Courses

Courses
DN/TH 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. Enrollment limited to 39. Normally offered every year. [AC] [HS] Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

GS/TH 116. Gender, Politics, Performance.
What does it mean to be a feminist? What does it mean to perform femininity and gender fluidity, and express queer, trans, and nonbinary feminisms through art? How can literature and performance describe and shape cultural perceptions of equality, consent, friendship, or love? This course explores the history of feminist thought, political movements, and perspectives on gender through drama, theory, television, and film. Particular attention is paid to how art can resist patriarchy and white supremacy and lead to collective action. Readings and performances include work by Margaret Atwood, Simone De Beauvoir, Alison Bechdel, Alice Birch, Caryl Churchill, Hélène Cixous, Jackie Sibblies Drury, María Irene Fornès, bell hooks, Adrienne Kennedy, Young Jean Lee, Audre Lorde, and Ntozake Shange. Enrollment limited to 39. One-time offering. [AC] [HS] E. Phillips.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 14. Normally offered every year. [AC] [CP] B. McDowell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 14. [CP] M. Reidy.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

EN/TH 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. Enrollment limited to 25. (English: Post-1800.) (English: Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) [W2] Normally offered every year. C. Odle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

DN/TH 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. Normally offered every year. [AC] [CP] E. Phillips.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 39. [AC] [HS] E. Phillips.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 14. Instructor permission is required. [AC] [CP] B. McDowell.
Concentrations
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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 14. Instructor permission is required. [CP] M. Reidy.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 14. [AC] [CP] B. McDowell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 19. [AC] [HS] B. McDowell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 12. [CP] [QF] B. McDowell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. [AC] [CP] C. Odle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

EN/TH 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. [AC] [CP] C. Odle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Not open to students who have received credit for THEA 370. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 16. Normally offered every year. [AC] [CP] T. Dugan.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AF/TH 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. Enrollment limited to 25. [W2] C. Odle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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 course emphasizes ensemble-building techniques to deepen cooperative skills. Students explore the Stanislavski approach and apply it to the preparation of their contemporary scene work.[AC] [CP] T. Dugan, C. Odle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

MU/TH 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. Enrollment limited to 32. J. Morris.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 19. Normally offered every year. [CP] K. Vecsey.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

DN/TH 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. C. Dilley, R. Vermilion, Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 287. Chinese Drama and Storytelling.
This course provides an introduction to the vibrant traditions of Chinese drama and storytelling. What are the social, historical, and cultural contexts of these traditions? What can stories and plays tell us about the worlds from which they came? While learning to read the texts as literary works, we will also pay attention to their lives in performance. The first half of the course is devoted to dramatic literature of the 14th to 19th centuries; the second half focuses on modern Chinese drama, in conjunction with the history of Chinese film and the continued interactions between literature, stage and screen. Recommended background: prior coursework in Asian studies, film studies, or theater. Crosslisted in Asian studies, Chinese, and theater. Enrollment limited to 25. [W2] Normally offered every other year. [AC] Z. Lu.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

DN/TH 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. Department chair permission is required. [AC] [CP] Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 306. Prison, Abolition, and the Arts.
This seminar explores the history and philosophy of incarceration, rehabilitation, and abolition, with a focus on the role that performance and theater have played in prisons. Students examine institutions and organizations that aim to reform carceral systems through art and discuss the efficacy of transformational arts programming. They read plays that articulate experiences surrounding mass incarceration, systemic oppression, and the experience of solitary confinement, and learn about work ranging from poetry to community organizing to paintings from incarcerated or formerly incarcerated artists. They also study methods of producing theater for social justice and the ethics of conducting ethnographic research. Authors include Michelle Alexander, Eric Berryman and The Wooster Group, Angela Davis, George Jackson, Joy James, Suzan-Lori Parks, Anna Deavere Smith, Sophie Treadwell, Malcolm X, and August Wilson. Enrollment limited to 16. [W2] One-time offering. [AC] [HS] E. Phillips.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 339. Advanced Playwriting.
Students learn and build upon the skills developed in THEA 240 (Introduction to Playwriting) and apply them toward the writing of a full-length play which serves as their final project. In addition, students unite short scenes designed to explore various theatrical genres, challenge conventions, and harness inspiration. Students also study the works of experimental playwrights. Included in the course is an excursion to see a play produced by Boston Playwrights' Theatre, and a discussion with playwrights and other artists producing new work for the stage. Prerequisite(s): THEA 240. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every year. [AC] [CP] C. Odle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 16. Instructor permission is required. [AC] [CP] T. Dugan.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 365. Special Topics.
Offered occasionally in selected subjects. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 16. Normally offered every other year. [AC] T. Dugan.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

Short Term Courses
JA/TH s25. Traditional Japanese Theater: Noh, Puppet Theater, and Kabuki.
This course explores the rich tradition of Japanese theater, focusing the three major genres: Noh (and kyogen), puppet theatre, and kabuki. Reading, watching, and discussing representative plays from medieval to contemporary Japan, students learn how to analyze each play from both a literary and a performative point of view. The goal is to foster a deep understanding of the major traditions of Japanese theater while broadening students' perspectives on the social and cultural contexts of these works. Recommended background: No previous knowledge of Japanese language or culture is required, but one course in Japanese language or Asian studies is advantageous. New course beginning Short Term 2022. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. One-time offering. C. Zhang.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Open to first-year students. Instructor permission is required. [CP] Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Course reinstated beginning Short Term 2022. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 10. B. McDowell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. Enrollment limited to 18. Instructor permission is required. [AC] [HS] K. Vecsey.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

THEA s50. 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, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations