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2014-2016 COURSE CATALOGUE : THEATRE

The Theatre Department is dedicated to providing for the intellectual and artistic needs of all members of the community interested in exploring theatre as a liberal art. The Department offers a variety of academic and co-curricular (production) experiences which provide students with opportunities to learn about both the theoretical and artistic dimensions of theatrical performance, production, literature and history. In addition to offering a major and two minors (one disciplinary and one interdisciplinary) the Department also produces three main stage faculty-directed shows per year on campus.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR
disciplinary, 12 courses, 11 credits
At least 12 courses including THTR 100, THTR 130, THTR 220, THTR 320, THTR 490 and two semesters of THTR 900; three electives in theatre which constitute a concentration in either acting, theatre production, theatre history/literature/theory, or theatre of/for social change; two additional electives in Theatre or from the list of cross-listed courses listed below. Electives will be selected in consultation with the advisor.  No more than three courses may be at the 100-level and at least six courses must be at the 300-level or above (two of which are the two T-900 half credits). The major may include no more than one independent study and no more than two courses from outside the department.  All courses (except THTR 900) must be completed with a C- or better and six courses must be unique to the major.

Courses in Theatre
THTR 100 From Page to Stage
THTR 130 Acting One
THTR 160 Stagecraft
THTR 220 Theatre History One
THTR 280 Stage Management
THTR 290 Theatre for Social Change
THTR 295 The Performing Arts of Bali
THTR 300 American Drama
THTR 308 American Experimental Theatres
THTR 309 Feminist Theatre
THTR 310 African American Theatre
THTR 315 Modern European Drama
THTR 320 Theatre History Two
THTR 325 Modern Drama
THTR 330 Acting Two
THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance
THTR 340 Advanced Acting Styles
THTR 360 Lighting
THTR 380 Playwriting
THTR 424 Writing about Performance
THTR 450 Independent Study
THTR 480 Directing
THTR 490 Senior Capstone
THTR 495 Honors
THTR 900 Theatre Production Practicum

Crosslisted Courses
CLAS 108 Greek Tragedy
CLAS 213 Ancient Comedy and Satire
CLAS 275 Advanced Topics in Greek Tragedy
DAN 140 Dance Ensemble
DAN 210 Dance History I
DAN 212 Dance History II
DAN 250 Improvisation
DAN 325 Movement Analysis: Laban Studies
DAN/DAT 900 Beginning Dance—Jazz/Ballet/Modern
DAN/DAT 905 Beginning Technique: Body and Self
DAN/DAT 910 Beginning Ballet I
DAN/DAT 915 Beginning Modern Dance I
DAN/DAT 940 Beginning Jazz
EDUC 220 Storytelling
EDUC 301 Drama in Developmental Context
ENG 233 Medieval Drama
ENG 236 Shakespeare: Histories and Comedies
ENG 237 Shakespeare: Tragedies
ENG 317 Shakespearean Adaptation
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare and the Play of History
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare’s Problems
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Roman Thoughts: Shakespeare and Roman History
FRNE 255 Modern French Theatre
MUS 206 Opera as Drama
SPAN 355 Contemporary Theater: Innovations in Hispanic Drama
SPNE 322 Theatre and Social Change in Latin America
WMST 213 Transnational Feminism
WMST 218:  Queer Representation in Theatre and Film
WMST 219:  Black Feminism and Theatre

Appropriate courses for each concentration include:

Acting
THTR 290 Theatre for Social Change        
THTR 295 The Performing Arts of Bali      
THTR 330 Acting Two                                   
THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance  
THTR 340 Advanced Acting Styles (may be repeated for credit)

Theatre Production
THTR 160 Stagecraft                                    
THTR 280 Stage Management                               
THTR 360 Lighting                                        
THTR 380 Playwriting                                  
THTR 480 Directing

Theatre History/Literature/Theory               
THTR 300 American Drama                        
THTR 308 American Experimental Theatres       
THTR 309 Feminist Theatre                                   
THTR 310 African American Theatre                    
THTR 315 Modern European Drama                     
THTR 325 Modern Drama
THTR 424 Writing about Performance

