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Amherst College Theater and Dance for 2018-19

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 and a two-hour production workshop per week. Selected readings and viewing of video and live performance.

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

2018-19: Offered in Spring 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

112 Materials of Theater

An introduction to design, directing, and performance conducted in a combined discussion/workshop format. Students will be exposed to visual methods of interpreting a text. Early class discussions focus on a theoretical exploration of theater as an art form and seek to establish a vocabulary for and understanding of basic theatrical conventions, with readings from Aristotle through Robert Wilson. Students will spend the bulk of the semester testing these theories for themselves, ultimately designing their own performances for two plays. Two two-hour classes and two-hour production workshop included in this time.

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

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
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

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, In the Fall, 6 spots reserved for first-year students. Fall semester: Professor Eliraz. Spring semester: Professor Bashford.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
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

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. Assistant Professor Eliraz.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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. Visiting lecturer Kassmann.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

117H Contemporary Dance: Modern 3/4 Practicing Presence and Performance

This intermediate-level movement practice class 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 class 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. Visiting Instructor Martin.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017

121H Contemporary Dance Technique: Modern Ballet 2/3

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.

Spring semester. The Department.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016

122H Contemporary Dance Technique: Hip Hop

This class 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.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 28 students. Fall semester. Professor Bashford.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

126 Sport and Spectacle in Ancient Greece and Rome

(Offered as CLAS 126 and THDA 126) Olympics. Greek drama. Gladiators. When we think of ancient Greece and Rome, athletic competition and public performance loom large. In this course, students will learn about archaic Greek musical and athletic competitions, Classical Athenian dramatic festivals, and the gladiatorial spectacles of imperial Rome. We will examine the representation of performance and athletics in art and literature, using primary sources to explore contemporary attitudes towards these events and to understand their role within society. We will pay attention to the politics and aesthetics of “sport and spectacle,” using a set of ancient case studies as a springboard to broader conversations about the social import of performance, competition, and entertainment. 

Limited to 40 students. Omitted 2018-19. 

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018

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. Five College Lecturer Sylla.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 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

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 2018-19. Professor Eliraz.

2018-19: 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. Fall semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Brown.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018

160 Dynamics of Play Reading: Elements, Structures, Paradigms

In this course, students explore elements of dramatic literature and their implications for audience experiences in performance. Character, language, spectacle, plot, rhythm, and theme are studied in the light of dynamic audience response in real time and space. Particular emphasis is placed on exploring the legacy of classical form and later evolutionary and innovative responses to it. In addition to exercises in analytical and descriptive writing, students undertake experiential projects that explore distinctive theatrical conventions of the plays studied. When possible, course activities may also include attending live performances. Exemplary plays are chosen for their contrasting qualities, from antiquity to the present, including plays by Euripides, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Shaw, and selected post war authors. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2018-19. Professor Bashford.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2016

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.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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. Lecturer MacArthur.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2018

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 Boheme, 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 2018-19. Professor Schneider.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017

222 Contemporary Drama

Readings of works by late twentieth and early twenty-first century playwrights, with plays selected to emphasize innovations in form, and a diversity of voices and subjects. The course focuses on examining and writing about plays from a theater practitioner’s perspective, and incorporates instruction in dramaturgical analysis and research related to theatrical interpretation. In-class work includes discussion, reading aloud, and group exercises. Plays by Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill, Martin McDonagh, David Mamet, Annie Baker, Maria Irene Fornes, Sarah Kane, Suzan Lori-Parks, Young Jean Lee, and others. Open to first-year students.

Fall semester. Professor Bashford.

2018-19: 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.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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 three times a week for two hours. In addition, 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. Professors Dougan and Eliraz.

