Theatre Course Descriptions

Theatre 110 - Introduction to Theatre

Full course for one semester. This course provides a creative and critical introduction to the major disciplines of theatre art: acting, criticism, design, directing, and playwriting as well as a brief overview of theatre history. Students will examine dramatic texts from a theatrical standpoint, attend and review theatre performances, and participate in performance activities. Lecture-conference.

Theatre 161 - Creative Ensemble

One-half course for one semester. We will undertake intensive work in resolving acting and production problems, addressing problems of style, and developing techniques fundamental to performance. Conference and laboratory leading to performance and followed by written evaluation. Theatre 210 recommended. Offered on a credit/no credit basis only. May be repeated for credit, with departmental approval. Prerequisite: audition or interview. Conference-lab.

Theatre 162 - Stagecraft

Zero units for one semester. Students will perform a minimum of 20 hours in a technical support capacity—set, light, costume, make-up, construction, running crew, or design in a department-sponsored production. Completion of this course will constitute partial fulfillment of the department crew requirement. Credit/no credit only. Lab.

Theatre 205 - Design for the Theatre

One-half course for each semester. This course is an introduction to production design that emphasizes problem analysis and design conceptualization with reference to historical and modern practices and technologies. Topics will include stage lighting, scenery, sound, costume, mask, and makeup. Check with the instructor of each section for specific course content. All four sections may be taken for credit and, with the approval of the department and satisfactory completion of any one section, the course may be repeated as an advanced practicum-tutorial. Prerequisite: Theatre 110, 161, 162, or interest demonstrated through prior work in high school or community theatre. Conference-lab-tutorial.

Theatre 206 - Design for the Theatre

One-half course for each semester. This course is an introduction to production design that emphasizes problem analysis and design conceptualization with reference to historical and modern practices and technologies. Topics will include stage lighting, scenery, sound, costume, mask, and makeup. Check with the instructor of each section for specific course content. All four sections may be taken for credit and, with the approval of the department and satisfactory completion of any one section, the course may be repeated as an advanced practicum-tutorial. Prerequisite: Theatre 110, 161, 162, or interest demonstrated through prior work in high school or community theatre. Conference-lab-tutorial.

Theatre 210 - Acting Laboratory

One-half course for one semester. This course is an experiential analysis of the basic physical, vocal, and analytical tools of the actor’s craft through group and individual exercises, audition monologues and scenes. It also provides a basic introduction to the work of Stanislavski. Conference-lab.

Theatre 240 - Studies in American Theatre

Full course for one semester. We will examine the development of American theatre from its eighteenth century origins to the present. A central focus will be the plays of American dramatists; attention will also be given to the evolution of indigenous theatrical forms (the minstrel show, the musical) and to significant European scenic and literary concepts and approaches to acting technique that have been absorbed into American stage practice. Lecture-conference. Offered alternate years. Not offered 2006-07.

Theatre 247 - American Musical Theatre

See Music 247 for description.


Music 247 Description

Theatre 250 - Plays and Playhouses

Full course for one semester. This course will emphasize the study of dramatic form within the larger framework of the theatre as a cultural institution. Texts will be placed in a historical context in order to consider the evolving contingent relationships affecting the practitioners of theatre, the audiences they are responsive to, and the physical aspects of performance. Lecture-conference. Offered alternate years.

Theatre 260 - Experimental Theatre in the Twentieth Century

Full course for one semester. This course surveys developments in twentieth century European and American experimental theatre by examining the work of influential directors, playwrights, designers, theorists, and theatre collectives. Changing views of the theatre’s aesthetic and social functions will be explored. Special topics will include the rise of the director, the evolution of theatrical space, models of theatrical organization, and the role of the avant-garde. Lecture-conference. Offered alternate years. Not offered 2006-07.

Theatre 270 - Intercultural Experiments in Theatre

Full course for one semester. Many Western theatre practitioners have drawn inspiration from Eastern theatre traditions, Yeats (Noh theatre), Brecht (Chinese opera), and Artaud (Balinese theatre) among them. We will examine various cross-fertilizations as well as contemporary issues of interculturalism in the theatre. In addition, we will examine plays that have as their focus questions of cultural identity. Conference. Offered alternate years.

Theatre 310 - Techniques of Acting: Contemporary Theatre

Full course for one semester. We will examine the theory and practice of approaches to acting in “period plays” performed in contemporary theatres. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the motivation for stylization and the development of physical and vocal skill necessary to successful performance. Scenes will be selected from a repertoire including commedia dell’arte , comedy of manners, and Elizabethan and Greek theatre. Maximum 16 students. Prerequisite: Theatre 210, or equivalent experience with audition, or approval by the instructor. Conference-performance lab. Offered alternate years.

Theatre 320 - Techniques of Acting: Style

Full course for one semester. We will examine the theory and practice of approaches to acting in "period plays" performed in contemporary theatres. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the motivation for stylization and the development of physical and vocal skill necessary to successful performance. Scenes will be selected from a repertoire including commedia dell’arte , comedy of manners, and Elizabethan and Greek theatre. Maximum 16 students. Prerequisite: Theatre 210, or equivalent experience with audition, or approval by the instructor. Conference-performance lab. Offered alternate years. Not offered 2005-06.

Theatre 331 - Directing I: Production Concept

Full course for one semester. An investigation of approaches to script analysis for the director and the examination of texts within a theatrical framework. From this study the student proceeds to an exploration of the director’s production concept, its formulation through analysis and rehearsal processes, and realization in theatrical terms through performance. Conference-lab.

Theatre 332 - Directing Techniques: Contemporary Drama

Full course for one semester. Students will do advanced work in directing with emphasis on interpretive and performance techniques requisite for the staging of contemporary drama. Specific focus is given to the Epic Theatre of Brecht or the absurdist drama of Beckett and Ionesco. Readings by contemporary theorists and practitioners relevant to the special topics. Prerequisite: Theatre 331 or comparable academic preparation. Conference-lab. Not offered 2006-07.

Theatre 334 - Special Problems in Directing

Full course for one semester. This course is an advanced study that will focus on the problems of theatrical style, with attention given to verse drama (Shakespeare, Molière), early realism (Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw), or varieties of the comic. The course is introduced with background and reading relevant to the special topics. Prerequisite: Theatre 331 or comparable preparation. Conference-lab. 

Theatre 395 - Seminar

One-half or full course for each semester. Students will perform advanced work in a selected area of inquiry. The course may include but is not limited to preparation of roles, directing of scenes or plays, and experimentation in performance theories and script writing. Scripts, criticism, and artistic problems will be dealt with in an attempt to arrive at a creative synthesis. Prerequisite: prior coursework in the department. Conference-lab. The topic for 2006-07 is:

Advanced Playwriting —One-half course for one semester. Developing original scripts for performance. Weekly written projects leading to completion of two short plays. Prerequisite: completion of at least one theatre course or admission through approved writing sample.

Theatre 396 - Seminar

One-half or full course for each semester. Students will perform advanced work in a selected area of inquiry. The course may include but is not limited to preparation of roles, directing of scenes or plays, and experimentation in performance theories and script writing. Scripts, criticism, and artistic problems will be dealt with in an attempt to arrive at a creative synthesis. Prerequisite: prior coursework in the department. Conference-lab. The topic for 2006-07 is:

Advanced Playwriting —One-half course for one semester. Developing original scripts for performance. Weekly written projects leading to completion of two short plays. Prerequisite: completion of at least one theatre course or admission through approved writing sample.

Theatre 470 - Thesis

Full course for one year.

Theatre 481 - Independent Study

One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.




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