Courses

DANC 105 Introduction to Performance Studies

In this course students explore the question “what is performance?” and how this informs their understanding of an increasingly mediated and globalized world. They examine the broad spectrum of performance in its many forms including theater, dance, visual art, performance art, everyday life, folklore, rituals and celebrations, and protests as well as the processes of each. Students apply readings on performance theory to performance events and sites on campus and beyond. In addition, they engage in an in-depth exploration of both global and intercultural performances and the growing international importance of this field.

DANC 151 Making Dance

Students develop skills in inventing and structuring movement by creating solo and group studies. Reading, writing, and viewing assignments inform creative activities.

DANC 202 Devising Performance

Devising is a contemporary performance-making practice that declines the traditional single author/choreographer/director/script model of theater in favor of a collaborative approach to generating themes, content, forms, and aesthetics for creating performance. In this hybrid course students learn about devising practices, theories, and politics through the exploration of how performance companies work in this generative space, and explore devising techniques to practice these methodologies in action.

DANC 240 A Kinesthetic Approach

This course develops an understanding of basic human anatomy and kinesiology as applied to bodies in motion. Topics include an introductory study of anatomy; the mechanics of movement; and the use of time, space, and energy for efficient and effective movement. Recommended background: previous dance training.

DANC 250 Dance History

At the turn of the twentieth century, modern dance emerged as an exciting new art form. From Isadora Duncan to the collaborations of Cage and Cunningham, modern dance has been deeply rooted in innovative exploration and a convergence of diverse cultural expressions. This course focuses on the early dance pioneers, the ideas and conditions that informed their work, and their subsequent influences on the art world.

DANC 251 Making Dance II

An exploration of the craft and the art of making dance performance from human gesture. Readings, critical analysis, and informal showings support the complex process of creating a finished movement-based piece for public performance by the end of the semester. Prerequisite(s): DANC 151, 253, 270I, DN/TH 202, or significant Choreography for Bates performance clubs.

DANC 253 Dance Repertory

Students experience a variety of approaches to making and performing dance through intensive choreographic residencies with professional guest choreographers. The course culminates in a concert of the accumulated pieces at the end of the semester. Recommended background: previous dance experience. This course may be repeated for credit. Co-requisite(s): DANC 270D.

DANC 262 Embodying Activism: Performing a Living Definition

A lecture and studio practice course intended to generate a living definition of embodying activism to be performatively personified. Through a series of social justice lensings, student artists determine for themselves what they consider activist and how they would engage that distinction throughout their creative process.

DANC 270 Studio

This series of studio courses provides instruction in a variety of dance styles and performing practices. DANC 270 may be repeated for credit without limit. One-half credit is earned for each course completed. All 270 studio courses fulfill a physical education requirement for the classes of 2021 and 2022.

DANC 270A Studio: Modern I

In this entry level modern technique course, students address problems of performance, practice, style, and form in order to build strong technique and enhanced artistry and understanding.

DANC 270B Studio: Ballet I

In this beginner-level ballet technique course, students explore the traditional practice, style, vocabulary and form of classical ballet. No prior dance experience required. Open to first-year students.

DANC 270C Studio: Modern Partnering

Contemporary partnering skills, including contact improvisation skills, weight sharing, spatial and physical relationships, and personal responsibility, are combined with modern dance technique. Recommended background: sufficient experience in dance

DANC 270D Studio: Repertory Styles

This advanced modern technique course explores a variety of approaches to modern dance training and practice as experienced with different guest teachers throughout the semester. Recommended background: sufficient experience in dance.

DANC 270E Studio: Jazz I

In this mixed-level technique course, students address jazz dance performance, practice, style, and form in order to build strong technique as well as to enhance artistry and understanding. Recommended background: experience in dance.

DANC 270F Studio: Advanced Jazz, Musical Theater

This jazz technique course explores a variety of approaches to creating dance repertory in a jazz style. It is for advanced dancers and leads to performance at the end of the semester. The instructor approves enrollment based on the level of experience of the student.

