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College of Visual and Performing Arts
101 Theatrical Medium (3:3:0). Designed to introduce the student to the medium of theatrical performance, its role in contemporary society, and an investigation of the components of production from conception through performance to ensuing criticism. Delivered in a lecture/demonstration format by a team of theater professionals. Students are required to attend theatrical performances on and off-campus and submit a written report on each.
150, 151 Drama, Stage, and Society I and II (3:3:0), (3:3:0). First semester covers the development of Western drama and theater from its beginnings through Shakespeare. Second semester brings the study up to the present day. Readings in dramatic literature and the history of the theater are considered in their social context.
190 Special Topics (1-3:1-3:0). Rotating topic. Introductory seminar in areas of special interest in the field. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits.
195 Theater as the Life of the Mind (3:3:0). This foundational interdisciplinary course traces four themes from classic theater through the television, plays and movies we are currently creating in the United States. We will develop interpretive perspectives from a range of disciplines and relate the works of art to current events, ideologies, and worldviews. We will develop a glossary of core concepts such as rhetoric, poetry, history, philosophy, signifying structure, politics, and social thought. The course will be strong in content, centered on intellectual and artistic substance, including the history of and main issues of the subject matter. The course is intended to introduce a wide range of students to a liberal arts approach to learning, with a focus on theater, film, and television. The course aims to help make students better prepared to understand and interact with theatrical achievements of other cultures.
200 Play Production Practicum (1:0:0). Academic credit is awarded to Theater B.A. candidates for satisfactory participation in departmental or Theater of the First Amendment productions. One credit is awarded for each assignment up to a total of 4 credits, which fulfills the major requirement. See departmental listing for more information. May be repeated for up to a total of 4 credits.
201 Stage Management (1:1:0). Theory and technique of stage management for theater. Special emphasis on problem-solving skills.
202 Literary Management (1:1:0). Principles of literary management and dramaturgy for the regional/resident theater. Directed primarily toward the development of new work.
203 Production/Company Management (1:1:0). Techniques of production and company management applied to university and professional theater productions.
210 Acting I (3:3:0). This course will introduce students to contemporary acting techniques through individual and/or group exercises, incorporating tools such as observation, sense and emotion memory, improvisation, given circumstances, and actions and objectives. The instructor will use lecture, scene selection, and discussion to familiarize students with the history and development of acting theory, selected examples of its various cultural contexts, and the basic types of stage configurations. Students will be expected to develop an appreciation of the theater and its basic elements through attendance of live performances (on- and/or off-campus), in-class critical evaluation, and oral and written reflection.
215 Stage Make-Up (3:3:0). The theory and practice of stage and television make-up covering character analysis, facial anatomy, application of make-up and period styles.
230 Introduction to Technical Theater (3:3:0). This course will introduce students to the theory, practice, and historical context of the physical production component of theater. Students will study current trends in technical theater and see how they developed from earlier technology. This will be accomplished through lecture and hands-on experience.
231 Introduction to Technical Theater II (3:3:0). A continuation of the work begun in THR 230, stressing the contributions of costumes, sound, and props to theatrical production. Intensive work in drafting for the theater. Participation in Theater Division productions is required.
235 Fundamentals of Costume Construction (3:3:0). Basic flat pattern development, theatrical sewing techniques, and organization of the costume construction process. Includes lab study and practical experience in garment construction and related costume crafts as used in theater costume design.
240 Directing I (3:3:0). Introduction to text analysis, rehearsal procedure, staging techniques, and the development of a production idea. Students direct exercises and short scenes along with preparing written production notes.
300 Voice and Speech Fundamentals (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210 or permission of instructor. Basic techniques in breathing, vocal production, and articulation for the actor.
301 Voice and Speech for the Performer (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 300 or permission of instructor. Integration of text and performance problems with voice and speech fundamentals begun in THR 300. Advanced work in vocal production and character-specific sounds.
303 Movement for the Actor I (3:3:0). Development of the physical side of the actor's instrument emphasizing free and responsive expression of impulse and intention.
304 Movement for the Actor II (3:3:0). Advanced work in the techniques established in THR 303.
310 Acting II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210 or permission of instructor; must be concurrently enrolled in THR 200. Extends the principles begun in THR 210 through scene study, audition technique, and work in analysis, characterization, and relationships.
