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Drama

Archived Courses

Fall 2014 

 

DRA 211 Acting I

Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

DRA 211-10 MWF 12:30-1:20 Daigle (for first year students only)
DRA 211-11 MWF 10:30AM-11:20 Sommerfeld
DRA 211-12 MWF 11:30-12:20 Sommerfeld
DRA 211-13 TTH 1:00-2:15 Foster 

DRA 231-10 Theatre Technology

TTH 10:00-11:15 Stahl

Investigation of methods and materials used in the theatrical production process. Laboratory hours will be required. This course is designed primarily for those who plan to participate in future theatrical productions.

DRA 241 Scenic Design

TTH 11:30-12:45 Eckelman

This course investigates the art and craft of theatrical scenery, from play analysis and visual research to drafting and execution. We will explore a range of topics, including visual grammar, historical conventions, properties, drafting, and model building.

DRA 294 Special Topics: Introduction to Theatrical Design

MWF 10:30-11:20 Eckelman

This course offers a broad look at all aspects of theatrical design, including scenery, properties, costume, lighting, sound, and projections, with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary skills such as close reading, research, and clear communication (written, visual, and aural). Students will learn to approach theatrical questions from a variety of angles, and will develop a basic understanding of all design elements and how they fit together.

DRA 312  Renaissance Drama (cross-listed with English)

TTH 1:00-2:15 Moncrief

This course will examine early modern English drama, exclusive of Shakespeare, from the 1580s through the 1630s in its unique cultural and historical context.  It will consider drama as a central cultural performance—both reflecting and creating the dynamic culture of late 16th and early 17th century England.  It will explore  plays by prominent dramatists of the period including Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, John Lyly, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Heywood, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, William Rowley, John Webster and John Ford.  Key issues will include the following:  playing conditions (theatres and theatre companies), the relationship of the stage to the monarchy, the importance of the city (London), the relationship of the stage to dominant religious beliefs and practices, the impact of Puritanism and anti-theatricality, the effect of censorship and licensing, the role of gender and cross-dressing in theatrical representation and the staging of desire.  The course will examine how the dramas of the age comment on and react to, imagine and subvert, their culture.

DRA 394-10 Special Topics:  Devised Theatre: Performing Environment (cross-listed with ENV)

T 1:00-3:45 Daigle and Connaughton

Devised theatre is a genre of contemporary drama that emphasizes collaboration throughout the creative process. In devised theatre, that process does not begin with a finished script. Rather the ensemble—in this case, playwright, director, performers, designers, musicians, dramaturges, and scientists—will create a performance text over the course of the semester. The class will explore issues surrounding humanity and its environment and, through research, class discussion, improvisation, group dramaturgy and other techniques, it will craft a theatrical experience that speaks to one or more of those issues. While individuals within the ensemble will be responsible for specific tasks and assigned certain duties, the shape and content of the work will be determined through a group process.

The course will begin by looking for ways to break preconceptions and disarm received wisdom on the topic of the environment. We will ask the question: How can we shape/wrestle our ideas/thoughts/dreams about this seemingly infinite problem in a way that brings us to a deeper and yet, at the same time, more practical and useful understanding? How can we celebrate the daily gift of our environment when confronted by the specter of an environment that we have altered in irretrievable ways? And: how can we turn that conversation into a work of art that is not precious or obvious?  

DRA 394-11 Special Topics: Acting in High Comedy and Heightened Language

TTH 10:00-11:45 B. Fox

This course focuses on advanced techniques for acting, concentrating on such authors as G.B. Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and Tom Stoppard. Through these authors’ use of heightened language, students will explore what the characters are saying, and how they saying it to each other with wonderful humor, pyrotechnic wit, and the passionate exchange of ideas. Prerequisite: Acting II or Permission of Instructor.

DRA 394-12 Special Topics: Directing Contemporary Drama

TH 1:00-3:45 B. Fox

Builds on the basic principles and practices explored in Directing I, this course explores particular challenges peculiar to the staging of contemporary drama. These include naturalism, magic realism, group scenes, and other topics. Prerequisite:  Directing I

DRA 351 Playwriting  (cross-listed with English)

MWF 12:30-1:20 Volansky

LAB:  TH 1:00-3:45

Analysis and practical application of techniques and styles employed in writing for the stage. Students must enroll in both the lecture (MWF) and the Lab (TH 1-3:45) and will be assigned a workshop group after the first session.

