Theatre & Dance

Current Courses

        Courses with Descriptions 

SPRING 2018
THEATRE

 

THE 102 Drama, Stage and Society II
MWF 11:30am-12:20pm
Volansky

This theater history course will examine the development of (primarily) Western drama against a backdrop of historical and social change. Students will read a variety of plays and discuss theater history, dramatic theory, and criticism representing the major currents in (primarily) Western theater from the 18th century to 1992. We will frequently employ one or more of the following “lenses” or viewpoints to focus our lectures and discussions: the physical theater (how the material artifacts of theater—buildings, documents, etc.—tell the story of theater history and influence dramaturgy); the social theater (how the theater relates to its social context, including consideration of the audience); and the performing theater (the plays themselves and how they were/are performed). Students will be encouraged to draw connections between the material we cover in this course and the many intellectual and aesthetic parallels to be found in contemporaneous trends in history, philosophy, literature and the arts.

ENG/THE 206 Shakespeare II (cross listed with English)
TTH 2:30-3:45pm
Moncrief

This course examines some of Shakespeare’s best known later plays (those written after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603) both in the context of early modern English culture and as play scripts/performances.  Using films and live productions (when available) it considers the plays as they have been and could be interpreted for performance.

THE 211-10 Intro to Acting
MWF 10:30-11:20am
Sommerfeld
Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

THE 211-11 Intro to Acting
MWF 11:30am-12:20pm
Sommerfeld
Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

THE 211-12 Intro to Acting
MWF 12:30-1:20pm
Daigle
Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

THE 211-13 Intro to Acting
MWF 1:30-2:20pm
Daigle
Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

THE 231 Theatre Technology I
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.

THE 241 Introduction to Theatrical Design
TTH 11:30am-12:45pm
Eckelman

This course offers a broad look at all aspects of theatrical design, including scenery, properties, costume, lighting, and sound, with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary skills such as close reading (of texts and images), 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. This course has a required lab section (for hands-on tutorials), but it will only be used a few times over the semester.

THE 358 Dramaturgy
W 2:30-5:00pm
Volansky

What makes a “good play”?  Who gets to decide?  How do we read plays as actors?  As directors?  As designers?  As other theater artists? 

One of the roles of the dramaturg is to challenge one’s artistic colleagues to find new or different ways of reading a play.  In many ways, this adds up to the fact that everyone on the production team becomes a dramaturg.  Which is a good thing.  Such inquiry reveals exactly why a liberal arts education is so significant, as we will explore: analysis, research, writing, appreciation of cultural history and current events, artistic creativity, aesthetic judgment, responsibility, collaboration with others, and independence of mind and spirit. Students will draw and build upon what they have learned so far and convey information to others in forms that they can use and understand. Some people call the dramaturg a “universal translator,” a skill students will practice by considering questions like how theater seasons are constructed, how playwrights can be aided in play development, what kind of research directors and actors need to prepare a production, how productions can be contextualized for audiences, and how theatre texts and stage performances are related.

THE 361 Performance Studies: Adaptation (cross-listed with English)
M 2:30-5:00pm
B. Fox

This course explores the theory and practice of adapting non-dramatic literature for the stage. Students examine the form through writing and staging short story adaptations, whose size and scope allow students to learn and explore various approaches to this kind of theatrical storytelling. The course provides students with a strong introduction to the theoretical and critical body of knowledge in the area of adaptation of literature in the field of Performance Studies. In addition, students will develop skills in acting, directing, writing, and dramaturgy. Students do not need extensive experience in acting or writing for the stage, but a willingness to explore both is important.

THE 381 Junior Seminar
TTH 10:00-11:15am
B. Fox

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

THE 394-10 Special Topics:  Plays 2001-2017
MWF 12:30-1:20pm
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?  What are theater artists exploring today, nearly two decades after the event?  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 the present. Special focus will be placed on the theatrical and social context out of which these works emerged.

THE 394-11 Special Topics:  Advanced Design: Scenery
TTh 1:00-2:15pm
Eckelman

Building on the skills and ideas of Intro Design, this course offers a deeper look at the art and craft of theatrical scenery—from play analysis and visual research to drafting and model building. Students will explore the historical conventions and contemporary practice of western scenography, and will hone their skills through creative design projects. Prerequisite: THE241 or permission of the instructor.

