Theatre Studies Course Descriptions
- THEA 100. The Wonder of Dance (SPST114)
Credits: 4. This course is an introduction to many aspects of dance. Students develop an awareness and appreciation for dance as art and expression through an exploration of history, contemporary trends, social themes, personalities, sample dance class experiences and choreographic projects. Fulfills arts and diversity in the U.S. requirements.
- THEA 101. Modern Dance I (SPST112)
Credits: 2. An introduction to the art of modern dance, designed for students with little or no dance or modern experience. This dance form, with its philosophy based in the expression of personal and contemporary social concerns, will explore various movement techniques including those of Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, Doris Humphrey and Jose Limon.
- THEA 103. Beginning Ballet (SPST110)
Credits: 2. This is a beginning-level course for students with little or no dance or ballet experience. Students will explore the beauty and power of this art through the study of technique at the barre, learning the French terminology, the critical viewing of live concerts and performing in a semester-end showing.
- THEA 104. Jazz Dance (SPST111)
Credits: 2. This is an introduction to the art of jazz dance, designed as a continuing study of the technique introduced in 101 and 103. The emphasis of the course is on style and the acquisition of an explosive performance quality; technical studies will include isolations, turns, placement and strengthening. Prerequisites: THEA 101/SPST 112 or THEA 103/SPST 110.
- THEA 110. Introduction to Theatre
Credits: 4. Introduces and explores the methods of the entire collaborative creative process by which theatre is made. Focuses on text selection, text analysis, theater history, directing, casting, acting, design (set, costume and lighting), props, stage management, marketing, house management and box office. The outcome of the class is a gallery of the students’ textual and visual work. Fulfills the arts requirement.
- THEA 111. Backstage Production
Credits: 4. Explores methods of theatre stage craft through experiential learning. Students work directly in support of a department production as both individuals and members of a collaborative team. Focuses on the elements of planning, drafting, tools, and scenic construction. Limited outside reading, but laboratory work required outside class time. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 125. Acting 1:Basic Tools
Credits: 4. Explores the challenges facing actors of realistic drama: living truthfully within a play’s specific imaginary world. Focuses on the ability to discern, define and embody given circumstances, dramatic action and character. Special emphasis on goals, obstacles, tactics and expectations. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 126. Acting 1: Acting in Song
Credits: Explores the relationship of singing to the process of acting, examining the dramatic intenstion of a vocal line, including phrasing and test, and its interaction with the full musical score as both relate to the fundamentals of acting technique, particularly circumstances, inner monologue, and action. Assignments include solos, duets, and scene work. Equally suitable for singers seeking to understand acting and actors seeking increased comfort with singing. Course fee: $100 for accompanist. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 130. Theatre and Culture I
Credits: 4. Study of Western theatre from the Greeks through the English Renaissance. Examines play texts and theatre architecture as primary source documents that reflect the artistic, philosophical, political and social contexts of a particular cultural moment in history. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 131. Theatre and Culture II
Credits: 4. Study of Western theatre from the late Renaissance through the present. Examines play and theatre architecture as primary source documents that reflect the artistic, philosophical, political and social contexts of a particular cultural moment in history. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 150. Special Topics
Credits: 4. May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.
- THEA 151. HP:The Birth of the Avant-Garde (ENGL 151)
Credits: 4. Traces the evolution of literary and performance styles from realism/naturalism to the avant-garde movements at the turn of 20th-century Europe: symbolism, futurism, dadaism, surrealism and expressionism. Links each style to social forces, music, art, important people, ideas and watershed events. Fulfills historical perspectives requirement.
- THEA 152. HP:America and Its Musicals: 1900-1975 (MUS 152)
Credits: 4. Traces development of the American musical theatre from 1900 to 1975 with a primary focus on the years of significant transformation that begin in 1940. Studies the art from sociological, political, cultural, economic, artistic and historic perspectives. Analyzes individual artists and productions that have influenced and been influenced by the evolving American national identity. Fulfills historical perspectives requirement.