DRA 458-10 Dramaturgy

MWF 11:30-12:20  Volansky

Analysis and discussion of the theoretical and practical aspects of dramaturgy, with particular emphasis placed on script analysis and historical research. This course is not recommended for first-year students.

 

Spring 2013

*All DRA courses except for DRA 105, Principles of Effective Speaking and DRA 200 Theatre Practicum fulfill the Humanities distribution requirement

DRA 105 Principles of Effective Speaking

TTH 2:30-3:45 Rubin

The course is intended to enhance student abilities in the development and delivery of various kinds of public presentations, and to foster skill in the analysis of speeches from the standpoint of the critical listener. This course does not count toward distribution or toward the Drama major.

DRA 211 10-13 (Acting I)

DRA 211-11 Acting I MWF 10:30-11:20 Sommerfeld

DRA 211-10 Acting I MWF 11:30-12:20 Sommerfeld

DRA 211-12 Acting I TTH 11:30-12:45 Daigle

DRA 211-13 Acting I MWF 12:30-12:20 Foster

Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

DRA 221-10 Directing I

TH 1:30-4PM Daigle

Study of the basic principles and practices of directing, including interpretation, structural analysis, and investigation of basic staging techniques.

DRA 241-10 Scenic Design

TTH 10:00-11:15 Rubin

The translation of the play script into visual expression. Concentration on the interpretations, the means of expression, and the techniques of the scenic designer. Laboratory hours will be required.

DRA 311-10/11 Acting II

DRA 311-10 TTH 10:00-11:15 Daigle

DRA 311-11 TTH 1:00-2:15 Daigle

Development of acting technique with a concentration on physicalization of the role, including movement and voice production. Prerequisite: Drama 211.

DRA 331-10 Lighting Design

M 1:30-5:00 Schulman

This class is designed to teach the student the how, what and why of theater from a Lighting Designer’s perspective., from how a theater works from the script analysis process through to production. Other questions involve what the various components of a theater are and how those pieces interact with each other to make a whole, why we do theater and how our craft helps an audience understand a message of a given production.

DRA 394-10 SpTp: The Screenplay

TTH 11:30-12:45 Price

This course will introduce participants to the basic architecture of the film play. Instruction will concentrate on the synopsis, the treatment and sequencing. Through this exploration participants will acquire a basic understanding of conventional and experimental designs of screenwriting. Students will explore cinematic techniques that provide a vocabulary for creating tightly crafted film stories. Cross-listed with English.

DRA 394-11 SpTp:  King Lear Text and Performance

TTH 1:00-2:15 Rubin, Moncrief, Maloney

This course will focus exclusively on the study of Shakespeare’s masterpiece tragedy King Lear, as both a text for reading and a script for performance in preparation for a production of the play (April 4, 5, 6, 7).  It will explore the interpretation of the text, including historical and cultural contexts, formal elements (structure, imagery, characterization, themes, etc.), editing issues, and critical responses to the play.  It will also explore interpretation of the play for performance, including performance history and practical production issues (dramaturgical research, directing and acting choices, scene and costume design).  The course will end with consideration of King Lear in a modern context—why does it matter now? Cross listed with English.

*DRA 394-12 SpTp:  Plays 2001-2012

MWF 12:30-1:20 Volansky

Arguably, the events of September 11, 2001 changed the world.  Musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Paul McCartney wrote songs and albums that addressed their loss, while novelists Don DeLillo and Jonathan Safron Foer explored the aftermath in their books.  How did theater artists around the globe respond?  Were there plays that dealt with the issue specifically?  Has 9/11 seeped back into the background?  Over the course of the semester, we will investigate plays from around the world (with particular emphasis on plays from the US and UK) written between 2001 and 2012.   Special focus will be placed on the theatrical and social context out of which these works emerged.

