Beginning Studies in Acting
Professor/InstructorPeter Young Hoon Kim, G. Nehassaiu deGannes, Vivia Font
Designed to guide students in developing roles and exploring texts and characters. Work will begin with exercises and proceed to consideration of scenes, short sections of plays, and specific roles.
Professor/InstructorNathan Alan Davis
A workshop on the fundamentals of writing plays. Emphasis will be on solving problems of structure, plot development, and character through various writing exercises and theater improvisations. Ongoing work of students and instructor is read and discussed.
Introduction to Movement and Dance
Professor/InstructorAynsley Louise Vandenbroucke
Movement permeates every aspect of life, whether within our bodies, minds, or the world around us. In this studio course open to everyone, we use tools from Laban Movement Analysis to develop ways to dance, improvise, make performance, and fully inhabit our lives. We dive into the roles of dancer, choreographer, audience member, and critic in relation to aesthetic questions, politics, identity, religion, and complex views of the human body. Students can apply our work together to dance in any style as well as to daily experiences like moving into an interview confidently and finding embodied practices for transforming stress.
French Theater Workshop
L'Avant-Scène will offer students the opportunity to put their language skills in motion by discovering French theater in general and by acting in French, in particular. The course will introduce students to acting techniques while allowing them to discover the richness of the French dramatic canon. Particular emphasis will be placed on improving students' oral skills through pronunciation and diction exercises. At the end of the semester, the course will culminate in the performance of the students' work. Prerequisites: FRE 108 or equivalent. FRE 207 recommended as a co-requisite.
Acting, Being, Doing, and Making: Introduction to Performance Studies
Professor/InstructorJill S. Dolan, Stacy E. Wolf
The place of performance--for example, Greek tragedy, Noh drama, modern dance, opera, performance art, crossdressing--within the social, political, cultural, and religious structures it has served. Perspectives from theater and dance history, classical and contemporary theory, and ancient and modern practice. Prerequisite: fulfillment of writing requirement. Two 90-minute seminars.
Acting - Scene Study
Professor/InstructorMark S. Nelson
The preparation, rehearsal and presentation of scenes from classic and contemporary plays, from Chekhov and Ibsen to Tony Kusher and Lynn Nottage. We will use the techniques and principles found in Uta Hagen's book, Respect for Acting. Skills: understanding and activating the event of the scene; mining behavior; authentic engagement with scene partners; transformation of self. Discover the level of action and commitment needed to fulfill the life of the play.
Playwriting II: Intermediate Playwriting
A continuation of work begun in Introductory Playwriting, focusing on the writing of a major play. Prerequisite: 205.
A study of Shakespeare's plays, covering the first half of his career. Emphasis will be on each play as a work of art and on Shakespeare's development as a poet and dramatist. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Intermediate Studies in Acting: Creating Character and Text
Creation of an original theater piece in collaboration with a guest artist, leading to a public performance. Will include improvisations, exercises, study of dramatic texts, and scene study. Special attention will be given to the creation of character, both in dramatic texts and in improvisation. Prerequisite: 201.
Professor/InstructorAnita Y. Yavich
An exploration of the various aspects of costume design. Emphasis will depend to some degree on instructor's area of interest and/or student interest. Studio projects will be designed to coincide with other theater and dance courses and currently scheduled productions. Critical discussion will explore the relationship between dramatic texts and design ideas. Two three-hour seminars or studio sessions.
Special Topics in Contemporary Practice
Offers students the opportunity to gain a working knowledge of the ways in which dance, dance/theater, and body-based art are created and performed today. Primarily a studio course that stresses learning through doing. Students will have the opportunity to work with leading experimental creators. Topics, prerequisites, and formats will vary from year to year.
A workshop devoted to the development of the student's critical sensibility. Through extensive in-class analysis of their own reviews of professional theater and dance productions and through the study of past and present models, students will learn what makes a good critic of the performing arts. One three-hour seminar.
Special Topics in Performance Practice
A special topics course designed to build upon and/or enhance existing program courses, taking into consideration the strengths and interests of program concentrators and the availability of appropriate instructors. Topics, prerequisites, and formats will vary from year to year.
Special Topics in Performance History and Theory
Designed to provide students with an opportunity to study theater and/or dance from a historical or theoretical perspective. Topics, prerequisites, and formats will vary from year to year.
Modern Drama I
Professor/InstructorR. N. Sandberg
A study of major plays by Ibsen, Strindberg, Jarry, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht, and Beckett. Emphasis will be given to the theatrical revolutions they initiated and to the influence they continue to exert on contemporary drama and theater. Two 90-minute seminars.
Professor/InstructorTamsen Olivia Wolff
An examination of some of the best literature written for the stage since the Second World War. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Advanced Studies in Acting: Scene Study and Style
Questions of historical style, poetic stage language, and various methods of contemporary nonrealistic acting. Prerequisite: Previous acting class.
Special Topics in Advanced Acting
In a working classroom, we will discern what is funny to a modern audience. We will analyze where the sense of humor lies in a script and practice the physical and linguistic techniques used in clowning, Commedia dell'arte, slapstick, farce, satire, dark comedy, absurdism, comedy of manners, and naturalism. We will free ourselves of inhibition and approach comedy with joy, inventiveness and abandon. Observing live performance from around the globe through digital media, script reading and attending live performance, we will question whether types of humor translate between cultures. Projects will include scene work, monologues or songs.
Advanced Seminar in American Studies
Professor/InstructorBrian Eugenio Herrera
This course offers an intensive introduction to the particular tools, methods and interpretations employed in developing original historical research and writing about race and ethnicity in twentieth century popular performance (film, television, theater). Through collaborative, in-depth excavations of several genre-straddling cultural works, course participants will rehearse relevant methods and theories (of cultural history, of race and ethnicity, of popular culture/performance) and will undertake an independent research project elaborating the course's guiding premise and principles of practice.
Seminar in Italian Literature and Culture
Investigation of a major theme or author, with special attention to formal structures and intellectual context. Topics may range from the medieval chivalric tradition in such Renaissance masterpieces as Ariosto's Orlando Furioso to a reading of the writings of Primo Levi as these examine the issue of the annihilation of the personality. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in Italian or instructor's permission.
Topics in Drama
Professor/InstructorMichael William Cadden
A detailed discussion of different bodies of theatrical literature, with emphasis and choice of materials varying from year to year. The focus will be on a group of related plays falling within a specific historical period, the developing work of one playwright, or the relationships among thematics, characterization, and structure. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Special directing assignments will be made for each student, whose work will be analyzed by the instructor and other members of the workshop. Students will be aided in their preparations by the instructor; they will also study the spectrum of responsibilities and forms of research involved in directing plays of different styles. Prerequisite: Introductory acting, writing or design class.
Advanced Seminar in American Studies
Performance studies offers creative interdisciplinary methods to American Studies. This capstone seminar uses foundational and recent performance studies scholarship in American, Asian American, and Latinx Studies as models for archival, oral history, and ethnographic research and analysis. We will also investigate performance as a mode of academic production. Students will apply performance studies methods to their own areas of interest. No performance experience necessary.