Theatre & Dance

Current Courses

SPRING 2020
Theatre Courses

 

THE 102 Drama, Stage and Society II
TTh 11:30am-12:45pm
Guest Instructor: LaRonika Thomas
This theatre 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 theatre history, dramatic theory, and criticism representing the major currents in (primarily) Western theatre 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 theatre (how the material artifacts of theater-buildings, documents, etc.-tell the story of theatre history and influence dramaturgy); the social theatre (how the theatre relates to its social context, including consideration of the audience); and the performing theatre (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. Theatre Majors and Minors may not take this class pass/fail or as an audit.

THE 211 Introduction to Acting
MWF 10:30-11:20am (Sommerfeld)
MWF 11:30am-12:20pm (Daigle)
Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

THE 231 Technical Theatre
TTh 10:00-11:15am
D’Elia
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 311 Advanced Acting: Shakespeare
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Fox
Development of acting technique with a concentration on physicalization of the role, including movement and voice production.

THE 371 Stage Management
MWF 12:30-1:20pm
Eckelman
This course provides a thorough exploration of the roles and duties of the theatrical stage manager, from pre-production through closing night and beyond. Using a mix of readings, discussion, paperwork assignments, and lab activities, students develop both hard skills (such as document design, scheduling, and preparedness) and soft skills (such as communication, leadership, management, and collaboration). By the end of the semester, students will be well prepared to stage manage a fully-produced show. This course has no curricular prerequisite, but requires a baseline understanding of the rehearsal and production process; accordingly, enrolled students should have some experience working in the theatre (as an actor, designer, crew member, etc.).

THE 381 Junior Seminar
TTh 10:00-11:15am
Fox
The course prepares theatre majors for the SCE through script analysis, critical thinking, synthesis of textual and performance analysis, research, readings, discussion, writing, and engagement with guest artists. Over the semester, students develop stronger oral and written communication skills, develop the leadership and management skills necessary for effective creative collaboration, and expand their own imaginative tools and resources. Students spend part of the semester writing and revising chapters for the written SCE Production Book. (Learning objectives may vary slightly from student to student, depending on the needs of each SCE project.) This course is required for all theatre majors, and must be taken in the spring of the junior year.

THE/ENG/SOC 394_10 Theatre and Social Change in America: From Suffrage to Decolonization
TTh 1:00-2:15pm
Guest Instructor: LaRonika Thomas
Theatre and dramatic literature have always been intertwined with the social and political life of their time and place. The 100th anniversary of (white) women’s suffrage in the US presents a unique opportunity to examine the ways in which drama has shaped, reflected, and imagined civil rights struggles in the US over the last century. Beginning with suffrage and anti-suffrage plays of the early 20th century and carrying through climate crisis and decolonization movements of the 21st century, this course will examine social movements through the lens of theatre and performance, analyzing dramas that touch on issues of feminism, race, lgbtq+ culture, trans visibility and gender inclusion, reproductive justice, indigenous rights, accessibility and neuro-diversity, and others. Students can expect to read, discuss, analyze, write, and present on plays from an inclusive canon, as well as engaging in accompanying performance and social theory from the last century.

THE 394_11 Advanced Directing
Th 2:30-5:00pm
Fox
This course will build upon the concepts initially explored in Directing I. Through discussion, exercises and scene work, students will delve deeper into the craft of directing. Topics will include: various leadership approaches, collaboration with actors / designers / stage managers, text analysis, and exploration of different theatrical styles.

THE 400 Elements of Production
Eckelman
This course provides hands-on experiential learning for intended Theatre majors and minors through participation in ushering, work calls, load-ins, and strikes for departmental productions, as well as relevant instructional workshops. Course requirements and policies will be posted by the instructor at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll themselves in this course; nobody will be automatically registered. Majors must pass the course four times; minors must pass it twice. Students are strongly encouraged to start early and plan ahead, anticipating busy semesters and study abroad. 0 credits, pass/fail.

