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Course Descriptions

Theatre Courses:

THE 101 Introduction to Theatre (4 SH). An examination of the process by which dramatic literature becomes theatre. The course examines the forms of comedy, tragedy, and their offshoots as well as the elements of theatre—structure, character, language, scenography—and the styles of theatre with an emphasis on modernism and post-modernism. This course does not meet major requirements.

THE 102 Introduction to Acting (4 SH). Concentrates on approaches to acting and analysis of scenes from an actor’s point of view. The laboratory section concentrates on scene work, monologue exercises, and improvisation.

THE 111 Technical Production (4 SH). An introduction to the fundamentals of technical theatre, THE 111 provides the student with the knowledge of modern stagecraft and the theater plant and with practical experience in handling tools and materials essential to constructing, painting, assembling, dressing, and shifting stage scenery. Students will construct the scenery for departmental productions. Lab and participating as part of the crew for the current main stage productions required.

THE 112 Advanced Technical Production (4 SH). A continuation of THE 111 Technical Production with advanced study of technical aspects of play production. Theory will be emphasized as well as discussion of scenography. Students will construct the scenery for departmental productions. Lab required. Prerequisite: THE 111 or consent of the instructor.

THE 114 Technical Practicum (1 SH). Experiences can include carpentry, lighting, scene painting, costuming, props and management. In addition to gaining marketable skills in various area of technical support and design, the student also has the opportunity to build leadership and interpersonal skills essential for work in the theater. Students are encouraged to shape the experience to their interests and are only limited by the needs of the show in which they are involved. Prerequisite: THE 111 or consent of the instructor.

THE 151 Voice and Diction (4 SH). Theory and practice in the basic techniques of developing a clear and expressive speaking voice. Breath control, proper phonation, full resonance and projection, and articulation will be covered as well as exercises for improving use of pitch, timbre, and vocal quality. (Also listed as COM 151.)

THE 201 Script Analysis (4 SH). A basic study in interpretation: How does a script “mean?” Fundamental skills in “discovering meaning” are developed by examining different models for analysis and synthesis, exercises in interpretation, and the directing of short scenes.

THE 202 Acting II (4 SH). A seminar/laboratory study. The seminar segment will concentrate on more advanced study of approaches to act. The laboratory segment is designed to increase effective use of concentration, observation, sensory awareness, and emotional truth on stage. Prerequisite: THE 102.

THE 203 Acting III (4 SH). A seminar/laboratory study. The seminar segment continues to concentrate on advanced study of approaches to acting. In the laboratory section, more emphasis will be placed on building a character. Activities will include exercises, improvisations, longer scenes, and an increased number of monologues from period plays.

THE 211 American Playwrights (4 SH). This entry-level course introduces students to significant, often groundbreaking dramas by the most acclaimed American playwrights of the 20th century: Eugene O’Neill, Philip Barry, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, John Guare, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, and Suzan Lori-Parks, among others. Students will explore varying use of dramatic content and structure across time and through major American themes, as well as the ever-changing understanding of theatrical convention and innovation. Satisfies IP for Humanities and Culture (HC). (Also listed as ENG 108.)

THE 212 Shakespeare’s Plays (4 SH). An introductory course in the drama and stagecraft of the undisputed Titan of English literature, William Shakespeare. Students will analyze and discuss Shakespeare’s achievement in poetic and theatrical presentations of popular stories for the Elizabethan stage. The syllabus will draw from five to six plays, ranging from comedy to history play to tragedy to romance, and lessons may incorporate screenings of notable films, stage, and TV productions, in their entirety or choice selections. (Also listed as ENG 113 Shakespeare.)

THE 213 African-American Drama (4 SH). This class will explore African-American culture from the days of slavery through the present, examining African-American playwrights’ characters and personal lives, and by exploring the historical climate at the time the texts were written. (Also listed as ENG 124.)

