King's College - Theatre

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Theatre courses may be chosen as electives by any student, regardless of major. Students who major in Theatre must fulfill the requirements of their declared track, but may chose as electives any course from the other track.

THEA 230 — The Business of Theatre (3)

Working professionally in the theatre or moving towards an advanced degree is, undoubt­edly, the aim of most young theatre artists. In this course, various techniques of working actors and technicians will be discussed and analyzed. Particular attention will be paid to the “getting a foot in the door” process; for example, headshots and auditioning for performers, building a portfolio (physical and online) for technicians and designers, the­atre management, marketing, etc. Students will hear from theatre professionals in various fields. This course will give undergraduate theatre artists the tools needed to make the next step in their careers. Prerequisite: THEA 241 and THEA 235.

THEA 233 — Stagecraft (3)

To introduce students to the practical side and implementation of scenic design. Students will receive hands-on instruction in the day to day aspects of working in a scene shop. Particular attention will be paid to various techniques of scenic construction with a wide array of tools and materials, as well as basic drafting and construction drawing. Practical experience in executing actual scenery for the stage for plays and projects throughout the semester.

THEA 235 — Introduction to Theatrical Design (3)

In this course, students will study the following aspects of design from a conceptual standpoint: scenery, lighting, costume, sound, and video. A greater appreciation of the integral role of the designer to the creative process of theatre will be developed by ex­amining exceptional design in all of these fields. Students will gain an understanding of the job of each designer and learn to recognize professionally developed aesthetics in all fields of theatrical design.

THEA 236 Stage Management (3)

This course will address the role of the stage manager as assistant to the director during rehearsals and in the management of backstage activities during productions. Students will learn how to prepare a prompt book and gain practical experience in organization and scheduling, dealing with directors and designers, working with actors, company and union rules, rehearsal and technical rehearsal procedures, time management, scene shifts, running, and touring a show in performance. Production assignment as stage manager or assistant stage manager for productions throughout the semester. Prerequisite: THEA 233 and THEA 241.

THEA 239 — Lighting Design (3)

This course establishes a foundation for general stage lighting practices, with a focus on lighting equipment, control, and design. Students will learn the history of lighting design and take an in-depth look at some of the innovators/innovations in the field. Students will study lighting theory and will learn lighting design through the elements of creation, implementation, and execution. Students will complete a variety of practical projects. The student will be challenged to solve basic lighting problems. Students will serve as members of the electrics crew for productions and projects throughout the semester.

THEA 241 — Acting I: Fundamentals (3)

This course serves as an in-depth introduction to the craft of acting. All students will be introduced to beginning acting techniques to develop, define, and practice the artistic expression with technical proficiency. Students will learn to use the voice and body as instruments of self-expression and communication in performance and will develop their mental, physical and vocal flexibility. Students will be challenged to expand their expressive potential as they exercise body, voice and imagination through improvisation, acting with words, acting without words, ensemble work, characterization, experimentation, acting exercises, and monologues.

THEA 242 — Acting II (3)

This is a continuation of the acting skills development begun in Acting I. The course examines the fundamentals of the acting process through exercises and scene study de­signed to strengthen such skills as trust, relaxation, listening, imagination, concentration, ensemble, and observation. Upon completion of this course students will have a solid grounding in the fundamentals of acting and will be able to apply and demonstrate this knowledge in performance. Prerequisite: THEA 241 or CORE 171A.

THEA 285 — Production Practicum (1)

This course is a hands-on learning experience in theatre production. Students will gain practical skills and essential knowledge of what it takes to mount a production for the stage by working in one of five production areas: scene shop, lighting, costume shop, props, or public relations/management. This course is part of the active learning requirement for all majors and minors. The specific assignment will be made by the theatre faculty and/or production manager at the beginning of each production taking into consideration each student’s experience, their educational needs, and the technical needs of each production.

THEA 334 — Technical Direction (3)

To introduce the student to the necessity and value of the Technical Director. In this course, students will gain an understanding of the role of the Technical Director. Specific detail will be given to creating construction drawings, managing and running crews, effectively creating a budget for a production, and solving technical challenges on a per production basis. Students will work on various conceptual plays throughout the semester, and will serve as Assistant to the Technical Director on one of the main stage productions, putting into practice what they have learned in the classroom. Prerequisite: THEA 233.

