College of Visual and Performing Arts
101 Theatrical Medium (3:3:0) Introduces medium of theatrical performance and its role in contemporary society, and investigates components of production from conception through performance to ensuing criticism. Lectures, demonstrations by theater professionals. Students 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 development of Western drama and theater from its beginnings through Shakespeare. Second semester brings study to present day. Considers readings in dramatic literature and history of theater in social context.
190 Special Topics (1-3:1-3:0) Rotating topic. Introductory seminar in areas of special interest. May be repeated for maximum 12 credits.
200 Play Production Practicum (1:0:0) Academic credit awarded for satisfactory participation in departmental (GMU Players) or Theater of the First Amendment productions. One credit is awarded for each assignment up to total 4 credits; fulfills theater BA requirement. See departmental listing for more information. May be repeated for total 4 credits. Graded S/NC.
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 regional/resident theater. Directed primarily toward developing 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) Introduces contemporary acting techniques through individual and group exercises, incorporating tools such as observation, sense and emotion memory, improvisation, given circumstances, and actions and objectives. Considers history and development of acting theory, selected examples of various cultural contexts, and basic types of stage configurations. Students develop appreciation of theater and its basic elements through attendance of live performances on- or off-campus, in-class critical evaluation, and oral and written reflection.
230 Introduction to Technical Theater (3:3:0) Theory, practice, and historical context of physical production component of theater. Studies current trends in technical theater, and explains how they developed from earlier technology. Lectures and hands-on experience.
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.
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) Develops physical side of actor's instrument emphasizing free and responsive expression of impulse and intention.
304 Movement for the Actor II (3:3:0) Advanced work in techniques established in THR 303.
305 Stage Combat (3:3:0) Prerequisites: THR 210 and 310, or permission of instructor. Studies safe, effective techniques for performing unarmed stage fights, falls, and rolls. Emphasizes acting the fight, safety, and storytelling.
310 Acting II (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 210 or permission of instructor. Extends 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 becoming theatrical electrician. Includes ideas on workplace safety, basic electrical procedures, 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 existing skills in observation, sense memory, relaxation, and improvisation. Students learn 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 understanding of challenges of performing Shakespeare by building on body of acting skills and knowledge. Focuses on how structure of language in plays reflects, reveals, and expresses character's emotional life. Students use detailed script analysis, expansion of vocal range, and use of actions and objectives to achieve experience of transforming Shakespeare's language into powerful theatrical expressions.
329 Directing I (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 150-151, 210, or 350; or permission of instructor. Introduces text analysis, rehearsal procedure, staging techniques, and development of production idea. Students direct exercises and short scenes, and prepare written production notes.
330 Seminar in Technical Theater (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Rotating topic. Offered periodically; addresses selected topic in design or technical theater on advanced level. May be repeated for total 24 credits.
331 Drafting and Model Making (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Studies conventions and techniques of drafting and model making as methods of communication in the theatrical production process.
332 Seminar in Costume History (3:3:0) Explores evolution of fashion and styles of dress. Students study silhouette, color, fabric, accessories, and make-up appropriate to development of clothing during specific historical era. Offers broader understanding of context relating to sociological and psychological factors influencing Western dress. Historical era studied will rotate. May be repeated for total 9 credits if specific course content differs.
333 Stage Design (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Fundamentals of creating, developing, and communicating design idea through sketches, plans, rendering, or models. Analysis of text from designer's perspective.
334 Lighting Design (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Study of lighting design as art that defines space and reveals form. Introduces tools, equipment, and process of lighting design. Analyzes text from designer's perspective.
335 Costume Design (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Project-oriented class emphasizing process of designing and building. Costume design studied in relation to historical periods and artistic demands of script. Includes lecture, lab in fundamentals of costume design for stage.
336 Advanced Theater Technology (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Continuation of work begun in THR 230, stressing contributions of costumes, sound, and props to theatrical production. Intensive work in drafting for theater. Participation in theater division productions required.
340 Directing II (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 329 or permission of instructor. With techniques developed in THR 329, students analyze and stage extended scenes or one-act plays. Emphasizes collaborative process and production organization.
342 Makeup Design (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. Project-oriented class emphasizing makeup for different performance spaces, character age analysis, facial anatomy, and specialized application for theater, opera, dance, film, and television.
343 Costume Draping and Drafting (3:3:0) Pattern development through draping and drafting. Laboratory study and practical experience in construction of stage costumes.
345 Puppetry: History and Technique (4:2:4) In context of comprehensive and intensive exploration of world puppetry, course experiments with building and performance styles. Emphasizes 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) Critical analysis of dramatic literature as preparation for production and performance. Examination of plot, character, theme, audience impact, and cultural context, and the transformation of intellectual ideas into physical theatrical production elements. Writing-intensive course.
351 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3:3:0) Chronological study of development of dramatic theory and criticism from Plato and Aristotle through modern movements. Students read plays, theoretical works, and critical responses, and write original criticism of performances or texts.
352 Dramatic Literature Seminar (3:3:0) Rotating topic. Intensive study of particular topic, period, or genre in dramatic literature. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits if specific course content differs.
