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Performance is everywhere — we study how it works.

What does it mean 'to perform', and what does performance do? Located in the heart of New York City's vibrant art scene, Performance Studies at NYU is dedicated to the study of cultural enactments of all kinds, and to understanding how they can produce meaningful change. Combining an interdisciplinary range of approaches including feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and other modes of analysis, with an equally diverse range of research methods, Performance Studies offers graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the world-making power of performance in theater, performance art, dance, sound/music, visual and installation art, activism, and online, as well as in the performance of 'everyday life'.

The Department of Performance Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts was established in 1980 as the first of its kind, and is ranked #1 for doctoral programs in Theater and Performance Studies by the National Research Council. Our B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. programs are taught by internationally-recognized faculty in fields ranging from experimental and protest theater, feminist and queer theory, dance studies, sound studies, performance curation, and critical race theory.

Performance studies, I like to think, has always been in existence — performance extends far beyond what goes on on the stage.

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Richard Schechner

Professor and Department Co-Founder