 

Dance Courses

 

DAN/MUS/ILC 194 Indian Classical Dance
F 2:30-5:00pm
Guest Instructors: Nalini Prakash & Vijay Palaparty
This course offers a historical and cultural background of the South Indian classical dance style Bharatanatyam. It highlights three foundational elements of Bharatanatyam. Students will first be introduced to technique, which involves intricate footwork and hand gestures, along with a foundation on classical Indian music, which is integral to the dance form. Second, students are introduced to the hand gesture language, which is an important tool not only for technique, but also in conveying ideas and narratives. Last, students experience a codified set of expressions, which form the basis to convey feelings and emotions that are inherent in the dance form—to convey India’s rich canon of literature including myths and folktales. The course will also include a dance/movement therapy information session/workshop where questions will be answered about required professional training, the application of DMT, and other relevant questions about DMT as a career option.

DAN 212 Beginning Ballet
MW 2:30-3:45pm
Moffett
Beginning Ballet is an introduction to the fundamentals of ballet technique as well as ballet terminology, traditions, and etiquette. Ballet class begins at the ballet barre and progresses to ballet centre adagio, and allegro combinations, all of which emphasize 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.

DAN 233 Dance Composition
TTh 4:00-5:15pm
Moffett
A course in choreographic theory and the study of the basic principles of dance composition that explores the use of improvisation, movement dynamics, effort, meter, space, and rhythm. Students explore compositional devices and develop solo and small griup works. Students are encouraged to create in their range of vocabularies. Includes development of critical awareness. Some research and writing required.

DAN 245 Jazz Dance
TTh 2:30-3:45pm
Moffett
Jazz Dance offers an exploration of movement vocabularies of the American dance form Jazz, 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 experience a range of jazz vocabularies including Authentic Jazz Dance (ex. Lindy Hop), Classical Concert Jazz Dance (jazz dance originating at the time of Jack Cole), Musical Theatre Jazz Dance (Broadway), and Contemporary Jazz Dance (ex. Lyrical Jazz and Pop Jazz). Class structure includes isolation techniques, warm-up techniques, coordination techniques, traveling sequences, and an extended jazz dance phrase that integrates and builds upon concepts introduced earlier in class. Articles, videos, reflective and critical writing, and live performance will contextualize the movement practice.

DAN 381 Dance Portfolio
Moffett
Dance Portfolio culminates the dance minor. Students submit a digital portfolio of their work for faculty review. Upon declaring a dance minor, students schedule a meeting with the dance minor director to discuss the dance portfolio submission guidelines. Students maintain chronological digital files of their artistic work including choreographic, performance, teaching, and footage and photos. In addition to compiling work samples from class work and outside departmental activities, students will write an Artist Statement, Teaching Philosophy, and Dance Resume. Dance Portfolio is done as an independent study with 4 scheduled meetings with the dance minor director during the spring semester of senior year.

 

FALL 2019
Theatre Courses

 

THE 101-11 Drama, Stage and Society I
TTH 1:00pm-2:15 pm
Fox
This theatre 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 theatre history, dramatic theory, and criticism representing the major currents in (primarily) Western theatre from its origins to the 18th century CE. We will frequently employ one or more of the following “lenses” or viewpoints to focus our lectures and discussions: the physical theatre (how the material artifacts of theater-buildings, documents, etc.-tell the story of theatre history and influence dramaturgy); the social theatre (how the theatre relates to its social context, including consideration of the audience); and the performing theatre (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. Theatre Majors and Minors may not take this class pass/fail or as an audit.

THE 211-10 Introduction 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 Introduction to Acting 
MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm
Daigle
Analysis and application of basic acting techniques with a concentration on scene study and character analysis.

THE 241 Introduction to Theatrical Design
TTH 11:30am-12:45pm, lab F 2:30-4:00 pm
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 394-11 Special Topics: Advanced Acting: Contemporary Acting Styles
TTH  10:00-11:15 am 
Fox
Building on the skills and ideas in Introduction to Acting, this course offers a deeper look at acting styles in the 20th and 21st century. Students will delve into the art and craft of a range of plays, including naturalistic, “kitchen sink dramas” (such as Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets), poetic lyricism (Tennessee Williams) and works that explore silence and overlapping dialogue (such as Annie Baker and Caryl Churchill). Though text analysis, period research, and on-their-feet monologues and scenes, students will hone their abilities to use language and movement to convey character and conflict in powerful and exciting ways onstage. This will be useful for public speaking, presentation skills, and general confidence presenting information to groups.  Prerequisite(s): THE211 or permission of the instructor 

THE  351 Introduction to Playwriting (ENG 351-10 Cross Listing)
T  2:30 – 5:00 pm
Spotswood
Analysis and practical application of techniques and styles employed in writing for the stage.

