The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Performance department is one of the only undergraduate contemporary performance departments in the country. The Performance department at SAIC is known nationally and internationally as a center for engagement, research, and experimentation of body-focused performance art practice in an art-and-design school context. We put a strong emphasis on contemporary with practices and theories including:

The Performance program's distinguished and professionally active faculty represent a broad range of experimental performance approaches ranging from solo performance and material actions to activist participatory theatre, gender performance, experimental movement performance, performance lectures, re-enactment, networked virtual performance/mixed reality, and curating.

Possible Performance Paths

As contemporary practice moves fluidly across materials and methods, many courses at SAIC address the intersection between sculptural, performative, interactive, immersive, screen/camera/code, and material disciplines and explore their shared methods, materials, and critical/theoretical discourse.

Undergraduate students are encouraged to consider their art-making process as a interdisciplinary practice that can range across various departments including, but not limited to, Fiber and Material Studies; Sculpture; Performance; Fashion Design; Art and Technology Studies; Film, Video, New Media, and Animation; and Ceramics. Students are encouraged to confer with faculty to map a course of interdisciplinary study that reflects the latest developments in contemporary practices in these fields.

Below are some pathway suggestions to consider:

Interested in learning more?

Click around this website for more information on the curriculum, faculty and resources offered through the department.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or