Theatre of/for Social Change
THTR 290 Theatre for Social Change
THTR 309 Feminist Theatre                                   
THTR 310 African American Theatre
THTR 380 Playwriting
THTR 480 Directing  

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DISCIPLINARY MINOR
6 courses, 5.5 or 6 credits
At least 6 courses including THTR 100, THTR 130, three elective courses in theatre selected from the two groups of courses below, and either THTR 900 or an additional elective. At least one of the electives must be from the Dramatic Literature, History, and Theory Group and at least one must be from the Theatre Production and Performance Group. Additional electives may be taken from either group.  All courses must be in Theatre. At least three courses must be at the 200-level or above and at least three courses must be unique to the minor. The minor may include no more than one independent study in theatre. All courses (except THTR 900) must be completed with a C- or better.

Dramatic Literature, History, and Theory
THTR 220 Theatre History I                        
THTR 300 American Drama                        
THTR 308 American Experimental Theatre         
THTR 309 Feminist Theatre                                   
THTR 310 African American Theatre                                
THTR 320 Theatre History I            
THTR 325 Modern Drama
THTR 424 Writing about Performance

Theatrical Production and Performance
THTR 160 Introduction to Stage Craft                               
THTR 280 Stage Management       
THTR 290 Theatre for Social Change        
THTR 295 The Performing Arts of Bali      
THTR 330 Acting II                           
THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance  
THTR 340 Advanced Acting Styles             
THTR 360 Lighting Design                                      
THTR 370 Playwriting                                  
THTR 480 Directing                                      
THTR 490 Senior Capstone

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INTERDISCIPLINARY MINOR
6 courses, 5.5 or 6 credits
At least 6 courses including THTR 100, THTR 130, three elective courses in theatre selected from the two groups of courses below, and either THTR 900 or an additional elective. At least one of the electives must be from the Dramatic Literature, History, and Theory Group and at least one must be from the Theatre Production and Performance Group. Additional electives may be taken from either group. At least two and no more than three of the elective courses must be outside of Theatre.  At least three courses must be at the 200-level or above and at least three courses must be unique to the minor. The minor may include no more than one independent study. All courses (except THTR 900) must be completed with a C- or better.

Dramatic Literature, History, and Theory
CLAS 108 Greek Tragedy
CLAS 213 Ancient Comedy and Satire
CLAS 275 Advanced Topics in Greek Tragedy
DAN 210 Dance History I
DAN 212 Dance History II
ENG 233 Medieval Drama
ENG 236 Shakespeare: Histories and Comedies
ENG 237 Shakespeare: Tragedies
ENG 317 Shakespearean Adaptation
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare and the Play of History
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare’s Problems
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Roman Thoughts: Shakespeare and Roman History
FRE 255 Modern French Theatre
MUS 206 Opera as Drama
SPAN 355 Contemporary Theater: Innovations in Hispanic Drama
SPNE 322 Theatre and Social Change in Latin America
WMST 213 Transnational Feminism
WMST 218:  Queer Representation in Theatre and Film
WMST 219:  Black Feminism and Theatre
THTR 220 Theatre History I
THTR 300 American Drama
THTR 308 American Experimental Theatre
THTR 309 Feminist Theatre
THTR 310 African American Theatre
THTR 320 Theatre History II
THTR 325 Modern Drama
THTR 424 Writing about Performance

Theatrical Production and Performance
DAN 110 Introduction to Global Cultures
DAN 140 Dance Ensemble
DAN 250 Improvisation
DAN 325 Movement Analysis: Laban Studies
DAN/DAT 900 Beginning Dance—Jazz/Ballet/Modern
DAN 907 Introduction to Jamaican Dance
DAN/DAT 910 Beginning Ballet I
DAN/DAT 915 Beginning Modern Dance I
DAN/DAT 940 Beginning Jazz
EDUC 220 Storytelling
EDUC 301 Drama in Developmental Context
THTR 160 Introduction to Stage Craft
THTR 280 Stage Management (Proposal Forthcoming)
THTR 290 Theatre for Social Change
THTR 295 The Performing Arts of Bali
THTR 330 Acting Two
THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance  
THTR 340 Advanced Acting Styles
THTR 360 Lighting
THTR 370 Playwriting
THTR 480 Directing

