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Theater and Dance

Year:

2022-23

111 The Language of Movement

An introduction to movement as a language and to dance and performance composition. 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 use observations of movement in our everyday situations and environments, as well as from staged and filmed events, as inspiration for individual and group compositions. Selected readings and viewing of video and films will be included to give students a broad overview of dance and movement practices and tools with which to observe and analyze movement.  

Attention will be drawn to issues of race, class, gender and culture in looking at diverse languages of movement. 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 20 students. Six seats reserved for first-year students. Fall semester. The Department. Spring semester. Professor Kim.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

113 Action and Character

A first college-level course in the fundamentals of acting, with an emphasis on the connections between dramatic action and character. Students learn how to analyze dramatic texts and bring them to life through a collaborative process, and by using body, voice and imagination. Classwork includes regular exercises designed to develop acting craft. Homework includes memorization, regular rehearsals and relevant reading, alongside practical research and short writing in various modes. Assignments progress toward realizing performed scenes.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Sears.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

120H Ballet: Beginning/Intermediate

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 semester.  The Department.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

122H Dance Technique: Beginning/Intermediate 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 and spring semester. The Department.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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.

Omitted 2021-22. The Department.

2022-23: 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, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

144H Contemporary Dance Technique: Salsa Performance and Culture

(Offered as THDA 144H and LLAS 144H) This class introduces students to beginner-level salsa technique. We will explore the New York Mambo style of salsa, the Caracas street style, as well as elements of the Cuban Casino style. Students will master variations of the salsa basic step, turns, connecting steps, and arm work. Although we will mostly focus on solo practice, we will learn some essential concepts of partnering work based on the principles of leading and following. Toward the end of the semester, students will be able to use the acquired salsa vocabulary as the basis for improvising and choreographing combinations.

Through the study of salsa’s history, political dimensions, lyrical content, and matrilineal legacy, students will develop an understanding of this artistic expression not only as a dance form or musical genre, but also as a unifying voice of resistance and liberation for Caribbean and Latino cultures. Students will be able to recognize the voices of some of the most iconic Salsa artists and appreciate the contributions of some of the most important female Cuban and Cuban-American performers. We will investigate the legacy of Celia Cruz, paying close attention to the design and performance elements that defined her as The Queen of Salsa. Class discussions and brief writing assignments will serve as opportunities to reflect upon readings, documentaries and other information that will expand our understanding of the form.

Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021

182, 182H Digital Music Production and Recording

(Offered as MUSL 182H and THDA 182H) This course provides individual performance instruction in digital music production and recording including sound capture, mixing, mastering, and use of Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) to create music. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

207 Contemporary Dance Technique and Context: Intermediate

This is a course in intermediate-level contemporary dance as a technique practice and as a topic of cultural study. Using the studio as a laboratory, we will embody increasingly complex and dynamic movement that investigates clarity, freedom, adaptability, and artistry and challenges stamina. Additionally, contemporary dance’s roots and influences will be recognized, explored, and discussed. These include the borrowing and fusing of movement vocabularies from jazz, modern, hip hop, and improvisational dance forms like Contact Improvisation. Weekly readings from such authors as Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Takiyah Nur Amin, and Ann Cooper Albright will serve to deepen our understanding of contemporary dance’s history, evolution, and value as a humanistic endeavor. Regular writing assignments will allow us to reflect on our movement histories and articulate personal goals and progress within the course. This course meets four times per week. Pre-requisite: two or more college-level courses in dance techniques, or equivalent experience. Because the study of dance technique requires ongoing practice, this course may be repeated for credit.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Riegel. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2022. Assistant Professor Riegel. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2020

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.Omitted 2021-2022. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

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. Omitted 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2018

218 Contemporary Dance Technique and Repertory

This course will include studio sessions in contemporary modern dance technique at the intermediate level and rehearsal sessions to create original choreography; the new work will be presented at the end of the semester. The emphasis in the course will be to increase expressive range, technical skills and the performance versatility of the performer through the practice, creation and performance of choreography. The course will include readings and video viewings to offer a broader understanding of performance and choreography.

Limited to 18 students. Auditions will be conducted during the first class meeting. Fall semester. Jungeun Kim.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

218H Dance Technique: Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary

This is an intermediate/advanced-level course in contemporary dance technique with a primary focus on movement practice. Using the studio as a laboratory, we will embody increasingly complex and dynamic movement that investigates clarity, freedom, adaptability, and artistry and challenges stamina. Additionally, contemporary dance’s roots and influences will be acknowledged and applied through movement exploration. These include the borrowing and fusing of movement vocabularies from jazz, modern, hip hop, and improvisational dance forms like contact improvisation. Readings and occasional writing assignments will allow us to deepen our understanding of our movement histories and articulate personal progress within the course. This course meets twice a week. Prerequisite: two or more college-level courses in dance techniques, or equivalent experience. Because the study of dance technique requires ongoing practice, this course may be repeated for credit.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Konner.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

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.

Omitted 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019

222, 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 as playwrights.

Recommended: THDA 113 or equivalent, or a prior college-level course in creative writing. Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Visiting Artist Carneiro.

 

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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. Professor Bashford.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

230 Elements of Performance: Perception and Analysis

When we experience a performance, we synthesize a rich array of sensations and information at once, and through time.  Yet, artists employ a variety of different means to create their work, building it bit by bit.  This course explores various elements that practioners use in the making of theater and dance, with an emphasis on the role perception plays in audience experience of meaning and feeling.  Elements of performance will include basic “building blocks” of audience perception (temporal, spatial, visual, aural), leading to consideration of more complex tools and conventions, such as ritual, language, movement, music, design, and performing techniques.  This class will study larger formal conventions used in the structure of whole performances as they reflect artists' possible intentions.

Students will develop analytical skills in the interpretation of multi-layered performance works, and in doing so, extend their own artistic possibilities and appreciation as audience members. In particular, we will investigate how artists build performances to challenge audiences and their society.  Activities include reading and viewing, discussion, targeted writing assignments, and creative exercises to develop experiential understanding. 

We will encounter influential theorists and artists (performers, playwrights, directors, choreographers, designers, etc.), including women, queer artists, and artists of color.  Authors and artists under consideration for this course include Aristotle, Stanislavsky, Grotowski, Beckett, Pinter, Churchill, Brook, Kushner, Bausch, Cunningham, Ailey, Bogart, Bill T. Jones, Lehman, Jawole Zollar, and Anna Deavere Smith, among others.  Guest Theater and Dance faculty will join class discussions as related to their areas of expertise.  Two class meetings per week, with additional collaborative time outside of class required for some creative exercises.

Open to first-year students. Professor Bashford. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

231 Pioneers: Reclaiming the History of Black Presence in the American Theater

The African American Theater spans over 200 years, from the earliest performances of the African Grove Theater to the Classical Theater of Harlem’s Afro-futuristic Twelfth Night in Marcus Garvey Park. This course will investigate and interrogate the history of American theater by examining Black creatives and their works as not merely contributors but pioneers of American theater. These studies will be addressed in tandem with the dominant culture's historical narrative of Black theater arts and the Black experience by posing these questions: Why isn't Black American theater history considered American theater history? How is Shakespeare relevant to the Black experience? How was theater used to counter and protest the Black stereotypes and the many injustices that plagued the Black body? How receptive is white American theater to the accountability of the #WeSeeYouWAT movement? Why is there an absence of a Black audience in the theater today? Key moments will include the revolutionary founding of the African Grove Theater in 1821, the act of resistance of The Black Patti Troubadours in the face of minstrelsy, and the first all-Black Broadway cast of Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake’s hit, Shuffle Along. The course will also explore significant plays, reviews, books, articles, genres, theater companies, productions, and artists, including William Wells Brown, August Wilson, James Baldwin, Charles Fuller, Nathan Jackson, Douglass Turner Ward, Dominique Morrisseau, Keith Josef Adkins, Pearl Cleage, Carlyle Brown, Tarell Alvin McCraney, George C. Wolfe, Anna Deavere Smith, Chadwick Boseman, Nathan Alan Davis, William Shakespeare, Errol Hill, and Marvin McAllister.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Sears.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

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. Omitted 2021-2022. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019

235 Scene Study: Theatricality and Ensemble

This is an intermediate course in acting that focuses on applying and integrating technique, dramaturgical research, and ensemble playing skills to realized interpretations of scenes, with an emphasis on achieving dynamicly theatrical results. Students will undertake a progression of increasingly challenging scene studies while building skills in physical and speaking expressive capabilities to explore the musicality and power of acting for the stage. In addition to character portrayal, the focus of studio and rehearsal work will be on the evocation of dramatic metaphor through the development of shared interpretation and ensemble play. Material for study will include both older poetic texts and those that explore issues of contemporary cultural relevance. Requisite: THDA 113, or consent of the instructor.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Bashford.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

240 Contemporary Fashion in a Historical Perspective

(Offered as THDA 240 and SWAG 249) 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 and participate in labs, conducted by Emily Hoem, professional cutter draper for the Theater and Dance Department, who will teach the necessary technical skills needed to fabricate a garment.

This course will be conducted in a hybrid format, with both in-person and on-line components as needed, supported by appropriate technology. Options for online-only participation will be available for those students unable to participate in person.

Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Dougan.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Bashford. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

252, 342 Performance In (and Out of) Place

This course is designed for students in dance, theater, film/video, art, music and creative writing who want to explore the challenges and potentials in creating site-specific performances and events outside of traditional "frames" or venues (e.g., the theater, the gallery, the concert hall, the lecture hall, the page). In the first part of the semester we will experiment with different techniques for working together and for developing responses to different spaces. We will conduct a series of performance practices and studies in numerous sites around the campus and utilize different mediums according to student interest and experience. A special emphasis will be placed on considering issues of access when we make choices about where and how to perform and create work. How can we encourage inclusive events that foster interaction and response with communities both near and far? What are possible relationships between art and community? How can we integrate important social and cultural issues into our art making? How might we collaborate with and make work for sites we are distanced from? What are crucial limitations to consider in creating site specific events, and how do we allow these limitations to inspire? The semester will culminate in a series of public final projects reflecting on the students’ processes through in-class showings, readings, viewings, discussions, and critical feedback sessions. Recommended requisite: previous college course experience in improvisation and/or composition in dance, theater, performance, film/video, music/sound, installation, creative writing, and/or design. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Kim.

Recommended requisite: Previous experience in improvisation and/or composition in dance, theater, performance, film/video, music/sound, installation, creative writing, and/or design is required. Limited to 8 students. Offered Spring 2023. Professor Woodson.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

254, 264, 332 Impulse/Imagination/Invention: Experiments Across Media

This studio course is designed as an interactive laboratory for students interested in imaginative experimentation to discover and access multiple ways to generate material in different media (dance, theater, visual /digital art, text and/or sound). The course emphasizes a practice of rigorous play and a dedicated interest in process and invention. Also, the course will be informed by a view that anything and everything is possible material for creative and spontaneous response and production. Working individually and in collaborative groups, students will construct original material in various media and delve into multiple ways to craft interesting exchanges and dialogues between different modes of expression. A range of structures and inspirations will be given by the instructor but students will also develop their own "playlists" for inspiring creative experimentation and production. We will have a series of informal studio showings in different media throughout the semester. A final portfolio of creative material generated over the course of the semester will be required. This studio seminar requires instructor permission; interested students need to contact the instructor before registering.

Limited to 15 students. Spring Semester. Professor Woodson. The course will also incorporate instruction from guest artists.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

260 Costume Design and Fashion History

An introduction to the analytical methods and skills necessary for the creation of costumes for theater and dance with emphasis on the integration of costume with other visual elements. This course will study western costume history and will include lab work in costume construction.

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

 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2021

263 Scene Design

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

In Fall 2020, students will collaborate with THDA 261: Lighting Design to explore the interactions between the two forms.

This course will be conducted in a hybrid format, with both in-person and on-line components as needed, supported by appropriate technology. Options for online-only participation will be available for those students unable to participate in person. 

Requisite: THDA 112 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students, with priority given to majors. Non-majors need consent from instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Dougan.

 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

273 Decolonizing the Narrative: Playwriting for a New American Theatre

The stories we tell have the power to change our perceptions about the world around us and the people in it. Decolonizing narratives is the act of undoing colonialism, or, in a broad sense, dismantling the power structures that have historically defined mainstream narratives. In this course, we will explore how to redefine and subvert common archetypes and tropes found in mainstream theater. In addition to discussing representation and casting, we will consider the following questions: who do we want our audience to be? That is, whose gaze are we writing for? What do we assume the audience knows and what do we feel the need to explain or contextualize? Who do we hope or expect will identify with our characters? Do we need to provide dramaturgical justification for identifying a character as a particular race, gender, sexual orientation, or other marker of identity? How can we redefine portrayals of characters who are routinely depicted as victims, or as evil, or as other? How can we subvert stereotypes, not by simply reversing roles, but by rendering a character’s full humanness, complexity, and agency? Students will learn the fundamentals of dramatic writing and employ these craft principles to write short plays throughout the semester that explore these questions. There will be an emphasis on excavating one’s unique and authentic artistic voice, and on creative process over product. The course will culminate in students writing either a substantial one-act play or, in some cases, a full-length play, depending on individual progress and interests. Reading assignments will include plays and other artistic material that challenge traditional narratives using new forms and structure, or in questioning conventional portrayals of people of the global majority, queer and transgender characters, the working class, Muslims, characters with disabilities, and more. Examples might include work by Jackie Sibblies Drury, Michael R. Jackson, Taylor Mac, Qui Nguyen, Rehana Lew Mirza, María Irene Fornés, Clare Barron, Kristoffer Diaz, Martyna Majok, and more. Previous experience in playwriting is highly recommended.

