Stage Write: Social Justice and Theatre

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Are you interested in theatre at Brown? Whether you’re a veteran actor or a fresh newbie, you’ve come to the right place – Stage Write! I’m Olivia Cummings, first-year Shakespeare enthusiast, techie, and budding thespian. I’ll be writing about my experiences in the various facets of theatre life at Brown this year.

I can’t believe it but this is my last Stage Write post for the year!  It’s been an interesting and life-changing first year at Brown and I’m glad to have been able to write this column for all you theatrically-minded prospective students!

On to the column…

If you know anything about Brown, you know that we truly care about changing the world (there’s even a first-year seminar you can take called “So You Want to Change the World?”).  If you’re interested in social justice AND theatre, you may want to apply for the Engaged Scholars Program when you declare your concentration.

The Engaged Scholars Program is a relatively new program here at Brown, but it allows students to work directly with community partners to “contextualize abstract theories, challenge assumptions, and develop critical skills that prepare them for their future at Brown and beyond.”  TAPS is one of the only concentrations that works with the Engaged Scholars Program and it’s awesome!

Here’s some information from the Engaged Scholars Program.

How to Apply: At the time of their declaration, students declare their concentration in TAPS with an Engaged Scholar focus. Students apply to the program in the ASK advising system while declaring their concentration.

How to be an Engaged Scholar in TAPS

  • Fulfill all existing requirements of the separate tracks.
  • Work with track advisors and with the departmental ES advisor, students determine which ES-designated courses in the array of those offered (see box) match their track-work.
  • Undertake 250-hour experiential work with community and other non-academic stakeholders – significant in both intensity (hours per week in meaningful, challenging work) and duration (number of weeks). The experiential component can occur in a course inside or outside the department, through an already existing university engagement program, or in the summer with faculty advising. Experiential projects will be proposed and evaluated individually with the ES faculty advisor.
  • Students participate in programming and activities with other Engaged Scholars from a variety of departments and disciplines.
  • Students with an ES focus gear their capstone projects (final project seniors usually have to do to fulfill the requirements of their concentration) to a conceptual and practical culmination of their work in this vein.

Thanks so much for reading my column!  I hope it’s given you some helpful information about theatre at Brown. To let you know how much I thank you all for reading, here’s a message from the one, the only, Emma Watson (who graduated in 2013 and acted in some shows here at BROWN!!!)


As a potential Health and Human Bio concentrator who is pre-med (PLME), I’ll approach theatre as someone who is doing it as a (very time-intensive) hobby. If you have any questions for me or would like to be connected with someone who is looking to pursue theatre after college, email me at  Looking forward to seeing you all at Brown soon!


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