical application of studio skills in the classroom.

In addition to the required coursework, students pursuing the Theater, Dance, and Media concentration will have the opportunity to participate in at least two TDM concentration production studio courses led by professional directors, choreographers, and designers. Concentrators will also obtain valuable technical skills through both working on the crew for at least one concentration show, as well as through studio design classes and the concentration technical and production training modules.


Elective Program: 12 courses (48 credits)

  1. Required Courses:
    1. Four courses focused on critical and scholarly approaches to theater offered through the Standing Committee on Theater, Dance, and Media or by faculty in allied fields, including, but not limited to, the departments of Comparative Literature, English, Music, History of Art and Architecture, Visual and Environmental Studies, and Folklore and Mythology. These courses should not all be taken in a single discipline, for example dramatic literature, but rather should give the student a range of experience in the various aspects of theater making. At least one of these courses must focus on pre-20th century performance and include various genres and forms of theater, dance, and media. The student will consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for course approval and to compile a sound plan of study to meet this requirement. [Note: one of the eight courses in either scholarly or practiced-based approaches must be in non-U.S. theater/dance or non-traditional performance.]
    2. Four courses that are practice-based or studio. Courses can include directing, design, acting, dance, choreography, playwriting, dramaturgy, and work in newer media. The student should take courses in more than one discipline. The choice of courses will require the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). [Note: one of the eight courses in either scholarly or practiced-based approaches must be in non-U.S. theater/dance or non-traditional performance.]
    3. Two TDM production studios (TDM 90AR/BR/CR/DR). These studio courses frame and focus on TDM professionally directed, choreographed, and designed productions each term. Students may be involved as actors, dancers, apprentice directors, choreographers, designers, dramaturgs or producers.
  2. Tutorials:
    1. Sophomore year: Theater, Dance, and Media 97: Theater, Dance & Media: What It Is and How To Do It. (one term) required. Letter-graded.
    2. Junior year: Theater, Dance, and Media 98 (one term) required. Letter-graded.
      1. The goal of the junior tutorial is to test insights generated from critical reading in the context of studio practice.  The result of the junior tutorial can be a final performance combined with a written account of the relation between reading, research, and studio practice that has occurred over the course of the semester, or a written project that includes reflections on studio work.
  3. Thesis: None
  4. General Examination: None
  5. Other Information: The following additional requirements will be graded SAT/UNS and must be approved by the DUS.
    1. Technical and Production Training Module Requirement: Students must complete training modules in the following areas: theater safety, rehearsal sensitivity and safety, stage management, scenic design, producing, lighting design, costume design, sound/video design, and administrative theater models (some of these may be met by enrollment in certain courses). More information is available on the TDM website.
    2. The Samuel Becket Crew Assignment: Students must complete one production crew assignment by working on one TDM production.

Requirements for Honors Eligibility: 14 courses (56 credits)

  1. Required courses: Same as Basic Requirements
  2. Tutorials: Same as Basic Requirements, plus two terms of Theater, Dance, and Media 99: Senior Tutorial (year-long 8-credit course) required. Graded SAT/UNS
  3. Thesis: Honors candidates may complete a performance-based or critical thesis. Theses are proposed in the second semester of junior year and must be approved by the Steering Committee on Theater, Dance & Media and the DUS.
  4. General Examination: None
  5. Other Information: Same as Basic Requirements. In addition, if students plan on doing a production as part of their thesis requirements, they must complete a crew assignment on another student’s thesis production, ideally before their senior year 

Requirements for Joint-Concentration: Consult Director of Undergraduate Studies and see TDM website for further information.


The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) advises all students when they enter the concentration, eventually assigning to them additional faculty and professional advisors, based on the students’ particular interests and their work in or on specific productions.  Together with the DUS, these advisors will support students in developing a coherent course of study and a solid body of artistic work that is suited to each student’s goals and interests. 


For more information about the concentration, please visit the department website.

Number of Concentrators as of December

Concentrators 2015 2016 2017
Theater, Dance, and Media 8 12 17
Theater, Dance, and Media + another field 1 2 9
Another field + Theater, Dance, and Media 3 6 8


Theater, Dance, and Media was a new concentration in 2015-16.