THE 225 Theatre of Social Engagement (4 SH). In this highly participatory course, students will engage the social issues of the day using various interactive performance methods, including Playback Theatre and Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. The course culminates in the creation of an original devised production that addresses a local social issue and is produced in collaboration with an under-represented segment of the local community.

THE 251 Oral Interpretation (4 SH). A study of the methods of creating for a listening audience an interpretation of the printed page. Attention is focused upon literary form, imagery, inflection, word stress, and other factors which influence listener response and understanding, and also which aid in the effective expression of one’s own ideas. (Also listed as COM 251.)

THE 255 Playwriting (4 SH). The playwriting course will look at the challenges of writing play scripts by studying and writing scripts. After exploring language as action, building characters, non-verbal communication through writing scenes, we will work at structuring and writing one-act and two-act plays. (Also listed as WRI 255.)

THE 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306 Theatre Practicum (1 SH). Major assignments in departmental productions: acting, directing, stage managing, lighting, sound.

THE 311, 312, 313, 314 Professional Workshop (1 SH per workshop). A variety of specialized topics will be presented by theatre professionals. Topics may include but are not limited to costuming, make-up, publicity, art’s management, children’s theatre and playwriting. The student will attend two six-hour weekend sessions or four three-hour evening sessions. Grading is S/U.

THE 321 Basic Performance Design (4 SH). This is an introductory course to performance design. The material covered will be primarily hands-on projects designed to provide students the chance for self-expression as it relates to stage design. Skills to be covered will be sketching and drawing, painting, drafting, and model building. Prerequisite: THE 111.

THE 370 Theatre History I (4 SH). History of theatre and its relationship to the arts and sciences: Greek, Medieval, Renaissance and the Age of Reason. Major emphasis of study focuses on the correlation between the physical stage, the theatrical conventions, and the playscripts of the period.

THE 371 Theatre History II (4 SH). History of theatre and its relationship to the arts and sciences: Romantic Period and the Modern/Post-Modern World. Major emphasis of study focuses on the correlation between the physical stage, the theatrical conventions, and the playscripts of the period.

THE 401 Scenic Design (4 SH). Introduction to scenic design for the theatre. Graphic presentation and/or model making. Prerequisite: THE 321.

THE 402 Stage Lighting (4 SH). Supervised practicum in elements of stage lighting: theory and practice. The course provides experience in color theory, instrumentation, methodology, stage electricity/electronics, and control. Prerequisite: THE 321.

THE 404 Directing for the Theatre (4 SH). The course explores the elements comprising an approach to directing for the theatre. Elements include script analysis, stage composition, picturization, and techniques in working with actors. The course is hands-on. Students work from a study script as well as other scripts of their choice. Prerequisite: THE 102.

THE 410 Advanced Topics (1-4 SH).

THE 590-594 Field Experience/Internship (1-4 SH).

THE 601 Theatre Capstone. Advanced Study I (2 SH). Advanced Study I focuses on the scholarly research required to prepare for the performance/practical element of the capstone experience. THE 601 usually culminates in an advanced research paper that explores and explains a specific topic in theatre studies chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her capstone adviser. Prerequisites: advanced junior standing and permission of the instructor.

THE 602 Theatre Capstone. Advanced Study II (2 SH). In Advanced Study II, students apply the practical skills developed while pursuing the theatre major. THE 602 usually culminates in the presentation of scenes related to the topic studied in THE 601. Depending on the student’s area of interest, scenes will be directed, designed, and/or acted in by the capstone student. In some cases, special projects such as directing or designing a main stage production may provide the content of THE 601 and 602 and fulfill the capstone requirement. Prerequisites: successful completion of THE 601 and senior standing.

THE 620-624 Independent Study (1-4 SH).

THE 660, 670, 680, 690 Honors Research (1-4 SH).


What can you do with a Theatre degree?

Imagine yourself a playwright, actor, public relations professional, business leader, event planner, or designer.