THE 394-12 Special Topics:  Advanced Design: Sound (cross list with MUS)
M 1:30-5:00pm
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. 
Prereq:  THE 241 or MUS Technology

ART 394/THE 394-14 Special Topics:  Performance Art (cross listed with Art/Art History)
MW 8:30-11:00am
Wills

Performance art as a discipline draws upon and blurs distinctions between visual art, theatre, dance, video and film, activism, spoken word and other expressive forms. As performance by its very nature incorporates the body, conditions and questions surrounding gender, race or ethnicity, size or shape and other visual and social aspects of the physical body will be examined at length. Context, site or location, and the relationship between artist and audience will also play a prominent role. Students will have the option of performing works themselves or directing others in their performances. No prerequisite or experience required and students from all majors are welcome.

ENG 394/THE 394-15 Special Topics:  Hamlet and Its Afterlife
TTH 1:00-2:15pm
Moncrief

The title of this course acknowledges both the play’s obsession with the afterlife and the afterlife, in the four centuries since its composition, of the play itself.  It will examine both William Shakepeare’s masterwork Hamlet and many of its adaptations and appropriations in an effort to understand its continuing popularity and cultural significance.  A sample includes: film versions (from Olivier, Gibson, Branagh, Tennant, and others); film adaptations (A Midwinter’s TaleThe Banquet/Legend of the Black ScorpionHamlet the Vampire Slayer, Hamlet 2); drama (Stoppard’s Rosencranz and Gildenstern are Dead, Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet, Blessing’s Fortimbras); fiction (Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius, Atwood’s “Gertrude Talks Back,” “Haig’s The Dead Father’s Club); poetry (Soyinka’s “Hamlet,” Gwynn’s “Horatio’s Philosophy,” Tretheway’s Bellocq’s Ophelia); art (Millais’s “Ophelia,” and others); television, (The Simpsons: “Tales from the Public Domain, Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Hamlet episode 43) and popular music (Natalie Merchant:  “Ophelia,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s “Hamlet Pow, Pow, Pow”). Students will, by the end of the semester, produce their own creative response to Hamlet.

THE 394-16 Advanced Acting: Heightened Language and Style
T TH 11:30am – 12:45pm
B. Fox

Advanced development of acting techniques that focuses on plays and playwrights employing a heightened, non-Naturalistic form of language. We will explore different acting styles beginning with Restoration Comedy finishing with modern playwrights incorporating and / or satirizing those styles. Plays and playwrights may include but are not limited to Aphra Behn, Oscar Wilde, David Ives, Amy Freed and Jeffrey Hatcher. There will be a focus on incorporating characterization and scene study, and the further development of acting skills studied in prerequisite courses. Prerequisite: THE 211 or permission of the instructor.

THE 415 Theories of Acting
TH 2:30-5:00pm
Daigle

The course will examine the history, theory, and practice of actor training in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Prerequisite: any 4-credit THE class.

PRACTICUM COURSES

THE 181 Theatre Practicum: Crew
Eckelman

This course provides an opportunity for student technicians (lighting/sound/projection operators and backstage crew) of departmental productions (both SCE and faculty­-directed) to receive credit for their work. To be enrolled in this course, technicians must participate in technical rehearsals and performances. (Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production; guidelines are available from the instructor.) Technicians will receive 1 credit (pass/fail) and should expect to devote a total of 20­50 hours over the course of the production. This course is open to majors and non-­majors. It may be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. (Non­credit­-bearing participants will be noted as auditors.) To enroll for credit, contact the instructor.

THE 182 Theatre Practicum: Performance
Eckelman

This course provides an opportunity for student performers in departmental productions (both SCE and faculty­-directed) to receive credit for their work. To be enrolled in this course, performers must participate in auditions, call­backs, and rehearsals. (Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production; guidelines are available from the instructor.) Performers will receive 2 credits (pass/fail) and should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours over the course of the production. This course is open to majors and non­-majors. It may be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. (Non­-credit-­bearing participants will be noted as auditors.) To enroll for credit, contact the instructor.

THE 183. Theatre Practicum: Design
Eckelman

This course provides an opportunity for student designers of departmental productions (both SCE and faculty-­directed) to receive credit for their work. To be enrolled in this course, designers must participate in an orientation workshop (scenery, props, costumes, lighting, or sound), production meetings, and a design meeting with the departmental faculty. (Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production; guidelines are available from the instructor.) Designers will receive 2 credits (pass/fail) and should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours over the course of the production. This course is open to majors and non-­majors. It may be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. (Non-­credit-­bearing participants will be noted as auditors.) To enroll for credit, contact the instructor.

THE 184 Theatre Practicum: Dramaturgy & Direction
Eckelman

This course provides an opportunity for student dramaturgs and assistant directors of departmental productions (both SCE and faculty-­directed) to receive credit for their work. To be enrolled in this course, dramaturgs and assistant directors must participate in production meetings and rehearsals. (Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production; guidelines are available from the instructor.) Dramaturgs and assistant directors will receive 2 credits (pass/fail) and should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours over the course of the production. This course is open to majors and non-­majors. It may be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. (Non­-credit-­bearing participants will be noted as auditors.) To enroll for credit, contact the instructor.

