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Theatre and Speech

Course Descriptions

Speech for the Stage (THTR 12700)
Focuses on developing breath control, resonation and articulation.  Introductory phonetics and physiology of speech, followed by analysis and reading aloud of selected fictional texts.  This course may be taken two times for credit. 

Introduction to Theatre Arts
(THTR 13100)
The related creative arts of playwright, director, actor and designer; their collective contributions to the form of the play that ultimately evolves on stage.  Discussion of the institutions in contemporary American theatre.

Body Movement
(THTR 13200)
Techniques to free and relax the actor's body, connect mental imagery with physical expression, and combine movement with speech.  Elementary modern dance.  This course may be taken two times for credit.

Basic Production and Design (THTR 13400)
Introduction to all facets of technical theatre.  Topics include the design and production of scenery, costumes, lighting, and props, as well as stage management.  There will be hand-on experience in backstage facilities in Compton-Goethals and Aaron Davis Hall.  In addition to regular class meeting times, students are required to serve as crew members on one departmental production during the course of the semester.

Beginning Acting (THTR 13600)
Principles and practice of acting.  Introduction to relaxation, concentration, self awareness, inner objects, outer activities, objectives and obstacles, ensemble work, circle of belief, text analysis.  Consideration of work ethic and professionalism.  Basic scene and monologue exploration.

Theatre History 1
(THTR 21100)
The development of theatre and drama from tribal origins to 1640 (including Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Medieval/Renaissance periods).  Co-requisite: May not be taken concurrently with THTR21200 or 21300.

Theatre History 2
(THTR 21200)
The development of theatre and drama from 1640 to 1900, including Jacobean, Restoration, Romanticism, Early Meodrama, and Naturalism.  Co-requisite: May not be taken concurrently with THTR 21100 or 21300.

Theatre History 3
(THTR 21300)
The study of plays and production styles prevalent throughout the Twentieth Century in Europe, Africa and South America.  This course will consider a selection of important plays and such important movements as: Symbolism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Expressionism, Theatre of the Absurd Theatre of Image, New German Realism, Post Modernism, the rise of the Broadway musical, the Off-Off Broadway theatre movement, the rise of Afro-American and Latino schools of writing and production.  Co-requisite: May not be taken concurrently with THTR 21100 or 21200.

Dramaturgy
(THTR 21400)
An introduction to the role of dramaturgy and the dramaturg in American Theatre.  The dramaturg assists the director in analyzing the play text and the playwright in developing their original play through various stages, and in doing historical and production research.  Combining theory with practical application, students will work as a dramaturg for a variety of individual and collective class assignments.

Musical Theatre History
(THTR 21500)
A brief historical overview of the development of musical theatre in the United States from the late 19th through the 21st Century.

Non-Western Drama
(THTR 21600)
A survey of non-western traditional theatrical forms, and contemporary drama from around the world.  By examining plays, films and reading from a global perspective, this course aims to expand the student's understanding of the contemporary world through appreciation of other cultures.

Queer Theatre
(THTR 21700)
An exploration of GLBT identity as portrayed in predominantly American dramas of the past century.  The exploration of key figures and texts, starting with Oscar Wilde.  Consideration of stereotypical and groundbreaking portrayals of gay people; explores plays with themes of homophobia, self-hatred, acceptance, AIDS, familial interaction, and the evolution of the GLBT rights movement in a hetero-normative society.

American Jewish Theatre
(THTR 21800)
This course explores Jewish identity as portrayed in 20th and 21st Century United States drama and musicals.  Consideration of Yiddish theatre; the impact of black-face minstrelsy on Jewish artists; plays dealing with anti-Semitism, assimilation, generational conflict, and the counterpoint of outward success and inward disappointment.  These works are all fused to an historical overview of Jews and the Jewish culture in America.

Theatre of the Sixties
(THTR 21900)
This course is an exploration of the predominant themes and concerns of 1960's American popular culture through the reading of plays and musicals of that time period.  The selected subject matter will be supplemented with the viewing of several films outside of class time, plus the assignment of novels, non-fiction works and essays of the period.  The predominate themes of the period (women's rights, the civil rights movement, the gay pride movement, the sexual revolution and so forth) will be surveyed.

Women's Theatre
(THTR 22000)
This course will examine the development of a female dramatic tradition throughout the world.  Students will gain an overview of women's roles in writing and creating theatre by examining plays by women, theoretical pieces relating to the plays and playwrights, as well as historical materials relating to the contextualization of the dramatic literature.

Playwrights and the Pulitzer Prize
(THTR 22200)
Through cloe readings of their plays and an examination of their historical contexts, we will study dramatists who have won the Pulitzer Prize.  Students will understand how the literary works of these playwrights have both influences and been influenced by the ideas of the 20th and early 21st Centuries.

