Course SchedulerShow curriculum in:

Theater and Dance

Year:

2020-21

111 The Language of Movement

An introduction to movement as a language and to dance and performance composition. In studio sessions students will explore and expand their individual movement vocabularies by working improvisationally with weight, posture, gesture, patterns, rhythm, space, and relationship of body parts. We will ask what these vocabularies might communicate about emotion, thought, physical structures, cultural/social traditions, and aesthetic preferences. In addition, we will observe movement practices in everyday situations and in formal performance events and use these observations as inspiration for individual and group compositions. Two two-hour class/studio meetings. Selected readings and viewing of video and live performance.

Limited to 20 students. Six seats reserved for first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Woodson.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

112 Visual Thinking: Materials of Performance

An introduction to methods of visual research and visual creativity for textual, narrative, and performance interpretation. The course is conducted in a format combining discussions, creative play, student presentations, and collaborative critique. Class discussions and readings include the theoretical basis of a range of historical theatrical conventions, from Aristotle through Robert Wilson. Class exercises in perception and analysis build skills culminating in the realization of three-dimensional and story-boarding projects. In addition to two two-hour class meetings per week, students participate in the equivalent of a two-hour per week laboratory experience coordinated with the department’s production season.

Limited to 12 students per section. Spring semester. Professor Dougan.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

113 Action and Character

This course examines the creation of dramatic action and character from the points of view of both the playwright and the actor. Students learn how to analyze and bring dramatic texts to life through a creative process, using the body, voice and imagination.

Classwork includes regular acting exercises designed to develop craft and to give students an understanding of creative and collaborative processes. Homework includes regular rehearsal assignments and theoretical texts, along with practical research and short writing assignments in various modes. Two two-hour class meetings per week. In addition, a lab component (equivalent to two hours per week) puts class study into production context.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semesters. Professor Bashford. 

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

114 Contemporary Performance: Case Studies

This course will focus on case studies of selected works and artists of contemporary performance over the last century as a means of placing the creation and practice of theater and dance in context. We will closely consider these case studies as reflective of important aesthetic traditions and experiments in contemporary performance. In addition, we will seek connections between the different case study examples and the social, cultural and political environments that fostered them. We will reflect on issues of race, gender, identity, political activism, individual expression and differing collaborative structures in our encounters with these case studies. We will also look to historical precedents and sources that inform our understanding of artistic innovations and processes. Required of Theater and Dance majors.

This foundation course in the history/theory of performance is open to all students. Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Visiting Artist in Playwriting Carneiro.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

115H Contemporary Dance: Modern 1/2

The study and practice of contemporary movement vocabularies, including regional dance forms, contact improvisation and various modern dance techniques. Objectives include the intellectual and physical introduction to this discipline as well as increased body awareness, alignment, flexibility, coordination, strength, musical phrasing and the expressive potential of movement. The course material is presented at the beginning/intermediate level. A half course. Because the specific genres and techniques will vary from semester to semester, the course may be repeated for credit.

Fall and Spring semester.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

117H Contemporary Dance Technique: Intermediate

This intermediate-level movement practice course is designed for students with previous movement experience who wish to deepen their work as dance artists through the continued development of physical and performance-related skills. Infusing somatic inquiry and improvisational exploration alongside building-specific alignment/coordination connections in movement organization, this course is an ongoing experiment with a vast terrain of practices that energize and attune ourselves, both individually and together, to the interconnected wholeness of our moving form and being. We transcribe this physical research into the embodiment of increasingly complex and dynamic movement phrases, eventually dancing this material within expansive performance propositions and scores. Our intention is to practice moving with clarity, freedom, adaptability, and artistry, excavating a personal presence and unique movement expression in the moment of performance.