- THEA 161. Masterpieces of the Cinema
Credits: 4. Exploration of film as an art form that visually represents ideas under the influence of a single person, group of creative people or society and culture. Introduces basic film terminology and analytical techniques used for contemplation of a film and its basic components. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 171. Introduction to Theatrical Design
Credits: 4. Introduction to the principles and techniques of theatrical design. Develops the basic core of knowledge needed to create informed designs that manifest a “world” in which the performance of a playscript can take place. Includes units on scenery, costumes, lights and sound. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 190. Mainstage Actor
Credits: 1-4. Academic credit for work on a department production. CR/NC.
- THEA 195. Mainstage Tech
Credits: 1-4. Academic credit for work on a department production. CR/NC.
- THEA 201. Modern Dance II (SPST113)
Credits: 2. This course is intended for students who have already experienced dance, with a continuation of concepts and technique from 101, 102 and 103. In addition to the critical viewing of works, this course emphasizes the expansion of one’s classical movement vocabulary and the discovery of one’s own performance quality. Prerequisites: THEA 101/SPST 112 and THEA 104/SPST 111 or instructor permission.
- THEA 204. Choreography (SPST115)
Credits: 4. This course is a formal introduction to the art of dance composition. It is designed for students that have had previous dance experiences in technique, the creative process leading to performance and the critical viewing of works; for students working toward a minor in dance, it is preferred that this be the final course completed. Prerequisite: SPST 114 or THEA 100. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 211. Technical Productions
Credits: 4. Explores methods of theatre stage craft through experiential learning and individual projects. Students choose specific areas that they wish to focus on for the duration of the semester. Personal projects will be assigned, along with work that will contribute directly towards the department production. Focuses on the categories of theatrical carpentry, paint, props, sound, lights, and costumes. Class fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 215. Play Analysis (ENGL215)
Credits: 4. Explores the methodology of script analysis used by actors, designers and directors as they prepare to execute a stage production. Students also develop the interpretive skills needed by artists working in a theatre that responds to and addresses issues of oppression and social justice. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 and Historical Perspectives. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- THEA 227. Acting 2: Playing the Action
Credits: 4.Examines the pursuit of objectives through interactions with onstage scene partners. Techniques explored include, but are not limited to, sending and receiving; eliciting response; identifying progressive change in oneself through what is received from the partner. Exercises investigate action utilizing repetition, speech, song, gibberish, physicalization and improvisation. Scene work concentrates on American realism. Prerequisite: THEA 125.
- THEA 228. Acting 2: Creating the World
Credits: 4. Explores the work of the actor in reorganizing the self into another human being existing in the circumstances and world of the play. Includes work on sense memory and sensory endowment to bring moment-to-moment physical life to an environment; the discovery and development of immediate and historic given circumstances from textual clues. Prerequisites: THEA 125 and THEA 215.
- THEA 229. Acting 2: Voice and Diction
Credits: 4. Development of the expressive potential of human sound (voice) and speech (diction). Vocal work focuses on breath support and control, grounding, resonance and the role of the voice in the creation and communication of meaning; speech work includes exercises in articulation, use of heightened text and work with dialects and accents. Prerequisite: THEA 125.
- THEA 244. Playwriting Workshop (ENGL210)
Credits: 4. Twelve weekly scenes read and critiqued in class and a one-act play as a final project. Exploration of various elements of playwriting such as conflict, manipulation of chronology, life studies, character exposition and development, "found" language, passive participation in and transcription of actual events.
- THEA 260. Independent Study
Credits: 1-4. May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels. Independent research or directed study for exceptional students with strong interest in particular areas of dramatic literature, theatre history, design, technical production, acting, directing or performance theory.
- THEA 262. Gay and Lesbian Cinema
Credits: 4. Study of the impact cinematic representation has on attitudes towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans. Engages students in conceptual analysis of films and mass media using theories of representation, authenticity and identity construction. Fulfills arts and diversity in the U.S. requirements.
