Theater Course Descriptions

50:965:101 Introduction to Theater (G) (3)
An introduction to the collaborative process of creating theater by examining the roles of the producer, playwright, director, actor, and designer, and how aesthetic choices are made based on analysis and interpretation of play texts.

50:965:123 Voice for the Stage (3)
Training and development of the actor’s voice to develop optimal pitch, vocal range, improved articulation, and the ability to use the voice as an instrument.

50:965:124 Movement for The Stage (3)
Training and development of the actor’s body to develop optimal range of movement and creative potential for the actor.

50:965:125 Introduction to Video and Film (3)
Exploration and survey of a variety of methods of video production and filmmaking using digital equipment and nonlinear editing to produce a range of films.

50:965:202 Play Reading and Analysis (3)
The fundamentals of script analysis as it relates to the work of the director, the actor, and the designer.

50:965:225 Video and Film Production (3)
Continued exploration of a variety of methods of video and filmmaking using digital equipment and nonlinear editing software, focusing on lighting and sound techniques to produce larger team productions.
Prerequisite: 50:965:125 or permission of instructor.

50:965:241 Stagecraft (3)
An introduction to the behind-the-scenes elements of a theater production developed through theory and stage crew experiences. Subjects covered may include scenery construction and painting, drafting, sound, digital electronics, stage management, and production organization.

50:965:242 Stagecraft II (3)
A continuation of Stagecraft (50:965:241), this course focuses on more advanced scenic construction, electrical work in theatrical lighting, prop construction, and the development of related crafts in the theatre.

50:965:270 Stage Makeup
Introduction to stage makeup design and techniques for the actor.

50:965:271 Acting I (3)
A foundational course that introduces the basic concepts of characterization through improvisational exercises, text analysis, and scene study. This course may be taken as part of a minor in media studies.

50:965:301 Performance (BA)
This course provides practical experience for the actor through mainstage or workshop productions. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: By audition or permission of instructor.

50:965:302 Practicum/Crew Call in Technical Theater (BA)
An extension of technical theater studies with an emphasis on our mainstage and small-stage productions. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: 50:965:241 or other departmental courses relevant to the practicum or permission of instructor.

50:965:303 Actor Director Workshop (BA)
A hands-on course in which student directors work with student actors to produce plays. May be repeated for credit.

50:965:308 American Musical Theater (3)
This course examines the development of one of the most quintessentially American performance forms–the musical–from its various origins in European operetta, vaudeville, minstrelsy, and melodrama, to its most contemporary incarnations in the current Broadway season.

50:965:309 American Theater (3)
The development of the American theater as an artistic, literary, cultural, historical, political, and social phenomenon, including the study of plays, playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and theater companies in the United States from the colonial era to the present day.

50:965:310 Experimental Theater (3)
A look at the American and European avant-garde in the 20th century, exploring how traditional patterns were and still are broken on all levels: artistic, political, and philosophical.

50:965:314 Scenic Design (3)
Fundamentals of scenic design, including history, theory of design, drafting, rendering, modeling, and practical application.
Prerequisite: 50:965:241 or permission of instructor.

50:965:318 Playwriting I (3)
Provides experience with fundamental skills and techniques essential to new play development and writing that is particular to the stage. Examines traditional conventions of the “well-made play” while also experimenting with writing for a theater that breaks with those conventions.

50:965:319  Playwriting II (3)
Covers practical approaches to reshaping works-in-progress for staged readings and workshop productions. The workshop atmosphere of this course will help students to develop a professional perspective on playwriting, rehearsal process, and production values.
Prerequisite: 50:965:318 or permission of instructor.

50:965:320 Directing I (3)
The fundamentals of stage directing, including composition, picturization, movement, stage business, tempo, script selection, analysis, casting, and rehearsal planning. 
Prerequisite: 50:965:202 or permission of instructor.

50:965:321 Directing II (3)
Advanced study of the principles and techniques of directing plays of various types and styles.
Prerequisite: 50:965:320. May be repeated for credit.

50:965:322 Directing for Film (3)
A foundation course that introduces the basic concepts of directing for film and video. Students will learn by making short films. Emphasis is placed on a director’s ability to implement basic uses of actors and practical aspects of technical production.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

50:965:325 Advanced Video and Film Production (3)
Students will explore concepts and techniques of screenwriting, digital editing, and film compositing and effects. Each student will develop an individual project from pre-production to post-production.
Prerequisite: 50:965:225 or permission of instructor.

50:965:345 Theater and Film in Europe (3)
A study of 20th-century movements in European film, which ran parallel to the expanding world of new theater. Examines content and performance styles that are specific to European countries, cultures, and individuals. An emphasis on influences and sensibilities well apart from our general awareness of theater and cinema in the United States.

50:965:350 Auditions and the Business of Theater

50:965:359 Senior Project (BA)
Senior theater majors are required to register for this capstone course. Guidance is provided for final projects in performance, design, research, or internship. (BA)

50:965:361 Survey of Costume History (3)
This survey course traces the evolution of dress from the ancient period to the present.

50:965:362 Costume Design (3)
Fundamentals of costume design, including history of costume and fashion, theory of design, research methods, rendering and practical application. Techniques in drawing the basic human form.

50:965:363 Educational/Children’s Theater
This course examines techniques for theater in the classroom, creative dramatics, and theater for young audiences.

50:965:371 Acting II (3)
Development of material introduced in Acting I, with more advanced emphasis on scene study, styles of acting, and various approaches to an actor’s preparation.
Prerequisite: 50:965:271 or permission of instructor.

50:965:372 Acting for Film (3)
A foundation course that introduces the basic concepts of acting for film and video.  Emphasis is placed on an actor’s ability to understand technically, to artistically interpret, and to implement specific suggestions from the film director.

50:965:373 Improvisational Theater (3)
Improvisational process is examined through a progression of choice-making exercises related to spontaneous composition for the stage. Work with impulse and imaginative freedom are featured elements in making theater from scratch.

50:965:380 History of Theater I (3)
A survey from the classical period through the 17th century, with emphasis on the major periods, typical plays, performance theories, important figures, and major playhouses and forms of production. Western and non-Western traditions may be examined. The two courses in this series need not be taken in sequence.

50:965:381 Modern Drama (3)
A survey from the 18th century to the present, with emphasis on the major periods, typical plays, performance theories, important figures, and major playhouses and forms of production.  Western and non-Western traditions may be examined.

50:965:382 Lighting Design (3)
Fundamentals of lighting design, including history and theories of design and electricity, drafting, and practical application.
Prerequisite: 50:965:241 or permission of instructor.

50:965:425 Post-Production (3)
Explores post-production techniques for animation, video, film, and audio. Focuses on the production related aspects of rendering, converting, importing, exporting, compositing, effects, and sound.
Prerequisite: 50:965:125 Introduction to video and film or 50:080:386 Computer Animation I or by Permission of Instructor.

50:965:471 Acting III (3)
Advanced problems in acting theories and styles with an emphasis on Shakespeare. 
Prerequisites: 50:965:271 and 371 or permission of instructor.

50:203:201 Musical Theater Dance (3)
This course introduces the fundamentals of musical theater dance, including basic training in ballet and modern jazz dance technique, alignment, coordination, flexibility, strength, endurance, rhythm/musicality, spatial relationships, performance, the choreographer/dancer relationship, and choreographic composition.

Syllabi for courses available here.