Text only version
2010 - 2011 Site Archive

 

 

Courses

Theater

Acting, Directing, Playwriting

5211.     Speech for the Actor I  (1 s.h.)

In the fall, students concentrate on developing the actor's awareness of speech and articulation patterns. They learn vocal anatomy and the fundamentals of articulation. It is the goal of this class to help the actor have command of the International Phonetic Alphabet in preparation for dialect work and to learn the Detail Model, the Standard American Speech of Edith Skinner and General American English. Through in-class coaching they apply this knowledge to the final poetry performances.

5212.      Speech for the Actor II  (2 s.h.)

Students learn the fundamentals of the Detail Model of phonetics and Standard American English. Through in-class monologue and scene coaching, they apply this knowledge to the performance of poems or speeches that are worked on in conjunction with Voice Class. Making use of the “Detail Model.” Students are also coached on a Standard-American-dialect-verse piece which is scanned, scored for pitch, length, and emphasis, and worked using Edith Skinner’s “Challengers for Actors in Classic Plays”. Students are also continually quizzed on the International Phonetic Alphabet.

5221.     Acting I  (2 s.h.)

Stanislavski
Read and discuss AN ACTOR PREPARES by Constantin Stanislavski. Application of his ideas through exercises. Reflect on the connection to the actor’s own methods as well as to contemporary techniques with which the actor is familiar. The actor is free to introduce the works of others as they relate to the assigned topic. Explore the evolution of Stanislavski’s work as it has developed over the last century.

Text
This course examines various styles of theater and modes of production through text analysis. Working on representative text through scene study, the actors gain a working
knowledge of how text and production meld. Area of concentration: Greek tragedy and mask, Restoration and costume/props/movement.

Technique
Seminar and Workshop in Uta Hagen. Students prepare Object Exercises described by Uta Hagen, and in doing so, explore specificity, a sense of ease on stage, focus, immediacy and stakes. This is also an opportunity to discuss teaching Acting for Non-Majors, which employs some of the same exercises.

Shakespeare
Actors undertake the challenges of heightened language and period style while maintaining commitment to objectives, detailed given circumstances and truthful listening and reacting. The course is a two semester sequence that will require scene work and monologues taken from Shakespeare and other texts that are considered “heightened language.” The over-arching goal is to expand the actors ability to bring greater life and clarity to text through the practical application of pitch, rate, volume and inflection and a fuller understanding of the function of classical text work.

5222.     Acting II  (2 s.h.)

Stanislavski
Read and discuss BUILDING A CHARACTER by Constantin Stanislavski. Application of his ideas through exercises. Reflect on the connection to the actor’s own methods as well as to contemporary techniques with which the actor is familiar. The actor is free to introduce the works of others as they relate to the assigned topic. Explore the evolution of Stanislavski’s work as it has developed over the last century.

Text
Working on representative text through scene study. Theater of the Absurd: Beckett theory and technique. Meyerhold / biomechanics.

Technique
Seminar and Workshop in Micahel Chekhov. Introduction to the Michael Chekhov Technique I. Warm-up exercises, such as beanbag-stick-throwing to develop readiness, kinesthetic awareness and risk-taking are introduced and developed in increasing complexity. Students begin to explore Chekhov’s concepts of atmospheres, centers and qualities of movement through exercises and scene work on contemporary American texts.

Shakespeare
Actors undertake the challenges of heightened language and period style while maintaining commitment to objectives, detailed given circumstances and truthful listening and reacting. The course is a two semester sequence that will require scene work and monologues taken from Shakespeare and other texts that are considered “heightened language.” The over-arching goal is to expand the actors ability to bring greater life and clarity to text through the practical application of pitch, rate, volume and inflection and a fuller understanding of the function of classical text work.

5231.     Vocal Production for the Actor I  (2 s.h.)

Fall term will focus on self discovery, increasing sensitivity and awareness, and finding release. We will be involved in taking personal inventory. What is our vocal history? What are our patterns of use? Where do we hold tension? How is our breath and physical life supporting or inhibiting our communication? Are there psychological / emotional issues we need to address in order to feel less inhibited in exploring our sound and claiming our own authentic voice? We will evaluate and determine where our present patterns function well and where they need to be replaced with a fuller, healthier, or more efficient way of producing and supporting sound. We will introduce the Fitzmaurice system of destructuring and structuring.