Fall semester. Professor Riegel. 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2020

122H Contemporary Dance Technique: Hip Hop

This course is designed to focus on the movement aspect of hip hop culture. Dance in the tradition of B-Boys and B-girls while learning a wide variety of hip hop movement. From the old school "bronx" style to commercial hip hop, learn a wide range of hip-hop vocabulary in a course emphasizing group choreography, floor work, and partner work. No previous dance experience is necessary. Class will incorporate funk, street, b-boy/b-girl, and house elements to stretch and tone the body. Class will include across the floor and center combinations which will ask the dancers to find their relationship to musicality, athleticism, dynamics, and articulation of the body.

Fall semester. Lecturer Johnson.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

125H The Craft of Speaking I: Vocal Freedom

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. A half course.

Limited to 28 students. Six spaces reserved for first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Bashford.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

142H Contemporary Dance Techniques: West African

The study and practice of contemporary movement vocabularies, including regional dance forms, contact improvisation and various modern dance techniques. Because the specific genres and techniques will vary from semester to semester, the course may be repeated for credit. Objectives include the intellectual and physical introduction to this discipline as well as increased body awareness, alignment, flexibility, coordination, strength, musical phrasing and the expressive potential of movement. The course material is presented at the beginning/intermediate level.

Spring semester. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

154 Re-Imagining the Classics

(Offered as THDA 154 and CLAS 154) How can we look back to classic plays that were written one or two millennia ago and use them as the basis for a new piece of art that will be relevant and inspiring to a contemporary audience?

This course will explore how artists from various media—theater, film, TV, dance, music, painting—have interpreted and re-authored classical texts. We will discuss western classics as well as canonical texts from Japan, India, Africa and Latin America.

Are there any shared fundamental human elements among these very different continents and cultures? What made these texts enter the eternal dramatic canon of our civilization? Why are artists from various disciplines constantly attracted to re-authoring these classics? How can we build upon these works of the past to create something new, personal and relevant to our time?

This course will examine these questions using a variety of audio-visual examples, dramatic and critical texts, and studio exercises. Students will also re-author a classical text as a contemporary piece, in various artistic media.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2019-20. Professor Eliraz.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017

155 Introduction to Dance Studies: What is Performance?

(Offered as THDA 155, BLST 144, and SWAG 155) In this introductory course we will look at dance performance as reflective of culture, gender, race and politics. Class sessions will incorporate viewings of recorded performances and in-depth discussions; attendance at live performances will also be part of the course. Selected readings in gender, critical race and queer theories (among others) will be assigned and used to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between bodies and performance, both on and off stage. Selected readings for this course include Judith Butler, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, and Jose Esteban Munoz, among others. Selected choreographers include Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, Faye Driscoll, William Forsythe, and Martha Graham.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2019-20. Visiting Assistant Professor Brown.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Fall 2018

209 Contemporary Dance Technique and Repertory 3/4

This course will include studio sessions in contemporary modern/jazz dance technique at the intermediate level and rehearsal sessions to create original choreography; the completed piece(s) will be presented in concert at the end of the semester. The emphasis in the course will be to increase expressive range, technical skills and performance versatility of the dancer through the practice, creation and performance of technique and choreography. In addition, the course will include required readings, the viewing of dance videos and live performances to give an increased understanding of the historical and contemporary context for the work. 

Limited to 12 students. Spring Semester. Assistant Professor Riegel. 

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2013

213 The Actor's Process

The actors bring characters to life, through text, physicality and voice. Using their own bodies, they transform the words from a play’s pages in order to become another live being onstage. This art requires not only technique, but more importantly, an original and personal interpretation of the text, its characters, and their actions.

One of the goals of this course is to nourish each actor’s capacity for personal and original interpretation, or what might be called the elusive “artist’s voice". Another goal is developing independent skills to rehearse a scene. Working toward these goals, we will work in a lab environment, rehearsing scenes and monologues from various playwright’s scripts. We will employ physical and analytical tools, which will enrich the actor's palette of skills, foster their artist’s voice and advance their way of rehearsing a play. The class meets three times per week for two hours.

