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Theatre and Dance
B.A. in Theatre Arts: Production/Performance
Summary of Requirements
Required pre-major courses 6 credits
A study of gestures as a form of communication and as a basis for visual language. Concentration on the ability to think in pictures and to develop expressive and receptive communication skills in gestures. This course develops artistic sign language translation skills and leads to better understanding of the basic structures of American Sign Language.
The popularity of film, memes and viral videos, and streaming shows in this day and age overshadow the fact that theatre was among the earliest forms of popular entertainment and social media. As an enduring art rich in varying social contexts, theatre has always sought to engage, represent, and spotlight intersectional spectrums of communities and identities, and this course introduces students to the practice and power of theatre from page to stage. All areas of theatre and production will be explored, complemented by 1) a set of required lab hours outside class and 2) viewings of live performances and past performances via archival video links. Successful completion of this course is a requirement for declaring one's major/minor in Theatre Arts.
Required theatre and related courses 27-30 credits
THE 281: Repeat as necessary for a minimum of 6 credits.
This internship course provides students a way to integrate theory with practice by working for an off-campus employer. Students will apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, or during stage productions, by interning at a professional theatre, a theatre organization, or in an educational setting. Students will fulfill the duties outlined in a learning contract developed with the on-site supervisor and a faculty sponsor. Student performance will be assessed via products agreed upon in the learning contract, including, but not limited to, weekly journals, reflective papers, direct involvement with stage/television/film performances, and classroom/workshop teachings.
This course is an analysis of the poetic and dramatic structure of some of Shakespeare's major comedies, tragedies, romances, and history plays, with a consideration of the background of the plays.
Pre- or co-requisite: ENG 208 or permission of the instructor.
Permission of the instructor, gained through the assignment of a role behind the scenes ahead of the semester’s add/drop period during the first week.
This exploratory course introduces students to the essentials of creative methodologies of sign language translation emphasizing content, context, and intent of performances as produced within a variety of genres and styles. Open to non-majors; recommended for ASL, interpreting, and linguistics students.
This course covers the development of performance from its beginnings to the latest contemporary movements, through the study of plays, essays, films, and other works to examine the nature of performance and how culture, economics, politics, identity, and other systematic forces influence (and are influenced by) the performing arts. Open to non-majors.
This class is designed to help the students break down and analyze theatrical scripts through readings, reinforced by watching live performances in person and/or filmed productions online as well as the exploration of varying approaches, narrative frames, and techniques designed to maximize the clarity and power of theatrical storytelling and production. Open to non-majors.
The course examines the evolutionary leaps of modern theatre from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Scripts are specifically chosen to highlight a variety of contemporary theatre-making practices ranging from interpretations of traditional dramas and comedies, new writing, physical theatre, musicals, cross-media pieces, and/or other alternative forms throughout a timeline that is defined by the emergence and acceleration of technology, resulting in redefined worldviews. Open to non-majors.
Students will be introduced to the creative processes and tools of acting through the continuous application of rehearsal strategies incorporating exercises designed to strengthen basic skillsets in observation, sense and emotion memory, concentration, improvisation, and scene study, with individual and group work involving monologues and scenes. This course will culminate in a student performance showcase at the end of the semester.
Permission of the instructor
This course provides students with a general overview of the business and administrative functions of non-profit and profit theatrical and performing arts organizations as well as an introductory look at the processes and responsibilities of production management, with specific consideration given to applications relevant to Deaf theatre practices. Open to non-majors.
Elective theatre courses 9 credits
Choose nine hours:
This introductory course familiarizes students with theories of body movement and trains students in the use of physical space, rhythm, and balance for the purpose of creating mood and character through body movement within a theatrical context.
Activities offered include dance and fundamental movement. Not more than six hours of credit in dance activities may be counted toward the requirements for a bachelor's degree.
This experimental studio course introduces students to the principles, processes, and techniques—such as Commedia dell’Arte, clowning, Lecoq, Viewpoints, among others—guiding the creation of physical and visual theatre intended to challenge and confront the traditionally text-oriented nature of performance, while exploring the relationship between body and language. This course will conclude with a performance of original works devised by students at the end of the semester.
This course is one within which creating play scripts for the theatre is explored through active practice and discussion. Major components of play creating, including action, dialogue, and character development are studied and refined through the completion and workshopping of developmental assignments, providing and receiving constructive criticism, and experiencing the work of contemporary theatre makers via readings and viewings. Upon completion of the course, each student will have created and revised two ten-minute plays. Open to non-majors.
