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 — Working in 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 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. Pre-requisite: THEA 300 and THEA 310
THEA 241 — Acting I: Fundamentals (3)
This is the base level acting course which focuses on the acting technique created by modern theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner. The course work will be more focused on in class exercise-work than on intense scene study. Meisner’s approach to acting trains actors to get out their heads and into reading and reacting to the behavior generated by their scene partners. This in turn creates a technique based upon authenticity and specificity, allowing an actor to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. Following this premise, actors can build each other’s’ characters, moment by moment, together. The course will explore the following Meisner exercises as: The Reality of Doing, Pinch and Ouch, coming to the Door, Doing Fully, Living In the Extreme, Taking It Personally, In Relationship, and Raising the Stakes. In addition, students will learn and establish a working vocabulary of terms used in the professional acting field (of both stage and screen) to utilize throughout in their theatre training and in their professional fields.
THEA 242 — Acting II (3)
This is a continuation of the acting skills development begun in Acting I. This course will build upon the Meisner technique by applying those skills to scene work from the works of Ibsen and Chekov; the fathers of the Modern Theatre. After Chekov, we will be exploring the technique of another modern theatre practitioner Uta Hagen. Hagen’s approach to acting emphasizes the use of realistic props and sets (furniture, doors, appliances, etc) in order to ground the actor in a realistic environment to find their true authentic voice. Hagen will be explored through such exercise as; The moment Before, The 3 entrances exercise, The Lost Item exercise, Endowment, Conditioning Force, and Telephone Conversations. We will then explore the technique of practical aesthetics in order to break down a scene and script using a four-step scene score analysis system (Literal action, essential action, As if, and tactics/obstacles) in order to maintain the objective-driven acting principles laid out in Acting I. These scene scores will be both presented in class orally and written and applied to various contemporary scenes in class. Pre-requisites: THEA 241 & THEA 365
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 300 - The Production Process (3)
In this course, students will study the various aspects of management in the theatre. Production professionals are routinely called on to make creative decisions through an efficient and organized framework. Through readings, lectures, group projects, and hands-on work students will be introduced to the collaborative nature of the production process. The course is designed to give Design/Tech students the tools necessary to undertake leadership positions in the production process. The hierarchy and structure of various departments will be explored in depth. Particular attention will be paid to collaborative projects, working in groups, and the nature of collaborative creativity. Pre-Requisite: THEA 233
THEA 310 - Principles of Design (3)
In this course, students will be introduced to the basic principles of design theory including emphasis, balance, alignment, contrast, repetition, scale, movement, positive and negative space. Students will be introduced to basic drawing and rendering concepts. Various projects will be used to develop the student’s creative capacities with specific emphasis placed on theatrical problem solving. Students will study the work of seminal theatrical designers, read various important theatrical texts, and focus on narrative analysis through the lens of theatrical design. Specific attention will be paid to the role of the design team as part of the overall ensemble. Pre-requisite: THEA 300
THEA 320 - Theatrical Drafting (3)
This course teaches the basics of hand and computer drafting. Students will utilize professional tools and software to learn how theatre technicians translate design to stage. Using Vectorworks, AutoCAD, Sketch-up, and other software, students will learn how the best tools in the industry are used to create effective and efficient performances. Particular attention will be paid to the way these tools empower theatres and design professionals. Students will create draftings of current and past shows, alongside breaking down the work of professionals. Pre-requisite: THEA 233
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. Pre-requisite: THEA 300 and THEA 310
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)
This is a continuation of the acting skills development begun in Acting I and Acting II. students will apply the techniques learned in previous courses to a variety of scenes from different historical periods ranging from Ancient Greece and Restoration-era England (complemented by French Neoclassicism and Georgian literature) to the commedia dell’arte of the Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan England (some Shakespeare), and major theatrical genres (Absurdism, Expressionism, naturalism, postmodernism, etc...) and playwrights (ex: Noel Coward) of the late 19th and 20th centuries through a variety of exercises and scene work designed to immerse him/her in the performance styles of select historical periods. In addition, lecture material and group discussions will complement assigned readings from the text. Some historical research will also be required of students as will literary analysis of assigned scenes (ex: scene scores, free associative writing, etc) Pre-requisite: 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. Pre-requisite: THEA 300 and THEA 310 and THEA 320
THEA 365 — Voice and Movement (3)
Voice and Movement is the introductory course in the Voice and Movement Studio. It lays the groundwork for how an actor creates the optimal physical environment in which to speak and move. Specifically, course content focuses on the development of diaphragmatic breath, strategies for reducing tension in the body, centering and alignment exercises, and a vocal conditioning regimen designed to reconnect the actor’s speaking voice with his or her impulsive center. Students will focus on a collection of exercises synthesized from the work of Kristin Linklater and Michael Lugering. In these, emphasis is placed on freedom and release rather than control, believing that the actor’s focus should be on the integrity of his or her role and the voice and body should be free to follow the actor’s intuition and imagination. The resulting work should increase the actor’s vocal range and emotional transparency while ensuring healthy vocal production and alignment. Experiential learning is the primary format of this course. Class activities will focus primarily on mastery of the Linklater vocal regimen. Written tests and quizzes will measure competency in the sequencing and aim of warm-up exercises, the physical anatomy of vocal production and philosophy of the approach. Once the full vocal regimen is pieced together, the last part of the semester will focus on vocal conditioning through repetition of the work-out. In this respect, the course is much like an aerobics class or any other physical conditioning class where repetition of the regimen builds strength and responsiveness. Experiential learning is the primary format of this course. Students can expect that most learning will happen on their feet, trying out ideas and concepts in motion. The instructor will introduce key concepts, but the application and relevance of these ideas is tied specifically to the student’s own body and kinesthetic discoveries.
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)
Throughout this course Students will explore the process of costume design and production. Historical clothing research, play analysis, budgeting and figure rendering are the primary focus of this in-depth study. The costume design and production process are highlighted through the course, as students gain an understanding of the costume shop personnel and responsibilities. Students will go through their own theoretical design and production process assembling a design book with research, renderings for a mock production. The collaborative nature of design is paid close attention throughout the course. Pre-requisite: THEA 300 and THEA 310
THEA 474 Dramaturgy (3)
The practice of dramaturgy is about inquiry, analysis, and contextualization. Through readings, lectures, group projects, and hands-on work, students will be introduced to the role of the dramaturg within the theatrical production process. Students will investigate the world that playwrights are seeking to create in their works. Through deep readings, analysis and discussion, students will consider how the play fits in current theatrical and societal contexts and how the play can and should communicate with an audience. Pre-Requisite: THEA 345
THEA 475 Costume Construction (3)
This course is an introduction to garment construction in application toward theatrical costume making. Students will learn period and modern sewing techniques by hand and machine. Emphasis will be placed on hands-on activities that acquaint students with utilizing differing types of textiles/fabrics, the use of patterns, and shop safety. With this course, students gain practical experience while enriching their problem solving and critical thinking skills.
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)
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.
THEA 499 - Theatre Internship (3-6)
Independent work-related experiential learning activity based on procedures established by the Center for Experiential Learning. Prerequisite: Junior status or permission of Department Chairperson.