DANC 270G Studio: Dance Ensemble, Intermediate

This intermediate-level course focuses on modern technique, clarity of intention, and general performance skills, in order to maintain a strong technique and develop one’s personal contribution to ensemble dancing. Recommended background: intermediate experience in dance and some modern training.

DANC 270H Studio: Ballet II

In this intermediate-level ballet course, students strengthen their technique and enhance their artistry through the practice of classical ballet. This level is appropriate for returning beginner and/or intermediate dancers who are already at ease with the ballet vocabulary. Recommended background: DANC 270B.

DANC 270I Studio: Improvisation

Students explore improvisational dance skills essential to any style of dance through the use of body weight, momentum, and physical contact. Some familiarity with any form of dance is helpful.

DANC 270K Studio: Hip Hop

In this mixed-level technique course, students address hip-hop dance performance, practice, style, and form in order to build strong technique as well as to enhance artistry and understanding. Recommended background: some experience in dance.

DANC 270L Studio: Hip Hop II

In this upper level technique course, students address hip-hop dance performance, practice, style, and form in order to build strong technique as well as to enhance artistry and understanding. The course will include technique and repertory for performance. Recommended: two semesters in DANC 270K or previous experience in hip hop.

DANC 270M Studio: Dance Ensemble, Advanced

This advanced-level course focuses on modern technique, clarity of intention, and general performance skills, in order to maintain a strong technique and develop one’s personal contribution to ensemble dancing. Recommended background: advanced experience in dance and some modern training.

DANC 270N Studio: Ballet III

In this advanced-level ballet course, students strengthen their technique and enhance their artistry through the practice of classical ballet. This level is appropriate for the intermediate-advanced dancer who has prior training in classical ballet at the intermediate-advanced level.

DANC 270P Studio: Flamenco

In this beginner-level Flamenco dance course, students explore the traditional practice, style, vocabulary, and form of Flamenco. No prior dance experience is required.

DANC 270W Studio: Pilates

An introduction to the exercises and principles of classical Pilates. This physical training course uses the Pilates method and complementary conditioning techniques to develop core strength, alignment, and flexibility. This course is designed for physical performers, but useful for bodies of all kinds. One-half credit is earned.

DANC 290 Performance/Production

Working under faculty direction, students perform major roles in departmental productions as a performer (290A); stage manager, assistant stage manager, technician (290B); designer, dramaturg, assistant director (290C). May be repeated for credit. One-half credit is earned.

DANC 290J Indonesian Dance Ensemble

Indonesian Dance introduces students Javanese court dance and Acehnese dance traditions. The course begins with the basic movement vocabulary of Central Javanese court dance or Acehnese dance styles, and proceeds to the study of dance repertoire. Focus is on techniques and practice, supplemented with short lectures that will provide the sociocultural, historical, and contemporary contexts. Students in the course will perform with live music provided by the Bates Gamelan Ensemble at the end of the semester concert.

DANC 300 Bates Dance Festival

For students with previous kinesthetic training who can demonstrate fluency and commitment to their practice, this course provides Bates students with the opportunity to participate in the Bates Dance Festival Professional Training Program. Full participation in this summer program requires 30 weekly hours of technical training across multiple dance disciplines and theoretical practices. Festival courses are taught by leading scholars, artists, and practitioners in their fields. An integral part of this course is attending festival concerts, informal showings, discussions, and video presentations. This course may be repeated for credit.

DANC 351 Composition Seminar

A further investigation of the compositional tools used in creating dance and the continued development of a better understanding of the intention behind the movement. The course emphasizes the personal exploration of creative process, craft, artistic intention, and integrity in dance making. This course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): DANC 251.

DANC 360 Independent Study

DANC 457 Senior Thesis

A substantial dance-related project, usually in the form of choreography, performance, or a written project. Student artists register for DANC 457 in the fall semester. A choreographic thesis is available only to students who have completed the two additional courses in creative process, including DANC 351, DANC 360, or equivalent. Successful completion of this course qualifies as a thesis credit toward the dance major.