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 Courses

DAN 101 Dance in Culture and Society
MW 4:00-5:15pm
Moffett
Dance is an embodied form of expression that lives within the interconnected worlds of art, community, ritual, and culture.  DCS will provide a survey of dance in various forms, geographical locations, and will investigate the numerous ways dance functions in societies. Movement, video observation, group projects, and reflective and analytical writing will be our vehicles for engaging with dance practices, the people who dance, and the places where dance exists. Students are exposed to many facets of dance as an expression of cultural values.   

DAN 108 Special Topics: Beginning Tap Dance
MW 4:00-5:15 pm
Cannon
This technique course is an introduction to Tap Dance vocabulary and history, highlighting the contributions of African American innovators of the form, including pioneering artists Master Juba, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the Nicholas Brothers, Gregory Hines, and Savion Glover.  In Tap Dance, special emphasis is placed on musicality, rhythmic development, and expression in performance within its cultural and historical context. Readings, videos, and reflective writing will contextualize the experiential practice. 

DAN 212 Beginning Ballet
TTH 4:00-5:15 pm
Moffett
Beginning ballet will offer an introduction to the fundamentals of ballet technique as well as ballet terminology, traditions, and etiquette.  Special emphasis will be placed on working in optimal alignment, building both strength and flexibility, and finding one’s center.   Ballet class begins at the ballet barre and progresses to ballet centre adagio, and allegro combinations, all of which emphasize 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.  Students should anticipate active participation through movement, discussion, and reflection. 

DAN 227  Beginning Modern Dance
TTH 2:30-3:45 pm
Moffett
Beginning Modern Dance is an introduction to basic principles of modern dance as a creative art form. We will work on movement phrases that embody fluid qualities like suspension, controlled falling, sweeping, spiraling, and percussive qualities such as darting, jumping, and dropping. Special emphasis will be placed on body awareness, alignment, and artistic expression. The class structure includes a full body warm-up, center movement studies, traveling sequences and extended phrase work that integrates and develops the movement vocabulary. Readings, videos, reflective and analytical writing, and live performance will contextualize the movement practice.  Students should anticipate working in groups, improvising dance concepts: body, space, time, energy, and participating in class discussions. 

Practicum Courses

*Students will be enrolled in these courses by the professor, typically during the second week of classes. 

THE/DAN 181 Theatre/Dance Practicum: Crew
Eckelman/Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for student technicians (lighting/sound/projection operators and backstage/wardrobe/run crew) of departmental theatre & dance productions to receive credit for their work. Technicians typically must participate in load-in, technical rehearsals, performances, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of each production. Technicians should expect to devote a total of 20-50 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. Student technicians will be automatically enrolled (either for credit or as auditors) after their production closes. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 1 credit, pass/fail.

THE/DAN 182 Theatre/Dance Practicum: Performance
Eckelman/Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for student performers in departmental theatre & dance productions to receive credit for their work. Performers typically must participate in auditions, callbacks, rehearsals, load-in, technical rehearsals, performances, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of each production. Performers should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. At the beginning of each semester, all students involved in departmental productions will be automatically enrolled as auditors in the relevant practicum course(s), and will be given an opportunity to request credit by contacting the instructor. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 2 credits, pass/fail.

THE/DAN 183 Theatre/Dance Practicum: Design
Eckelman/Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for student designers of departmental theatre & dance productions to receive credit for their work. Designers typically must participate in a production orientation workshop (scenery, props, costumes, lighting, or sound), a design meeting with the departmental faculty, production meetings, load-in, technical rehearsals, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production. Designers should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. At the beginning of each semester, all students involved in departmental productions will be automatically enrolled as auditors in the relevant practicum course(s), and will be given an opportunity to request credit by contacting the instructor. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 2 credits, pass/fail. 

