Theatre and Dance Courses
Musical theatre course in action
Introduction to methods and materials of building theatrical scenery for production. Students are required to help build scenery for upcoming Theatre Department productions through lab work, utilizing methods learned in classroom component. Stage lighting instruction covers basic electrical theory, functions and properties of light, and hanging and focusing of various theatrical lighting fixtures. (Fine Arts)
108. Costume Construction
Introduction to costume construction technology, including sewing, pattern reading and draping, through classroom and laboratory work. A brief survey of dress throughout history and introductory costume design project are included. Students are required to help in the construction of costumes for an upcoming Theatre Department production. (Fine Arts)
115. Basic Acting
Study and practice in the essentials of the art and craft of acting. Emphasis will be given to observation, ensemble work, and character development, and all will be explored through scene and monologue study, class activities and performances, and paper/presentation assignments. (Fine Arts)
160. Fundamentals of Theatre Design
Exploration of the role and process of design as it relates to theatrical production. Students complete practical exercises in scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design, and learn to critically analyze and respond to design work with the elements of design vocabulary. (Fine Arts)
201. Play Analysis
Study and practice of play analysis with an emphasis on exploring the potential for live performance embedded in a written text. Students will learn to employ a three-tiered approach to analyzing plays: textual/structural, dramaturgical/contextual, and creative/intuitive. Offered three out of every four years. (Fine Arts)
206. Sound Design
Explores the role of the theatrical sound designer and sound engineer in the design and production process. Course includes understanding the principles and properties of sound, especially as a design element in the theatre; digital and analog recording; and editing, mixing and playback techniques. Projects focus on the challenges and difference in recording, playback, and the use of sound in theatrical settings and configurations. Recommended prerequisite: at least one Theatre production participation credit (THE 750, 751, 752, 753, or 754); THE 753 is particularly recommended. (Fine Arts)
216. Voice and Movement
Development of vocal and physical vocabularies for the stage. The class will focus on giving specificity and simplicity to the use of voice and body for theatrical expression. Through the use of dramatic texts (both prose and poetry), the incorporation of various techniques, the exploration of the theatrical space, and the study of basic anatomy and physiology, the course seeks to enable the actor to communicate with a greater capacity the energy, life, and limitless possibilities found in story-telling whether spoken through the voice or expressed through movement and gesture. Prerequisite: THE 115. (Fine Arts)
260-265. Topics in Theatre Production or Modern/Jazz Dance
Various techniques and processes explored in relation to theatre production. Recent topics have included period undergarment construction, rendering, and mask making. See Topics Courses. (Fine Arts)
266. Drafting for the Theatre
Instruction in computer-aided drafting for theatre applications. Focuses on scenic and lighting design. Course uses AutoCAD. Alternate years.
267. Stage Make-up
Design and application of theatrical make-up in a laboratory setting. Practical considerations for performance, aiding character development through careful design, and application of stage makeup some appliqué technique are covered. Alternate years. (Fine Arts)
268. Scene Painting
Instruction in the craft of painting for the stage in a laboratory setting. Focus on duplicating texture and pattern for large format viewing, faux finish techniques, and study of light and shadow. Alternate years. (Fine Arts)
269. Drawing and Rendering for the Theatre
Studio study of rendering techniques and drawing skills useful to theatrical artists. The course combines instruction in traditional and hand methods with Adobe Photoshop and other digital platforms. Prerequisite: THE 107 or 108. Alternate years. (Fine Arts)
270-279. Topics in Theatre History and Drama
Introductory studies in analysis, critical theory, and dramaturgical skills. See Topics Courses. (Humanities)
280/380. Internship: See Additional Academic Programs, All-College Independent Study Courses 280/380.
281. Dance Workshop
Improvisation, technique, choreography, and historical perspective for beginning dance students. Offered subject to availability of faculty. May be repeated for credit. (Fine Arts)
290/390. Individual Project: See Additional Academic Programs, All-College Independent Study Courses 290/390.
303. Scenic Design
Exploration of the role of the scenic designer in the design and production process. Emphasis on creating an environment for the play based on analysis of the script and utilizing elements of design - line, form, balance, composition, color, etc. Through project work, students explore the uses, problems and practical considerations of proscenium, thrust, and arena configurations. Building upon the principles learned in THE 107 and 266, students are expected to have an understanding of basic construction techniques and drafting. ). Prerequisites: THE 107 and sophomore standing. Alternate years (alternates with THE 304). (Fine Arts)
304. Lighting Design
Exploration of the role of the lighting designer in the design and production process. Emphasis on employing a lighting inventory to develop mood, achieve focus, and provide visibility for theatrical productions, based on analysis of the script and the visual approach to the play. Project work focuses on the challenges and differences in designing lighting for the proscenium, thrust, and arena stages. Building upon the principles learned in THE 107 and 266, students are expected to have an understanding of basic lighting equipment and drafting. Prerequisites: THE 107 and sophomore standing. Alternate years (alternates with THE 303). (Fine Arts)
305. Costume Design
Exploration of the role of the costume designer in the design and production process. Building upon skills learned in THE 108 and through script and character analysis, students begin to develop the visual design of clothing for a play using line, color, silhouette, texture, etc. Project work focuses on developing research and rendering skills, as well as budgeting and allocation of costume technology assets. Prerequisites: THE 108 and sophomore standing. Alternate years (alternates with THE 267). (Fine Arts)
310. Acting Studio
A studio course that explores certain topics in performance, methodology, scene study, and acting approaches for the advanced theatre student. Such areas of study may include: solo performance, approaches to characterization, acting methodologies, mask work, and the creation of monologue, music, and story-telling repertoires. The course will cover one topic each year and may be repeated providing that the topic is different. Prerequisite: THE 216. (Fine Arts)
311. Directing I
Theory and practice of directing with emphasis on the realistic genre. Prerequisites: THE 115, THE 201, declared major in Theatre, and one-quarter credit in a Theatre participation course (THE 715, 751, 752, 753, 754); 715 is particularly recommended.
