Performance and Performance Studies

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Performance Studies is the exploration of the concept of performance, also known as "performativity." Unlike its manifestations, such as performance art, the performance of the self in everyday life, performance in sports and performance in business, performance studies seeks to think about the idea of performance in a "big picture" way and through its specific applications.

The first of its kind, the MFA in Performance and Performance Studies, a 60-credit, four-semester program, leading to a master of fine arts degree. It focuses equally on performance theory and performance practice in an art school setting. The department is in Humanities and Media Studies within the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. HMS and SLAS house several programs that intersect creative, community, and critical practices.

Students in the program have numerous opportunities to interact with artists of divergent backgrounds as part of their Performance and Performance Studies training. We are expanding the relationships between performance, performance theory, and all parts of Pratt's Institute's renowned curriculum.

Performance and Performance Studies welcomes students from all disciplines (both creative and scholarly) and experiences.

The Performance and Performance Studies MFA program seeks dedicated, interdisciplinary students determined to delve deeply into the field of performance studies and art practice in one program. Students who successfully complete the program will have deep knowledge of the field, be stronger in performance practices, have sharpened writing skills, and a solid professional network.

Performance and Performance Studies at Pratt is a small and intensive graduate degree program for students seeking to maximize and individualize their graduate experience and draw on the rich performance and cultural worlds of Brooklyn and greater New York City. Pratt has long been internationally known for studio programs with strong liberal arts components; the Performance and Performance Studies (P+PS) program is designed to enable students to take full advantage of an increasingly vibrant intersection of performance practices and theory.

The program also emphasizes internships, community-based practice and multifaceted support for careers in the performing arts and academia. As a new program, Pratt’s Performance and Performance Studies MFA provides an innovative model for a range of creative thinkers and makers. We encourage interaction between our students and eminent makers in the field through symposia, workshops, and presentations.

Because of the range of practitioners that are drawn to a program like this, we also offer a range of designated electives to serve different constituencies.

The first year focuses on the core of the program, cultivating a significant familiarity with performance practices and studies, including study of intra-cultural art forms and community-based practice. The second year includes emphasis on community connections such as internships, critical writing, thesis research, and final presentations. This intensive exposure to, and refinement of, key aspects of creative and academic training prepares the graduating student for impactful careers in art practice and/or teaching and writing.

The program is equivalent to a doctoral academic program with performance practice components but without the requirement to write a dissertation. The MFA is a "terminal degree," a prestigious credential that also makes graduates eligible to teach at the college and graduate school level, should they choose to pursue the job market in that area.