THE/DAN 184 Theatre/Dance Practicum: Dramaturgy, Direction, Devising
Eckelman/Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for student dramaturgs, assistant directors, and devisers of departmental theatre & dance productions to receive credit for their work. Students in these positions typically must participate in production meetings, rehearsals, load-in, technical rehearsals, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production. Students in these positions should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. At the beginning of each semester, all students involved in departmental productions will be automatically enrolled as auditors in the relevant practicum course(s), and will be given an opportunity to request credit by contacting the instructor. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 2 credits, pass/fail.

THE/DAN 185 Theatre/Dance Practicum: Assistant Stage Management
Eckelman/Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for student assistant stage managers of departmental theatre & dance productions to receive credit for their work. Assistant stage managers typically must participate in production meetings, rehearsals, load-in, technical rehearsals, performances, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production. Assistant stage managers should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. At the beginning of each semester, all students involved in departmental productions will be automatically enrolled as auditors in the relevant practicum course(s), and will be given an opportunity to request credit by contacting the instructor. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 2 credits, pass/fail.

THE 186 Theatre Practicum: Choreography
Eckelman
This course provides an opportunity for student choreographers (movement/dance/fight) of departmental theatre productions to receive credit for their work. Students in these positions typically must participate in production meetings, rehearsals, load-in, technical rehearsals, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production. Students in these positions should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. At the beginning of each semester, all students involved in departmental productions will be automatically enrolled as auditors in the relevant practicum course(s), and will be given an opportunity to request credit by contacting the instructor. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 2 credits, pass/fail.

DAN 186 Dance Practicum: Choreography
Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in creating original choreography for the annual departmental dance concert. Working collaboratively with their dancers, faculty and guest choreographers, concert director, and production personnel will help students develop their choreographic and leadership skills. To enroll, students must complete a Student Choreographer Application. Dance faculty and guest artists will review applications and select the student choreographers. Student choreographers must participate in auditions, weekly rehearsals, works-in-progress showings, technical rehearsals and performances. Choreographers should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours over the course of the production. Prerequisite: DAN233 (Dance Composition). DAN 184 may be taken for credit only once, but may be audited multiple times. 2 credits, pass/fail.

THE 285 Advanced Theatre Practicum: Stage Management
Th 5:00-6:00pm
Eckelman
This course provides an opportunity for student stage managers of departmental theatre & dance productions to receive credit for their work. Stage managers typically must participate in weekly roundtable discussions with the faculty, auditions, callbacks, production meetings, rehearsals, load-in, technical rehearsals, performances, and strike; specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production. Stage managers should expect to devote a total of 120-200 hours, some of which may be during college breaks, adjacent semesters, weekends, holidays, and other unusual times. At the beginning of each semester, all students involved in departmental productions will be automatically enrolled as auditors in the relevant practicum course(s), and will be given an opportunity to request credit by contacting the instructor. Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 4 credits, pass/fail. Prerequisite: THE 185, or coursework in stage management, or permission of the instructor.

DAN 285 Advanced Dance Practicum: Stage Management
Moffett
This course provides an opportunity for student stage managers to receive credit for their work on the annual departmental dance concert. Student dance stage managers must participate in works-in-progress showings, weekly production meetings, technical rehearsals, and performances; dance stage managers are also invited to participate in weekly SM Roundtable discussions with the faculty and other student stage managers. Specific duties are determined based on the needs of the production, but typically include: planning & executing concert logistics, creating organizational production documents, calling lighting & sound cues, and working closely with the artistic and production managers to ensure a successful production. Stage managers should expect to devote a total of 60-100 hours over the course of the production, some of which may be during college breaks, weekends, holidays, late evenings, and other unusual times. This course is open to dance minors and non-minors.
Practicum courses may each be taken for credit only once, although students are encouraged to participate in as many departmental productions as they wish. 2 credits, pass/fail. Prerequisite: Any 100-level Theatre/Dance practicum course (THE/DAN 181-185), or coursework in stage management, or permission of the instructor.