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Drama

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.

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           SPRING 2015                         

DRA 201-10 Theatre of Ancient Greece and Rome

(cross-listed with ENG 394-14)

TTH 8:30-9:45 Walsh

The genre of the dramatic play stands as an enduring legacy of ancient Greece and Rome, and today live performances of classical plays thrive on stages all around the world. In this course we will read representative plays of the Greek and Roman tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca) and comedians (Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, Terence). Topics to be discussed include the socio-political context of ancient drama; its adaptation of myth, ritual, and history; its treatment of gender, sexuality, obscenity, and violence; its stagecraft and performance; and the reception of Greek and Roman drama in the modern world.

DRA 203-10 Romanticism and Realism

TTH 2:30-3:45 Fox

The study of the progression from eighteenth century sentimentalism and romanticism to nineteenth century melodrama and naturalism with emphasis on dramatic writing and theatrical convention in England, Germany, and America.

DRA 211 Acting I

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

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

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

DRA 211-10 TTH 11:30-12:45 Daigle (Freshman only)

 

DRA 221 Directing I    

W 2:30-5:00 Daigle

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

DRA 231-10 Theatre Tech

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 294-10 Intro to Theatrical Design

TTH 11:30-12:45 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 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

TTH 10:00-11:15 Fox

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

 

DRA 394-10 Screenplay (cross-listed with English)

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.

Although heavily weighed toward creative writing the nature of the medium requires a brief exploration of film history and an exploration of the evolution of film technology.

 

DRA 394-11 Dramatizing Discovery: Science & Mathematics in Dramatic Literature

MWF 11:30-12:20 Eckelman

This course will explore theatrical works that incorporate science and mathematics in different ways—as documentary content, thematic through-line, and even dramatic structure. Each week we will examine a play both dramaturgically and scientifically, through discussion, lecture, and hands-on activities. By looking at each piece in these multiple ways, we will develop a more nuanced understanding of the plays themselves, as well as broader insight into how science and art can inform and parallel each other. (This course is supported by SANDBOX.)

DRA 394-12 Sound Design

M 2:30-5:00 Perelstein

This course investigates the use of sound as an element of theatrical design, understanding how technical knowledge and artistic vision combine in this medium. Technically, we will familiarize ourselves with topics including sound system design, recording, mixing, custom creation of sound effects, and we will learn techniques for problem solving in unexpected situations. Artistically, we will explore connections between aural and visual design, discuss sound as space and architecture, and engage with sound as an exploration of aesthetics and style.

DRA 394-14 Hamlet and it Afterlife (cross-listed with ENG 394-10)

TTH 1:00-2:15

 

ENG 206 Shakespeare II

TTH 2:30-3:45

Reading and analysis of Shakespeare’s best known plays (comedy, tragedy, history, and romance) both in the context of early modern English culture and as play scripts/performances.

DRA 401 Dramatic Theory

MW 2:30-3:45 Volansky

Throughout history, thinkers have been variously excited, enraged, bothered or bored by theater. Through the rigorous study of the writings and historical context of the major thinkers in the evolution of theater (from Aristotle to Ehn), students will come to a greater understanding of the various changes, permutations and responses to theater in the Western World. This course is both Honors Level and Writing Intensive.

 

DRA 494-10 Junior Seminar

TTH 11:30-12:45 Fox

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.