Theatre Into Film
(THTR 22300)
This course will explore the similarities and differences between two art forms.  We will study a series of noteworthy play scripts that have been adapted into films.  Consideration will be given to the disparate nature of the theatrical and cinematic modes of expression, as well as to the art of adaptation itself.  In each case the class will study the play as text and view the films which grew out of it.

Contemporary Theatre in Latin America
(THTR 22800)
An introduction into the playwriting and production trends in Latin America over the course of the last sixty years.  Consideration will be given to issues of dramatic structure, post-colonial theory and historical background, and influences from North America and Europe.  This course will attempt to address specific characteristics of national theatres of the region, and areas of commonality amongst them.  Script analysis will be coupled with production analysis based on DVD's of productions when available.

Black Theatre USA, Part 1
(THTR 23200)
Spanning the period 1821-1950, this introductory course offers an intensive exploration and analysis of the evolution of black dramatic literature in the United States of America.  Through the close reading of dramatic texts, this course will offer insights into the movements, institutions, actors, playwrights and other related artists contributing to African-American theatre.

Black Theatre USA, Part 2
(THTR 23201)
Focusing on the contemporary period, from 1950 to the present, this introductory course examines the development of recent African American drama.  Through the close reading of dramatic texts, this course will focus on the contributions of African American playwrights, actors, designers, critics and producers.

Directing 1
(THTR 23300)
Introduction to techniques of directing actors; scene and beat analysis; creative considerations of setting, properties, staging and dramatic rhythm.  Pre-requisite: THTR 13600 or permission of the department.

Acting Realism (THTR 23600)
Continuation and development of improvisation and monologues, with intensive work on the study of scenes from the modern realistic and naturalistic repertoire.  this course may be taken two times for credit.  Pre-requisite: THTR 13600 or permission of the department.

Acting the Classics
(THTR 23601)
Work on classical and modern poetic schools of dramatic works, featuring in-depth exploration of theatrical language, including consideration of emphasis, meter, connecting breath with thought verbal imagery and word-as-action.  Scenes, monologues and/or soliloquies will be explored.  Pre-requisite: THTR 13600 or permission of the department.

Auditioning and Acting Professionalism
(THTR 23602)
This course emphasizes auditioning for professional theatre and cinema.  Consideration is given to building a repertoire, developing a resume, professional comportment, etc.  The student will have experience in both the presentation of monologues and cold readings.  Pre-requisite: THTR 23600 or permission of the instructor.

Technical Theatre Practicum

(THTR 23701-23703)
Guided individual work in one of the following areas: stage management, costume design and construction, set design, painting and construction, stage lighting, property construction and acquisition, sound design.  This course may be repeated for up to eighteen credits.  by permission of the department.  Variable hours: 1-3 credits.

Musical Theatre Workshop (THTR 23800)
This course emphasizes acting through singing.  The students will gain familiarity with the various genres of songs within the musical comedy rubric and gain experience performing them.  There will also be choral work and an elementary workshop in jazz dance.  This course may be taken two times for credit.

Acting for the Camera (THTR 23900)
Students, using extant film scenarios, act in scenes from movies and gain practice in acting for television dramas and commercials.  Performances are video-taped and played back and analyzed.  This course may be taken two times for credit.

Acting for the Camera (THTR 23900)
Students, using extant films scenarios, act in scenes from movies and gain practice in acting for television dramas and commercials.  Performances are video-taped, played back and analyzed.  This course may be taken two times for credit.

Stage Combat (THTR 24000)
Introduces students to the art of stage combat.  Begins with basic exercises and culminates in a comprehensive choreographed scene.  Students learn the importance of partnering, discipline and the difference between actual violence and effective illusion.  Emphasis is on safety, acting values and telling the story of the fight in a theatrical setting.  This course may be taken two times for credit.

Ballet (THTR 25000)
The fundamentals of classical ballet, including intense barre and floor work on basic steps and positions, as well as consideration of the history of ballet, from its roots as a court diversion to its present hybrid manifestations.  This dance form will be placed in its context as a mode of theatrical expression, as a means to tell a story, to symbolize the full range of human emotion, and as abstract movement.  Students will gain basic mastery, as well as train and discipline their bodies. 

Jazz Dance
(THTR 25100)
Emphasis will be placed on perfecting basic dance techniques, creating basic jazz compositions and developing a more in-depth understanding of the historical development of American jazz dance from its Africa, social and modern dance roots to its contemporary influences and its symbiosis with American Musical Theatre.

Modern Dance (THTR 25200)
Students will work to develop alert, strong and intelligent bodies.  They will be exposed to a variety of approaches to dance technique and aesthetics.  The students will learn through improvisation to develop movement material, to work alone and in collaboration with others.  Students will increase their strength, suppleness and grace through a series of warm-ups, energetic center floor exercises and spatially oriented movement.

Tai Chi (THTR 25300)
Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient Chinese exercise based on centering and balance which has proven helpful to strengthen the body, increase flexibility, develop patience and discipline the mind.  Students will be instructed in the first of the three parts of the classical form, a series of slow rhythmical movements that center and integrate the mind and body.

