Theater as a Living Art

A First-Year Ampersand Program

Diving into the history and craft of theater

This two-semester program offers you the unique experience of combining the historical study and the creative making of theater. As part of this program, you will take two courses in the fall: (1) a collaborative acting course, capped at fifteen students, which covers a wide range of historical and contemporary performance experiences and techniques, and (2) “Theater Culture Studies I,” which surveys theater and performance from ancient Greece to the Renaissance, across eastern and western traditions. The course culminates with the “Fragment Project,” in which students combine research and creative skills to recreate and perform a lost ancient Greek play. 

We also take a class spring trip to Chicago to attend performances at the Steppenwolf Theater, the Goodman Theater, and the Chicago Shakespeare Festival.

Hear What Students Have To Say:

Alessandra Silva, Class of 2018

"'Theater as a Living Art' serves as the perfect jumping off point for any drama student entering WashU. The class structure and the intimate class size of the acting course fostered both a greater understanding of the craft and many close friendships with other students equally passionate about theater...It not only taught me a better understanding of myself as an actor; it introduced the wonderful family and home the Performing Arts Department had to offer me."

Katherine Cai, Class of 2021

"I found this program very rewarding and enjoyable. The materials covered in class and acting exercises were really useful. The trip to Chicago was definitely a highlight, because the shows we watched together were amazing, and we learned a great deal. Plus I got to know students like me, who are interested in the theater, and made new friends!"

how to apply

The application process for first-year programs and seminars opens on Tuesday, May 15, at noon (CT) and closes on Tuesday, May 21, at noon (CT). There will be a link to the application webform on the First-Year Programs homepage during this time for you to sign up. ADDITIONAL PROGRAM COSTS: The travel component of this course costs an additional $250. Need-based financial support is available.

First-Year Programs homepage