Limited to 12 students, with permission of the instructor after submitting a writing sample. Spring semester. Professor Choudhury.

 

 

 

 

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

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 2021-2022. Visiting Artist Carneiro. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

276 Asian American Drama

In this course, we will survey plays written by American writers of East Asian, South Asian, and Southeast Asian descent, starting with the first wave of Asian American playwrights in the 1960s to more contemporary work. Students will learn the fundamentals and vocabulary of dramaturgical analysis and employ these skills in class discussion and written assignments. Intersectional identities will be emphasized, and readings will include work by biracial, queer, and transgender writers. Playwrights studied will include Frank Chin, David Henry Hwang, Philip Kan Gotanda, Diana Son, Alaudin Ullah, Qui Nguyen, Young Jean Lee, Lloyd Suh, Madhuri Shekar, Rajiv Joseph, Carla Ching, Mike Lew, Jiehae Park, A. Rey Pamatmat, Clarence Coo, D’Lo, Rehana Mirza, Haruna Lee, Diana Oh, and more. While the focus will be on reading plays, students will also explore the socio-historical context of each work via reading assignments that will include critical essays, writings on the history of immigration to the U.S. from Asia, and writings on the representation of Asian Americans on stage.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Choudhury.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

340 Acting and Directing Studio

This is a studio course in collaboration leading to completed theatrical creations. 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, 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 employed. 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: One 100-level THDA course, and an appropriate intermediate, 200-level course in THDA, or equivalent college-level experience with consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Bashford.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

353 Performance Studio

(Offered as THDA 353 and FAMS 345) This is an advanced course in making performance in dance, theater, video and/or hybrid forms. Each student will create, rehearse and produce an original performance piece in his/her/their preferred medium. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, these pieces will be shared on digital platforms as ongoing works in progress (with students in the class) and as final projects with a wider audience at the end of the semester. Different strategies, tools and philosophies will be given and explored with an emphasis on taking creative advantage of found spaces and available resources. Improvisational and interactive structures and approaches among and within media will be investigated.  

Two ninety-minute class sessions per week and rehearsal/production sessions as required.   

Requisite: An intermediate departmental course in performance-making and consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Spring semester. Professor Woodson.

2022-23: 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, Fall 2021

355 Solo Performance: Movement, Text, Sound, Video

In this studio course, we will explore different skills and approaches towards creating solo performance. We will examine examples of historical and contemporary solo performances in theater, dance, video, music, radio plays, 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 dynamic relationships within and between different media and modes of expression in order to create confident and compelling solo presentations for live and virtual arenas. 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 public performances 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.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

360 Design Studio I

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. 

Requisite: THDA 260, 261, 263 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Dougan.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2019, Spring 2020

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. 

Requisite: THDA 360 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Dougan.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2019, Spring 2020

370 Playwriting Studio

(Offered as THDA 370 and ENGL 322) A workshop for writers who want to complete a full-length play or series of shorter plays. Emphasis will be on bringing a script to a level at which it is ready for the stage. The majority of class time will be devoted to reading and commenting on developing works-in-progress.  In addition, we will also hone playwriting skills through class exercises, and study exemplary plays by established writers as a means of exploring a range of dramatic vocabularies.

Requisite: THDA 270, 272, or the equivalent. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Visiting Artist Carneiro.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

400H Production Studio

A course in integrating previously studied skills, while developing collaborative and leadership roles in the making of Theater and Dance works, within the Department’s producing structure.  With permission, enrolled student will accept a specific assignment within a departmental production team. A half course.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

420 BIPOC Shakespeares: Centering Black, Indigenous, and Latinx “Takeovers”

(Offered as ENGL 420 and THDA 420) (Before 1800) Interpretations of William Shakespeare’s plays often align with and reinforce hegemonic conceptions of whiteness. Yet for over two centuries that alignment has been contested by theatre artists from the Black diaspora, from Native or Indigenous nations, and from the diverse communities of latinidad. This course centers what one First Nations playwright calls BIPOC “takeovers” of Shakespeare’s work. We will ask how these creative adaptations and translations engage histories of racial, cultural, and linguistic violence and loss, and how they weave new stories and experiences of resistance and healing. Topics to be explored include the utility of colonial texts for decolonial futures; the relation of land, language, and literature; the transformation of Euro-American theatre through non-Western artistic practice and ceremony; and the recent development of anti-racist initiatives that challenge and reinvent the study, staging, and teaching of Shakespeare’s plays. Scholars and creatives leading these past and future projects will join us in conversation, which will guide independent research and shape each student’s culminating work.

Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Bosman

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

For Honors candidates in Theater and Dance.

Open only to senior Theater and Dance majors. Fall semester. The Department.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022