Requisite: THDA 111, THDA 113, or a prior course in acting at the college level, or by consent of the instructor. Limited to 16 students. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Eliraz.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

216H Contemporary Dance Technique: Advanced

The study and practice of contemporary movement vocabularies, including regional dance forms, contact improvisation and various modern dance techniques. Objectives include the intellectual and physical investigations of this discipline as well as increased body awareness, alignment, flexibility, coordination, strength, musical phrasing and the expressive potential of movement. The course material is presented at the intermediate/advanced level.  A half course.  Because the specific genres and techniques will vary from semester to semester, the course may be repeated for credit.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Riegel. 

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2021

217H Contemporary Dance Techniques: Modern/Ballet 4

The study and practice of contemporary movement vocabularies, including regional dance forms, contact improvisation and various modern dance techniques. Objectives include the intellectual and physical introduction to this discipline as well as increased body awareness, alignment, flexibility, coordination, strength, musical phrasing and the expressive potential of movement. The course material is presented at the intermediate/advanced level. A half course. Because the specific genres and techniques will vary from semester to semester, the course may be repeated for credit.

Requisite: Ballet 1/2 or Ballet 2/3. Spring semester.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2018

219H Contemporary Dance Tecnique: Partnering

In an atmosphere of curiosity, warmth and constructive risk-taking, this course investigates the dynamic possibilities of the moving relationships of our dancing bodies. We will practice and develop deep kinesthetic sensitivity and listening as we explore both an intellectual and embodied understanding of contemporary dance partnering basics such as weight sharing, momentum, counterbalance, force, fulcrums, tone and resistance. Directing our attention to cause and effect, our experimentation with different choices will guide our learning process. Skills to build trust and open communication, pillars of healthy dance partnering practices, are folded into every class. A half course. Because the specific techniques will vary each semester, the course may be repeated for credit.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Jenna Riegel.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

220 History of Opera

(Offered as MUSI 220 and THDA 220) History of Opera traces opera from its beginnings as a late-Renaissance experiment in re-creating Greek drama to its incarnations in works of the present day. Subjects covered will include genres such as opera buffa and opera seria, concepts such as bel canto, Gesamtkunstwerk, and verismo. The primary focus of the class will be on opera from the so-called common-practice period beginning with works by Mozart through those by nineteenth-century composers such as Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet, and Wagner, and ending with Puccini in the early twentieth century. After an historical overview of operatic styles, we will have an in-depth look at a few operatic masterpieces (likely Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s La Bohème, and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress). Students will be required to participate in group presentations on operas of their choosing.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or 113 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 45 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Schneider.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017

222 Adventures in Contemporary Drama: A Play is what I call a Play

How has the theater text changed to accommodate new performance practices? What can be called a “play” today? In this course, we will explore contemporary theater texts from around the world. By reading plays from authors such as Samuel Beckett, Heiner Muller, Caryl Churchill, Young Jean Lee, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Meng Jinghui, among others, we will learn to adopt a “dramaturgical lens” to approach theater and text for performance. Suitable for aspiring professionals in all roles in theater, as well as theater lovers in general, this course also includes practical creative exercises in dramaturgy. Open to first-year students.

Fall semester. Visiting Artist Carneiro. 

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

225H The Craft of Speaking II: Spoken Expression

In this second course in the craft of speaking, students learn to shape and speak text to powerful effect. Students build on prior work to extend vocal range and capacity while learning component principles of spoken expression. Articulation, inflection, methods of contrast and interpretation, tone, verbal imaging and aural structures of poetry and rhetoric are practiced in a studio setting. Emphasis is placed on personal engagement and presence to others while speaking. Assignments in text scoring and memorization support class work. The course culminates in presentations of prepared texts. Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: THDA 125H. Spring semester. Professor Bashford.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

232 Collaboration in Theater

Theater making is a collaborative process, in which all participants contribute to the creation of the theatrical event. A good collaboration in theater brings together the personal voice of each and every collaborator and requires participants to listen and give room to all other voices during the creative process. This course encourages diversity of interests among the students: writing, researching, acting, designing and directing. It will offer various tools and approaches towards collaboration in theater, as being practiced by contemporary groups like The Wooster Group, Tectonic Theater Project, Kneehigh Theater and Anne Bogart.