312. Directing II
Advanced directing with emphasis on rehearsal and production procedures. Prerequisite: THE 311. May be taught as a tutorial. Offered upon request.
316- 320. Topics in Theatre Performance
Special topics in acting and direction. See Topics Courses. (Fine Arts)
321. Playwriting I
Techniques of, and practice in, writing scenes or short plays. Prerequisites: THE 115 and writing-designated course (W). May be repeated once for credit with different instructor. (Fine Arts)
327. Advanced Topics in Theatre
See Topics Courses.
332. Advanced Acting: Stanislavski
A more advanced study of the work of the actor building on the techniques learned in Basic Acting and Voice and Movement. This class will explore the teachings of Stanislavski while focusing on scene work and scene study through the use of “heightened language” texts and classic playwrights (Euripides, Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Ibsen). Students will be required to present three (3) scenes (chosen by the instructor). All class work and exercises will focus on closely examining the text, embracing the given circumstances, playing an action, building ensemble, and responding to the partner through a detailed exploration of Stanislavski and An Actor Prepares. Prerequisite: THE 216. Alternate years. (Fine Arts)
333. Advanced Acting: Meisner
This course will introduce students to the work of Sanford Meisner and his influence on and method of training for the actor. The work will focus on the concept of the reality of doing through the exercises of Repetitions, Point of View, Independent Activities, and Improvisations which will then be applied to contemporary scene work. Designed as an opportunity to explore more fully the act of listening and responding to a stimulus (both external and internal stimuli) between actors, the work seeks to embrace the concept that acting is living truthfully under given/imaginary circumstances. Prerequisite: THE 216. Alternate years. (Fine Arts)
346. Theatre and Society I
This course will examine the history and dramatic literature of theatre spanning the ancient through the early modern era. Students will examine major dramatic forms and develop an understanding of the underlying cultural, socio/political shifts and economic changes that informed the theatrical movement. Questions regarding the use of theatre to support or subvert cultural norms will serve as a thread throughout the course. Students will investigate the development of performances spaces as well as the various performance techniques, audiences, aesthetics and scenic methods of the era. Prerequisites: THE 201 and writing-designated course. (Humanities)
347. Theatre and Society II
This course will examine the history and dramatic literature of theatre in the modern and contemporary era. Students will examine major dramatic forms and develop an understanding of the underlying cultural, socio/political shifts and economic changes that informed the theatrical movement. Questions regarding the use of theatre to support or subvert cultural norms will serve as a thread throughout the course. Students will investigate the development of performances spaces as well as the various performance techniques, audiences, aesthetics and scenic methods of the era. Prerequisites: THE 201 and writing-designated course. (Humanities)
348. Theatre and the Arts in New York City
The study of American art and culture, focusing particularly on theatrical performance, opera, and dance. Typically includes backstage tours, museum and gallery visits, and workshops with local actors, designers, and other theatre artists. Taught in New York City. Registration entails additional costs. Prerequisite: writing-designated course (W). Alternate years. (Humanities)
350. Advanced Theatre Production
Prerequisites: permission of the Department and appropriate coursework and/or production work to fulfill the project. Available only as a tutorial. May be repeated for credit with the permission of the Department. Offered upon request.
370-375. Topics in Theatre History and Drama
Studies centering on a particular nationality, period, playwright, or genre. See Topics Courses. Prerequisite: writing-designated course (W). (Humanities)
485. Advanced Study
Advanced studies in the areas of directing, acting, design, theatre history, speech, or communications media. Prerequisite: permission of the Department. Offered upon request. May be repeated for credit.
715. The Rehearsal Process (1/4)
Participation within a semester in one major role in a full-length play or the equivalent. (Fine Arts) (CR)
750. General Production Practicum (1/4)
Practical exploration of the production process in the areas of scenery and prop construction, costuming, lighting, and sound. Requires three hours per week over the course of terms one through four or five through eight. Hours are scheduled with instructor. (Fine Arts) (CR)
751. Scenery and Props (1/4) (Fine Arts) (CR)
752. Costumes and Make-up (1/4) (Fine Arts) (CR)
753. Lighting and Sound (1/4) (Fine Arts) (CR)
754. Theatre Administration (1/4) (Fine Arts) (CR)
964. Chicago Arts Semester: see Cornell-Approved Domestic Off-Campus Programs.