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November 11, 2021

U-M Course – Engaging Performance: Get Up Close and Behind the Scenes

By UMS Education

Students in Hill Auditorium
Six live performances. Three humanities credits. Experience the performing arts up close and behind the scenes.

Engaging Performance (Winter 2022) connects undergraduate students directly to the touring, world-class artists who perform music, theater, and dance on the U-M campus. Students will attend live performances, talk with the artists and arts administrators, and explore how the performing arts are an integral part of our lives and the world at large.

The class will include lectures (including some by guests and visiting artists), required attendance at evening performances, interactive classroom activities, weekly readings, response papers about the performances, and presentations from students in class.

Students will attend live performances of:

Engaging Performances

These performances constitute the course’s primary “texts,” and the full package of tickets is available to students enrolled in the course for the dramatically reduced rate of $75.


Term: Winter 2022 // Course Name: Engaging Performance
Course Listing: MUSPERF 200.001, ALA 260.001, LSWA 228.002
Instructors: Dr. Shelley Manis and Dr. Brandon Scott Rumsey
Credits: 3 Credits (Humanities Distribution)
Class Schedule: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1 – 2:30 pm (In-person – room TBD)

Course Listing

By the end of this class students will be able to:

  • Rigorously describe live performance.
  • Imagine how performance asks questions about the world.
  • Identify how structural choices vary across performances.
  • Identify various elements of a performance and discuss how they impact one another.
  • Have knowledge of tools necessary to research a performance’s historical and social context prior to attending a live performance.
  • Consider how performance might be a mode of research—a way not just to ask a question, but to investigate that question in motion, through sound, etc.
  • Learn more about the UMS and what it offers to students.


No previous knowledge of the performing arts is required from students! It is open to undergraduates at all levels and across all departments at the University of Michigan; no previous experience or special training in arts is required.

Engaging Performance is made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a partnership between the University of Michigan and the University Musical Society (UMS).