THEA 336 — Properties Craft (3)

This course encompasses the area of properties research, design, and implementation of the design through construction and painting. Students will learn the process of creating a properties plot, designing props, budgeting for props, and finally implementing the de­sign for a production. Students will work collaboratively to create fully-realized properties plots and several realized props and will serve on the properties crew for all productions throughout the semester. Prerequisite: THEA 233.

THEA 337 — Scene Painting (3)

A study of application techniques for the theatre painter, the course focus is on class proj­ects designed to provide the student with opportunities to handle a wide range of subject matter and to employ a variety of painting methods. Emphasis is placed upon the ability to reproduce details, colors, and styles. Students will learn the role of the scenic artist and their crew. Students will serve on paint crew for all productions throughout the semester.

THEA 338 — Sound Design (3)

In this course students will learn the use of basic equipment (mics, mixers, directional speakers) and computer software used in the creation of a sound design. Students will work in a collaborative fashion in creating various sound designs through exercises and projects over the course of the semester. Students will serve as the sound designers and/ or sound technicians for all productions throughout the semester.

THEA 339 — Theatre Rendering Techniques (3)

This course focuses on the major painting mediums, styles of illustration, and techniques utilized in the visual presentation of scenic, costume, properties, and lighting designs for the theatre. Prerequisite: THEA 235.

THEA 341 — Acting III Advanced Scene Study(3)

A continuation of Acting II, this course will focus on scene study and character develop­ment. Study includes scene work from Shakespeare, Comedy of Manners, Farce, and Theatre of the Absurd, among others. Students will learn to use the script, research, and their imaginations to enter the world of the play and bring characters to life. Memorization and rehearsal outside of class are required for most projects. Prerequisites: THEA 242.

THEA 342 — Improvisational Acting Techniques (3)

This course is an introduction to improvisational acting techniques leading to self-discovery of the student’s potential in imagination, creativity, and spontaneity. Students will learn the foundation of improvisation to help the actor to convey artistically the written text. Exercises will include the works of such individuals as Jacques LeCoq, Jerzy Grotowski, Viola Spolin, Joseph Chaikin, Stephen Wangh, and Keith Johnstone, This course will help equip the actor with the tools to be self-sufficient and to think from the heart without transition.

THEA 343 — Children’s Theatre (3)

Provides a formal theatrical experience in which a play is presented by adults for an audi­ence of children. This course is designed to introduce students to the aspects of writing, adapting, directing, and primarily, ACTING for children. The challenge is to give a unique theatrical experience to an audience, many of whom will be first time theatre-goers. This course will provide the student with the philosophy and methods for theatre performed especially for children and will culminate with the performance of a fully realized chil­dren’s production.

THEA 344 — Playing Shakespeare (3)

Not reading him or writing about him but playing him. This course will examine Shake­speare’s works from the point of view of performance. Through comprehensive exercises, critical principles such as scansion, phrasing, caesura, breathing, structure and rhythm, antithesis, and more will be covered in detail thereby providing a guide to actors-in-training and anyone interested in examining Shakespeare’s works.

THEA 345 — Play Analysis (3)

In play analysis, students will analyze the works of playwrights from varying periods of the theatre in order to acquire the ability to breakdown and interpret dramatic texts from a conceptual, practical, and analytical approach. A basic play analysis format will be followed, asking a number of questions about each text, while allowing for personal interpretation. A vital element of the course will be participation in all research, discussion, and involvement in the ‘virtual’ productions of each play and genre studied.

THEA 347 — Comedy Acting (3)

This objective of this course is to focus on issues of acting in comedy by addressing the problems that confront the actor when rehearsing and performing in realistic comedy playscripts. Our secondary emphasis is using improvisational, non-theatrical, and original material for developing comedy skills. Participation as an actor is mandatory. Permission of Instructor is required.

THEA 361 — Scene Design I (3)

The role of the scenic designer will be discussed in depth through lecture and practical work. Students will learn how to create detailed design packets that include: draftings (hand and CAD), painter’s elevations, properties breakdowns and research, concept sketches, final renderings, and models. Students will work on assigned production projects over the course of the semester, completing full packages for each production. A final portfolio review will be held at the end of each semester. Students will display their work for feedback from the instructor and theatre faculty members. Prerequisite: THEA 235.

