Overview of the Masters Program

Thesis DefenseThesis Defense

An Integrated View of the Performing Arts

We pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the performing arts. The department does not make graduate-level distinctions between areas of specialization; students with tv, radio, film, theatre and dance backgrounds are all considered "Theatre Arts" graduate students. The evidence is overwhelming that people who are successful in the entertainment industry or academia can apply their knowledge and skills in different performance contexts, across disciplines, or in relation to diverse cultural identities. Opportunities today strongly favor people who do not put disciplinary limits around their capacities to identify and solve problems which do not necessarily observe any "borders."


As a producing theatre and media program we present an annual season of live stage plays and films, and numerous studio and student directed projects. Our award-winning radio station KSJS 90.5 broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days each year. We have become increasingly focused on video production, both for television and multi-media, and our actors and crews spend more time in front of and behind the camera every year. We maintain our own multi-media laboratory, acknowledging a field of performance which puts us on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry and takes advantage of our special geographic location in Silicon Valley.

Success in the graduate program depends on academic, research-oriented skills, not theatrical performance skills--although we certainly encourage graduate students to become involved in our production; nearly all of them do, to the great benefit of the department, and they receive credit toward their degrees for their contributions. Graduate students may assume various roles (actors, directors, writers, producers, designers, technicians, consultants) in relation to different performance media within the department: theatre, dance, film, television, radio, video. The department offers many opportunities to participate in productions. These productions range from large-scale mainstage interpretations of classical texts and popular musicals to television sit-coms, films, to daring modern dance performances to laboratory presentations of work in an experimental mode.