314 Lighting Stagecraft (3:3:0). Prerequisites: THR 230, or permission of instructor; must be concurrently enrolled in THR 200. Practical and theoretical instruction on how to be a theatrical electrician. Includes ideas on workplace safety, basic electrical procedures of the theater, theatrical electrical production, integrating with other theater professionals, and professionalism.
320 Beginning Modern Acting (3:3:0). Prerequisites: THR 210 and 310 or permission of instructor. Builds on students' existing skills in observation, sense memory, relaxation and improvisation. Students learn a variety of methods for scene preparation to apply to their own acting process.
321 Acting Shakespeare (3:3:0). Prerequisites: THR 210 and 310 or permission of instructor. Develops the student's understanding of the challenges of performing Shakespeare by building upon the body of acting skills and knowledge already acquired. The course focuses on how structure of language in the plays reflects, reveals, and expresses the emotional life of the character. Students use detailed script analysis, expansion of vocal range, and use of actions and objectives to achieve the experience of transforming Shakespeare's language into powerful theatrical expressions.
322 Alexander Technique/Stage Combat (3:3:0). Offered during the Beginning Modern Acting time block but open to all theater majors.
330 Seminar in Technical Theater (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Rotating topic. Offered periodically, the course addresses a selected topic in design or technical theater on an advanced level. May be repeated for a total of 24 credits.
333 Stage Design (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Fundamentals of creating, developing, and communicating the design idea through sketches, plans, rendering, and/or models. Analysis of text from the designer's perspective.
334 Lighting Design (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Study of lighting design as an art that defines space and reveals form. Introduction to the tools, equipment, and process of lighting design. Analysis of the text from the designer's perspective.
335 Costume Design (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Project-oriented class emphasizing the process of designing and building. Costume design is studied in relation to historical periods and the artistic demands of the script. Includes lecture/lab in fundamentals of costume design for the stage.
336 Advanced Theater Technology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Continuation of work begun in THR 230, stressing the contributions of costumes, sound, and props to theatrical production. Intensive work in drafting for the theater. Participation in Theater Division productions required.
340 Directing II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 240 or permission of instructor. With techniques developed in THR 240, students analyze and stage extended scenes and/or one-act plays. Emphasis on the collaborative process and production organization.
343 Costume Draping and Drafting (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 235 or permission of instructor. Pattern development through draping and drafting. Laboratory study and practical experience in the construction of stage costumes.
345 Puppetry: History and Technique (3:3:0). In the context of a comprehensive and intensive exploration of world puppetry, this course experiments with building and performance styles. Emphasis on hand and rod puppets, shadow work, toy theater, and bunraku-style figures. Students develop, build, and present original work.
350 Script Analysis (3:3:0). Principles and practice of critical analysis of dramatic literature as preparation for production and performance.
351 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3:3:0). Chronological study of the development of dramatic theory and criti cism from Plato and Aristotle through modern movements. Students read plays, theoretical works, and critical responses, and write original criticism of performances and/or texts.
352 Dramatic Literature Seminar (3:3:0). Rotating topic, period, or genre. Intensive study of a particular topic, period, or genre in dramatic literature. Topics may include 20th-century American women playwrights, Ibsen, tragedy and comedy, 17th-century drama in England, France, and Spain. May be repeated for a total of nine credits provided the specific course content is different.
355 Moral Vision in American Theater (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 101, Theater major, or permission of instructor. Goal is to examine the vision of American society created and presented in contemporary American theater. The subject is defined as "moral" vision because the focus is on how we perceive ourselves in relation to other persons and to standards of value in society. Perspectives include sociology, theory of culture, practical theater craft, and literary criticism. Features plays by a wide range of American playwrights.
359 World Stages (3:3:0). In this seminar, students will be introduced to a variety of theatrical traditions and performance theories from around the world, with a special emphasis on those not covered in introductory Western drama survey courses, 150 and 151. Students will read and discuss dramatic texts, performance theory, and video clips in an effort to understand a variety of theatrical traditions within their cultural and historical contexts. Students will be encouraged, whenever possible, to attend live local theater, and contribute their experiences to the discussion as appropriate. Requirements include two team presentations (taking turns as writer and presenter), one midterm paper and one solo presentation with accompanying paper.
365 Characterization (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210. Explores a method and approach of understanding and creating characters for the theater modeled on people from personal experience and observation, imagination, dreams, and other media and transforms that information into detailed, specific, and vivid physical manifestations. Through presentations of characters drawn from personal experience students will shift their understanding of characterization from "outward directed" physical adjustments to physical characteristics and personality character traits that are immediate, familiar, and completely realized from "inner driven" connections to their own lives.