DANC 458 Senior Thesis

A substantial dance-related project, usually in the form of choreography. Students register for DANC 458 in the winter semester. A choreographic thesis is available only to students who have completed the two additional courses in creative process, including DANC 351.

DANC S29 Tour, Teach, Perform

This course uses the diverse collective skills of the students in the class as base material for the creation of a theater or dance piece that tours to elementary schools. The first two weeks are spent working intensively with a guest artist to create the performance piece. The remaining weeks are spent touring that piece, along with age-appropriate movement workshops, to elementary schools throughout the region. This course is open to performers and would-be performers of all kinds. This course may be repeated for credit.

DANC S32 Building a Dance Practice

Students take a daily intermediate modern dance technique class and develop an individual project in an area of dance research such as choreography, improvisation, pedagogy, criticism, theory, or art therapy. Recommended background: at least one college-level dance course or intermediate level of proficiency in any dance form.

DANC S50 Independent Study

FYS 411 Creating Space: Private and Public

FYS 437 Arts in Performance

In this course students investigate the theatricality of performance from the point of view of makers, performers, audiences, and society. Students see and discuss live performance and popular culture throughout the semester, exploring historical and current ideas in performance from inside and out.

FYS 447 Holocaust on Stage

This seminar studies the award-winning Polish play Our Class, by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, which is based on the 2001 book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland by Jan T. Gross. This controversial book explores the July 1941 massacre of Polish Jews by their non-Jewish neighbors in the small town of Jedwabne during the Nazi occupation. The play raises a question of national collective memory in the aftermath of World War II. Students study the historical events on which the play is based, and examine the dramatic structure of the text in the aspects of staging.

FYS 487 Politics and Performance on Stage and Screen

This seminar examines the way contemporary playwrights and performers have interpreted the American political landscape on stage and screen. Students analyze scripts from various playwrights and their staged productions, and take a critical look at two different motion pictures that use politics as their main theme.

THEA 105 Introduction to Performance Studies

In this course students explore the question “what is performance?” and how this informs their understanding of an increasingly mediated and globalized world. They examine the broad spectrum of performance in its many forms including theater, dance, visual art, performance art, everyday life, folklore, rituals and celebrations, and protests as well as the processes of each. Students apply readings on performance theory to performance events and sites on campus and beyond. In addition, they engage in an in-depth exploration of both global and intercultural performances and the growing international importance of this field.

THEA 130 Introduction to Design

The creation of theater is a synthesis of text, performance, and visual imagery. This course explores how the visual aspect of theatrical design affects the way an audience perceives, feels, and responds to text and action. Students learn to use line, mass, color, and texture to communicate metaphoric and thematic ideas as they relate to the overall theatrical experience. They examine how forms of art, architecture, and music use these tools to influence and transform the audience, and build on this foundation to create a design vocabulary for theater. Students discuss how clothing, adornment, and body language influence the way individuals perceive others and present themselves. They learn the fundamentals of collaborative creation, and design scenery and costumes for a classic work of dramatic literature. Required of all majors. No previous art or theater training is required.

THEA 132 Theater Technology

This course provides a look “behind the curtain” to reveal the secrets of theater magic. Students learn the geography of various types of theaters as well as mechanical and electrical systems. They are introduced to the materials and methods for fabricating scenery and rigging, practice the safe use of woodworking tools, experiment with painted scenic finishes, and learn the basics of stage lighting and sound. Many of the skills introduced in this class are transferable to other artistic practices or domestic needs. This is a hands-on course; all students participate in the preparation and presentation of theater department productions.

THEA 201 Contemporary African and Caribbean Theater

This course explores the dramatic literature and theater history of the African continent and the islands of the Caribbean from the mid-twentieth century to the present. These two areas of the world connected through the African diaspora have brought forth playwrights who were inspired by a mix of traditional African rituals, the Western European theater tradition, colonial histories, and the various social and political upheavals through which many of them have lived. This course presents a critical, historical, and sociological view of these playwrights and the world that created them. Prerequisite(s): one course in Africana, English, or theater.

