Joe Madrigal (department head)
Theatre training expands the capabilities of the human body and imagination, developing capacities for persistence, invention, and communication. Theatre majors learn self-confidence and refine their ability to conceive and enact new ideas, practices and solutions through the performative body. Collaborative performances and studio environments stimulate active learning, and promote body and mind development toward reflecting what it means to be human. This approach equips students with skills for dealing with a complex world. Theatre majors pursue graduate and professional studies, certification, and employment in: acting, design, directing, freelance performing, freelance designing, international arts education, theatre education, movement for actors, performance, and performance art.
Required for a major: 33 hours including THTR 100/DAN 100 (6 times), THTR 103, 105, 127, 300, 351, 352; two 200 level courses; one 300 level course. Writing requirement completed with THTR 352.
Correlative requirement: One 4-credit elective selected from courses in dance.
Theatre Synthesis: During the sophomore year a major will develop a written reflection outlining their previous work in the performing arts and develop possible pathways for future directions leading toward their senior project.
Required for a minor: THTR 100/DAN 100 (three times); THTR 103, 105, 127, 300, and one 4-credit elective selected from courses in theatre or dance.
Theatre Management Concentration: To complete the theatre management concentration a student is required to complete a major in theatre and a minor in management, or a major in management and a minor in theatre.
View program learning goals for an explanation of learning outcomes in Theatre.
An intensive experiental research ensemble devoted to crafting, creating, developing, and producing a faculty-directed theatre and/or dance event. Students in this course will be involved in research and theoretical discussion supporting active involvement in a collaborative process of performance, design and production management, such as director/designer assistant; set construction; lighting, sound, costume, properties, make-up/hair, and stage management. Theatre majors must complete six Production Practicums, while minors must complete three. Course may be repeated an unlimited number of times. Enrollment by audition or consent of instructor.
This course is designed to introduce students to the craft and skills used in creating costumes, applying makeup and constructing scenery for theatrical productions. Theatre is a collaborative art form with a variety of artists functioning together to create a single work. This course will explore the connection between the designer and the artist/craftsperson. Through field trips, readings, and experiential lab work students will develop, design, create and practice the art and craft of costume,makeup and scenic construction skills.
An introduction to performance concepts and skills utilizing text as a beginning point for the performance experience. The course will include analysis and performance of diverse texts through solo and group work, incorporating elements of movement, spoken text, and music. Letters, novels, poems, plays, biographies, journals, and newspapers are examples of potential performance texts. No experience in any performing area is assumed.
A study of the relationship between the performer, the elements of art, and the principles of design. Through a wide variety of hands-on exercises, students will explore how design can enhance the performer's ability to express thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Areas of study will include the designer's vocabulary and means of expression; the connection between design, the performer, and the audience; and methods of articulating visually to various audiences.
Private applied instruction lessons are open to all students except music majors. Lessons are taken for 1 credit (one half-hour lesson per week). There are no auditions for lessons, and students at any level are welcome. Additional fees are assessed with the exception of students pursuing the musical theatre minor, who may enroll four times without extra fees, but thereafter fees will be assessed. May be repeated.
This course introduces students to the crafts of stage technology, applying them to the fields of theatre and dance. Students in this course will be assigned to work in areas of scenery, properties, costuming, makeup, lighting, and sound. Offered every semester on a credit/no credit basis. May be repeated.
A survey of the history of clothing from Mesopotamia to the present. Through lecture and discussion the course examines visual documentation of clothing, terminology and vocabulary related to clothing and the socio-political events that influence its development. Students will be asked to study the details of each era by sketching existing visual documentation of articles of clothing. Regular quizzes will be given throughout the semester and a research paper on a topic of the students choice will be assigned.
A study of lighting for the performing arts and an introduction to and practice in theatrical stage lighting. Coursework will cover the function of light in design; lighting equipment and terminology; communication graphics through practical laboratory explorations. Application of principles for performance events and contemporary lighting problems will be studied through extensive hands-on applications.
Building on concepts established in Acting I, this course allows students to deepen their character analyses, strengthen their imaginative work, and explore different practices to achieve greater emotional freedom. Sanford Meisner's work continues to inform the structure of this class, but students will also engage with elements from other acting theories.
Focusing mainly on plays authored in the past 50 years, the works of American and British playwrights will comprise about a third of the reading with the remaining plays from around the globe with particular emphasis on non-European playwrights. Introduction to production analysis (how a play works in the theatre) and attention to student writing.
In Acting:Musical Theatre students will build a common foundation of performance for actors and singers of all experience levels. In this course, the actor is treated as a complete artist: imaginative, expressive, intellectual, physical, and emotional. Because of the nature of musical theatre, students will both work to free their vocal instrument and hone their analytical skills in order to portray complex characters in the heightened circumstances of song. Students will exercise their creativity while developing their expressivity as they work on partnered songs and solo work. This course may not be used in the theatre major or minor.
Acting Shakespeare begins with the premise that a deeper understanding of Shakespeare's works is reached in performing them. This course will place an emphasis on freeing the voice for use as a primary vehicle for conveying meaning. Students will develop tools for analyzing, speaking and embodying Shakespeare's text. Students will analyze and perform scenes while investigating the plays from which they are selected. Learning the structure of the text will enable students to use it as a springboard for action, emotion, and character.
An experiential collaborative component for the theatre/dance majors and minors. Set within a faculty directed project or production, the student participates in research, dialogue and the underpinnings of producing work. (Same as DAN 300)
A course focused on the particulars of vocal production for musical theatre. Emphasis in this class is given to analysis of the musical information contained in the libretto for character and storytelling insights. Students will also engage with the stylistic challenges of singing for a variety of subgenres within musical theatre. Review of music theory, including intervals, notation, musical vocabulary and rhythm. Work on acquiring these skills through sight singing. This course may not be used in the theatre major or minor.
An exploratory study of performance design: scenery, costuming, sound, and/or lighting. Coursework will develop a student's individual approach to design and practical problem-solving for live performance with an emphasis on the function of design and aesthetics for the performing arts. Students enrolled will have bi-weekly portfolio meetings for an exchange of ideas in the field of design for live performance. Lab hours arranged.
A study of major developments in the theatre - playwriting, acting, staging, architecture - from their roots through the 1850's, with reading of numerous representative plays. A study of theatre around the world from primitive rituals to classical Greek and Roman, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and African theatre and native performance. The plays, period developments, and movements studies will provide foundation for discussion of how modern readers and audiences can have a meaningful encounter with these ancient works.
A study of the development of the modern theatre, its drama, and its stage crafts, from 1850 through the present, with reading of numerous representative plays. Attention is paid to the major social changes in relevant world cultures that lead to developments in performance.
A survey of the development of musical theatre from its origins to the present day. Research into the historical major figures and productions, with attention paid to social, cultural, political and commercial influences. Review of music theory, including intervals, notation, music vocabulary and rhythm through musical theatre examples.
A study of the theories and practices related to directing for the theatre. Coursework will include emphasis on communication principles and script analysis as well as laboratory experiences in directing.
An intensive, collabroative study of selected theories, performance artist(s), writer(s), selected period, or movement. The seminar will often intersect the disciplines of theatre and dance. The course format rests upon student-led discussion and development of an artist's manifesto, both of which will be used to focus and develop the senior project proposal.
Students will complete an individualized or collaborative senior project. The project will include a written artist's statement, process documentation, post-project reflection/critique, and will be presented publicly. Students will orally defend their project before the department following the public presentation.