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
THTR 100 From Page to Stage This course will teach students how to analyze and break down dramatic literature in order to create a blueprint for production choices. Students will engage in the close examination of literature in varied styles, regions, and historical periods from the points of view of theatre practitioners (actors, directors, and designers), learning diverse techniques of analysis in the process. These techniques include the study of plot structure, character analysis, internal and external actions, conflict, rhythm, and idea/theme. This course encourages students to consider the links between other periods and our own, and the ways in which detailed readings of dramatic literature inform the communicative and aesthetic power of the performed text. (May, offered every Fall)

THTR 120 Introduction to Dramatic Literature How is reading a play different from reading other forms of literature? How do the realities of theatrical production challenge us to think about reading and interpretation differently? We will look at playtexts from the perspective of the designer, actor, and director. Readings will range widely, from Asian to European, “classic” to contemporary. (Staff, offered occasionally)

THTR 130 Acting I Non-actors often ask actors “how do you learn all those lines,” thinking that the memorization process is the bulk of what it is to be an actor. This course will work to demystify the acting process and to introduce the beginning student to the craft of acting through the use of improvisation, theatre games, acting exercises, monologues and scene work. Instead of simply relying on their instincts, students will learn how to craft a performance through careful analysis of the character and the script with a special emphasis placed objective/action-based acting. Time will also be spent discussing how the techniques we learn about acting can help us in our pursuit of accomplishment in other professional settings such as job interviews, business presentations and public speeches.  Our class will progress through the semester to a final presentation that will be open to the public. This course is a prerequisite for all other courses in acting and directing. (Hatch, May, offered every semester)

THTR 160 Introduction to Stage Craft This is a lecture/laboratory course which will provide students with a practical overview of the fundamentals of design and stagecraft for the theater. Students will explore the relationships between production values and stagecraft via weekly readings and lecture/discussions. In addition, they will complete a weekly lab (and two weekend labs) in which they will work in Bartlett Theatre and in the Theatre shop working on current faculty-directed productions. Students will receive hands-on experience with set construction and will learn how to safely and effectively manipulate all theatrical production systems (lighting, rigging, audio, etc.) in an expressive manner. (Burd, spring, alternate years)

THTR 220 Theatre History I Through an examination of the people, events, works, documents, institutions, and social conditions of the theatrical past, this course will explore the development of theatre from the fifth century B.C.E. to approximately 1700 C.E. Students will be introduced to the theoretical issues surrounding the writing of history as well as research practices and opportunities in the field of theatre history. Students will interpret salient dramatic and theoretical texts and illustrate the ways in which these texts connect to the making of theatre as well as the ways in which theatre shapes and reflects larger culture(s). Over the course of this semester, students will explore pivotal moments in theatre history including Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, Classical Japan, Yuan China, Early Modern England, Renaissance Italy, Neoclassical France, the Spanish Golden Age, and Restoration England. Students will engage with historic material in a wide array of modes including research, writing, performance, and design. (Woodworth, offered every Spring)

THTR 280 Stage Management In his seminal book The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management, Thomas A. Kelly describes stage managers as “responsible and adaptable communicators who have the ability to handle and coordinate diverse groups of artistic personalities with tactful discipline and a sense of humor. They establish a creative environment by combining the ability to prioritize and anticipate and solve problems, with calm sensitivity and grace under pressure. Their ability to do the above stems from organizational ability, acquired technical knowledge…, familiarity with union requirements, and an inspirational personality that creates positive energy.” This class examines the way in which stage managers fulfill these wide-ranging duties, studying the process of stage management from pre-production to closing night. Stage Management emphasizes practical knowledge and skill development, through case studies, generation of a prompt book for a hypothetical production, and the observation of the rehearsal process as it is practiced at the collegiate and professional levels. (May, offered every other year)
 
