Course Descriptions

Not all courses are offered every semester

Speech Courses

Foundations of Speech Communication  (SPCH 11100) Basic skills in extemporaneous speaking, oral reading, small group communication, interview techniques and listening.

Voice and Diction (SPCH 23300) Effective self-expression in communication, with emphasis on voice, diction and vocabulary.

Theatre Courses

Voice for the Actor (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.

Theatre 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.

Acting 1 (THTR 13600) Introduction to the principles and practice of acting, including: relaxation, concentration, self-awareness, inner objects, outer activities, objectives and obstacles, ensemble work, circle of belief, text analysis, and consideration of work ethic and professionalism. Basic scene and monologue work will be explored.

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 in the same semester with THTR 21200 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 in the same semester 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 Images, New German Realism, Post Modernism, the rise of the Broadway musical, the Off-Off Broadway theatre movement, the rise of Afro-American and Latinx schools of writing and production. Co-requisite: May not be taken in the same semester with THTR 21100 or 21200.

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 LGBTQ identity as portrayed in predominantly American dramas of the past century.  Students will learn about key figures and texts, starting with Oscar Wilde, followed by consideration of stereotypical and groundbreaking portrayals of queer people, as well as analyzing plays with themes of homophobia, self-hatred, acceptance, AIDS, familial interaction, and the evolution of the LGBTQ rights movement in a hetero-normative society.

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. Offered Fall semesters only.

Acting 2 (THTR 23600) Continuation and development of the principles of acting, with intensive work on study of senes from the modern realistic and naturalistic repertoire. Pre-requisite: THTR 13600 or permission from the Department. This course may be taken two times for credit. 

Acting 3 (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 from the Department.

Acting 4 (THTR 23602) This course emphasizes auditioning for professional theatre, film, television and interactive media. Consideration is given to building an audition repertoire, developing a resume, professional comportment, etc. The student will have experience in both the presentation of monologues and in doing 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 (18) 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.

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.

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, as well as directing and teaching strategies to help prepare them 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, and basic costume design drafting, the respective sklls in costume construction, pulling and purchasing. Attention will be given to style and period. Priorities will be given both 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 31000-31004) Upper level work on issues of dramatic literature, theatre history and criticism. Permission of program advisor required. Variable Credit Hours, 1-4.

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.

Contemporary African American Female Playwrights (THTR 31113) This course will trace the continuation and development of African American dramatic literature, beginning with Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 groundbreaking A Raisin in the Sun through Lynn Nottage's 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning Sweat. This course is designed to accommodate students at all levels of study. As a basic reading and text analysis class, students will begin thier critical analysis from an Aristotelian approach to critical approaches inclusive of Cultural Theory, Fminist Theory, Peroformance Theory, and Critical Race Theory.

Improvisation and Theatre Games (THTR 31117) A workshop dedicated to creativity, collaboration and imagination. Students will be up on their feet and working in every class, and exercises taught will cover: being in the moment, risk taking, acting without words, warm-ups, creating dialogue without a script, and other techniques that will enhance performers' natural abilities and intuition.

Arts in New York City (THTR 31127) Discover the cultural richness of New York City. This interdisciplinary elective course will take students to plays, concerts, movies, museums and art galleries. The class will meet during the posted hours and go out on the town for cultural activities one night a week.

Stage and Theatre Management (THTR 31128) An introduction to producing and managing theatre. This course aims to provide an overview of the practices, theories and principles of producing and managing, using theatre companies as case studies. Students will examine mission statements, seasons, marketing and study financial planning. Oral and written presentations will strengthen communication skills and prepare students for further study in theatre management. Responsibilities and skills for stage management will also be covered.

Hip Hop Dance (THTR 31300) Learn the elements of hip hop within choreography, as well as learn how to freestyle dance. Each week students will learn between 2 to 3 elements of hip hop, indluding: popping, locking, breaking, waving, tutting, gliding, house, etc. Students will also be taught the history of hip hop in American culture.

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.  0+ hours of rehearsal/week for 5-6 weeks, culminating in 5 performances. May be taken up to eight times for credit.

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

Playwriting 2 (THTR 33200) Further development of skills in writing for the theatre, including: practice in developing dramatic situations, dialogue, building characters, etc. 

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. Offered Spring semesters only.

Performance Practice in Film (THTR 33600) Student actors work with student film directors to develop original short films through improvisation. Co-circular course, with MCA department.

Special Problems in Directing (THTR 37000) The student directs a full-length theatrical work under faculty guidance. 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. May 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. Permission of the instructor required.

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.

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Last Updated: 01/19/2024 11:15