The course will have a few “steps” in collaboration: we will start with simple and short pieces, in pairs or small groups. Halfway through the semester we will start devising a theater piece that everyone will work on. We will begin to see written drafts and rough drawings and models, and work our way through rehearsals towards a realized production. We will present the piece in front of an audience at the end of the semester.

Class will meet twice a week for two hours. In addition, 4-6 hours per week of rehearsals and/or reading and research are expected outside of class times. Previous experience in theater is welcomed but is not required. First-year students are encouraged to enroll, as well as students with past experience.

Limited to 20 students. Five seats reserved for first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Eliraz.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

235 Critical Moves: Performance, Politics and Activist Bodies

Athletes taking a knee, bodies marching in the street, dance movements that go viral… How can Dance Studies and Performance Studies help us understand the urgency of movement in our current moment? At the same time, how does dance challenge normative conceptualizations of history and politics? Exploring embodied politics in global perspective, this course works from the framework of “Critical Moves” proposed by late dance theorist Randy Martin: “Critical moves. Steps we must take. Movement that informs critical consciousness.” The interrelationship between theory and practice are emphasized through reading, writing, movement exercises and creative workshops. Students will be expected to regularly read, write, create and move; view and discuss performances; pursue a final research project through embodied, visual, and text-based methods; and work on a collective performance intervention that will take place on campus toward the end of the semester. No dance or performance experience necessary; students should bring an openness to engage with embodied practice and a bodily perspective.

Spring semester. Five College Visitor Chapman.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

236 Dissecting the Music Video: Dance, Image, and Representation

This dance history course locates the intersections between dance, music, film, and identity politics by analyzing the cultural phenomenon of the American “music video” from the early 1980s to now. By considering American dance history from 1900 to the present, alongside film analysis work, students will gain an introductory understanding of how the moving body on screen intersects with identity politics related to race, class, sex, sexuality, and gender. Students will explore the course topic through readings on dance, music, film, and critical theory; in-class film viewings of music videos, dance for camera, and other visual media; in-class discussions dissecting critical theory for analysis purposes; and written analysis of film and video.

Spring Semester. Artist-in-Residence Brown. 

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020

240 Contemporary Fashion in a Historical Perspective

Using a seminar format, this course will ask students to choose a topic and explore the relationship between culture and clothing in historical context, addressing issues of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality and their connection to the aesthetics of self-expression. In addition, students will develop their own contemporary fashion ideas using the Audubon Portfolio as a point of departure. Individually scheduled weekly labs, conducted by Emily Hoem, professional cutter draper for the Theater and Dance Department, will teach the necessary technical skills needed to fabricate one garment.

Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Dougan.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Spring 2021

242 Plays in Play: The Ensemble and the Playwright

In this course, students conduct rehearsal investigations into the work of a particular playwright, and explore ways in which coordinated action renders dramatic writing in theatrical form. In addition to examining selected plays and background material, students will develop ensemble techniques of play, improvisation, and staging.  Emphasis is placed on the communicative means required to develop a shared vision, and to particular acting and directing techniques relevant to the work of the selected playwright.  This course is open to students interested in any aspect of play production, but all students should expect to act, co-direct, conduct research, and explore basic visual design implications together. The course will culminate in a workshop-style performance; group rehearsals outside of class meeting times are required.  The playwright for fall 2020 is Molière.

Requisite: A prior college-level course in theater or permission of the instructor. Open to first-year students with permission. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Bashford. 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

249 Partner Dancing (Intermediate Composition)

In an atmosphere of curiosity, warmth and constructive risk-taking, this course investigates the dynamic possibilities of the moving relationships of our dancing bodies. We practice and develop deep kinesthetic sensitivity and listening as we explore both an intellectual and embodied understanding of contemporary partnering basics such as weight sharing, momentum, counterbalance, force, fulcrums, tone and resistance. Directing our attention to cause and effect, our experimentation with different choices guides our learning. Skills to build trust and open communication, pillars of healthy partnering practices, are folded into our classes. We discuss and embrace the intersections and influences of our personal identities, cultural backgrounds, compositional habits, and aesthetic sensibilities on our movement making. The creation of unique duet or ensemble dances through inventive and improvisational processes culminate in a public showing. Selected readings and viewings of partnering practices utilized across different cultures and performance groups and the ensuing discussions supplement our physical practice.