2018-19: 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.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019

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 with consent of the instructor. Omitted 2018-19. Professor Dougan.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018

242 Plays in Play: The Ensemble and the Playwright

In this course, students conduct rehearsal investigations into the work of a particular playwright or playwrights, and explore ways in which coordinated action renders dramatic writing in theatrical form. In addition to examining selected plays and background material, students develop ensemble techniques of play, improvisation, and staging. Emphasis is placed on the communicative means required to develop a shared vision. This course is open to students interested in any aspect of play production but is required for students who want to do advanced work in directing in the department. 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, and group rehearsals outside of class meeting times are required. This course may be repeated once when the selected playwright is different. This course serves as a pre-requisite to THDA 340: Directing Studio.

Requisite: A prior college-level course in theater or consent of the instructor. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 24 students. Omitted 2018-19. Professor Bashford.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

249 Partner Dancing (Beginner Composition)

In this course, we practice moving and being moved by each other. We explore weight sharing, body-part manipulations, off-balance support, negative space, resistance, and various ways of harnessing forces of momentum. We generate inventive dances using a toolbox of construction methods. We discuss how our moving and making movement together illuminate and intertwine personal identities, cultural backgrounds, compositional habits, and aesthetic sensibilities. We study eclectic performance troupes and cross-cultural duet forms that use collaborative partnering – how bodies negotiate in time and space to create moving relationships – to embody questions of intimacy, race, power, and place. There are regular out-of-class reading and writing assignments in the creative process, performance viewings with written reflections, and a final choreography project with a public showing. 

Requisite: A previous movement course or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2018-19. Professor Matteson.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017

250 Video Production: Bodies in Motion

(Offered as THDA 250 and FAMS 226) This studio production class will focus on multiple ways of tracking, viewing, and capturing bodies in motion. The course will emphasize working with the camera as an extension of the body to explore radically different points of view and senses of focus. We will experiment with different techniques and different kinds of bodies (human, animal, and object) to bring a heightened awareness of kinesthetic involvement, animation and emotional immediacy to the bodies on screen and behind the camera. In addition, we will interject and follow bodies into different perceptions of time, progression, place and relationship. In the process, we will express various experiences and theories of embodiment and question what constitutes a body. Depending on student interests, final projects can range from choreographies for the camera to fictional narratives to documentary studies. The class will alternate between camera sessions, both in the studio and on location, and sessions in the editing suite working with Final Cut Pro.

Requisite: Previous experience in composition. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2018-19. Professor Woodson.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

254 Sound Design

(Offered as THDA 254 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 pre-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.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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 Instructor Meginsky.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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. Western costume history. Lab work in costume construction.

Requisite: THDA 112 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Omitted 2017-18. Professor Dougan.

2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017

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.

2018-19: 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

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 insure 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. Fall semester. Visiting Professor D. Brown.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Spring 2018

270 Playwriting I

(Offered as THDA 270 and ENGL 222) A workshop in writing for the stage. The semester will begin with exercises that lead to the making of short plays and, by the end of the term, longer plays—ten minutes and up in length. Writing will be done in and out of class; students’ work will be discussed in the workshop and in private conferences. At the end of the term, the student will submit a portfolio of revisions of all the exercises, including the revisions of all plays.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester: Visiting Professor Syers. Spring semester: The Department.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018 and Spring 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

340 Directing Studio

This is a studio course in leading collaborators toward completed theatrical interpretations of dramatic texts. Each student director independently produces and directs two medium-length, site-specific projects. Reading, writing, and class sessions are devoted to the practice of directing and to discussion of problems and approaches. Topics include the articulation of coherent artistic intent, the role of the audience in performance, collaborating with actors, and the use of space, sound and light. Studio exercises are employed to support directorial techniques. In addition, this course considers organizational and research methods related to successful production, and, when possible, students may collaborate with students enrolled in a related course in acting or 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 of the following: THDA 240, 242, 252 or equivalent college-level experience with consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Bashford.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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. Omitted 2018-19. Professor Woodson.

2018-19: 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

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 and spring semesters. Professor Dougan.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
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

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.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
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

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. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester: The Department.

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
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

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 semester: Professor Dougan. Spring semester: Professor Woodson.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
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

490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

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

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
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

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

For Honors candidates in Theater and Dance.

Open to seniors. Fall semester. The Department.

2018-19: Offered in Fall 2018
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