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Engaging Performance

Engaging Performance
Six live performances. Three humanities credits. Experience the performing arts up close and behind the scenes.

Each year, Engaging Performance 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.

Course requirements include regular attendance at lectures, completion of weekly readings, participation in discussion sections and interactive classroom activities, written response papers about the performances, and a final project.


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.

Winter 2024 Class Information

Term: Winter 2024 // Course Name: Engaging Performance
Course Listing: MUSPERF 200, ALA 260, ENGLISH 290
Instructors: Yopie Prins and Matthew Thompson
Credits: 3 Credits (Humanities Distribution)
Class Schedule: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11:30 am – 1 pm

Course Listing

Students will attend live performances of:

These performances constitute the course’s primary “texts,” and the full package of tickets is available to students enrolled in the course for the reduced rate of $90. Additional funds are available to support students who cannot cover this cost.

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.

Engaging Performance is made possible through a partnership between the University of Michigan and the University Musical Society (UMS).

Thank You to Our Supporters

The Ehrenberg Family Charitable Fund