THEA 202 Devising Performance

Devising is a contemporary performance-making practice that declines the traditional single author/choreographer/director/script model of theater in favor of a collaborative approach to generating themes, content, forms, and aesthetics for creating performance. In this hybrid course students learn about devising practices, theories, and politics through the exploration of how performance companies work in this generative space, and explore devising techniques to practice these methodologies in action.

THEA 214 Twenty-First-Century Dramatic Literature

This course studies forms and innovations in dramatic literature in the twenty-first century. Using plays from various contemporary dramatists, students explore the ways in which technology, politics, identity, and world events have shaped how contemporary playwrights are reinventing or rejecting Western dramatic theory and tradition in the new millennium. Students engage with these texts from the perspectives of performers, critics, dramatists, and audiences. Playwrights may include Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, James Ijames, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lauren Yee, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Anna Deavere Smith.

THEA 223 Dramaturgy: An Introduction

A dramaturg contributes a wide variety of theatrical knowledge—literary, historical, critical, and practical—to the process of producing a play. The dramaturg’s function in a theater company is to ask and answer questions, small and large, about everything from the meaning of a single word in a text, to the meanings of the text as a whole. The dramaturg must also understand the requirements of production such as acting, directing, and design. And the dramaturg must be able to communicate this knowledge and understanding in clear written form to the artists producing the play and to the audiences watching it.

THEA 231 Scene Design

This course presents in-depth study of the creative and practical tools used by set designers to visually enrich and shape the theatrical experience. Students study a history of theatrical architecture and design, focusing on how they have shaped the uses of stage space and the vocabulary of modern scene design. The course builds on aesthetic fundamentals developed in THEA 130, and examines in greater depth the relationship between set designers and theatrical texts. Practically, students learn fundamentals of theatrical drafting, perspective and scale drawing, and model making. This course is recommended for students with an interest in the visual and emotional impact of effective scene design on drama and performance. Prerequisite(s): THEA 130, or an individual portfolio review.

THEA 232 Lighting Design

This course provides an introduction to the unique aesthetic and technical decisions a lighting designer must make. Through hands-on experience, students become familiar with the tools and equipment typically used in contemporary stage lighting. Students also are required to serve on a lighting crew for one of the department’s productions and design part of the spring dance concert. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): one of the following: THEA 101, 130, or 132.

THEA 233 Costume Design

In theater, as in life, clothes often “make the man.” This course focuses on the myriad aspects of personality, position, and state of mind created and enhanced for stage characters by the art of costume design. Emphasis is placed on analyzing play texts and bringing characters to life. The course builds on aesthetic fundamentals developed in THEA 130, and offers further instruction in costume research, figure drawing, and sketching and painting skills used to present costume design information. This course is recommended for students with an interest in the visual and emotional impact of effective design on drama and performance. Prerequisite(s): THEA 130 or an individual portfolio review.

THEA 235 Fashion: A Survey of Western Culture

The history of dress and human adornment includes political, sexual, economic, and cultural factors, often entwined in subtle or ephemeral ways with the aesthetics of what we consider fashion. This course, which is conducted in a survey format, begins with early Greek culture and continues into the current era, examining not just physical appearance, but these other factors that have driven the myriad changes in the history of dress throughout Western culture.

THEA 236 Pattern Drafting and Draping

This course introduces students to the skills of pattern drafting, draping, and fitting garments, as well as some advanced costume construction skills and increased familiarity with the properties of different textiles. The course is structured as a series of lectures, demonstrations, and the completion of several hands-on projects by students. Recommended background: basic sewing skills.

THEA 240 Playwriting

Students learn the fundamentals of dramatic structure and characterization by engaging in various writing exercises and studying the texts of established contemporary playwrights. They write a ten-minute play by midterm that adheres to certain parameters, and a ten-minute play for their final assignment based on research on a chosen topic. Recommended background: two courses in theater or dramatic literature. Not open to students who have received credit for THEA s41.

THEA 242 Screenwriting

This course presents the fundamentals of screenwriting: concept, plot, structure, character development, conflict, dialogue, visual storytelling and format. Lectures, writing exercises, and analyses of films such as The Social Network, Chinatown, and Rushmore provide the student with the tools to create a short screenplay. Prerequisite(s): THEA 240.

