George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Theater Courses (THR)


Institute of the 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. f

150, 151 Drama, Stage, and Society I and II (3:3:0), (3:3:0). In the first semester, the development of Western drama and theater from its beginnings through Shakespeare is studied. The second semester, 151, brings the study up to the present day. Readings in dramatic literature and the history of the theater are considered in their social context. f,s

200 Play Production Practicum (1-2:0:0). Academic credit is awarded to Theater Division B.A. candidates for satisfactory participation in major departmental or Theater of the First Amendment productions. One to two credit hours are awarded for each production assignment up to a total of four credits, which fulfills the departmental major requirement. See departmental listing for more information. f,s

201 Stage Management (1:1:0). Theory and technique of stage management for theater. Special emphasis on problem-solving skills. f,s

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. f

203 Production/Company Management (1:1:0). Techniques of production and company management applied to university and professional theater productions. s

204 Visual Thinking (3:3:0). Also ARIN 204, ARTS 204, and DANC 204. Not open to students who have had ARTS 102. An introduction to visual thinking. Topics include information from visual perception, memory, classical and modern art, performance, and dance. Opportunities for students to assess themselves as visual thinkers.

205 Creative Impulses (3:3:0). Also ARIN 205, ARTS 205, and DANC 205. A study of the creative process, in general, with particular emphasis on the inspiration, working methods, and final creations of various artists. Students will be encouraged to explore their own creative processes through regular journal keeping, collaborative exercises, and two major projects.

210 Acting I (3:3:0). Basic training in acting, emphasizing theater games, improvisations, and nonscripted situations and scenes. f,s

230 Introduction to Technical Theater I (3:3:0). Review of basic theater organization and technology with emphasis on lighting and scenery. Participation in Theater Division productions is required. f,s

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). An 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. f

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. f

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. s

307 Aesthetic Awareness (3:3:0). Also ARIN 307, ARTS 307, and DANC 307. The presentation of the historical, philosophical, and aesthetic traditions of the arts with opportunities for each student to confront their own sense of beauty.

308 Cross-Cultural Arts Appreciation (3:3:0). Also ARIN 308, ARTS 308, and DANC 308. The course attempts to give students a cumulative arts experience by tying the subject matter of the course to one of the major cultural productions of the Center for the Arts. Subject matter varies each semester.

310 Acting II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210 or permission of instructor. Extends the principles begun in THR 210 through scene study, audition technique, and work in analysis, characterization, and relationships. f,s

320, 321 Acting Ensemble I, II (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Audition. A concentrated course of study in the varied skills associated with the versatile actor and company player with individualized attention to students' needs. f,s

322 Alexander Technique/Stage Combat (3:3:0). Offered during the Acting Ensemble time block but open to all theater majors. s

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. as

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. f

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. s

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. as

336 Advanced Theater Technology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 230 or permission of instructor. A 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 is required. s

340 Directing II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 240 or permission of instructor. Based on the techniques developed in THR 240, students analyze and stage extended scenes and/or one-act plays. Emphasis on the collaborative process and production organization. as

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.

350 Script Analysis (3:3:0). Principles and practice of critical analysis of dramatic literature as preparation for production and performance. f

351 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3:3:0). A chronological study of the 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 and/or texts.

352 Dramatic Literature Seminar (3:3:0). Rotating topic, period, or genre. An 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. f,s

355 Moral Vision in American Theater (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 101, theater major, or permission of instructor. The goal of this course 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 will include sociology, theory of culture, practical theater craft, and literary criticism. f

eatures plays by a wide range of American playwrights. 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. f,s

381 Playwriting II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 380 or permission of instructor. An intensive continuation of the work begun in THR 380. as

420, 421 Acting Ensemble III, IV (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Audition. The second year in the sequence of a concentrated course of study in the varied skills associated with the versatile actor and company player, with individualized attention to students' needs. f,s

422 Stage Make-up/Styles (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 210, junior standing, or permission of instructor. Introduces the actor to the challenges of working with make-up and costume as a stylistic enhancement of the performance task. Questions of period style and behavior are also considered. f

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. s

440 Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: THR 340 or permission of instructor. A course in the collaborative development of production ideas by director/dramaturgy teams. Students conceive ideas and present work in the classical and contemporary repertoire, supported by full dramaturgical apparatus. as

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. as

490 Special Topics in Drama (3:3:0). Rotating topic. Advanced seminar in topics of special interest in the field. Topics include puppetry, dramatic writing for 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 (3:3:0). An 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.

497 Independent Study (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Open only to theater majors with 90 hours and by special permission of the division director. Individual research or a 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 six credits.


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