*DRA 451-10 Playwriting II

W 1:30-4 Maloney

Advanced workshop in writing for the stage. Prerequisite: Drama 351.Cross-listed with English

*DRA 494-10 Junior Seminar

TTH 10:00-11:15 Maloney

This course prepares Drama majors for their senior capstone experience through a rigorous study of text and context.  Enrollment by permission of the Chair, department of Drama only.

Fall 2012

*All DRA courses except for DRA 105, Principles of Effective Speaking and DRA 200 Theatre Practicum fulfill the Humanities distribution requirement

DRA 105 Principles of Effective Speaking

MWF 10:30-11:20 Rubin

The course is intended to enhance student abilities in the development and delivery of various kinds of public presentations, and to foster skill in the analysis of speeches from the standpoint of the critical listener. This course does not count toward distribution or toward the Drama major.

DRA 211 10-13 (Acting I)

DRA 211-10 Acting I MWF 12:30-1:20 Daigle

DRA 211-11 Acting I MWF 10:30-11:20 Sommerfeld

DRA 211-12 Acting I MWF 11:30-12:20 Sommerfeld

DRA 211-13 Acting I TTH 11:30-12:45 Foster

Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

DRA 221-10 Directing I

TH 1:30-4PM Daigle

Study of the basic principles and practices of directing, including interpretation, structural analysis, and investigation of basic staging techniques.

DRA 231-10 Theatre Technology

TTH 10:00-11:15AM Stahl

Investigation of methods and materials used in the theatrical production process. Laboratory hours will be required. This course is designed primarily for those who plan to participate in future theatrical productions.

DRA 294-10 Intro to Arts Leadership

TTH 11:30-12:45 Patton

This course focuses on the nature of arts organizations, especially those that are nonprofit. Topics covered include organizational culture and structure, planning, governance, programming, fundraising and marketing, an introduction to financial management and budgeting, economic impact, and other major issues from the field.

DRA 306-10 American Musical Theatre

MW 2:30-3:45 Rubin

The study of musical theater in America from the turn of the century to the present with emphasis on the form itself and its history. The course will explore the structure of the musical and the dramatic functions of score, lyrics, and libretto as well as the political, societal, musical, and theatrical reasons for changes in the form.

DRA 308-10 After Angels: American Theatre Since 1992

MWF 12:30-1:20 Volansky

This course will study the plays and significant theatrical movements which have occurred since 1992 and the production of Tony Kushner’s landmark play Angels in America. Students will read new works (both published and non-published) by established and emerging American playwrights, with a special focus being placed on the theatrical and social context out of which these works emerged.

DRA 311-10 Acting II

MWF 1:30-2:20 Daigle

Development of acting technique with a concentration on physicalization of the role, including movement and voice production. Prerequisite: Drama 211.

*DRA 351-10 Playwriting I

W 1:30-4 Maloney

Analysis and practical application of techniques and styles employed in writing for the stage. Cross-listed with English

DRA 394-10 The Screenplay

TTH 11:30-12:45 Price

This course will introduce participants to the basic architecture of the film play. Instruction will concentrate on the synopsis, the treatment and sequencing. Through this exploration participants will acquire a basic understanding of conventional and experimental designs of screenwriting. Students will explore cinematic techniques that provide a vocabulary for creating tightly crafted film stories. Cross-listed with English.

DRA 411-10 Acting III

TTH 10:00-11:15AM Maloney

Advanced study of acting techniques with a concentration on analysis, interpretation, and rehearsal methods. Prerequisite: Drama 311.

*DRA 458-10 Dramaturgy

MWF 2:30-3:45 Volansky

Analysis and discussion of the theoretical and practical aspects of dramaturgy, with particular emphasis placed on script analysis and historical research. This course is not recommended for first-year students.

DRA 494-10 Tennessee Williams: On Stage and Screen

T 2:30-5 Maloney

The course will examine eight plays and their film adaptations, focusing on the extraordinary scope and complexity of Williams� stage dramaturgy and on the efforts to capture that on film. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Rose Tattoo, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Glass Menagerie, Suddenly Last Summer, Orpheus Descending (The Fugitive Kind in its film version) are the plays and films of our study. In addition we will read and discuss biographical and critical materials to provide context and provocation for our discussion.