A major in Performance and Communication Arts will give you the tools to better understand and communicate with others, personally, professionally, and socially.
Theatre studies engage students in critical inquiry into previous performances and previous performance texts, as well as artistic engagement with the craft of producing original texts and performances. Performance studies, a broader term, includes theatre studies, but also encompasses a broader array of performance behaviors, including (among others) the performance of gender, the performance of self in everyday life, the performance of texts other than plays, ritual performances, and political performances, both mainstream and activist.
Rhetorical studies focus on the use of symbols to alter attitudes and induce others to act in a particular manner, and students engaged in rhetorical studies are challenged to critically examine previous attempts at persuasion, as well as to creatively enter into the production of original persuasive messages. Communication studies, a broader term, includes rhetorical studies, but also encompasses a broader array of communication behaviors in a broader variety of contexts, including among others interpersonal communication, small group communication, and intercultural communication.
The department's major is designed to enable students to pursue their interests passionately and in-depth. However, we are also committed to a philosophy that emphasizes both depth and breadth of study and, accordingly, the curriculum requires majors to enroll in courses that span the various areas of inquiry. Thus, majors explore the rhetorical and communicative dimensions of performance and the performative dimensions of rhetoric and communication.