Suzuki/Viewpoints Actor Training (THTR 25400)
An introduction to Tadashi Suzuki's physical and vocal discipline and Anne Bogart's actor/director collaborative system, "Viewpoints,"  The physical exercises aim to increase pjyiscal stamina, strengthen the body and develop an intuitive awareness of the actor's body in space.

Youth Theatre (THTR 25500)
This course will explore the unique and nuanced performance and playwriting techniques required in performing Theatre for Youth.  This course will expose students to a broad range of dramatic activities, directing and teaching strategies to prepare for work as a Teaching Artist and obtain experience leading activities.  Students will develop confidence creating and facilitating rehearsals, schedules, production meetings, aspects of technical theatre and other activities relating to directing students in theatre.

Lighting Design (THTR 26000)
An introduction to the art of lighting design.  Students will learn how to determine the lighting needs in a given dramatic text and venue; the equipment and materials employed; basic lighting drafting; the use of color; and lighting technology.

Costume Design (THTR 26100)
An introduction to the art of costume design.  Students will learn how to determine the costume needs in a given dramatic text and venue; the equipment and materials employed; basic costume design drafting; the respective skills needed in costume construction, pulling and purchasing.  Attention will be given to style and period.  Priorities will be given to research and imaginative exercises.

Set Design (THTR 26200)
An introduction to the art of set design.  Students will learn how to determine the set needs in a given dramatic text and venue; the equipment and materials employed; basic set design drafting; the use of color, texture and the shaping of space.

Independent Study (THTR 31000)
Upper level work on issues of dramatic literature, theatre history and criticism.  Permission of program advisor required.  Variable Credit.

Selected Topics (THTR 31100-32000)
Advanced study in selected topics and problems chosen from areas of theatre with emphasis upon aspects not treated in regular courses.  Hours and credits to be arranged.

Performance Practice
(THTR 33000)
Active participation in the production of a play either as an actor, assistant director or member of the technical crew.  Open to all students in the college by audition or permission of the faculty advisor.  20+ hours of rehearsal/week.  5 performances.  May be taken up to eight times for credit.

Playwriting (THTR 33100)
Development of skills in writing for the theatre; practice in developing dramatic situations, dialogue, building characters, etc.  This course may be taken two times for credit.

Directing 2 (THTR 33300)
Advanced course in directing, utilizing extended and more complex scenes and texts.  Culminates in each student directing a one-act play.  Pre-requisite: THTR 23300 or permission of the department.

Special Problems in Directing (THTR 37000)
The student directs a full-length theatrical work under faculty guidance.  Hours variable.  Permission of major advisor required.  Pre-requisite: THTR 13400 and THTR 33300

Special Problems in Playwriting (THTR 37100)
The student writes a full-length theatre work under faculty supervision.  Permission of major advisor required.  This course may be taken two times for credit.  Hours variable.  Pre-requisite: THTR 33100 (taken twice), ENG 32201

Special Problems in Technical Theatre and Design
(THTR 37200)
Guided work on a project of substantial scale, either in costume, lighting, set or sound design, stage management or extensive apprenticeship in technical crews.  Permission of program advisor and technical director required.  Hours variable.  May be taken up to four times.  Pre-requisite: THTR 13400

Theatre Workshop (THTR 43000)
Creative work in both acting and directing for advanced students who demonstrate outstanding talent.  Permission of the department required.  Can be taken a maximum of 3 semesters for a total of 9 credits.

Internship in Theatre (THTR 43101-43103)
Involves work at a theatre or theatre organization outside of the college environment.  The work could be in: 1) theatre management and administration, 2) technical theatre, 3) various creative areas, including: acting, directing and design.  The theatre advisors must approve the outside organization, as well as a coherent plan for the nature and quality of the work the student proposes to do.  Ultimately, the student present to their campus advisor a portfolio or journal chronicling their internship work, as confirmed by the on-site supervisor.  May be taken up to two times for a maximum of 6 credits.  43101 - 2 hours/week: 1 credit.  43102 - 4 hours/week: 2 credits.  43103 - 6 hours/week: 3 credits.

New Play Collaborations (THTR 43200)
This class will explore the creative, collaborative process and will be comprised of sets of actors, directors and playwrights who will team up to create a number of original works for the stage.  The semester will culminate in a public presentation of the work.  Registration by permission of the instructor.

Special Topics in Dramatic Literature

(THTR 45000)
Specialized study of specific playwrights, genres and historical periods of dramaturgy.  Pre-requisite: ENG 11000

Theatre for Social Change (THTR 45075)
This course will introduce students to this emerging field through examination of the integration of the performing arts, theatre in particular, and political engagement, justice and activism for social change.  Students will examine how it has been used by artists as a tool for community building, a means of justice in the wake of violence and oppression, public awareness and a catalyst for action in various countries around the world.