Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Tuesday, December 18, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
|Professor:||T. Troy (J. Thomas and Julie E. Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, chair)|
|Associate professor:||K. Privatt (James G. and Elthel M. Barber Professor of Theatre and Drama)|
|Visiting assistant professors:||M. Chavez-Kruger, A. Sherkow|
|Instructors:||K. Kopischke, M. Rodero, D. Schuchart|
|Lecturer:||J. Troy (Freshman Studies)|
Since 1930, the Department of Theatre Arts provides an environment of academic exploration and production experiences in the innovative and collaborative tradition of theatre making throughout history. A broad knowledge of theater history and its literary heritage combines with the mastery of skills in performance, design, and production leading to clear and nuanced expression from our stages. Our close relationship with the Conservatory of Music benefits their opera offerings, as they support various aspects of our musical and play production. Our faculty instills a professional standard in each main stage production as we constantly encourage students to integrate their whole education at each stage of development as young artists and scholars. If students engage in our brand of serious and joyful theatre-making in close collaboration with their peers and faculty mentors, they will be ready to enter the profession or graduate training with the best our discipline offers. Our decades long tradition of senior projects provides a platform where students mark their development with research, performances, and production designs that rise to the level of enthusiastic young professionals. We are equally pleased when our graduates bring the skills and methods they learn in our department to other professions. As life-long learners, the passion for theatre they explored during their years with us will inspire them to contribute as audience members and supporters of the theatre community.
Because the study of dramatic art requires a grounding in the study of production methods, past and present, and must be intimately connected to and supported by the study of theatre history and dramatic literature of various periods, the department has developed a core curriculum in those areas.
Additionally, students are invited to further explore an area of concentration or to continue a generalist’s study of dramatic art. Areas of concentration include performance; design and technical theatre; and dramatic theory, history, and literature. We expect our majors to contribute to each area of the curriculum, to integrate their whole liberal arts exploration into their theatre studies, and to consistently participate in production—on stage, backstage, and in dramaturgical preparation.
Typically, majors complete most of their studies in the core curriculum early in their junior year. At that time, students begin to work toward a finalizing senior project in that area. The senior project is required of all majors and is designed to exhibit the student’s strengths in the area in which he or she hopes to continue studies or seek employment. Students anticipating graduate study in an area of concentration should consult with their advisor to ensure that their auditions, résumés, or portfolio presentations are appropriately prepared. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to participate in one or more off-campus programs, such as the Lawrence London Centre, the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, or the ACM Chicago Arts Program, to deepen their understanding of the various areas of concentration prior to designing their senior projects.
Core curriculum — required of all theatre arts majors
- THAR 187: Acting I
- THAR 135: Stagecraft or THAR 137: Costume Crafts and Technology
- THAR 212: Theatre Traditions I: Greeks through the 18th Century
- THAR 224: Theatre Traditions II: Romanticism through the Present
- THAR 231: Introduction to Design for the Theatre
- THAR 327: Playscript Analysis
- Six terms of participation in either THAR 355: Theatre Production Laboratory or THAR 357: Musical Theatre Production Laboratory. Normally granted at one unit per term of participation.
- Three additional courses (18 units) in a focus area or courses across focus areas or continue a generalist approach. No more than twelve (12) units of tutorials may be counted in the theatre arts major.
- Senior project including enrollment in THAR 687 (1 unit)
Additional courses in performance study include Acting II, Play Directing, and 12 additional units in performance-related courses, including voice and dance.
Design and Technical Theatre
Additional production-related courses include Costume Design, Set Design, or Lighting Design, Advanced Design Studio, and courses in theater technology.
Dramatic Theory, History, and Literature
Dramatic Theory and Criticism and an additional course in theatre history are required. Then students will take an additional 12 units of dramatic literature in the Departments of Theatre Arts or English or in a language department. We urge students who intend to pursue graduate studies in this area to continue their language studies to the level of advanced proficiency.
