lemonboo

Fall 2017 Theatre and Performance Studies PhDs

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I don't see a thread, so I'm starting one for people applying for Theatre and Performance Studies MAs and PhDs. I'm looking at Brown, Northwestern, UC Berkeley and Tufts (My advisor told me they're moving away from theatre history and literature towards performance studies.)

Where is everyone else applying? What do you want in a program?

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I really have no business posting here, as I was accepted and began my PhD training this fall. I randomly thought to check the site again and see if the same kinds of existential angst were circulating once again. 

You are applying to awesome programs! I applied to those 4 programs and was accepted at each, so I know full well that you cannot go wrong with any of them. However, I would disagree with your advisor. It is true that Tufts now has Kareem Khubchandani, an awesome addition to their faculty that will provide students with someone who can teach and facilitate work in the field of performance studies. However, after speaking with both Heather Nathans and Laurence Senelick, I walked away with the impression that Tufts was a top notch program, but still firmly invested in the study of theatre history. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; I think its absolutely badass. I just wouldn't operate under the assumption that you would be able to get the kind of exposure to Performance studies that, say, Northwestern or Berkeley might offer. If you have any questions about those programs, please feel free to hit me up. 

 

Also, if anyone is applying to Master's programs, check out the A.M. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Great school. Even better faculty. Wonderful interdisciplinary community. Just a fabulously supportive environment in general. A master's degree from this institution, along with the letters of rec that come with it, will land you in the best PhD programs in the country. Myself and the two other members of my cohort whom applied to PhD programs were all accepted and admitted (the three of us are now at Stanford, Northwestern, and Minnesota). Check it out!

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Hi Lemonboo!  Long time lurker on gradcafe; decided to finally join now that my apps are all in. I am applying to Cal, UCSB, UCSD, UCI, and Stanford. What a daunting process! I feel like this took a year off my life and it's not even January yet. 

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Thanks for the thoughts jetof7368. You're right. It looks like my advisor has overstated the Performance Studies work at Tufts, or perhaps I misheard. I'm interested in Latinx/ Latin American performance, foremost, so there's some appeal to all of these schools beyond PS. I may well take you up on your offer to talk after I hear about acceptances from these programs.

Good luck with your west coast schools, scurvs22!

 

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How's the waiting going over there, lemonboo? This thread is strangely quiet this year so it may be just the two of us? 

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So glad that I found this thread - I thought nobody's talking about TAPS applications this year, so I opened a new thread, which I'll delete now...

My list has Tisch, Stanford, Northwestern, Maryland, Brown, UCB and UCD! Too many but I wanted to increase chances :P

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On 12/28/2016 at 4:33 AM, jetof7368 said:

I was accepted and began my PhD training this fall

That's great! Which University are you in now (if you don't mind)?   

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Welcome MilesToGo! That's a pretty impressive list! I'm guessing from the roster, you are leaning more towards Performance than Theatre/ Drama?  It looks like the three of us overlap at Cal -- so fingers crossed for all. From the results history, it seems like we should be hearing from them within the next two weeks (gulp). 

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Welcome MilesToGo! Glad to have you join the group. What drew you to those schools?

Scurvs22, It's a weird feeling to know that we might all be hearing from schools in the next two weeks while I still have an application that hasn't even reached its due date yet. I just hope that I'll get hear from everyone (positively or negatively) before I make a decision.

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13 hours ago, MilesToGo said:

That's great! Which University are you in now (if you don't mind)?   

Thank you. And I'm at Northwestern.

 

Best of luck to everyone.

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13 hours ago, scurvs22 said:

Welcome MilesToGo! That's a pretty impressive list! I'm guessing from the roster, you are leaning more towards Performance than Theatre/ Drama?  It looks like the three of us overlap at Cal -- so fingers crossed for all. From the results history, it seems like we should be hearing from them within the next two weeks (gulp). 

Yes, that's what I aimed for! More Performance oriented - I too have applications I haven't submitted yet - I've the Cornell application ready but I can't decide whether I should submit! Two weeks... that sounds so scary... But I heard that they often let people know in rounds, so if I am on the waiting list of an uni, I might not get to know anything at all until much later! Even more scary, that is!

lemonboo, I went through the rankings of the Performance oriented programs, and got these... Seems like they are all too good!  

Edited by MilesToGo

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2 hours ago, jetof7368 said:

Thank you. And I'm at Northwestern.

 

Best of luck to everyone.

Late congratulations on that! It's one of the best, isn't it? Northwestern was very helpful during the application process...

One question I am dying to ask: did you have many publications/presentations on your CV when you applied? Do applicants generally have many? Because I don't!! Would be very grateful if you can enlighten me on this!

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lemonboo: which school has the late app deadline?

MilesToGo: I'm in no position to speak to this because I haven't been accepted anywhere as of yet (if at all), but to my knowledge, the presence of conference presentations tend to outstrip publication numbers within the app pool in our field. That is not to say that there aren't a number of applicants who have already published, but I don't believe that represents the majority. 

