A concentration in theatre consists of 11 credits: 100, 102, 105, 108, 141 and 142, 201, 307; 550 or 560; and one course from each of the following:
Group I: 212,213,214,216;
Group II: 224, 303, 301 or 302;
Group III: 230,236,238,245,255.
Majors must audition for all mainstage productions and participate in two mainstage productions (Theatre 141 and 142), at least one of which must include a management or technical role.
The Senior Program requirement in theatre may be fulfilled through a satisfactory completion of one of the following options: a Senior Thesis (550), which may be a research paper or the composition of a play; or Senior Performance/Production (560), which may be an acting showcase, the directing of a play or designing for a departmental production. Students falling below the 3.0 (85) average may be required to take the research option or to register for an independent study prior to the project as preparation.
Departmental honors will be awarded on the basis of a cumulative record of 92 or above in all courses counting toward the major, satisfying departmental expectations, and distinguished achievement on the Senior Project.
A minor in theatre consists of Theatre 100 and four electives, two of which must be at the 200-level.
100F,S Playing--Introduction to Making Theatre: Theory and Practice.
This class combines the study of theatre and drama as it reflects, represents and interprets diverse cultures with a hands-on examination of how theatre is made. Through readings, lectures, discussions and projects the class will explore the ideas, strategies and languages of theatre (acting, directing, playwriting, designing) that theatre artists use to create contemporary theatrical performance. (Oral Presentations.) First-year students, and sophomores with permission of the Department. Maximum enrollment, 20. Two sections in the Fall--Latrell and Holland; one section in the Spring--team-taught with Cryer and Stoughton.
Introduction to Stage Performance.
Exploration of the basic elements of theatrical performance and stage presence. Introduction to theatre vocabulary, performance concepts and skills, and the creative process through kinesthetic, vocal, sensory and imaginative exercises, as well as improvisation and stage action. An ensemble approach that relies on individual and group commitment and collaboration. (Proseminar.) Open only to sophomores and juniors, and to seniors with the consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16.
102S Acting Styles: American Realsim.
This course builds upon the ideas and techniques of modern realism and its American adaptations through the works of Uta Hagen and Robert Cohen. Students will gain a foundation in an acting process that includes body and voice awareness and use, sense memory, substitution, emotional memory and character actions as well as scene study. (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Prerequisite, Theatre 100 or 101. Maximum enrollment, 16. Cryer.
105S Live Design and Production I.
An examination of the process of design and production through the eyes of the many participants whose work and collaboraton are vital to setting the stage for live performance. Through lecture, discussion, and hands-on experience the course will explore the fundamentals of design, technology, and construction for the stage. Discussion topics will include aspects of performance design and production with special emphasis on scenery and lighting. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Theatre 100 or consent of the instructor. Three hours of class and four hours of laboratory. Maximum enrollment, 16. Stoughton and Holland.
106F Out Loud.
Through the introduction of a variety of performance genres, this course develops oral communication, public speaking and public performance skills. Although no prior experience in performance or public speaking is expected, students will learn about and participate in such genres as storytelling, solo performance, hip-hop theatre, spoken word poetry, Sprechstimme and cabaret. Writer/performers to be studied/performed include Tim Miller, Karen Finley, Ntozake Shange, Danny Hoch, Sarah Jones and Bertolt Brecht. (Oral Presentations.) Cryer.
108F Live Design and Production II.
A continuing examination of all aspects of design and production for live performance with special emphasis on costumes and sound. The course will explore the fundamentals of design, technology and construction for the stage through lecture, discussion and hands-on experience. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Theatre 100, 105 or consent of the instructor. Three hours of class and four hours of lab per week. Maximum enrollment, 16. Stoughton and Holland.
Visual Storytelling: What’s a Picture Worth?.
Through the exploration of basic visual elements including color, form, space and movement, students learn to communicate complex ideas and narratives non-verbally. While focusing on performing arts, we will also examine relevant works of fine art, architecture, film and video. Assignments consist of individual and group projects and presentations, putting into practice concepts discussed in class. While no previous art or theater experience is necessary, students should be prepared to face the challenge of expressing themselves outside the realm of written papers and oral presentations. (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Not open to senior Theatre concentrators except with permission of the instructor.. Maximum enrollment, 16.
The study of theatre through participation (performance, management and/or technical work) in a faculty-directed production. Students must pre-register for this class; for 141F first-year students may register during orientation. Preregistration does not guarantee an acting role. Auditions will take place at the start of the semester, and students not acting will perform a rechnical/production role. One-half credit. May be repeated for credit. Maximum enrollment, 20. Bellini-Sharp (Fall); Latrell (Spring).