Required for the theatre arts minor
- THAR 111: Introduction to the Theatre
- THAR 135: Stagecraft or THAR 137: Costume Crafts and Technology
- THAR 187: Acting I
- THAR 212 or 224: Theatre Traditions
- THAR 327: Playscript Analysis
- THAR 477: Acting II or THAR 231: Introduction to Design for Theatre
- An additional course in performance, design, or theatre history/literature
- THAR 355 or 357: Theatre Production Laboratory (3 terms of participation, normally granted at one unit per term of participation)
- C average in the minor
Teacher Certification in Theatre Arts
Theatre arts majors can seek certification to teach theatre arts at the secondary level. Students can add an endorsement in a second area (such as English as a second language) by completing the appropriate minor. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.
Senior Experience in Theatre Arts
The required senior project is a cumulative project that reflects each student's specific interests, and the wide range of activity in our department. While majors often begin the planning process for their senior project with their advisor during sophomore year, proposals to the department are due at the end of Winter Term junior year. A wide variety of options are available as valid senior projects. They include:
- Creating a major acting role and documenting your efforts
- Directing a one-act play (up to 70 minutes, department pays for license and scripts)
- Set, lighting, costume, or sound design for a main stage or senior project production
- Technical direction or stage management for a production
- Creating and teaching curriculum for primary or secondary students in cooperation with Appleton area schools
- Writing a play and producing an initial reading of it for a general audience. Preparation for an initial reading consists of 2–3 rehearsals. In performance stage directions are read and actors present from music stands.
- Scholarly activities such as writing on an aspect of theatre history for presentation or publication.
- Present a staged reading of a play. Preparation for staged-readings usually consist of 4–6 rehearsals. In performance actors should be at music stands and occasionally use key props and/or costume accessories to clarify action. Lighting is general. We encourage the use of sounds elements to establish setting, set mood, and clarify action.
Proposals for projects must address the following:
- The requirements and challenges of the project including impact on and intersection with the department's ongoing activity
- The course and production work and internship experiences that have prepared you to successfully complete the project
- The scholarly, artistic, and personal goals you hope to achieve with your project
- Request for space including preferred term and special production needs
As theatre is a collaborative art form, the senior project is often a shared experience with other seniors; the department encourages groups of rising seniors to propose joint efforts.
The department welcomes project proposals involving shared experiences with other departments. The senior project can be tailored to fit the needs of a student seeking secondary certification.
Courses - Theatre Arts
THAR 110: Dance AppreciationHow do you define dance? Where is dance found? How does dance affect you? As we explore this line of inquiry, we will touch on topics such as dance history, theory, culture and documentation. Drawing from a variety of somatic practices and our collaborative experience, we will physically sample approaches to dance and practice noticing dance in our lives.
THAR 111: Introduction to the TheatreA survey of the traditions of dramatic form and the contributing arts of the theatre presented in historical context. Students read representative playscripts and attend performances. Also offered at the London Centre.
THAR 132: Ensemble ThinkingEnsemble Thinking is a system of physical, improvisational, group exercises that provides organizing lenses through which we observe and participate in movement and performance. Using this technique, we will develop awareness and listening skills for relating to others, build a common language, and practice collaboratively creating dances. Through embodied studio investigations, this course introduces students to dance composition.
THAR 134: Contact ImprovisationContact Improvisation is a partnering dance form that explores movement possibilities created when two or more individual bodies are touching and/or sharing weight, balance or support. The practice of Contact Improvisation encourages the development of self-responsibility, awareness, clear physical communication and a strong, versatile body. This is a rigorous dance lab in which we will experiment with action, physics and listening.
THAR 135: StagecraftAn introduction to the technical aspects of theatre production. Laboratory experience in scenic construction and rigging, painting, lighting, sound, backstage organization, and management. In addition to regular class meeting times, there is a lab component that gives students hands-on application of technical and theatre design.
THAR 136: Embodied Creative PracticeThis is a course designed to build your creative muscle. In the supportive community of this class, we will access your individual story, writing, drawing, movement and voice to create and perform for each other every class meeting. Employing diverse performance techniques and referencing various readings, we will discover and craft our unique inspirations, directions, and experience.
THAR 137: Costume Crafts and TechnologyAn introduction to the technical aspects of costume creation and production for the theatre. Course includes hands-on experience in costume construction, cutting, draping, millinery, and other costume crafts. Practicum in the costume shop in support of current productions is required. In addition to regular class meeting times, there is a lab component that gives students hands-on application of technical and theatre design.