THTR 290 Theatre for Social Change Due to the intimate and immediate relationship between theatre practitioners and audiences, theatre has been employed as a means of encouraging social action since the beginning of its history. As far back as 411 BCE, Aristophanes used the City Dionysia to reach massive and influential audiences with his anti-war play Lysistrata. Although contemporary theatre is typically associated with commercial success stories such as those on Broadway, the tradition of using theatre to inspire social change continues across the world, often outside of mainstream theatre spaces and in places as diverse as corporate boardrooms and city street corners. This course will introduce students to a variety of movements, practitioners, and approaches to creating theatre that encourage communities to work outside of dominant (and often violent/repressive) structures to instigate social change. Although such work has happened through critical stagings of classical texts such as Lysistrata, this course will emphasize the work being done by those who put the primary emphasis on social justice, with a secondary concentration on theatre – in other words, those who see theatre specifically as a vehicle for social change and alter their craft in order to best service this goal. Theatre for Social Change will combine traditional academic approaches (reading, writing, etc.) with giving students the practical experience of collaborating together to create a short piece of theatre meant to provoke social change on the HWS campus. In keeping with the democratic spirit of theatre for social change, in which all participants are viewed as bringing something to the table, no performance experience is required for this course (May, offered every other year)

THTR 295 The Performing Arts in Balinese Culture This course will be a three week intensive exploration into the rich performing arts tradition of Bali, Indonesia. Students will be immersed in various aspects of Balinese performing arts including Dance, Masked Performance, Traditional Instrument Performance, Shadow Puppetry, and Mask Carving. Courses will be Taught alongside master artists at the Mekar Bhuana conservatory in Depansar, Bali. This conservatory will serve us particularly well due to their mission to uphold the ways of traditional Balinese performing arts rather than what is becoming a more tourist-centric morphing of many of the traditional forms. Studio work will be supplemented with attendance at profession productions of different Balinese performing arts allowing students to see what they are studying at a professional level and allowing them to learn and experience how ingrained the performing arts are in other aspects of Balinese culture. Planned excursions will also take us to visit various crafts-people throughout the region allowing us to see how Balinese instruments, masks, and puppets are made. (Hatch, J-Term, alternate years)

THTR 300 American Drama This course studies the history of dramatic literature and theatrical performance from the early 20th century, with the plays of Rachel Crothers, Eugene O’Neill and Susan Glaspell, to the present, with the theatrical experiments of the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre and the Wooster Group. The course traces the development of dramatic forms, theatrical organizations, and changing styles in directing, acting and design. (Woodworth, offered every three years)

THTR 308 American Experimental Theatre What does it mean to be an experimental theatre artist in the United States? This course seeks to answer that question through an exploration of iconoclast artists and ensembles that challenged the status quo in theatrical production, offering new paradigms for playwriting, destabilizing conventions of actor training, revolutionizing the role of the director, transforming practices of scenography, and unsettling the audience-performer relationship. This course ranges in scope from the early 20th century grand national experiments of the Little Theatre Movement and the Federal Theatre Project (Unit #1: Foundations) to the radical staging of the Living Theatre and Bread & Puppet in the midst of social and political turmoil of the 60s and 70s (Unit #2: Revolutions) to the multimedia reconceptualizations of contemporary artists The Wooster Group and The Builders Association (Unit #3: Deconstructions). Using dramatic texts, films, digital archives, and performance scholarship students in this course will explore the visionaries, revolutionaries, and troublemakers that established a legacy of experimental performance work in the United States. What are the ramifications of experimentation in the American theatre? How do theatrical experiments both reaffirm and resist narratives of national identity? In what ways might the radical stagings of the past, provide an insight into the experimental theatre of the future?

