Undergraduate Degrees in Theatre Studies

Theatre is an ancient art form that enjoys continuing popularity in many societies. In Theatre Studies, we ask why this is so by exploring theatrical events, practices and ideas. Our investigations are built on understanding of the skills and approaches required to create theatre, and of the historical and cultural contexts in which people have made and watched it.

Some Theatre Studies programmes, including ours, take a broader view of the subject by studying the relationship of performance to other art forms and cultural practices. At NUS, alongside the study of theatre, we also look at film, digital media, popular culture, and performance in everyday life. As a result, Theatre Studies is a wide-ranging discipline combining creative practice, analytical inquiry, and critical thinking. Graduates leave equipped with both specialist knowledge of a living art form and the cultures it is part of, and transferable skills in communication, interpretation and imagination.

The aim of the NUS Theatre Studies curriculum is to provide a balanced education for students in all areas of theatre and performance history, production and interpretation. To graduate with a degree in Theatre Studies, all students must complete a range of modules, which are grouped under broad strands.

TS Strands for Cohorts 2014 and after

Timeframes modules focus on the framing of performance in history, and vice versa. For example:

  • Modern Drama in Asia
  • Making Contemporary Performance
  • Film Genres: Stars and Styles
  • History and Theory of Western Theatre

Cultural Practices modules offer study of the diverse ways in which performances communicate, reflect, critique, intervene in and change with their socio-cultural environment. For example:

  • Cultural Policy, the Arts and Society
  • Acting and Directing in Asian Theatre
  • Southeast Asian Performance
  • Singapore English-Language Theatre

Perspectives on Performance modules explore specific approaches to understanding performance, including inter-disciplinary and inter-medial topics. For example:

  • Introduction to Performance Studies
  • Digital Archiving and Performance
  • Applied Theatre
  • Performance Research

TS Strands for Cohorts 2013 and before

Survey modules cover broad historical or cultural areas of theatre history and tradition. For example:

  • Introduction to Theatre and Drama
  • The Theatre Experience
  • Southeast Asian Performance
  • History and Theory of Western Theatre

Area Studies / Topics in Theatre modules provide in-depth study of a culture, society or region, or in relation to specific themes or ideas. For example:

  • Singapore English Language Theatre
  • Intercultural Theatre
  • Classical Asian Dramatic Texts
  • Theatre and Postmodernism

Performance and Cultural Studies modules examine performance practices across a range of media and social contexts. For example:

  • Singapore Film: Performance of Identity
  • Performance and Popular Culture
  • Cultural Performance in Asia
  • Shakespeare and Film

Theory and Practice modules integrate critical and practical enquiry. For example:

  • As If: Actors and Acting
  • Play Production / Theatre Lab
  • Voice Studies and Production
  • Applied Theatre

Students can pursue a Theatre Studies degree through one of the following programmes: