What is Experimental Performance Now?

Spring 2022
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
12 Credits per quarter
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What is to be Experimental Performance Now?

to be on the edge …

to perform live, and know you're taking a risk …

to love the nervousness of taking an intellectual chance …

while being physically safe …

are the fundamentals of what I call experimental performance art.

This class is about such intellectual risk taking.

What performance edges are, today, real?

It can't be something you've already seen, or heard about — those edges have been blunted.

It has to be an idea — that you've invented.

This class is about taking the time to create (an idea) and implement (or, perform) such an idea, live on stage.

Sometimes, it's easy to have and idea — but it can take a while to figure out how to implement. Sometimes the reverse is true.

We'll be reading, listening to, and watching works of theater, music, and dance that have, in their creators' minds, been experimental in some form. These works are not models to be obeyed, but rather, finished attempts to implement their creator's idea.

Students will be asked to create and perform five performance pieces, in small groups, involving music, theater or dance. These will be performed every two weeks for the class. The last performance pieces will be performed for a campus audience.

Students will also participate in the study, rehearsal and performance of a composition by the teacher for speaking voices. This piece demonstrates the use of different compositional techniques that we will study, and that can be used by the students for their own work(s) if they wish.

Students will also be asked to write two short papers on two of the compositions we will watch/read/listen to in class.


This class is for 12 credits. If students wish, there will be a parallel 4-credit class Readings in Aesthetics and Politics to which they can also register.


Spring 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (12): 30280
Fr (12): 30283

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

Performance Studies

Music composition/performance

Theater writing/performance

Dance choreography/performance

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$75 for theatre tickets


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Com 107 - Recital Hall