5232.  Vocal Production for the Actor II  (3 s.h.)

Spring term will continue the work of the previous term. We will continue to explore the journey from breath to voice using a variety of exercises and approaches (including Fitzmaurice voice work). We will be exploring vocal possibilities with and without text. We will address support, balance, tension zones, groundedness, and energy flow as it translates into vocal energy (just how we extend ourselves in communication). We will explore the mind-body relationship of voco-physical experience through Laban concepts and work with chakras.

 

5241.     Dance for the Actor I  (2 s.h.)

Movement
In the fall, students are introduced to the basic principles of the Alexander Technique and begin to apply the Technique to their physical and vocal organization in simple everyday tasks. Students are introduced to kinesthetic awareness of the relationship between the head, neck, back, and pelvis, and its role in the coordination of the acting instrument. The goals of this course are to give actors greater awareness of their vocal and physical habits, to give them a psycho-physical means which they can use to live fully in the present moment, and to provide a
method of working actors can use to develop a more coordinated use of their vocal and physical instruments.

Dance
Modern Dance Technique, Lester Horton and Martha Graham. Actors learn a strong physical warm-up including Pilates. Actors are introduced to improvisation, isolations, and Laban work which culminates in short performance scenes.

5242.     Dance for the Actor  II  (3 s.h.)

Movement
The spring course is a continuation of TH 433. Students learn to kinesthetically explore and intellectually understand the role of the head, spine, and pelvis in increasingly complex activities. Students explore developmental movement and begin to analyze movement patterns and relate them to basic movements covered in the 1st semester. They also continue to learn how a person’s habits of Use correlate with their understanding of how the body works. Students begin to apply the Technique to increasingly athletic activities and to performance. The goal of this class is to prepare students for the vocal and physical work of their 2nd year of training and to further develop a means of working that they can use to improve their performance both on and off the stage.

Dance
Continue work with Lester Horton. Long Neck and Space combinations. Ballet technique is introduced (Baker center work and space). Period dance is introduced as well (for example, Pavanne, Morris Dance, and Galliard). Strong warm-up technique component continues. Class also addresses Physical Gesture in Shakespeare scenes, Meyerhold and Chekhov projects.

5387. Directing Practicum I.   (2-3 s.h.)

The theory and practice of directing, focusing on short, realistic scenes. Students will study the scene as a structural unit and explore its function within the play.

5388.     Directing Practicum II.   (2-3 s.h.)

The theory and practice of directing, focused on longer scenes of various styles. Students will study the scene as it reflects the values and behaviors of the larger world of the play.

5871.   Playwriting 1   (3 s.h.)

This course is designed for the relatively inexperienced playwright and the more experienced who want to improve their craft. It is a workshop based course with the focus on storytelling. The aim is to examine the fundamentals of the writers’ craft: theatricality, structure, character, plot, dialogue. We are looking to develop the playwright’s “voice.”

5872.   Playwriting 2     (3 s.h.)

The serial. This course involves the creation of a jointly written serial that writers in the class create. Team writing techniques are used, and the classes become writing meetings to create weekly “episodes.” Writers will rotate being Lead writers, supplying the story lines used at their particular writing session. The over-all story will be developed with character back-stories and settings established in the first two weeks.

5873.   Adaptation      (3 s.h.)

The course is designed to provide experience and techniques to adapt story material from other media. The work is divided into two parts: exercises in theatricality and the potential of language; and work on adapting the individual writer’s choice of material. Outside reading will include other writers’ material and assigned projects. The course will run as a workshop with in-class readings and discussion. Some Sunday evenings may be required.

5874.    Docudrama    (3 s.h.)

This course is designed to the develop playwright’s skills and interest in writing plays based on news events and other factual information. Docudramas, plays based on actual happenings and presented with fidelity to those facts, are in demand for theater, films and television. The ability to research, formulate and complete such works is a significant advantage for writers who want to pursue professional careers.