- THEA 265. Artistry in Film
Credits: 4. Study of the major aesthetic elements in film and video production–light, space, time-motion and sound. Develops the knowledge and skill to select and apply those aesthetic elements in order to help translate significant ideas into significant visual messages quickly and effectively. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 271. Set Design
Credits: 4. Develops an understanding of the principles and processes of set design for the stage. Explores how this design area echoes and utilizes other art forms and functions in relation to theatre production as a whole; emphasis on spatial aesthetics, critical analysis, creative interpretation, research for design, conceptual collaboration and the oral, written and graphic communication of the design idea. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 272. Digital Sound Design
Credits: 4. Exploration of sound design in theater and the psychological impact it can have on an audience during a live performance. Topics of discussion include the role of the sound designer, sound reinforcement systems, mixing, editing and playback for film as well as live events. Fulfills arts requirement. THEA 171 is recommened, but not required.
- THEA 273. Lighting Design
Credits: 4. Examination of the power of light and the ways in which it shapes audience perceptions of a staged performance. Focus on basic elements of light, especially composition and mood, and the manner in which each supports the "ruling idea" of a play. Includes exploration of the technical dimensions of design: instructmental, the drawing board, and computer lighting control. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 274. Digital Graphic Design (CTIS 274)
Credits: 4. Introduction to basic principles and elements of graphic design, form / symbol development, color theory and typography. Provides practical experience in essential software processes and procedures including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Develops facility with the tool pallets and art boards for each program and comfort with visual methodology. Students will become aware of "good" graphic design through the creation of original digital designs followed by critiques and group discussions. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 275. Costume Design
Credits: 4. Develops an understanding of the principles and processes of costume design for the stage. Exercises and projects explore gesture, movement, clothing, accessories, hair and makeup as physical manifestations of dramatic character. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 290. Internship
Credits: 1-4. Internships in the professional theatre are strongly encouraged. May be applied to the practicum requirement where appropriate. May also be offered at the 390 level.
- THEA 295. Practicum
Credits: 1-4. Theoretical and practical work in one of the following areas: costuming, lighting, sound, properties management, makeup, scene painting, box office, house management, publicity, film festival staff and stage management. All practicums include work on a mainstage production with documentation of outcomes presented in a digital portfolio. Prerequisite: THEA 111.
- THEA 320. Acting 3: Shakespeare
Credits: 4. Explores the relationship of Shakespeare’s uses of language and form to action and acting, bringing the self to the specific demands of formally structured material and identifying the tools for action-playing in various text structures and styles. Prerequisites: THEA 125, THEA 229 and either THEA 227 or THEA 228.
- THEA 325. Acting 3: Modern Realism
Credits: 4. Synthesizes the tools acquired from previous acting classes into a coherent, integrated, and systematic approach to creating a role in scenes and monologues. Focus on tools of action, imagination, and the senses in the context of detailed actor’s analysis. Prerequisites: THEA 125, and either THEA 227 or THEA 228.
- THEA 361. Narrative Film Production
Credits: 4. Study and practice of the narrative film production process from screenwriting to postproduction, utilizing skills in video and audio acquisition, lighting and editing systems. Students develop skills in aesthetic development, storytelling and evaluation through examples and applications in filmmaking based on a narrative story.
- THEA 365. Documentary Film Production
Credits: 4. Study and practice of documentary production and post-production utilizing video and audio acquisition and editing systems as well as the development of aesthetic as well as technical capabilities through lecture and hands-on experience. Fulfills arts requirement.
- THEA 366. Filmmaking Capstone
Credits: 1. The practice of narrative, experimental or documentary film production from preproduction to postproduction, utilizing skills developed throughout the student’s experience in the film concentration. Students produce a semester-long project utilizing a defined film concept from narrative or documentary genres.
- THEA 381. Play Direction
Credits: 4. Explores the "choice-making" process of creative play direction. Exercises in interpretation of a playscript, actor coaching, ground plans, composition, picturization, movement and formulation of a production "concept." Prerequisites: THEA 125, THEA 171 and THEA 215.
- THEA 470. Senior Thesis
Credits: 4. A required performance or production capstone project in a student’s specific track or area of expertise as determined by faculty in consultation with the student, drawing on the cumulative academic experience in theatre and emphasizing issues of collaboration and ensemble. Involves pre-production preparation, execution of a production assignment in either the fall or spring semester as an actor, dramaturg, or technical, documentation of work in a portfolio, and post-production self assessment and oral defense.
- THEA 490. Departmental Honors