Requisite: A previous movement course or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Riegel.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017

254 Sound Design

(Offered as THDA 254, FAMS 332 and MUSI 254) What is the role of sound in live performance, and how is it designed and produced? This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of sound design in live performance contexts from both technical and artistic perspectives. Throughout the term we will work towards developing skills that lead to a greater awareness and understanding of sound in theatre, media, and our everyday lives. Students will explore the fundamentals of audio production and acoustics through a series of short projects, covering a range of topics from foley art, to digital field recording, to various digital sound-editing software applications, to live sound reinforcement principles.

Special consideration will be given to software environments and applications (QLab, Ableton Live, Borderlands, Max Msp) dedicated to live playback and design of acoustic spaces, and we will examine strategies for developing an efficient, real-world approach to the technical rehearsal process. Throughout the course, we will consider the creative and technical toolkit needed for imagining sound design opportunities in various script, video, dance, art installation and performance-oriented collaborations.

Recommended requisite: One prior practice-of-arts course in theater and dance, music or studio art, or equivalent experience. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Meginsky.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

255 Sound, Movement, and Text: Interactions and Collaborations

(Offered as THDA 255, ENGL 223, and MUSI 255) This studio course is designed as an interactive laboratory for dancers, composers, actors, writers/poets, vocalists, and sound artists to work together to create meaningful interactions between sound, movement, and text. Working individually and in collaborative groups, students will create original material in the various media and experiment with multiple ways to craft interesting exchanges and dialogues between word, sound, and movement or to create hybrid forms. The emphasis in the course will be to work with exercises and structures that engender deep listening, looking, and imagining. Some of the questions that inform the course include: How do music, voices, electronic, digital, and natural sounds create a sonic world for live performance and vice versa? How can movement inform the writing of text and vice-versa? How can we successfully communicate and collaborate across and between the different languages of sounds, words, and movement? We will have a series of informal studio performances, events, and installations throughout the semester with a culminating final showing/listening at the end of the semester.

Requisite: Previous experience in composition in one or more of the central media, or consent of the instructors. Limited to 16 students. Spring semester. Professor Woodson and Visiting Lecturer Meginsky.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

261 Lighting Design

An introduction to the theory and techniques of theatrical lighting, with emphasis on the aesthetic and practical aspects of the field as well as the principles of light and color.

Requisite: THDA 112 or consent of the instructor. Lab work in lighting technology. Fall semester. Resident Lighting Designer Couch.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

263 Scene Design

The materials, techniques and concepts which underlie the design and creation of the theatrical environment.

Requisite: THDA 112 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Fall semester. Professor Dougan.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2020

266, 267 Ensemble: Dancing in Community

This advanced studio course is designed for students who want to develop their skills as dance/theater artists by participating in the creation of a student dance company that is viable and sustainable in a liberal arts environment. Students enrolled in this course will be part of an ensemble and perform regularly in different sites in the Five College Community. In addition to the ongoing practice of technique, class times will focus on learning and creating different repertory with the instructor of the course, guest artists and the students who are enrolled in the course.

In addition, we will examine different professional dance company models as inspiration in the formation of the ensemble as well as research diverse examples for community engagement and the arts. Questions that will inform the work include: What does it mean to be part of a performing ensemble in a liberal arts setting? How do performance art making and community intersect? What are potential structures for organizing an ensemble performance company to ensure flexibility as well as sustainability? What are some of the challenges in keeping a collaborative body together and viable Three two-hour meetings per week plus lab TBA.

