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Current 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.