201F Acting Styles: Theatricalism and the European Avant Garde.
20th-century performance aesthetics. Practical exploration of non-realistic theatrical methods, emphasizing challenges to Stanislavskian naturalism in the work of Meyerhold, Artaud, Grotowski and Brecht. Intense text and performance work. (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Prerequisite, 100, 101, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Bellini-Sharp.
204F Collaborative playmaking: creating dynamic and original physical theatre.
Students will learn to work together towards a common artistic goal, using their entire body to devise original performances. The course will focus on generating ideas for plot, story, and theme; conducting dramaturgical research; scripting in groups and individually; physical storytelling; improvisation; giving critical feedback; sharing directorial responsibility; and select readings in devised theatre. Course culminates in a 10-15 minute group-devised performance that reflects the collective artistic vision, and a written critical evaluation. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 100. Maximum enrollment, 16. Hesla, James.
A lecture/laboratory course in the design of scenery for the stage. Study of principles of composition, materials and fundamentals of drafting and rendering, eventuating in practical scenic designs with floor plans, elevations, sections and models. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) Maximum enrollment, 12.
213F Lighting Design.
A lecture/laboratory course in lighting for the stage. Study of principles of composition, graphic notation, electrical practice and its control, eventuating in practical lighting designs with plots, sections and control charts. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 105. Maximum enrollment, 12. Stoughton.
Students will learn how a designer develops, communicates and executes an effective and creative soundscape for a theatrical production. The basics of sound technology will be discussed and the student will have the opportunity to record, engineer and execute their own creative content. Focuses on sound as an artistic medium and explore how it can be used alongside other production elements to create the world of the play and convey thematic, emotional and environmental information. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 105 or 108. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Through a series of projects and demonstrations, introduces students to the basic principles of scenic painting for film, television and the performing arts. Topics covered will include color mixing, texture, faux finishing (wood grain, marble, etc.), brush and spray techniques, trompe-l’oeil and large scale cartooning and painting. Prerequisite, 105, 108 or 130, or a 100-level art course. (Same as Art 215.) Maximum enrollment, 12.
216S Costume Design: History into Practice.
This studio-type course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of costume design for theater, film and television. Through a series of lectures, demonstrations and projects students will explore various aspects of costume history and the costume design process. Specific attention will be given to fashion silhouettes and historical periods, as they relate to the assigned texts. Areas covered in the course will include, costume history, script analysis, textiles, life drawing and watercolor rendering. Maximum enrollment, 12. Holland.
Introduction to the techniques of realistic and non-realistic playwriting through a variety of exercises and improvisations, culminating in the writing and staging of a one-act play. Prerequisite, Theatre 100,130 or a 100-level writing-intensive course in English or English 204, or consent of the instructor. While no prior acting experience is required, students participate in staged readings of works. (Same as English and Creative Writing 224.) Maximum enrollment, 16. Latrell.
230F Female Parts: Gender Play on the Western Stage.
Explores gender and gender issues in classical and contemporary dramatic literature, theatre and performance, and how “female” has been defined, represented and played. Topics include constructing “female” and its cultural significance; cross-dressing; the role of women performers and writers in shaping the representation and construction of female; contemporary feminist performance theory. (Oral Presentations.) (Same as Women's Studies 230.) Bellini-Sharp.
Outrageous Acts: Avant-Garde Theatre and Performance Art.
An examination of experimental art’s capacity to shock and to force us to recognize ourselves from new and unexpected perspectives. The historical, cultural and philosophical origins and influences, as well as exemplary works from the early avant-garde movements (1890-1940) and more contemporary avant-garde theatre and performance art (1950-1990). Discussion of the art, music, literature, theatre and film of Surrealism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Dada, Futurism, Constructivism, Epic, The Living Theatre, Grotowski, Monk, Wilson, Foreman, The Wooster Group, Hughes, Finley. (Oral Presentations.) (Same as Art History 236.)
238S African-American Theatre from Ira Aldridge to August Wilson.
Study, discussion and oral performance of selected works of drama by African-Americans from the 1860s to the present. Focuses on themes within the plays in relation to the current social climate and how they affect the play's evolution in the context of changing U.S. cultural and political attitudes. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 110 or 120. Open to sophomores and juniors only. (Same as Africana Studies 238.) Cryer.
244F Tragedy: Then and Now.
