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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 OR one semester of THTR 900 and an additional elective; 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 adviser. No more than three courses may be at the 100-level and at least six courses must be at the 300-level or above (one or two of which are the two THTR 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: Introduction to Script Analysis
THTR 130 Acting I
THTR 160 Stagecraft
THTR 220 Theatre History I
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 II
THTR 325 Modern Drama
THTR 330 Acting II
THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance
THTR 340 Advanced Acting Styles
THTR 360 Lighting
THTR 361 Sound Design for Theatre
THTR 362 Designing for Theatre and Stage
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
ENG 233 Medieval Drama
ENG 236 Shakespeare: Histories and Comedies
ENG 237 Shakespeare: Tragedies
ENG 317 Shakespearean Adaptation
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Roman Thoughts: Shakespeare and Roman History
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare and the Play of History
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare’s Problems
FRNE 255 Modern French Theatre
MUS 206 Opera as Drama
SPN 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 II
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 361 Sound Design for Theatre
THTR 362 Designing for Theatre and Stage
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 II
THTR 325 Modern Drama
THTR 424 Writing about Performance

Theatrical Production and Performance
THTR 160 Stagecraft
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 361 Sound Design for Theatre
THTR 362 Designing for Theatre and Stage
THTR 370 Playwriting
THTR 480 Directing

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: Roman Thoughts: Shakespeare and Roman History
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare and the Play of History
ENG 336 Shakespeare: Topics: Shakespeare’s Problems
FRN 255 Modern French Theatre
MUS 206 Opera as Drama
SPN 355 Contemporary Theater: Innovations in Hispanic Drama
SPNE 322 Theatre and Social Change in Latin America
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 361 Sound Design for Theatre
THTR 362 Designing for Theatre and Stage
THTR 424 Writing about Performance
WMST 213 Transnational Feminism
WMST 218 Queer Representation in Theatre and Film
WMST 219 Black Feminism and Theatre

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
THTR 160 Stagecraft
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
THTR 361 Sound Design for Theatre
THTR 362 Designing for Theatre and Stage
THTR 370 Playwriting
THTR 480 Directing

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
THTR 100 Page to Stage This course teaches students how to analyze dramatic literature in order to create a blueprint for production choices. Students engage in the close examination of literature varied in style, region, and historical period from the points of view of theatre practitioners while learning diverse techniques of analysis. These techniques include the study of plot structure, character analysis, internal and external actions, and idea/theme. This course encourages students to consider links between other periods and our own, become critical consumers of scripted productions, and understand how detailed readings of dramatic literature inform the communicative and aesthetic power of the performed text. (May offered fall semesters)

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, Woodworth, offered each semester)

THTR 160 Introduction to Stagecraft This is a lecture/laboratory course which will provide students with a practical overview of the technical production aspects of live theater and performance. Students will work in the classroom, scene shop and off-stage developing an aptitude in set construction, props, introductory lighting and stage effects as determined by production need. The class focuses on the non-performative aspects of theatre from hands-on skill building to production budgeting. A wide breath of topics are presented thru weekly readings, assignments, video and lecture/discussions. All students complete a weekly lab (and two weekend labs) in which they will work in the McDonald Theatre and scene shop working on the current faculty-directed productions (Hallborg, fall, offered 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 the semester, students will explore pivotal moments in theatre history including Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, Classical India, 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, performance, and design. (Woodworth, offered fall semesters)

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 in the theatre from pre-production to closing night. Students enrolled in Stage Management are expected to have a basic understanding of the theatre and be interested in the production process. (May, spring, offered alternate years)

THTR 290 Theater 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, people continue to use theatre to inspire social change across the world in places as diverse as corporate boardrooms, city street corners, community centers, and on traditional stages. This course introduces 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. This course emphasizes work done by those who emphasize 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. Students read theory and case studies in preparation for a collaborative theatre for social change project designed to instigate social change in the HWS and/or Geneva communities. Due to the nature of this project, students must be able and willing to attend out of class rehearsals. In keeping with the democratic spirit of theatre for social change, in which all participants are viewed as bringing something to the table, performance experience is not required for this course. (May, spring, offered alternate years)

THTR 295 Performing Arts in Bali 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, offered during J-Term or Summer Session when possible.)

THTR 300 American Drama In “Possession,” an essay on playwriting, Suzan-Lori Parks writes, “The history of Literature is in question. And the history of History is in question too. A play is a blueprint of an event: a way of creating and rewriting history through the medium of literature.” Given the history of the United States, it is hardly surprising that the development of American drama is fraught. How have notions of American history and identity been created and rewritten on U.S. stages? In what ways has theatre contributed to the construction of narratives of nationhood? What are the tensions inherent in the study of American theatre history? Through investigations of nationalism, nostalgia, and contestation, students in this course will explore the formation and deconstruction of the canon(s) of American theatre, exploring the work of artists and practitioners from the 19th century through today. (Woodworth, spring, offered every third year)

THTR 308 American Experimental Theatres 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? (Woodworth, offered every third year)