8001. Seminar in Dramatic Literature.   (3 s.h.)
Prerequisite: permission of the department; required of all M.F.A. candidates.

A comprehensive study of the literature, criticism, and history of Western theater from the ancient Greeks to the end of the French neo-Classic period.

8002. Seminar in Dramatic Literature II.   (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Theater 407 and permission of the department.

Required of all M.F.A. candidates. A comprehensive study of the literature, criticism, and history of Western theater from the Restoration period to the present.

8211.     Speech for the Actor III  (1 s.h.)

Exploration and study of dialects and accents for use in stage productions. Initial emphasis for each dialect will be on the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet for dialect transcription. Then special attention is placed on gaining comfort and ease in the dialects through conversation and improvisation. The class will consist of regular presentation and performance of scripted material using each of the selected dialects. Dialects to be studied and reviewed include: Irish, French, South African, Spanish, and Italian and one North American (or otherwise new world dialect of students choosing). There is a final project where dialect accusation and interview skills will be put to the test.

8212.     Speech for the Actor IV  (1.s.h.)

Begin work on dialect acquisition and learn Standard British as well as a non – coastal southern US dialect. The goal is that the dialect work will culminate in performances, (in collaboration with the Graduate Acting Class), of dialect plays. Also, throughout the semester, they will continue work on standard speech by applying it to a poetry-in-performance project that will be work-shopped in class. As a capstone for this year’s work, actors choose a dialect that they research, master and teach to the class; they also apply it to a monologue that will be performed in Friday Scenes.

8221.     Acting III  (3 s.h.)

Text
Two units exploring different playwrights. Focus on texts which challenge the actor in terms of style, period, class, character, movement and language. Research literature and historical context of the period. Study physical world of the period in terms of clothing, furniture, architecture, music, etc., in order to find the appropriate movement and secondary activities that will reveal the psychological impulses of the characters. Final scenes will be presented to the Acting Faculty for critique.

Technique
Seminar and Workshop in Michael Chekhov II. Continuation in the Chekhov Technique. The focus is on the Psychological Gesture, using exercises and scene work from plays by Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill.

Shakespeare
Graduate actors will continue their work in Shakespeare with an increased emphasis on the physical dimension through explorations with Laban and a focus on discovering the muscularity and musicality of the language, images, and movement impulses in the text. We will continue to develop and refine a feeling for the language of Shakespeare involving an awareness of sound and rhythm in relation to meaning and emotion and how that translates into action.

Lecoq
Actors learn to strip away adopted attitudes by wearing neutral masks: they experiment with ways of expressing poetry, painting and music through the body. The student learns to express all of life, through words and through finding the perfect gesture. Students will be pushed to find a neutral presence on stage, while remaining engaged with the space. Then, through improvisation and in small group projects, they gain a deeper appreciation for their relationship with the audience and their own body's capacity for expression.

8222.     Acting IV  (2 s.h.)

Text
Two units exploring different playwrights. Focus on texts which challenge the actor in terms of style, period, class, character, movement and language. Research literature and historical context of the period. Study physical world of the period in terms of clothing, furniture, architecture, music, etc., in order to find the appropriate movement and secondary activities that will reveal the psychological impulses of the characters. Final scenes will be presented to the Acting Faculty for critique.

Technique
Seminar and Workshop in Michael Chekhov III. Continuation in the Chekhov Technique. The concept of Archetypes is introduced and explored through exercises. Scene work will be from plays by Anton Chekhov.

Shakespeare
Graduate actors will continue their work in Shakespeare with an increased emphasis on the physical dimension through explorations with Laban and a focus on discovering the muscularity and musicality of the language, images, and movement impulses in the text. We will continue to develop and refine a feeling for the language of Shakespeare involving an awareness of sound and rhythm in relation to meaning and emotion and how that translates into action.

