Some of our most popular entry-level courses include Acting 1, The Creative Process, and Visual Creativity for the Stage. The Theatre Department offers a wide range of other introductory classes including costume design, set design, light design, digital media, and playwriting. Theatre Literature classes are open to all students without prerequisites.

Theatre courses are taken by majors and nonmajors alike and offer a range of academic and artistic experiences. Many of these classes fulfill broader Distribution and Culture and Civilizations requirements.

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Visual Creativity for Stage
Students will develop an understanding of color, line, form, shape, texture, and balance as they apply to historical and current theatrical literature. Projects in figure drawing, charcoal and chalk, watercolor painting, and model making are intended to stretch the student's research ability, artistic imagination, critical-analysis, and presentation skills. The class is designed for all students interested in the visual and the performing arts and serves as an introduction to set, costume, and light design. 25 hours of production lab work will be assigned in class. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Acting I: Beginning Acting
Rigorous physical and psychophysical exercises attempt to break through the cultural and psychological barriers that inhibit an open responsiveness to impulses, to the environment, and to others. Attempt is made to free personal response within improvised scenes and, eventually, within the narrative structure of a naturalistic scene. Attention is given to various theories of acting technique. Students are expected to audition for departmental shows. (First- and second-year students only) 3 hrs. lect./individual labs

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Scenic Design I: Beginning
Exploration and development of basic set design skills for theatre and dance. Class projects will introduce the student to sketching, sculpting, script analysis, and presentation skills. The design projects will challenge the student's imagination and creativity through historical and current theatrical literature, the study of artistic movements in theatre, concept development, and research. In addition, students will work on productions in order to understand better how theory relates to practice. 25 hours of production lab work will be assigned in class. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Lighting Design I: Beginning
This course examines historical and present lighting theories, theatrical artistic movements, and theatrical literature, leading to the planning and conceptual development of the lighting plot. Class projects will also introduce the student to sketching, painting, sculpture, script analysis, and presentation skills. In addition, students will work on productions in order to understand better how theory relates to practice. 25 hours of production lab work will be assigned in class/3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

In preparing a fully produced theatrical production for the stage, students will participate in and be exposed to professional production practices in all areas of theatrical design, including sets, costumes, props, lights, and sound. Students will be involved in planning, building, painting, constructing, and running and striking of shows. More advanced students may speak to the professors about taking on special projects, but those with little or no experience backstage are very much encouraged to participate. 8 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

History of Western Dress: 1300-Present
This course will address the changing ways in which societies have clothed the human body since the phenomenon of fashion in Western dress began during the late Middle Ages. Slides, readings, and video clips will be used to examine the ways in which evolving styles of dress reflect the social and political values of a society. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Spring Production Studio: Design
In preparing two fully produced theatrical productions for the stage, students will participate in and be exposed to professional production practices in all areas of theatrical design, including sets, costumes, props, lights, and sound. Students will be involved in planning, building, painting, constructing, and running and striking of shows. More advanced students may speak to the professors about taking on special projects, but those with little or no experience backstage are very much encouraged to participate. 8 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Contemporary African-American Playwrights
In this course we will explore how influential contemporary African American dramatists bring to the American stage different aspects of the black experience. From William Branch’s A Medal For Willie (1951) to Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 (2013), readings will provide students the opportunity to investigate how plays are interpreted by actors and directors, and wrestle with topics such as voting rights, cultural appropriation, housing discrimination, gender inequality, and equal access to education. Beyond dramatic texts and critical readings, students will hear some of the playwrights (via video conferencing) offer their views on topics and issues we will discuss in class. (Dramatic Literature) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AMR, ART, CMP, LIT

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Course Description

Costume Design I: Beginning
In this introductory course we will explore the art and practice of costume design for theatre. Special emphasis will be placed on communicating ideas through the visual language. Students will develop their thinking through script analysis, creative impulse, concept development, historical research, figure drawing, fabrication, and presentation. Though we will explore the specific medium of clothing, students learn concepts that are applicable to fields beyond theatrical design by developing visual sensibility and conceiving ideas through three-dimensional space. No prior drawing experience is assumed or expected. 4 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Contemporary Women Playwrights
In this course we will read and discuss the work of the most influential and interesting American and European playwrights from the 1980s to the present. Authors will include: Maria Irene Fomes, Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Judith Thompson, and Naomi Wallace. Issues of race, class, and gender will be closely examined. Readings will include selections from performance and feminist theory. 3 hrs. lect. (Dramatic Literature)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

ART, LIT

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Course Description

Theatre History
Using the dramatic text as the primary focus, this course will chart the progression of theatre from its ritualistic origins to the advent of modern drama. This survey will include an overview of theatrical architecture, the evolution of design and acting styles, and the introduction of the director. Since theatre does not exist in a void, a consideration of the social, cultural, political, and scientific milieu of each era studied will be included in the course. 2 1/2 hrs. lect./discussion & 1 screening per week

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CMP, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Fall Production Studio: Acting
The cast works as part of a company interpreting, rehearsing, and performing a play. Those receiving credit can expect to rehearse four to six nights a week. Appropriate written work is required. Participation in the course is determined by auditions held the previous term. (Approval required) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Playwriting I: Beginning
The purpose of the course is to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of writing for the stage. Students will read, watch, and analyze published plays, as well as work by their peers, but the focus throughout will remain on the writing and development of original work. (Formerly THEA/ENAM 0218)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CW

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Course Description

Spring Production Studio: Acting
The cast works as part of a company, interpreting, rehearsing, and performing a play. Those receiving credit can expect to rehearse four to six nights a week. Appropriate written work is required. Participation in the course is determined by auditions held during the term prior to the performance. (Approval required) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Contemporary Latinx Playwrights
In this course we will investigate Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x artistic activism since the 1960s in the works of playwrights such as Luis Valdez, Josefina Baéz, John Leguizamo, and Guadalís Del Carmen. In alternating in-person and online meetings, we will engage with scripts as diverse in aesthetic approach as they are in societal concerns (including misrepresentation, unfair labor practices, gender roles, immigration, and colorism). Conversations with guest artists will enhance readings about historical events that inspired theatrical challenges to the status quo. Creative responses to the materials will strengthen critical interpretive skills including production dramaturgy, performance, and design. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LIT

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