THEA 365 — Voice and Movement (3)

The course is an introduction to voice and movement techniques for performance. The course is based primarily on the works of Kristin Linklater, Trish Arnold, F. M. Alexander, and Patsy Rodenburg. Beginning with the groundwork for vocal work, i.e., a released breath and an ability to speak simply and with conviction and then progressing into the connection between sound and emotions, the goal of the course is to create an honest and expressive voice, one that connects the actor to his/her inner life and accurately reflects that inner life to the exterior world.

THEA 367 — Advanced Technical Practices (3)

Engineering for the theatre is a creative and innovative process. In this course students will learn the basics of more advanced stage machinery such as fly systems, moving scenery, automated scenery, and non-traditional stage construction materials. Students will break down complex designs on paper in order to implement the most elegant solution to the practical problem of creation. Students will work on fully realized projects and will serve as either an ATD or as coordinator of special projects for productions throughout the semester. Prerequisite: THEA 233

THEA 381 — History of the Theatre I (3)

This course is a survey of Western theatre practice and dramatic texts from the Greeks into the Renaissance. Students examine, in addition to the dramatic texts of the period, the impact of performance spaces, aesthetic theories, religious beliefs, and the contemporary politics of a given era on the development of drama.

THEA 382 — History of the Theatre II (3)

This course is a continuation of THEA 381. It is a survey of Western theatre practice and dramatic texts from the 17th into the 19th century. Students examine, in addition to the dramatic texts of the period, the impact of performance spaces, aesthetic theories, religious beliefs, and the contemporary politics of a given era on the development of drama. Prerequisite: THEA 381.

THEA 439 — The American Musical Comedy (3)

The American musical comedy is the only “true” American theatrical art form. In this course students will learn the history of the American Musical comedy from the late 1800’s to modern day. Various techniques of musical comedy will be discussed and musicals will be analyzed and evaluated. Whenever possible this course will culminate with a cabaret type event, where students can present to the general public the things that they have learned and appreciated throughout the semester. Previous musical knowledge or experi­ence is not a requirement.

THEA 471 — Directing I (3)

The principles and practice of directing live theatre with emphasis on casting concerns, blocking, pacing, rehearsal techniques and image development. Structured in a workshop format, the course begins with a non-verbal approach to composition and movement study, and progresses to formal text work, with the various exercises culminating in the direction of a one-act play for public performance. Prerequisites: THEA 345 and 241.

THEA 472 — Directing II (3)

This course examines and applies the fundamentals of play direction: play selection, casting, blocking, movement, interpretation, and production organization with practical exercises in directing scenes and one-act plays. Prerequisite: THEA 471.

THEA 473 — Costume Design (3)

Students will explore the process of costume design and construction. Play analysis, histori­cal research skills, and the principles of design are the focus of in-depth study. Students will gain an understanding of draping, patterning, and general construction of costumes. Students will create complete design packets, sketches and renderings, swatches, and research, for various productions. Particular attention will be paid to the collaborative aspect of the design process. Students will gain hands-on experience by serving on the costume crew for all productions over the course of the semester.

THEA 490 — Senior Capstone Project (3)

This senior-level capstone course allows students to work on a faculty-approved production project in their primary area of focus and concentration. This course is required of all the­atre majors. The Senior Capstone should show ambition, creativity, and a certain amount of daring that is necessary for all successful theatre artists. Specific guidelines the unique capstone project will be created. Students will meet with their Capstone mentor weekly and progress will be assessed and critiqued. Restricted to theatre majors. Permission and approval by members of the department required in the semester previous to registration.

THEA 491 — Special Topics in Theatre (3)

This course, available to all students, is characterized by its flexible subject matter and approach. It is designed to offer an opportunity for students to pursue specialized areas of theatre research and/or production.

THEA 497 — Independent Study (3-6)

A self-designed and departmentally approved research and/or creative task, to further aid the student in their knowledge and experience in a particular area of the Art of Theatre. The student may choose further advanced work in any area of specialization within the theatre. Performance projects as well as design and technical projects can be created to strengthen and increase the student’s expertise. The scope of the task will determine the number of credits. The student will choose a member of the theatre faculty as a mentor.

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