How did Greek tragedy work in the city of Athens? Athens was a radical democracy but was based on slave labor and the exclusion of women. How is this implied contradiction displayed in the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides? But tragedy also has contemporary life. How do these plays transcend their time of production? An opportunity to examine relations of gods/humans, fate/choice, as well as gender, class/ethnicity and sexuality. Readings to include works by Seneca, Racine, Sartre, O’Neill, Heaney, Fugard. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Comparative Literature 244 and Classics 244.) Maximum enrollment, 20. N Rabinowitz.
"All Shook Up": How Modern Theatre Transformed Western Notions of Gender, Sex, Class and Reality.
A study of modern drama as literary and social text, with special attention to issues of class and gender. How does dramatic form express political and philosophical ideas? What is "modern"? Once experimental, these modern classics shaped theatre today. Texts to include works by Büchner, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Pirandello, Shaw, Beckett, Brecht, Ionesco, Genet, O'Neill, Treadwell, Lorca, Williams, Hansberry, as well as recent interpretations and productions of some of these works. Prerequisite, one course in theatre or literature. Not open to students who have taken 345. (Same as Comparative Literature 245.)
Asian Performance: The Exotic Body.
An exploration of Asian performance forms and performers, and how they are represented in the West. Focus on elite, popular and hybrid forms arising out of the cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia, and the way these forms have functioned as tokens of exoticism in the West. No prior performance experience necessary, but students will be expected to participate in workshops. Open to seniors. (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Maximum enrollment, 16.
261S Performing Life: Introduction to Performance Studies.
This course introduces the field of performance studies, examining performance in diverse contexts, from everyday life (sports, rituals, politics, television) to more formal settings (theatre, dance, visual art). Performance studies asks “What is performance, and how can we make sense of it?” The field incorporates aspects of theatre history, theory, and practice; anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies. No performance training is required or expected, but students will participate in a variety of hands-on exercises, and will attend and analyze several events. Latrell,C.
300F,S The Study of the Theatre through Production and Performance.
Performing a major role, stage management, dramaturgy or design of scenery, lighting or costumes for a faculty-directed production. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, invitation of department. May be repeated for credit. The Department.
301F Advanced Seminar in Performance.
A performance-oriented seminar focusing on a specific area of world performance ideas and techniques: for example, political theatre, Asian theatre, solo performance, intercultural or intermedia performance. Addresses the connections between research and performance. For 2013: The study of realism in varied media including stage, film, television and radio. Offers a process for acting in realistic scripts and emphasizes character and script analysis, circumstances and action. The particular artistic and technical needs and challenges of each medium emphasized. Prerequisite, 202 or consent of department. Maximum enrollment, 12. Cryer.
Advanced Acting Workshop: Shakespeare and Company.
Classical texts and contemporary performance. Focus on Shakespeare, language and character. May include other classical dramatists Scene and monologue work, textual analysis, vocal and speaking preparedness, verse and heightened speech, characterization, improvization and rehearsals. (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Prerequisite, 102, 201 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16.
Fundamentals of play direction and script analysis. Study of selected directors and directorial problems; the direction of exercise scenes; and direction of a final scene or one-act for public presentation. Prerequisite, two semesters of acting and two other courses in theatre or dramatic literature or consent of instructor. Latrell.
History of Theatre.
An introduction to the basic texts of theatre history from classical antiquity to the Baroque era, focusing on the themes of cross-dressing in performance, space and how it shapes theatre, and the representation of reality on the stage. Places performance within social, cultural and historical contexts, and also provides an introduction to non-Western performance. Offered in alternate years. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 110, 120, any 200-level theatre course, English 206 or consent of instructor.
314F Meisner One; Transitions.
Through exercises, performance activities, and presentations, this course provides an introduction to Sanford Meisner’s approach to actor training and its requirements for successful transitions to camera and voice over work. The student who has already studied and practced foundational approaches to acting/performance will expand and deepen her knowledge and pradctice. Students learn to demonstrate understanding and practical proficiency in executing the exercises and theoretical concepts of Meisner’s approach to actor training, as well as learning to maintain connections with others during practical activities, presentations and performances. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 102 and 201. Maximum enrollment, 12. Cryer.
550F,S Senior Thesis.
A project resulting in either a research paper or the composition of a play. Open to senior concentrators only. The Department.
560F,S Senior Performance/Production.
An acting showcase, the directing of a play, costume, set and/or lighting design for a departmental production. Substantial written component comprising research into the historical, theoretical and socio-cultural contexts of the chosen work. Following submission of the monograph and completion of production, each student will participate in the evaluation of her/his project with an evaluating committee. Open to senior concentrators only. Senior project proposals, written in consultation with faculty, are due at the end of the fall semester of the senior year. The Department.
(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)