THTR 309 Feminist Theatre This course will survey twentieth and twenty-first century British and American feminist theatre, focusing on performance texts that address salient concerns of first, second, and third wave feminisms as well as performance modes that trouble such designations. Specifically, this course will examine the oft-marginalized role of women in mainstream commercial theatre both historically and within contemporary contexts. It will also explore the ways in which feminist theatre practitioners work in coalition with other social justice movements such as suffrage, workers’ rights, civil rights, and LGBT rights to create works that resist and/or redefine historically misogynistic modes of performance. The course will explore the ways in which notions of corporeality, intersectionality, poststructuralism, performativity and the gaze have shaped feminist performance traditions. (Woodworth, offered every three years)

THTR 310 African American Theatre Contemporary African American accomplishments in the theatre are often celebrated for their “firsts.” For example, in 2012 African Americans won 4 of 8 Tony awards, an awards season heralded in a New York Times headline as “a landmark Tony awards season for black actors.” Yet the history of African American influence on and in the theatre is rich and deep (in fact, as the Times noted, the same was true in 1982). The legacy of African Americans in theatre in the United States is rarely acknowledged due to cultural amnesia and the predominance of white voices in all fields of theatre, journalism, and scholarship. This course seeks to introduce students to the diverse range of African American voices in the theatre throughout U.S. history. Although the course will briefly contextualize African American productions within the dominant culture’s performance traditions (such as minstrelsy) in order to better understand the profound challenges facing black artists, the overwhelming area of study will be black authors, practitioners, and theorists from the 1900s to the present day. We will primarily access African American theatre through the texts of African American playwrights, since those are the most stable access points we have. Students will, however, also do their own research and presentations on artists in other areas (actors, directors, producers, designers, etc.). (May, offered every three years)

THTR 320 Theatre History II Through an examination of the people, events, works, documents, institutions, and social conditions of the theatrical past, this course will explore the development of theatre from approximately 1700 C.E. to the present. Students will build on the historiographical methodologies pertaining to the writing of history that were introduced in Theatre History I, as well as research practices and opportunities in the field of theatre history. Students will interpret salient dramatic and theoretical texts as well as archival material and illustrate the ways in which these texts connect to the making of theatre as well as the ways in which theatre shapes and reflects larger culture(s). Over the course of this semester, students will explore pivotal moments in theatre history including 18th century Continental Theatre, 18th Century Sentimental and Laughing Comedy and Bourgeois Tragedy, German Romanticism, Chinese Opera, Melodrama, Modern Realism, French Symbolism, the historical avant-garde (Dada, Futurism, Expressionism, Surrealism), Post-War Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, Epic Theatre, and Postmodern Theatre. Students will engage with historic material at an advanced level in a wide array of modes including research, performance, and design. Prerequisite: THTR 220. (Woodworth, offered every Fall)

THTR 325 Modern Drama An investigation of the period of theatrical experimentation and innovation, from  Ibsens’s Peer Gynt to Odon von Horvat’s sardonic dissections of middle class values. This course stresses how these plays communicate their meaning in production, and places the texts in the context of acting, design, directing, and he social functions of the playhouse. (Woodworth)

THTR 330 Acting II An advanced continuation of the skills discovered in Acting I, this course is designed to deepen the student’s understanding of the craft of acting through the use of monologues, scene work, and guided exercises.  Stanislavski technique is highlighted along with some Meisner work.  Students also explore the profession of acting via a unit of audition technique coupled with mock auditions throughout the semester. Students develop an additional understanding about the craft and profession of acting through the use of various acting texts and through conversations with profession actors from around the country. By the end of the semesters each actor will have a repertoire of audition monologues and will participate in a final showing of scenes open to the public. Prerequisite: THTR 130. (Hatch, Spring, alternate years)

THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance A performance-oriented approach to Shakespeare. This class offers a systematic, step-by-step approach on how to uncover and then convey to an audience the meanings of Shakespeare’s texts.  Actors will learn to consider meter, rhythm, rhetoric, and imagery and how they can merge that work with objective/action-based acting learned in THTR 130. Actors quickly discover that Shakespeare is a joy to perform once they know some of the basic tools of Shakespearean performance.  Throughout the semester students work on multiple monologues and scenes with the work culminating in a public performance at the end of the semester.  Prerequisite: THTR 130. (Hatch, Spring, alternate years)