This course is designed to give the student hands on experience in the art of stagecraft. To that end, the student will have opportunities to use the basic tools, procedures, and equipment for creating the types of scenery encountered in the theatre shop environment. Other topics include construction, rigging, production processes, and stage equipment. Open to non-majors.
This hands-on course explores the qualities of light and how light functions in a variety of contexts, both in nature and as a design element relevant to text, performers, music, and environment. Students will gain basic technical working knowledge and skill sets specific to lighting design for the performing arts, with varying emphases placed on the discipline’s creative, conceptual, and collaborative aspects, applied through continuous experimentation and practice. Open to non-majors.
This course is designed to acquaint the student with major styles and periods of dress from Egyptian to pre-World War I European as a basis of later work in costume design. Viewed through slides, photographs, and actual historical documentation, a flow of design and change is seen.
This course is an exploration into costume design processes and the psychology of clothing, culminating in the development of designs resulting from character analyses specific to a theatrical play script, with period research, design, and rendering skills cultivated through continuous applications, supported by instruction in basic costume sewing, construction, and crafting techniques. Open to non-majors.
permission of the instructor
This course is an exploration of scenic design as an artistic process, in which students learn how a designer creates a stage world synthesizing narrative and visual ideas stemming from one’s interpretation of the relationship between text, space, and performers within a play production: techniques in support of this process include visual research, collage, sketching, model-making, painting, and the application of architectural scale. Open to non-majors.
This course will focus on methodology and practice of creative movement and drama for children ages 3 to 6 (preschool and kindergarten). Students will become familiar with the use of creative movement, mime, improvisation, story dramatization, storytelling, puppetry and use of multisensory stimuli and learn how to adapt activities for children with special needs. Emphasis will be on the application of these techniques to language development, social learning, concept formation, emotional development, and creativity. Resources will include multiethnic themes, stories, and folklore.
Junior or senior standing
This course focuses on methodology and practice of educational drama applied to multidisciplinary learning within the first through sixth grade curricula. Students will be introduced to theme and story based improvisation, story dramatization, role play, and teacher-in-role strategies, and learn how to adapt activities for children with special needs. Curricular areas include language arts, social studies, science, and math, with additional focus on examining emotional development, and creativity. Current trends in assessment of drama will also be explored. Resources will include multiethnic themes, stories, and folklore.
This course focuses on methodology and practice of educational drama applied to multidisciplinary learning within the sixth through twelfth grade curricula. Students explore the use of theme and literature based improvisation, role play, and teacher-in-role strategies applied primarily to language arts and social studies, including sociology, history, government, and current events. Additional emphasis will be placed on examining emotional development and creativity. Resources will include multiethnic themes, stories, and folklore.
This course will begin with a review of the history, influences, and development of theatre for young audiences in the twentieth century. Particular emphasis will be placed on examining current trends in theatre for youth including; standards for professional theatre, standards for in-school theatre programs, dramatic literature, and theatre-in-education. In addition to readings from text: Children's Theatre, Children and Youth by Jed H. Davis and Mary Jane Evans, students will read selected plays from Dramatic Literature for Children: A century in Review by Roger L. Bedard, and Spit in One Hand, Wish in the Other: Six Plays by Suzan Zeder for Youth Audiences, by Susan Pearson-Davis. Student will attend theatre performances in the Washington, D.C. area.
This experimental course introduces students to the fundamentals of theatre directing and allows them--through discussions, readings, exercises, and various projects--to explore multiple forms of expression integral to the director's imagination and toolbox. Open to non-majors.
This follow-up course to THE 470, 472 and 474 is designed to give students professional on-site experience and training with deaf and hard of hearing children and children who have special educational needs. Students will meet with classroom teachers and prepare age appropriate drama lessons that support classroom long and short term objectives. Students will work in at least two different classrooms during the semester.
THE 470, 472, and 474; or permission of the instructor
This course adopts a diverse and flexible approach to subject matter as a means to offer students opportunities to pursue specialized areas of performing arts production, research, and/or scholarship. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, provided that the topics differ. Open to non-majors.
A project in the field of the student's special interest, involving reading, research, discussion, and/or lab work. Title indicating content must be available at registration.
Students are expected to be fluent in the methodologies of creating artistic works and scholarly documents, and acquire the ability to integrate both methods as ways of knowing.
The employment of Actors is projected to grow at a 3-4% rate from 2019 to 2029, with a median hourly salary of $21.88. Learn more here.
The employment of Producers and Directors is projected to grow at a 10% rate from 2019 to 2029, with an average annual salary of $76,400. Learn more here.
The employment of professional Dancers is expected to grow at a 6% rate from 2019 to 2029, with an average annual hourly salary of $19.11 per hour. Learn more here.
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