Requisite: Previous performance experience in dance/theater. Limited to 10 students. Admission with consent of the instructor after audition. Omitted 2020-21. 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

270 Playwriting I

(Offered as THDA 270 and ENGL 222.) This course explores key aspects of writing for the theater in a workshop style, from a transcultural perspective. Through writing exercises, analysis of scenes, feedback sessions, and the rewriting of materials produced, participants will experience the creative process and start developing their own voice. At the end, there will be a showcase of works. In the fall of 2019, in collaboration with the University of Basra, this unique playwriting workshop will also include moments of exchange with student peers in Iraq. Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester.

Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Carneiro.  

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

272 On The Edge: Writing for Performance

(Offered as THDA 272 and ENGL 323) This course is an exploration of writing for performance using interdisciplinary and experimental approaches. By exposing students to contemporary manifestations of performance across cultures – including those by Rodrigo Garcia, Rimini Protokoll, Romeo Castelluci, Robert Lepage, Carolina Vivas, and Gebing Tian – this course will lead to a new understanding of the art and practice of writing for the theater. In dialogue with other artforms such as literature, music, dance, and cinema, as well as performance theory, we will creatively explore dynamics involving words, bodies, spaces, objects, and media. Through imagining, devising, writing, and performing exercises, participants will develop their own original pieces that will be showcased as works-in-progress at the end of the semester. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester. Visiting Artist Ana Carneiro.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021

275 Her Story Is: Feminist Approaches to Theater and Performance

(Offered as THDA 275, ENGL 325 and SWAG 275) Western text-based theatre has historically hushed the voices of women and those from marginalized communities. This course will focus on examples of such voices, paying special attention to artists, writers, and thinkers who challenge and deconstruct aesthetics that privilege the male gaze. In dialogue with feminist theories of gender and identity, we will read plays and study works by women and gender non-conforming artists, such as Hildegard von Bingen, Juana Ines de la Cruz, Susan Glaspell, Adrienne Kennedy, Marina Abramovich, and Taylor Mac. Finally, we will also inquire into new forms of gender-inspired “artivism,” such as The Kilroy’s, the Guerilla girls, Pussy Riot, and the #MeToo movement in theatres around the world. During this course, students are expected to pursue an individual writing or performance project that will further explore the concepts discussed. For this purpose, we will study the Theater of the Oppressed methodology as applied by contemporary Latinx feminist theater-makers.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Artist Carneiro. 

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020

320 Seminar on Opera, Operetta, and Musical

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the three main genres of lyric theater (opera, operetta, and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. Beginning with case studies from operas by Mozart, Verdi, and Puccini, an operetta by Johann Strauss II, and a musical by Stephen Sondheim, we will work to acquire a critical vocabulary to understand the ways in which composers work with conventions of vocal type and melodic and rhythmic gesture to define character. Some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend. Students will be required to give a presentation and write a research paper on a topic of their choice.

Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Schneider.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019

340 Acting and Directing Studio

This is a studio course in collaboration among actors and directors leading to completed theatrical interpretations of dramatic texts. Students produce a portfolio of short projects, using published text or through rehearsal devising. Readings, writing, and class discussion are devoted to the shared practices of acting and directing, and to individual problems and approaches. Topics include the articulation of artistic vision, the role of the audience, advanced textual analysis, and the use of space, sound and light. Studio exercises are employed to support relevant techniques. In addition, applicable organizational and research methods will be considered, and, when possible, students may collaborate with others enrolled in a related course in design. Two class meetings per week. Students should expect to schedule a significant amount of rehearsal time outside of class meetings for the successful completion of projects.

Requisite: An appropriate intermediate, 200-level course in THDA, or equivalent college-level experience with consent of the instructor. Spring Semester. Professor Bashford.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

353 Performance Studio

(Offered as THDA 353 and FAMS 345) In this advanced course in the techniques of creating performance, each student will create and rehearse a performance piece that develops and incorporates original choreography, text, music, sounds and/or video. Improvisational and collaborative structures and approaches among and within different media will be investigated. The final performance pieces will be presented in the Holden Theater.