THTR 340 Advanced Acting Styles In Advanced Acting Styles, students will continue to master the skills of the performer developed in Acting I.  Each time the course is offered, a different era, genre, or style of acting will be studied in-depth.  The topic for the course will sometimes be selected to directly compliment a play that will be features in an upcoming main stage production.  Other topics may look to address a lacuna in the regularly offered training. Recent topics have included 20th century Absurdists, movement for the stage, and the plays of Strindberg and Ibsen. This course can be repeated for full credit three times with a different focus each time. Prerequisite: THTR 130. (Hatch, Fall, offered alternate years)

THTR 360 Introduction to Lighting Design This is a lecture/laboratory course in lighting for the stage. We will study elements of design, approaches to script and dance analysis, graphic notation and electrical practice. Students will produce portfolio projects and mount a final project for a performance on campus. Prerequisite: THTR 160. (Burd, Fall, alternate years)

THTR 424 Writing about Performance Insatiable Curiosity. A Point of View. Stamina. The Ability to Write. In 2010, Michael Billington, theatre critic for London’s Guardian newspaper asserted that these were the necessary attributes required of anyone wanting to write theatre criticism. But what does it mean to write about performance in an era when print journalism is waning and the profession of the theatre critic is disappearing?  HOW do we write about performance? In what ways might writing about performance reflect and/or shape the position of theatre within our culture? This course will explore traditional theatre criticism and its inherent challenges of description, interpretation, and evaluation. The course will move beyond this mode of writing, however, in order to explore the intersection of performance writing with cultural studies, archival research, and dramaturgy. Students will complete a portfolio of writing in response to local, regional, and recorded performances. Prerequisite: THTR 100 or 130. (Woodworth, offered every other year.)

THTR 450 Independent Study Consent of instructor required (Staff, offered each semester)

THTR 480 Directing Konstantin Stanislavsky said that "the true director comprises within his own person a director-teacher, a director-artist, a director-writer, [and] a director-administrator." In an attempt to create this multi-faceted artist, students in THTR 480 study the fundamental skills and collaborative processes needed to direct a piece of live theatre, including blocking, script analysis, research methods, approaches to casting, and rehearsal techniques and structures. By the end of the course, successful students will understand and apply theoretical and practical approaches to scene work, with a focus on learning what it takes to take a play from auditions to performance. Students will also learn about approaches to use in a larger collaborative project, including working with designers and stage managers. Students will engage in script analysis, research, blocking, and shaping/working a text. Students will also engage in mock design presentations and other collaborative meetings in order to learn how to collaborate with designers, work with stage managers and production teams, and navigate the professional process. Successful directors have a deep knowledge of all areas of theatre in order to be able to bring out the best work in others and this course expects that enrolled students will have participated in the theatrical process as well as taken a range of theatre courses. Prerequisites: THTR 100 and THTR 130. (May, offered every other year)

THTR 490 Senior Capstone (Pending approval) The Senior Capstone synthesizes the cumulative knowledge that students have amassed in the discipline through a focus on contemporary performance trends and developments in order to help them define the nature of their desired future engagement in the field.  Students will research contemporary theatre companies and practitioners, critics and visionaries, producing agencies, funding institutions, and other relevant organizations in order to learn about the theatrical community that awaits them. Students will draw upon this research to develop a portfolio of their work, giving consideration to the ways in which they wish to present themselves as theatre artists and patrons to the world beyond HWS. Finally, students will work together as artist/scholars to create a collaborative project that best reflects their strengths as a cohort and the message they wish to share with the HWS community. (May, offered every fall)

THTR 495 Honors

THTR 900 Theatre Production This course is a studio-based course on the art and craft of producing theatre. It is open to all students who are cast in, or are part of the production team (which may include actors, designers, stage managers, production crew, etc.) for a faculty directed production. Students will acquire first-hand experience with the process of mounting a play on stage. Students will be involved, as appropriate, given their part in the play, in any and all aspects of the production process, including auditions, rehearsals, production meetings, set construction, and performances. This is a half-credit course which may be taken only once a semester but which may be repeated up to four times. This course must be taken credit/no credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (May, Woodworth, Hatch, offered every semester)