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 analysis and study of cultural enactments of all kinds, and to understanding how they can produce meaningful change. Combining an interdisciplinary range of approaches including feminist, queer, and trans theory, race and ethnicity studies, and other modes of analysis, with an equally diverse range of research methods, Performance Studies offers graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to explore and think critically about 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, queer, and trans theory, dance studies, sound studies, performance curation, and race and ethnicity studies.


Situated in New York City as we are...we are surrounded by the institutions that do performance. [We] wondered: how can we bring that to our curriculum?