380 Playwriting I (3:3:0). Students are exposed to the principles of dramatic writing, including character, plot, dramatic structure, dialogue, exposition, setting, and creating theatrical images using examples from plays, screenplays, and the students' own work.
381 Playwriting II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 380 or permission of instructor. Intensive continuation of the work begun in THR 380.
420 Advanced Modern Acting (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210 and 310 or permission of instructor. This course in advanced scene study will build on students' skills in previous acting courses. Students will be assigned an actor's approach, a midterm sonnet presentation and a final scene.
421 One-Person Show (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210 and 310 or permission of instructor. Students will work with designated faculty on the successful writing, rehearsal and performance of an original thirty-minute one-person show.
423 Audition Techniques: Stage and Camera (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 310 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Professional directors, coaches, and casting directors offer their perspective on what makes an effective and honest audition. Students prepare a repertoire of pieces for stage and camera auditions.
424 Contemporary Women Playwrights (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Junior standing, or permission of instructor. This course is an exploration of identity/culture, sexuality/gender, work, relationships and power through the eyes of women dramatists and performance artists. Students will analyze texts and issues through readings, video, and live performances.
425 Verse Speaking (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210 and 310 or permission of instructor. Students will explore verse literature and the mechanics of verse structure through the reading, discussion and recitation of major verse plays of Western drama from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. Class instruction will focus on the study of various verse forms, paying particular attention to vocal clues within verse structure, the meaning of rhythm and the practice of vocal techniques used in speaking texts in class. Students will also prepare weekly presentations of the playwrights and historical backgrounds of the plays and their periods.
440 Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (3:3:0). Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing; completion, or concurrent enrollment in, all general education courses; THR 150 or THR 151, and TR 240; or permission of the instructor. Examines the theory and practice of collaborative development of production ideas by director/dramaturg teams. Students draw from their extensive study within the field to support production ideas from the classical and modern repertoire to be presented as written and oral projects before a faculty panel. This course meets the university general education synthesis requirement.
480 Advanced Playwriting (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 381 or permission of instructor. Advanced playwriting workshop in which students explore their own voice in terms of theatrical writing.
490 Special Topics in Drama (1-6:1-6:0). Rotating topic. Advanced seminar in topics of special interest in the field. Topics include dramatic writing or other media and feminism in the contemporary theater. May be repeated for a total of 24 credits provided the specific course content is different.
491 Major's Seminar on the Profession (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Junior theater major. Designed to acquaint upper-division majors with the realities of living and working in the theater. Features guest speakers from the profession and intensive development of students' portfolio materials specific to the demands of their field.
494 Field Experience (1-6:0:0). Off-campus experience with a professional theater to provide the student with an opportunity to apply classroom training, knowledge, skills, and theory to a professional situation. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.
495 Senior Synthesis Project (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Junior standing or above. This course will require that a student design an advanced-level project, with the supervision of a faculty advisor, that represents the culmination of his or her studies in the theater major. (This may reflect his or her work in one or more specialized areas, such as acting, directing, playwriting, dramaturgy, design, puppetry, or technical production.) The synthesis project must include an intellectual component as well as a public presentation with the student discussing his or her work with a faculty panel. Students are encouraged to incorporate work in one or more disciplines and collaborate with each other. Each project will be assessed on the student's demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.
496 Text in Production (3:3:0). Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in all theater core courses and in all other required general education courses; junior standing or permission of the instructor. An in-depth investigation of the collaborative nature of the theatrical art. The course will examine the discrete creative disciplines of the theater. Acting, directing, dramaturgy, and design as discussed by distinguished professionals and scholars in their discipline. The course will focus on an in-depth exploration of one selected playscript for the entire semester. Students will work collaboratively in small groups to research, design, direct and perform scenes from the selected text.
497 Independent Study (1-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Open only to theater majors with 90 credits and by special permission of the department chair. Individual research and creative project in close consultation with instructor. Selection from projects in performance, directing, technical theater and design, playwriting, or theater history and criticism. May be repeated for a total of 24 credits, provided the suffix citing specific course content is different.
571 Advanced Playwriting Workshop (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate degree or equivalent or permission of instructor. Advanced playwriting workshop in which students explore their own voice in terms of theatrical writing.
599 Independent Study (1-6:1-6:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate degree or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Independent reading, performance, and/or research on a specific project under the direction of a selected faculty member. May include attendance in a parallel undergraduate course. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.