355 Moral Vision in American Theater (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 101, theater major, or permission of instructor. Examines vision of American society created and presented in contemporary American theater. Subject defined as "moral" vision because focus is on how we perceive ourselves in relation to others and society's value standards. Perspectives include sociology, theory of culture, practical theater craft, and literary criticism. Features plays by range of American playwrights.
359 World Stages (3:3:0) Introduces variety of theatrical traditions and performance theories from around the world, with special emphasis on those not covered in introductory Western drama survey courses, 150 and 151. Students read and discuss dramatic texts, performance theory, and video clips to understand variety of theatrical traditions in cultural and historical contexts. 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 method and approach of understanding and creating characters for theater modeled on people from personal experience and observation, imagination, dreams, and other media. Transforms that information into detailed, specific, and vivid physical manifestations. Through presentations of characters drawn from personal experience, students shift 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) Exposure to principles of dramatic writing, including character, plot, dramatic structure, dialogue, exposition, setting, and creating theatrical images using examples from plays, screenplays, and students' own work.
381 Playwriting II (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 380 or permission of instructor. Intensive continuation of work begun in THR 380.
382 Screenplay Workshop (3:3:0) Studies screenwriting as dramatic form of 20th, 21st centuries. Explores story, plot structure, three act-structures, mythic structures, fundamental story patterns, character, thinking, and writing visually.
395 Theater as the Life of the Mind (3:3:0) Traces four subjects (battle of the sexes, good gifts, cyclical tragedy, and eschatology) from ancient theater to contemporary plays, television, and movies, using literary criticism, history, political theory, comparative religion, sociology, and anthropology.
420 Advanced Modern Acting (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 210 and 310, or permission of instructor. Advanced scene study to build on skills from previous acting courses. Students assigned actor's approach, midterm sonnet presentation, and final scene.
421 One-Person Show (3:3:0) Prerequisites: THR 210 and THR 310 or permission of instructor. Students work with designated faculty in creative writing, staging, and performance culminating in the successful writing, rehearsing, and performing of a 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 perspectives 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. Explores identity and culture, sexuality and gender, work, relationships, and power through the eyes of female dramatists and performance artists. Analyzes texts and issues through readings, video, and live performances.
425 Verse Speaking (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 210 and 310, or permission of instructor. Explores verse literature and mechanics of verse structure through reading, discussing, and reciting major verse plays of Western drama from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Focuses on various verse forms, paying particular attention to vocal clues within verse structure, the meaning of rhythm, and practicing vocal techniques used in speaking texts in class. Students also prepare weekly presentations of playwrights, and historical backgrounds of plays and their periods.
434 Advanced Lighting Design (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 230 and 334, or permission of instructor. In-depth study of lighting design. Work with lighting distribution, composition, and color to create compelling visual pictures and moods. Extensive work with script analysis as related to lighting, drafting of light plots, and the generating associated paper work used by lighting designer.
440 Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (3:3:0) Prerequisites: junior or senior standing; completion of or concurrent enrollment in all general education courses; THR 150 or THR 151, and THR 329; or permission of instructor. Examines theory and practice of collaborative development of production ideas by director and dramaturg teams. Students draw from extensive study in field to support production ideas from classical and modern repertoire to be presented as written and oral projects before faculty panel. Meets 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 theatrical writing.
482 Advanced Screenplay Workshop (3:3:0) Prerequisite: THR 382 or permission of the instructor. Screenwriting workshop emphasizing student development in screenplay form, structure, and storytelling with emphasis on craft, character, and story culminating in a screenplay.
490 Special Topics in Drama (1-6:1-6:0) Rotating topic. Advanced seminar in topics of special interest, including dramatic writing or other media, and feminism in contemporary theater. May be repeated for a total of 24 credits provided specific course content differs.
491 Major's Seminar on the Profession (3:3:0) Prerequisite: junior theater major. Acquaints upper-division majors with 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) Experience in a theatrical organization to provide opportunity to apply classroom training, knowledge, skills, and theory in a professional situation. Activity must be approved by department chair. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits. Graded S/NC.
495 Senior Synthesis Project (3:3:0) Prerequisite: junior standing or higher. Students design advanced-level project, with supervision of faculty advisor, representing culmination of studies in major. May reflect work in one or more specialized areas, such as acting, directing, playwriting, dramaturgy, design, puppetry, or technical production. Synthesis project must include intellectual component and public presentation, with discussion of work with faculty panel. Students encouraged to incorporate work in one or more disciplines and collaborate. Projects assessed on demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in oral and written forms.
496 Text in Production (3:3:0) Prerequisites: completion or concurrent enrollment in all theater core courses and all other required general education courses, and junior standing; or permission of instructor. In-depth investigation of collaborative nature of theatrical arts. Examines discrete creative disciplines; acting, directing, dramaturgy, and design as discussed by distinguished professionals and scholars. 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 selected text.
497 Independent Study (1-6:0:0) Open only to theater majors with 90 credits and special permission of 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 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 theatrical writing.
599 Independent Study (1-6:1-6:0) Prerequisite: undergraduate degree or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Independent reading, performance, or research on a specific project under direction of selected faculty member. May include attendance in a parallel undergraduate course. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.