Lecoq
In order to free up the performer to find a new way of working, students apply the method to various styles of theater, including melodrama, tragedy, comedy, Commedia dell' Arte and Shakespeare. Students learn physical approaches to character, clown, and scene work wearing the mask to try to breathe life into it. There will be a physical warm-up and movement analysis as part of each class. Also, there will be an improvisational section in each class where the mask technique is applied. As a final project, students develop collaboratively a Shakespeare scene using the Lecoq techniques.

8231.     Vocal Production for the Actor III  (3 s.h.)

Focus on structuring the voice while maintaining the relaxation and centeredness acquired in the destructuring. Structuring employs rib-reserve and abdominal support. Application of this technique to Shakespeare monologues.

 

8232.     Vocal Production for the Actor IV (2 s.h.)

Focus on structuring the voice while maintaining the relaxation and centeredness acquired in the destructuring. Structuring employs rib-reserve and abdominal support. Application of this technique

to Shakespeare scenes.

 

8241.     Dance for the Actor III  (3 s.h.)

Movement
In the fall, students apply the principles of the Alexander Technique to vocal work. Students explore the relationship between the use of their Primary control and vocal resonance, breathing, and emotional availability. Students will apply the Alexander Technique to the whispered “ah”, vocal exercises, singing, and monologues. The goal of this class is to help actors become aware of the role that their overall physical use plays in their vocal expression and to give them a means whereby they can work towards vocal health and expressiveness.

Dance
The first half of the class period alternates weekly between Modern and Ballet. The second half of the class addresses such social steps as the Polka, Mazurka, waltz, Tango, and Fox Trot.

Stage combat
This course focuses on familiarizing students with the essential requirements for performing safe, effective stage combat. Students train in the foundation skills of stage combat techniques: Unarmed and knife.

8242.     Dance for the Actor IV   (2 s.h.)

Movement
In the spring, the course centers on characterization – on doing the “incorrect thing correctly”. Through out-of-class observation and analysis as well as in-class investigation and scene work, students apply what they have learned in previous years to the exploration of characters with age, disabilities, and other physical challenges. The goal of this course is to teach actors how to keep their instruments healthy and working at their best when presented with a challenging role.

Dance
The first half of the class period alternates weekly between Modern and Ballet. The second half of the class is devoted to Tap: time steps, soft shoe, buck and wing, and fast foot coordination.

Combat
Introduction of additional weapon styles: Rapier, Dagger and Broadsword. The performer receives a well-rounded approach to each style. At the conclusion of the course, students will have the opportunity to take the ‘Skills Proficiency Tests’ toward official SAFD recognition in stage combat skills.

8881.   Playwriting 3       (3 s.h.)

Writers and Directors. This course explores the relationships between writers and directors in the creation of new work. The aim is to create the most fruitful collaborative experience so that the writer can complete work influenced by staging possibilities, and the director can understand more fully the nuances of original texts. Mounting scenes and creating practical circumstances for writers and directors will be the primary methods for exploring this essential relationship.

8882.    Playwriting 4             (3 s.h.)

This course examines and develops techniques for creating solo performance works, works intended to be done by the writer or by actors. The work of such early solo artists as Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian, Anna Deveare Smith, Laurie Anderson and Karen Finley will be discussed as well as contemporary artists. Course will culminate in a solo performance night.

8883.   Teaching Playwriting       (3 s.h.)            

 

In the third year of the program, the playwright will teach classes or all of a playwriting course, preparing  syllabi and daily lesson plans. The mentor will visit classes and examine the work produced.

9211.     Speech for the Actor V  (1 s.h.)

In the third year, speech class is devoted to tutorials. Students meet with the professor and decide on a course of study that fits their area of specialization and emphasis. Each student meets on a weekly basis for at least one half-hour. During these sessions, any persistent speech problems the student has may be addressed.

9212.     Speech for the Actor VI  (1 s.h.)

On-going tutorials in student and teacher-driven projects. As a capstone for this year, actors will focus on a topic in speech as it applies to their final main stage performance. A final written evaluation and score of the text will serve as documentation of their work.

9221.    Acting V  (2 s.h.)

Text
Two units exploring different playwrights. Focus on texts which challenge the actor in terms of style, period, class, character, movement and language. Research literature and historical context of the period. Study physical world of the period in terms of clothing, furniture, architecture, music, etc., in order to find the appropriate movement and secondary activities that will reveal the psychological impulses of the characters. Final scenes will be presented to the Acting Faculty for critique.