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, fall, offered every third year)

THTR 310 African American Theatre In his epistolary memoir Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, “I went into this investigation imagining history to be a unified narrative, free of debate, which, once uncovered, would simply verify everything I had always suspected. The smokescreen would lift. And the villains who manipulated the schools and the streets would be unmasked. But there was so much to know - so much geography to cover - Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, the United States. And all of these areas had histories, sprawling literary canons, fieldwork, ethnographies. Where should I begin?” In this course, we will begin with the entrepreneurial theatrical pursuits of William Brown in the first half of the 19th century and continue to explore the works of iconic African American theatre artists through the present moment. Through our readings of plays, treatises, manifestos, memoirs, and histories, we will investigate iconic historical moments including the Harlem Renaissance, the New Deal, Civil Rights era, Black Arts Movement, Black Lives Matter, and more. We will, in the spirit of Coates’s quote above, dismantle the notion of history as a “unified narrative” as we uncover the myriad eclectic expressions, varied political standpoints, and distinct aesthetic sensibilities of almost 200 years of African American performance traditions. (Woodworth, spring, offered every third year)

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 files 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, Postmodern Theatre.  Students will engage with historic material at an advanced level in a wide array of modes including research, performance, and design. (Woodworth, offered spring semesters)

THTR 330 Acting II A continuation of the skills discovered in Acting I, this course is designed to deepen the student's understanding of the craft of acting through a dual focus on an enhanced understanding of Stanislavski-based acting techniques and an exploration into the overall profession of acting. Students work on multiple scenes, hone their audition technique, explore various voice and movement exercises, and examine aspects of the profession of acting. The course culminates with a class showcase of scenes and monologues from throughout the semester. Prerequisite: Theatre 130. (Hatch, spring, offered alternate years)

THTR 335 Shakespearean Performance A performance-oriented approach to Shakespeare.  Starting with short monologues, actors will learn tools to consider meter, rhythm, intentions, and imagery as they bring Shakespeare’s texts to life. Students will work on multiple monologues, a short scene, and a final performance the latter of which will be open to guests. No previous experience with Shakespeare is required to be successful in this class! Prerequisite: Theatre 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 another topic not regularly offered in the Department’s training. Recent topics have included devised theatre, movement for the stage, comedic acting, and the plays of Strindberg and Ibsen. This course can be repeated for full credit three times with a different focus each time. Prerequisite: Theatre 130 or permission of instructor. (Hatch, Woodworth, May, offered alternate years)

THTR 360 Introduction to Lighting Design This is a lecture/laboratory course in lighting for the stage. Students study elements of design, approaches to theatrical script and dance analysis. It examines the operation of lighting instruments and equipment. Students will produce portfolio projects and execute a lighting plan in conjunction with a live performance on campus. Prerequisite: THTR 160 or permission of instructor. (Hallborg, fall, offered alternate years)

THTR 361 Sound Design for Theatre Sound Design for Theatre is lecture/laboratory course that will provide an introduction to fundamental concepts of acoustics, sound reproduction and reinforcement.  Students will study essential elements of sound design as it applies to theatre including script analysis, creating sound plots, obtaining and creating sound elements, show control, and operating intercom systems.  Students will apply what they have learned in the course to develop a final portfolio project to be presented in class. (Staff, offered occasionally)

THTR 362 Designing for Theatre and Stage An overview of the design principles and process that guide contemporary theatre productions. This course follows up on production concepts introduced in Theatre 160. Topics will include an introduction to 2d and 3d design elements, CAD modeling and script analysis. The roles of scenic, lighting, costume and sound design are explored for their individual Impact on a production concept. The final project asks students to attend simulated production meetings and create a full design concept, cue lists, and color renderings for a script. Prerequisite: THTR 160 or permission of instructor. (Hallborg, fall, offered alternate years)

THTR 370 Playwriting Workshop This course is designed to further the understanding of the craft of playwriting as it is first discovered in the playwriting process workshop. Students are encouraged to nurture the development of their skills through daily writing exercises, to develop a personal and consistent process for writing, to shake up any preconceived notions about playwriting, to explore a personal point of view or voice for their writing, to develop and sharpen their skills in analysis and critique, to test the flexibility of creative thought necessary for the crafting of dramatic literature, and to complete a short one-act play by the end of the semester. Prerequisite: Theatre 100 or 130. (Staff, offered occasionally)

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. (Woodworth, fall, offered every three years)

THTR 480 Directing The study of fundamental skills and collaborative processes needed to direct a piece of live theatre. This course gives students experience in many aspects of the directing process including: script analysis, research, blocking, working with actors, and shaping a production, as well as an understanding of how to collaborate with designers, cast a production, work with stage managers and production teams, and navigate the professional process. Prerequisite: THTR 100 or 130. (May, spring, offered every three years)

THTR 490 Senior Capstone 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. Prerequisite: Senior standing and Theatre major. (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. (Hatch, May, Woodworth, offered each semester)

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.