Courses

Courses

THEA 101. Theater and Film: An Introductory Survey.

An introduction to drama on stage and in motion pictures. Beginning with a discussion of action, plot, and character, the course moves on to consider the elements of theatrical performance—including acting, directing, and design—as well as important plays from the Greeks to the present. These may include works by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, and Beckett. The course then shifts focus to film, examining the elements of mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound, and concluding with a study of major films from the silent era to the twenty-first century. These may include works by Chaplin, Wells, Bergman, Hitchcock, Scorsese, and David Lynch. Normally offered every year. M. Andrucki.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

DN/TH 104. What is Performance?.

In this course students think critically about theater and dance performance from the point of view of makers, performers, audiences, and society. Students see and discuss live performance throughout the semester and explore historical and current ideas in performance from inside and out. Not open to students who have received credit for FYS 437. Enrollment limited to 39. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 129. Shakespeare in Production.

Shakespeare's plays are captivating and thought-provoking on the page, but this is only half of their impact: they were always meant to be primarily a living, aural, and visual experience. This course examines how theater artists have used the foundation of Shakespeare's themes and images, translating them into stirring and sometimes controversial theatrical events. Students read and discuss three to four Shakespeare texts and explore how theater artists such as Julie Taymor, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, and others have brought these words to life on both the stage and the screen. New course beginning Winter 2019. [W1] B. McDowell.
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. 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. M. Reidy.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 200. The Classical Stage.

We still measure theatrical excellence by the achievements of ancient Greece and Rome, Elizabethan England, and seventeenth-century France. This course studies selected plays and works of critical theory from those remarkable times and places. Authors may include Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Plautus, Terence, Horace, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Webster, Corneille, Racine, Molière, and the neoclassical theorists of France and Italy. Viewing of filmed scenes from several of the plays on the syllabus reveals the continuing vigor of these classical works in performance. Open to first-year students. M. Andrucki.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 220. The Modern Stage: Ibsen to O'Neill.

The premiere in 1879 of Henrik Ibsen's incendiary masterpiece, A Doll House, sparked an explosion of creativity in Western theater and drama over the next eight decades. This course studies several of the most important plays staged during that turbulent period. In addition to Ibsen, authors may include Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Pirandello, Brecht, Williams, Hansberry, and O'Neill. Students also read critics and theorists who have discussed the nature and purpose of the stage during this revolutionary period. Viewings of filmed scenes from several of the plays on the syllabus help to reveal their power in performance. Open to first-year students. M. Andrucki.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AV/TH 221. Performance Art.

Performance art is live art performed by artists. In this course, students investigate the history and theories of performance art through readings, screenings, discussions and the creation of original works. They experiment with a variety of performance elements including movement, design, media, text, voice, and sound. The class collaborates to create site- or history-specific performance events and individuals make a self-directed original work. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 19. Staff.
Concentrations

THEA 222. The Modern Stage: Beckett to the Present.

An overview of drama and theater from the landmark premiere of Beckett's Waiting for Godot in 1953 until the present. Authors may include Genet, Pinter, Ionesco, Albee, Shepard, Mamet, Churchill, August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, and other contemporary British, American, and continental dramatists. Students also read critics and theorists who have written on the nature and purpose of the stage during this period. Viewing filmed scenes from several of the plays under study helps to reveal their power in performance. M. Andrucki.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

THEA 223. Theories of Drama: Theater and Film.

What is the purpose of drama? To teach morality? To bring about social change? To provide wonder and delight? And how should drama accomplish this purpose? Through the power of language, or the force of visual images? By telling compelling stories or by portraying complex characters? This course explores these questions through readings from classical, neoclassical, romantic, modern, and postmodern authors including Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Castelvetro, Johnson, Coleridge, Nietzsche, Brecht, Artaud, Eisenstein, Bazin, and Mulvey. Prerequisite(s): at least one course in history or the humanities. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. M. Andrucki.
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. Staff.
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. 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 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. B. McDowell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 235. Dress and Adornment in Western Culture.

Dress does not mean just fashion. 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 our own 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. 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. Staff.
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. 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 16. Normally offered every semester. T. Dugan, C. Odle.
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. 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. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

DN/TH 290. Performance.

Working under faculty direction, students perform major roles in departmental productions as performers, designers, or technicians. Two semesters of DN/TH 290 constitute one course credit. No more than one course credit may be earned through DN/TH 290. Department chair permission is required. Staff, M. Reidy.
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. 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, a course prospectus, 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. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 364. Advanced Voice and Speech.

A study of vocal and physical techniques for the exploration of theatrical texts. Specialized topics for the vocal professional include: characterization as it relates to voice and speech; cold readings; assessing and preparing for the vocal demands of a role; working with the vocal coach. Recommended for students intending to focus on acting or performance art in the senior thesis. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. K. Vecsey.
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 370. 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. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): THEA 261. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 16. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

DN/TH 390. Advanced Production Laboratory.

Using faculty supervised productions as a laboratory for refining and developing executive artistic decision making processes, students conduct dramaturgical research and develop practical skills in directing, design, or stage management. Prerequisite(s): DANC 351, THEA 130, or 370. Recommended background: appropriate courses in design for design participants; directing or advanced composition for directing participants. K. Vecsey, M. Reidy, Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 457. Senior Thesis.

By departmental invitation only. Students undertake a substantial academic or artistic project. Students register for THEA 457 in the fall semester and for THEA 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both THEA 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

THEA 458. Senior Thesis.

By departmental invitation only. Students undertake a substantial academic or artistic project. Students register for THEA 457 in the fall semester and for THEA 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both THEA 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

Short Term Courses

DN/TH s13. Body/Site/Create: Site-Specific Performance.

This course roots the creative process of making performance in the artists' physical response to a specific place, or site. In this community-engaged learning course, students engage in interdisciplinary creative research, design and perform of the final event, and develop curricula for various populations to explore making site-specific work. Weekly work involves on-campus meetings and day trips to the site for creation and performance. The final performance is a free, public event at the end of the term. All artistic media (music, visual art, dance, theater, literary arts) are valued in the project. Open to anyone with interest in art experiences. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Fox.
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. 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 thatare 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. 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 sixty years, 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. M. Andrucki, 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