THEA 250 Directing

An introduction to the art of directing, with an emphasis on creative and aesthetic problems and their solutions. Students learn the essential processes used by a director and deepen their awareness of contemporary directors and practices. The course offers a basic understanding of fundamental directorial technique: script analysis, staging, collaboration with performers, and approaches to contemporary drama. The course is both theoretical and practical, involving readings, rehearsal observation, and directing scenes and short plays.

THEA 254 Black Theater and Performance in America

In this course students explore a neglected corner of American theater history. Through scholarly texts, plays, and multimedia, students learn about the important contributions African Americans have made in the field of theater and analyze the development of Black performance onstage. They also examine the social and political issues that affected the development of the plays, the theater companies, and the performers involved, and they consider how this work developed under the shadow of white supremacy. Students are expected to develop critical arguments on the various topics covered in the course and develop their own theatrical aesthetic. Prerequisite(s): one course in Africana, English, or theater.

THEA 261 Beginning Acting

This experiential course offers an in-depth exploration of the craft of acting. Using several different acting techniques, students undertake exercises to strengthen connection, relaxation, objective, emotional openness, and moment-to-moment availability. The courseemphasizes ensemble-building techniques to deepen cooperative skills. Students explore the Stanislavski approach and apply it to the preparation of their contemporary scene work.

THEA 262 Performing Musical Theater

This course is a combination of theory and practice, which examines the history of musical theater, from the Golden Age of musicals to today, and emphasizes this American contribution to the social, literary and performing arts, while also introducing students to the process of embodying character while singing. The goal of this course is to help students better appreciate, analyze, and evaluate musical theatre and its performance practices through the use of required reading, videos of live performances as well as discussions of compositional and vocal techniques used for each work studied. The performance aspect of this course will be highlighted with a participation in a live or online final presentation at the end of the semester. No previous stage or singing experience necessary.

THEA 263 Voice and Speech

They examine the nature and working of the human voice. Students explore ways to develop the voice’s potential for expressive communication with exercises and the analysis of breathing, vocal relaxation, pitch, resonance, articulation, audibility, dialect, and text performance. Recommended background: one course in acting, performance, or public speaking.

THEA 270W Studio: Pilates

An introduction to the exercises and principles of classical Pilates. This physical training course uses the Pilates method and complementary conditioning techniques to develop core strength, alignment, and flexibility. This course is designed for physical performers, but useful for bodies of all kinds. One-half credit is earned.

THEA 290 Performance/Production

Working under faculty direction, students perform major roles in departmental productions as a performer (290A); stage manager, assistant stage manager, technician (290B); designer, dramaturg, assistant director (290C). May be repeated for credit. One-half credit is earned.

THEA 295 Stage Management for the Performing Arts

A stage manager’s role and responsibility is to assure clear communications, logistics, and safety throughout the entire production process, from pre-rehearsal preparation to post-performance breakdown. In this course students develop the organizational techniques and communication skills required for effective stage management in the performing arts. Students explore the role of a stage manager as collaborator, confidant, record keeper, and leader. They analyze the best practices of a professional stage manager through exercises that engage with personal identity and interpersonal communications. Recommended background: DN/TH 104; THEA 101, 130, or 132.

THEA 339 Advanced Playwriting

In Advanced Playwriting, students will refine their writing and revision skills, offer and receive feedback through the Liz Lerman critical response process, read and respond to critical essays, and begin the transition to live performance. This writing- and discussion-driven course will also deepen students’ understanding of Aristotelian plot structure and its derivatives, as well as non-Western narrative structures by challenging students to explore and create bold, imaginative work. The basic elements of playwriting will be supplemented by explorations of form, language, character, structure, and space as innovated by under-represented playwrights. Students will complete a written body of dramatic work. Recommended background: THEA 240.