In other news, I just had my first interview and keep replaying every instance of sounding like a rambling buffoon over and over in a torturous loop in my mind. . . ay yi yi . . . I sincerely hope I'm not the only one who tripped over his or her own brain multiple times. How is it going with you guys?  Any lurkers want to chime in on this maddening waiting process?

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18 hours ago, MilesToGo said:

One question I am dying to ask: did you have many publications/presentations on your CV when you applied? Do applicants generally have many? Because I don't!! Would be very grateful if you can enlighten me on this!

I did have a couple of conference presentations and one forthcoming publication (that just came out a month ago--just a book review but a line on the CV, nonetheless). BUT that's really not very important, to be honest. There are 6 people in my cohort. I'd say 3 of us had experience at conferences, the other 3 did/do not. Only myself and one other person had any publications (both were forthcoming) at the time we applied. The goal of the PhD training is to equip you to be able to think and write at a level that you've probably not encountered before. So don't sweat if if you're not already doing something (like publishing or presenting) that they don't expect you to be doing yet (yet is the key word). By far, the most important elements of the application dossier are the personal statement and the writing sample. If those two things are top-notch and you have some decent to really great letters of rec, it will be hard for an institution to turn you down, so long as you've chosen the right places to apply (i.e. your interests play up to their strengths). 

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Scurvs22, Congratulations on the interview! Mind if I ask which program? The late application deadline is Tufts, which isn't due until 1/17. I've sent it away already, but was told they won't be in touch with people until early February.

MilesToGo: I don't have any conference or academic presentations, but I have worked as a director at a few culturally-specific theatres in Texas and the Southwest, which I'm framing as helpful to some of my research interests. I would guess that most of us do not have publication records, but that's truly just a guess.

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scurvs22: congrats! I'm sure it went well! Which school?

jetof7368, lemonboo:

Thank you all so much for the answers! It's more than reassuring, as I do have some nice ones to mention - I just got daunted by the number of slots given by some applications to fill in with publication and presentation titles!! I have given a published book chapter in the writing samples though it's more literature oriented - and another essay on a film - both deal with aesthetics in some way, but none directly related to theatre (which worries me, but those seemed to be the best I have and the ones on theatre were much longer and/or amateur!)

Also, NYU, Maryland and Cornell all have late deadlines...

Edited by MilesToGo

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Thanks guys!  The interview was with UCSD; I was really surprised to hear from anyone so early. Totally bungled the interview after an insane amount of prep, but oh well . . . not a whole lot I can do now but quietly pray that everyone else got temporary aphasia. 

MilesToGo: this process is so hard to pin down, but if it's involving literature and analysis / research, you are probably fine.  A lot of people move into performance programs, specifically, from cognate departments and I imagine there are a number of lit heavy papers. 

I would hate to still have outstanding applications, though the two week turnaround for Tufts puts them right on schedule with everyone else, it seems. 

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Scurvs22: Thanks for the assurance... And would you mind sharing how you prepared for the interview? I saw the last year threads where people were talking about asking publication specific questions to the faculty... Since I am currently not enrolled anywhere, it is a bit difficult to get study material... I did not manage to acquire publications of some of the faculty whose profiles match my interest areas and that worries me... So, if I might ask, did your conversation steer that way?

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MilesToGo:  I definitely prepped by brushing up on the faculty work that I read in the last year, but I was not told who would be in the room other than the head of the department, so it was a bit of a Russian roulette situation regarding focus. Definitely read as much as you can about anyone / thing you mentioned in your SOP. Having said that, you really only need to know faculty work as it pertains to why you believe you are a fit for that specific program. They're not going to quiz you and don't expect you to know everything that any of them have ever written. Because you don't have access to a research database, I suggest you look up faculty books and familiarize yourself with those. Also, know your research plan well and how that fits into the discipline / department. Both of my interviews so far have mostly consisted of questions specific to my proposal, background, and why that school. 

Can either of you claim the other posting for the Cal interview (Berkeley) on the results page? I would love to hear about it!

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scurvs22: Thank you! That's a helpful reply! 

Berkeley interview - No! I wish I could say yes! Who was interviewing for Berkeley?

 

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MilesToGo: I agree with everything Scurvs22 said about prepping for interviews.

Alas, no Berkeley interview for me :(

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Miles: There was another posting for a Cal interview on the results page besides mine so I was wondering if it was one of you. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings on that front but they contacted 8 people for their interview shortlist last week.  

They also said it was a rather large applicant pool this year . . . I wonder why this forum is so quiet. Anyway, I hope you guys aren't slowly losing your minds to the waiting process. Good news is coming!

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Congratulations to you scurvs22. I'd love to hear how your interview goes and what sort of questions they ask you.

I'm hanging in there for now. Ask me in two or three weeks and we'll see how I'm doing...

 

 

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Lemonboo, scurvs22: I was travelling, so dropping in here later than I would have liked! Thanks for the messages - Berkeley's bad news, but there's still hope in the others I guess! Any other interviews for you guys? Also, someone just told me that international applications often have a different processing time, I wonder if that makes sense! 

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Hey friends!

I was invited to interview with Berkeley, but didn't post it on the results search. So I don't know who our mystery friend is!

scurvs22 - congrats on the UCSD and Berkeley interviews! How do you think they went?

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