Fall 2015

The Craft of Speaking I: Vocal Freedom

Listed in: Theater and Dance, as THDA-125H

Formerly listed as: THDA-32H

Moodle site: Course


Ron Bashford (Sections 01 and 02)


A beginning studio course in the development of voice for speaking. Students develop range and tone through regular physical exercises in relaxation, breathing technique, placement, and presence. Individual attention focuses on helping each student develop the physical, mental, and emotional self-awareness needed for expressive vocal production. Practice is oriented toward acting for the stage, but students with a primary interest in public speaking, teaching, or improved interpersonal communication will find this course valuable. A modicum of reading and written reflection is required.  Three class meetings per week.

Limited to 28 students from among those who attend the first class meeting, admitted based on class year and major.  Early registration does not confer enrollment priority.  Fall semester.  Professor Bashford.

If Overenrolled: A rolling waiting list will be used through the add/drop period, along with major and class year.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Speaking, Community Based Learning, Fine Arts for Non-majors


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2022, Fall 2023


Submitted by Ron Bashford on Monday, 4/6/2015, at 8:34 AM

Please note:  if you are unable to pre-register for this course, please come to the first class meeting in the fall.  Students are chosen for the class from among those who attend on the first day, whether they have pre-registered or not.


Submitted by Ron Bashford on Monday, 4/6/2015, at 8:35 AM

Please note:  this is a half-course.  That means that it must be part of a course load that includes at least four other full courses.

Over-enrollment policy preview

Submitted by Ron Bashford on Monday, 4/13/2015, at 8:05 PM

Dear students!

Thank you all for your interest in THDA 125H: The Craft of Speaking!  I am writing to you because you have pre-registered,  and I want to make clear my policy on letting students into the course.

Based on current pre-registration, the course is over-enrolled.  

As I've written on the course page, I will determine enrollment based on those who attend the first day of class.  Your pre-registration does not confer priority status.

The rationale is to provide the opportunity for the greatest number of students to take both halves of the course before they graduate.  It's a little complicated, since the course will not be offered in 2017/18, and I also give priority to Theater and Dance majors (from any of the Five Colleges); I will explain in class how the ranking process works, in more detail.

Briefly, on that first day, I will collect information about your expected graduation year, major, and school.  I will also give an overview of the course and answer questions.  By the following morning, I will e-mail an enrollment list, and a ranked waiting list, which will remain active through the end of add/drop.   

Two important points:

(1) You must attend the first class meeting to be eligible for a spot in the class.  The first class is on Wednesday, September 9 at 11:00 a.m. in Webster Hall, Studio 2.

(2) After the first class, if you miss a class during the add/drop period without informing me in advance, I will give your spot to someone else, and move your name to the end of the waiting list.

FYI, I have room for 30 students in the course; currently 47 of you are pre-registered.  Additional students are likely to attend on the first day.

Please also note that as a half-course, the first part (in the fall) must be taken as part of a 4.5 course load at minimum (for Amherst students).  If you did not realize this, please check to make sure that you are not under-registered.  The Craft of Speaking II is a continuation, and is offered in the spring.  Part I is a pre-requisite for Part II, though Part II does not need to be taken immediately after Part I.  Together, the two parts count as one full course for fulfilling graduation (or major) requirements, so Part II may be taken as part of a 3.5-course load minimum in a spring semester 

I very much look forward to seeing you in the fall, and having you in class -- if not next year, then eventually!