THEA 350 Advanced Directing

Students deepen their craft of directing by experimenting with a variety of storytelling techniques for the stage. Class work focuses on the study and practice of the directing process, in which students expand their ability to develop an approach to a dramatic text, work with designers and actors, and explore generative theater making. Throughout the course there is a sustained focus on the collaborative process and examination of contemporary directors and their work. Students direct a ten-minute or short one-act play to conclude the semester. Recommended background: THEA 261. Prerequisite(s): THEA 250.

THEA 360 Independent Study

Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester.

THEA 362 Advanced Acting

Students deepen their craft of acting by exploring the techniques of Constantin Stanislavski and Michael Chekhov. Class work focuses of a psycho-physical acting approach, in which students expand their imagination, explore their impulses, and creatively integrate their bodies and voices. The course emphasizes ensemble-building techniques to strengthen cooperative skills. Throughout the course there is a sustained focus on text analysis; this practice is used to identify given circumstances and objectives, ultimately leading to options and choices for the actor. Prerequisite(s): THEA 261.

THEA 365 Special Topics

Offered occasionally in selected subjects.

THEA 373 Acting Styles/Performing Heightened Language

Students deepen their craft of acting by exploring the challenges of heightened language and period style while maintaining commitment to objectives, the specific details of the “world of the play,” and truthful listening and reacting. The content of this course focuses on such writers as Shakespeare, Molière, Sheridan, Congreve, and Aphra Behn. The course requires intensive outside preparation of exercises, text analysis, and monologues and scenes for presentation in class. Prerequisite(s): THEA 261.

THEA 457 Senior Thesis

Theater Studies/Dramaturgy and Theater Makers. This option, focused on scholarly research and writing, offers students the opportunity to explore topics in dramatic literature, theater history, the theoretical and social dimensions of performance, or other appropriate areas of scholarly interest. Theater Makers who elect this option structure their written work around a creative project designated by the department in acting, directing, playwriting, or design.

THEA 458 Senior Thesis

Theater Studies/Dramaturgy and Theater Makers. This option, focused on scholarly research and writing, offers students the opportunity to explore topics in dramatic literature, theater history, the theoretical and social dimensions of performance, or other appropriate areas of scholarly interest. Theater Makers who elect this option structure their written work around a creative project designated by the department in acting, directing, playwriting, or design.

THEA S26 Theater Production Workshop

Working under faculty supervision or with visiting professional artists, student actors, directors, designers, and technicians undertake the tasks necessary to produce a play. Readings and discussions explore various ways of understanding and producing a text. This course may be repeated for credit.

THEA S27 Scenic Painting

Scene painting relies on visual illusion to achieve realism, and scenic painters must master creating two-dimensional works on a large scale that are seen at great distances. In this course students are introduced to abroad array of tools and techniques to turn paint and canvas visually into wood, marble, ornate stone carving, trompe l’oeil-virtually anything that exists in three dimensions. Projects are designed to be cumulative, building skills that can be incorporated into individually chosen final projects.

THEA S28 Boredom

Boredom has a long, rich history in literature, drama, philosophy, and science. In this course, participants study how to become bored and how to bore other people using a variety of materials including durational performance, meditation apps, art film, and Gregorian chant. How is the emotion of boredom destructive and/or generative? How might its effects and moral resonance change across lines of gender, race, and class? How is boredom transformed or magnified in spaces like schools, theaters, trench warfare, arctic winter, or solitary confinement? Authors include Samuel Beckett, Bo Burnham, Anton Chekhov, Albert Camus, Ottessa Moshfegh, Jean-Paul Sartre, Andrei Tarkovsky, David Foster Wallace.

THEA S33 Central European Theater and Film

A study of Hungarian, Polish, and Czech theater and film, focusing on the impact on these arts of the social and political changes of the last several decades, from the Polish and Hungarian uprisings of 1956 to the rebuilding of culture in the region following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989. While in Budapest, students view films at the Hungarian National Film Archive and attend performances of central European theater at the International Contemporary Drama Festival and the Hungarian National Theater. Visits to theater and film centers in Prague are also included. Prerequisite(s): some background in one of the following: theater, film, or modern European history.

THEA S50 Independent Study