THE 185. Theatre Practicum: Assistant Stage Management
Eckelman

This course provides an opportunity for student assistant stage managers of departmental productions (both SCE and faculty-­directed) to receive credit for their work. To be enrolled in this course, assistant stage managers must participate in production meetings and rehearsals. (Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production; guidelines are available from the instructor.) Assistant stage managers will receive 2 credits (pass/fail) and should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours over the course of the production. This course is open to majors and non-­majors. It may be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. (Non­credit­ bearing participants will be noted as auditors.) To enroll for credit, contact the instructor.

THE 285 Advanced Practicum: Stage Management
TH 5:00-6:00pm
Eckelman

This course provides an opportunity for student stage managers of departmental productions (both SCE and faculty-directed) to receive credit for their work. To be enrolled in this course, stage managers must participate in production meetings, rehearsals, and weekly roundtable discussions with the faculty. (Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production; guidelines are available from the instructor.) Stage managers will receive 4 credits (pass/fail) and should expect to devote a total of 120 - 200 hours over the course of the production. This course is open to majors and non-majors. It may be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. (Non-credit bearing participants will be noted as auditors.) To enroll for credit, contact the instructor.

THE 400 Elements of Production
Eckelman

This course provides hands-on experiential learning for majors and minors through participation in ushering, work calls, and strikes for departmental productions. By enrolling in this course, students commit to completing all required activities during the indicated semester. Course requirements will be clearly outlined by the instructor at the beginning of the semester, but typically include: three ushering shifts, two work calls per faculty-directed show, all faculty-directed show strikes, one SCE work call, and two SCE strikes. This is a zero-credit course and is graded pass/fail. Majors must enroll in and pass the course four times; minors must enroll and pass twice. Students are strongly encouraged to plan ahead, anticipating busy semesters and study abroad. Students must enroll themselves in this course, either during the open registration period or drop/add period.        

DANCE

 

DAN 101 Introduction to Dance in Culture and Society
TTH 4:00-5:15pm
Moffet

Dance in Culture and Society is an introduction to the study of dance in the academy. This survey course will introduce students to dance as both an aesthetic and cultural experience. The aim is to present the breadth of the field, specifically where dance happens, the diverse functions it serves, and ways of making meaning of the dance experience. Through movement laboratories, readings, videos, observations, and discussions students will explore the dance discipline.

DAN 194-10 Special Topics: Jazz Dance
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Moffet

Jazz Dance offers an in-depth exploration of movement vocabularies of this American dance form, demonstrating its evolution as both an art form and vehicle for individual and group expression. Emphasis will be placed on rhythm, style, technical development, and self-expression. Students will gain ability to understand and move with clarity through basic jazz vocabulary and stylizations. Readings, videos, reflective and analytical writing, and live performance will contextualize the in-class work.

DAN 194-11 Special Topics: Dances of West Africa (cross list with Black Studies)
W 7:00-9:30pm
Jones

Dances of West Africa will teach students technique in West African dances and provide them with training practices specifically geared towards readying the body to approach this style of dance. The instructor will spend the first half of the class on body conditioning that will help participants strengthen and prepare their bodies to execute African dance safely, as well as provide a deeper embodied understanding of how to execute African dance movement.  Students will learn African dance technique, deeply investigating movements within the dances in order to raise the level of technical execution and understanding.

DAN 227 Beginning Modern Dance
TTH 2:30-3:45pm
Moffett

Beginning Modern Dance is an introduction to basic principles of modern dance as a creative art form. Special emphasis is placed on body awareness, alignment, and artistic expression. The class structure includes a full body warm-up, center movement studies, traveling sequences and an extended modern dance phrase made up of both choreography and improvisation. Readings, videos, reflective and analytical writing, and live performance will contextualize the movement practice.

DAN 312 Intermediate Ballet
MW 4:00-5:15pm
Canon

Intermediate Ballet is a progression of Beginning Ballet. Special emphasis will be placed on working in optimal alignment, building both strength and flexibility, and negotiating stability and mobility. Intermediate Ballet emphasizes clarity of line, movement efficiency, range of motion, and artistry. Readings, videos, reflective and analytical writing, and live performance will contextualize the in-class work.​  For dance minor students, this course will satisfy the Ballet III requirement and for those working with the new dance minor requirements, it will satisfy the Int. Ballet requirement.