Two ninety-minute class sessions per week. There will be weekly mandatory showings. These showings are a working document of the important and necessary vicissitudes within a creative process.

Requisite: THDA 252 or the equivalent and consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Fall semester. Professor Woodson.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2020

354 Sound Design Studio

(Offered as THDA 354, FAMS 354 and MUSI 354) Building on the concepts learned in THDA 254/MUSI 254, this studio course further develops the student’s work in sound design through an intensive focus on hands-on practice. Students will participate as sound designers in the Amherst Theater & Dance production program, the Five-College production program, and in other collaborative sound design and compositional opportunities with filmmakers, visual artists, installation artists, game designers, and podcasters. Throughout the term, students will expand and deepen their relationship to the toolkit introduced in Sound Design I, while we examine strategies for developing an efficient, real-world approach to the creative and technical rehearsal processes in various modes of live performance and art making. Limited to twelve students.

Requisite: THDA 254/MUSI 254 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Lecturer Meginsky.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020

355 Solo Performance

In this studio course, we will explore different skills and approaches towards creating solo performance. We will examine examples of historical and contemporary live solo performances in theater, dance, video, music, street, stand up and in political/social arenas to inform and ask what makes these effective (or not). We will use what we learn from these examples to inspire our own solo material. We will also develop additional techniques (through improvisational trial and error) that enliven and engage our different voices, stories, imaginations and emotions. An emphasis will be placed on exploring and crafting a dynamic relationship between body and voice, between movement and text and between literal and abstract expression in order to create confident and compelling solo presentations on and off stage. We will consider the solo as both a personal vehicle of expression and as a means of giving voice to experiences of others. In the process of making compositional choices, we will consider the personal and social implications of these choices. The semester will culminate in a public performance of final solos.

Requisite: Previous experience in performance and/or video--whether in the arts or public presentations in other disciplines/contexts. Open to juniors and seniors. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Woodson.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021

360 Design Studio

An advanced course in the arts of theatrical design. Primary focus is on the communication of design ideas and concepts with other theater artists. Also considered is the process by which developing theatrical ideas and images are realized. Students will undertake specific projects in scenic, costume and/or lighting design and execute them in the context of the Department’s production program or in other approved circumstances. Examples of possible assignments include designing workshop productions, and assisting faculty and staff designers with major responsibilities in full-scale production. In all cases, detailed analysis of the text and responsible collaboration will provide the basis of the working method. May be repeated for credit.

Requisite: THDA 260, 261, 263 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Dougan.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

363 Design Studio II

This course is a continuation of THDA 360, an advanced course in the arts of theatrical design. Primary focus is on the communication of design ideas and concepts with other theater artists. Also considered is the process by which developing theatrical ideas and images are realized. Students will undertake specific projects in scenic, costume and/or lighting design and execute them in the context of the department’s production program or in other approved circumstances. Students in this course will design for a full-scale production. In all cases, detailed analysis of the text and responsible collaboration will provide the basis of the working method. May be repeated for credit.

Requisite: THDA 260, 261, or 263 or consent of the instructor. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Dougan.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

370 Playwriting Studio

(Offered as THDA 370 and ENGL 322) A workshop/seminar for writers who want to complete a full-length play or series of plays. Emphasis will be on bringing a script to a level where it is ready for the stage. Although there will be some exercises in class to continue the honing of playwriting skills and the study of plays by established writers as a means of exploring a wide range of dramatic vocabularies, most of the class time will be spent reading and commenting on the plays of the workshop members as these plays progress from the first draft to a finished draft.

Requisite: THDA 270 or the equivalent. Limited to 10 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Carneiro.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

400H Production Studio

An advanced course in the production of Theater and Dance works. Primary focus will be on the integration of the individual student into a leadership role within the Department’s producing structure. Each student will accept a specific responsibility with a departmental production team testing his or her artistic, managerial, critical, and problem-solving skills. A half course.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Not open to first-year students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Bashford.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

For Honors candidates in Theater and Dance.

Open to seniors. Fall semester. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020