Theater and Dance

All Majors & Minors

Independent Learning

Transforming students into independent, creative and critically conscious thinkers and performers. 

All students at Ursinus College complete the Independent Learning Experience (or ILE), designed to empower them to take initiative in the acquisition of education and to build confidence in themselves. 

In the Theater and Dance Department, students may complete the Independent Learning Experience in a number of ways, by:

  1. Completing independent research or a creative project under the mentorship of one of the full-time faculty members (3-4 credit project);
  2. Participating in the college’s Summer Fellows program or a comparable summer research program at another institution;
  3. Immersing themselves in another culture by studying abroad for a full year, a semester or a summer;
  4. Completing an internship at a professional theater, a dance company or another arts-related professional organization; or
  5. Completing a project in pedagogy that includes a student-teaching component. 

Theater and Dance students that meet the college-wide eligibility requirements may propose an honors project in their senior year to the department’s faculty, and, upon approval, produce a culminating, two-semester independent research project under the guidance of one of the full-time faculty members.

Do more than One.

Theater and Dance majors may work on more than one independent project during their four years in college. Indeed, an independent study might spark an idea for a Summer Fellows project, which, in turn, might then serve as the beginning of the capstone honors project. 

Students themselves determine the specific content of independent research projects, and double majors are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary honors projects. 

Recent Project Examples:

Cultural Studies research

Determined the reasons for upswing in the depiction of violence and horror on-stage during the Modern/Postmodern periods

Research on Samuel Beckett’s plays

This research looked at his depictions of the nature and causes of human suffering;

Feminist Research on Euripides

Traced the development of the female characters’ agency or lack thereof in his tragedies.

Interdisciplinary arts performance entitled, Ricochet

Based on the universal Common Intellectual Experience (CIE) questions.

Museum installation piece, entitled, Disclose

Involved dance, music and art.