THAR 138: Articulating the Solo BodyBased in ReWire/Dancing States and other contemporary techniques, this course will build a movement foundation for the solo dancing body. In the studio, we will work with clarity, speed, and precision to develop a versatile and conscious dancer. We will also explore topics such as performance, intention, and habits while dancing.
THAR 143: Movement for the Theatre: Fundamentals of MovementMovement for the Theatre introduces students to the basic movement and gestural vocabulary of the dance discipline and promotes a fundamental understanding of how dance and movement serve as one of the contributing arts to the theatre. In each section, emphasis will be placed on basic technique, historical context, and their relationship to common theatre, musical, and opera production practices. Recommended for students who wish to participate in theatre, opera, and musical productions. Only 6 units of Movement for the Theatre (any type) can count toward the theatre arts major.
THAR 145: Movement for the Theatre: BalletMovement for the Theatre introduces students to the basic movement and gestural vocabulary of the dance discipline and promotes a fundamental understanding of how dance and movement serve as one of the contributing arts to the theatre. In each section, emphasis will be placed on basic technique, historical context, and their relationship to common theatre, musical, and opera production practices. Recommended for students who wish to participate in theatre, opera, and musical productions. Only 6 units of Movement for the Theatre (any type) can count toward the theatre arts major.
THAR 147: Movement for the Theatre: Modern DanceMovement for the Theatre introduces students to the basic movement and gestural vocabulary of the dance discipline and promotes a fundamental understanding of how dance and movement serve as one of the contributing arts to the theatre. In each section, emphasis will be placed on basic technique, historical context, and their relationship to common theatre, musical, and opera production practices. Recommended for students who wish to participate in theatre, opera, and musical productions. Only 6 units of Movement for the Theatre (any type) can count toward the theatre arts major.
THAR 149: Movement for the Theatre: Social DanceMovement for the Theatre introduces students to the basic movement and gestural vocabulary of the dance discipline and promotes a fundamental understanding of how dance and movement serve as one of the contributing arts to the theatre. In each section, emphasis will be placed on basic technique, historical context, and their relationship to common theatre, musical, and opera production practices. Recommended for students who wish to participate in theatre, opera, and musical productions. Only 6 units of Movement for the Theatre (any type) can count toward the theatre arts major.
THAR 161: Stage Make-UpA hands-on course offering experience in the proper design and application of stage make-up for students interested in theatre or music-theatre performance. Practicum in stage makeup in support of current productions is required. In addition to regular class meeting times, there is a lab component that gives students hands-on application of technical and theatre design.
THAR 170: Shakespeare LondonStudents will study several plays by William Shakespeare selected from among the current offerings by the Royal Shakespeare and other companies. Discussions will address the plays themselves, production techniques, and the audiences to whom they appeal. Students are required to attend performances of the plays under study. Offered at the London Centre.
THAR 185: Movement and TextThis studio-based introductory course examines the interplay of physical movement with verbal and written texts. Using choreographic approaches and improvisational structures, students will investigate how to mine a theatrical text for its range of expression, embodiment, and compositional qualities, and to examine the kinesthetic body as a text.
THAR 187: Acting IWe present a demystified, participatory approach to the craft of acting. Using the methods of Viola Spolin, students master the fundamental concepts of Stanislavsky and explore acting tools in the traditions of Grotowski and Meisner.
THAR 191: Directed Study in Theatre ArtsDirected study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
THAR 195: Internship in Theatre ArtsAn opportunity for students to apply their theatre skills in business and the non-profit sector on the regional, national, and international levels. Arranged in collaboration with and supervised by a member of the department. Includes readings, discussion, report, and/or portfolio. Advance consultation and application required.
THAR 211: Introduction to London TheatreIntroduction to a critical approach to theatrical performance. Students read play scripts before attending a wide range of plays in a variety of performance spaces in London, working towards a developed understanding of dramatic form. Study of literary and theatrical conventions is designed to enhance students' critical sophistication.
THAR 212: Theatre Traditions I: Greeks Through the 18th CenturyA survey of theatre in its cultural context from its Greek origins through the 18th century. Extensive readings from the dramatic literature of each period supplement the study of the physical theatre and production practices.
