Theater and performance have shaped the civic, religious, and ideological lives of human beings throughout history. Plays and performances do not represent only what we know and what we have done; they are also tools that can demonstrate the possibility of new worlds, new modes of social interaction, and how we might revise our relationship to the past.
The NYUAD Theater Program is an academic and artistic laboratory dedicated to theater research, scholarship and practice. Reflecting the global vision of NYUAD, a cosmopolitan liberal arts university, we provide a rigorous approach to artist training, a solid scholarly foundation in theater history, theory and criticism, and exposure to a variety of transnational cultural practices through the study of theater both here and abroad. For NYUAD theater majors, making and thinking—creating and articulating—culture are inseparable tasks. Our aim is to develop artist-citizens whose theatrical contributions will expand the limits of the field and make a difference in the world. We expect NYUAD theater majors to become fearless and visionary theater makers, eager to collaborate with other artists, scientists and scholars across disciplines, and who will invent new and hybrid cultural practices that will come to define what theater will be in the 21st century.
Theater and performance are collaborative arts, and at NYU Abu Dhabi students experience this in many ways: in practice-based classes and in scholarly seminars, in apprenticeships with professional companies in residence, as hosts for visiting artists, as collaborators on faculty research projects, by generating extra-curricular experimental performances and staged readings and, in their senior year, by producing a sustained and fully developed theater Capstone project.
The study of this ancient, universal, and multi-faceted art form illuminates the power of the imagination in engaging with and shaping the political and spiritual lives of individuals and cultures. The expressive and interpretive skills developed in working with dramatic material make this an excellent component of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Furthermore, theater students learn teamwork, discipline, leadership skills, effective modes of creative expression, improvisation, adaptability, and collective problem solving, as well as interpretive and textual analysis. All of these are critical skills necessary for a sustained career in the arts, and are also readily transferable to many other professions. The Theater Program at NYU Abu Dhabi welcomes majors and non-majors to join us in creating a thriving performance program for the college community, with events ranging from full productions to informal readings, solo performances, student-directed plays, and site-specific events on campus and beyond.
The minor in Theater is open to all NYUAD students and offers the opportunity to explore the history, theory, and practice of theater and performance. The study of this ancient, universal, and multi-faceted art form illuminates the power of the imagination in engaging with and shaping the political and spiritual lives of individuals and cultures. The minor in Theater is designed to be combined with a major in another discipline and to develop the student’s capacity for intellectual and creative risk-taking in the pursuit of knowledge. The expressive and interpretive skills developed in working with dramatic material make the minor in Theater an excellent component of a well-rounded liberal arts education.
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