The concentration in Theater, Dance & Media (TDM) aims to integrate historical and theoretical study with art making—a central concern of Harvard’s Report of the Task Force on the Arts. Our courses combine critical reading and writing with art making, bringing the classroom to the studio, the studio to the classroom, and both to the stage. More specifically, our studio courses allow students to acquire hands-on experience with the different aspects of art making—directing, acting, design, dramaturgy, dance—thus deepening their understanding of these complex art forms, while their education in theater history and aesthetics informs their guided experiments in the studio. In this way, the concentration integrates experiential learning and historical study.
The structure of the concentration is informed by the three features that make the study of theater, dance, and media a unique occasion for a liberal arts education: their composite, multi-media nature; the process of historical adaptation; and collaborative art making. The Sophomore Tutorial emphasizes the multi-medial nature of theater and offer an introduction to the different languages and art forms of which theater, dance, and media are composed. This composite nature is developed and deepened in a Junior Tutorial, as well as in elective seminars, lectures, and studio classes, where students learn the different constituent parts of theater, dance, and media both practically and theoretically. The historical dimension of these art forms will be anchored in theater history requirements. Practical theater work teaches students how to navigate the collaborative process of theater making. In addition, a significant number of courses emphasize the intellectual history of reflection on theater and its influence on society and on other disciplines.