THAR 220: Topics in Movement/PerformanceTopics in this series vary from year to year. May be repeated when topic is different.
Topic for Spring 2019: Musicians in Movement
THAR 221: Dance Studies: Global PerspectivesThis course introduces major concepts, approaches and issues in the study of dance as a cultural, historical and artistic practice. By examining key texts in dance studies, viewing dance films and engaging in the practice of dancing, students will investigate how moving bodies shaped history while considering dance as a form of cultural identity and political power.
THAR 224: Theatre Traditions II: Romanticism Through the PresentA survey of theatre in its cultural context from Romanticism through the present day. Extensive readings from the dramatic literature of each period illustrate the ideas, aesthetic values, and staging innovations that led to the theatre of the 21st century.
THAR 229: Performance of LiteratureA study of the principles involved in the oral performance of different forms of literature. Class involves practical platform training and experience with interpretive analysis and presentation.
THAR 231: Introduction to Design for the TheatreA survey covering all aspects of visual design for the theatre. Emphasis on the necessary techniques of drafting, painting, and modelmaking, with attention to aesthetic and practical problems of theatre design. In addition to regular class meeting times, there is a lab component that gives students hands-on application of technical and theatre design.
THAR 237: Reconstructing Costume History: A Hands-On Costume History SurveyA survey of the evolution of clothing in Western Civilization as it reflects historical events and social culture from Ancient Greece to the Elizabethan England. Hands-on patterning and draping provides an immersive experience as we explore period silhouettes and techniques unique to each period. We will also explore representative plays and theatrical conventions from each period. Practicum in the costume shop in support of current productions is required.
THAR 255: Start-Up TheatreOpen to students from theatre, economics, and other students interested in entrepreneurship in the performing arts. Topics change each year. May be repeated when topic is different up to 6 total units.
THAR 279: Fringe Theatre in LondonThis course will attempt to define Fringe Theatre (a movement started in 1968) and to categorize its main elements. The class shall attend a wide variety of plays and venues and come to an understanding of how the fringe has changed over the years. Discussions will address production techniques, the plays themselves, the audiences to whom they appeal, and to what extent the fringe is still an important theatrical force. Students are required to attend performances of the plays under study. Offered at the London Centre.
THAR 306: Russia on Stage: Three Centuries of Russian TheaterThis course introduces students to the rich theatrical tradition of Russia. The readings for the course span over two centuries, starting from the social comedies of the late eighteenth century to the contemporary "New Drama" and documentary theater. The plays are situated within the larger historical and political context of Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Lecture/discussion. Taught in English.
THAR 310: Alexander Technique IThe Alexander Movement Technique (AMT) is an educational method for finding easier use of self in daily activity. The technique offers us insight into our own mental processes and perceptions of our body’s structure, and allows us to replace faulty habits with coordinated movement.
THAR 327: Playscript AnalysisThe playscript is a blueprint for a construction that uses the media of space, time, color, speech, and action to reflect from the stage images of what it means to be human. This course will explore both technical and creative ways to decipher the play text.
THAR 340: Musical Theatre Production OverviewThis course is designed to equip future educators with a basic understanding of the various details and responsibilities involved in mounting a musical theatre production. Topics include: choosing a musical, rehearsal schedules, finances, stage direction/blocking, lighting, sound, choreography, and pit orchestra. Offered every other year, fall term (even years).
THAR 351: Film in Germany (in English)This course selects from 90 years of filmmaking in Germany. Films range from expressionism to Nazi propaganda and from escapist comedies to avant garde art. Learning to “read” German films critically also means finding out how to understand movies from Hollywood and beyond. Possible topics include “From Caligari to Hitler,” “German Literature as Film,” and “What Makes Lola Run.” Taught in English. German majors and minors may participate in a two-unit tutorial in which discussions and some course readings will be in German.
Topic for Spring 2019: Fatih Akin, a Retrospective
Now that he has produced a dozen films, including In the Fade which won the Golden Globe for best foreign film in 2018, it is time to take a retrospective look at Fatih Akin’s impressive body of work. Why do so many consider him to be Germany’s most important living filmmaker? What themes does he address? Do his films have a recognizable style? What can we learn from viewing his wide ranging collection of films?