Technique
Seminar and Workshop in Michael Chekhov IV. Continuation in the Chekhov Technique, using scenes from Jacobean and Restoration playwrights.


Shakespeare
Through the study of Shakespeare’s History plays, explore the connection between operative images in the text and the character’s objectives, actions and obstacles. Discover the original images that inspired the playwright to give the character the specific words. Develop a technique for approaching the script whereby objectivity uncovers the organic impulse. Incorporation of various improvisational techniques to discover objectives and actions that have not been revealed through linear thinking. Through a surrender to form at times and to chaos at others, the character evolves through the actor.

Career/business
Class meets once a week to write and send correspondence (pictures, resumes, cover-letters, press photo pages, postcards) to agents, casting directors, producers and artistic directors. The student learns additional strategies to approach the entertainment business in order to find more fulfilling professional opportunities.

9222.     Acting VI  (1 s.h.)

Text
Two units exploring different playwrights. Focus on texts which challenge the actor in terms of style, period, class, character, movement and language. Research literature and historical context of the period. Study physical world of the period in terms of clothing, furniture, architecture, music, etc., in order to find the appropriate movement and secondary activities that will reveal the psychological impulses of the characters. Final scenes will be presented to the Acting Faculty for critique.

Technique
Seminar and Workshop in Michael Chekhov V. Continuation in the Chekhov Technique, exploring mask work. Masks are created and used in exploration of Moliere and Commedia dell'Arte scenarios.

Shakespeare
Student applies acting exercises and improvisational techniques from Cicely Berry’s THE ACTOR AND THE TEXT and from Harrop & Epstein’s ACTING WITH STYLE to his own scene and to another student’s scene. Student has the opportunity to work as a coach applying these exercises. This perspective as coach outside the scene allows for an objectivity and understanding of the work not always apparent for the actor inside the scene. The actors within the scenes benefit from the various approaches to the text.

Career/business
Class meets once a week to write and send correspondence (pictures, resumes, cover-letters, press photo pages, postcards) to agents, casting directors, producers and artistic directors. The student learns additional strategies to approach the entertainment business in order to find more fulfilling professional opportunities.

9231.     Vocal Production for the Actor V   (3 s.h.)

Research a major voice technique through careful study of one text. Prepare a presentation of the main thesis as well as a sequence of exercises that most clearly exemplifies the method and is most useful for the vocal development of the actor. Continue work on individual vocal development through private tutorials.


9232.     Vocal Production for the Actor VI  (3 s.h.)

Discussion of methods and presentation of workshops by those who have elected a vocal emphasis. Continue work on individual vocal development through private tutorials.


9241.     Dance for the Actor V  (1 s.h.)

Movement
The fall semester concentrates on a broader view of kinesthetically-based methods of working with oneself, with the primary focus being the relationship between the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method. Through Awareness, Movement and Functional Integration students will delve into their personal movement patterns from a different perspective. The goal of this course is to provide a perspective on how to use their Alexander training when presented with other movement modalities.

Dance
Projects involving movement and dance will be conceived and coached. Also, individual attention to those students for whom this area is their craft emphasis.

Combat
Students continue in new weapon styles: Single sword, Small Sword and Quarterstaff. Again, at the conclusion of the class, students will have the opportunity to take the ‘Skills Proficiency Tests’ toward official SAFD recognition in advanced stage combat skills.

9242.     Dance for the Actor VI  (1 s.h.)

Movement
In the spring, the course will be treated as a studio class with students receiving multiple private lessons and presenting scenes and monologues in class. The goal of this class is focus in depth on each student’s individual vocal and physical needs and to give them opportunities to perform using the skills they are working on in front of an audience that can give informed feedback.

Dance
Projects involving movement and dance will be conceived and coached. Also, individual attention to those students for whom this area is their craft emphasis.

Combat
Students will have the opportunity to continue their training by assisting in teaching an undergraduate combat class or by pursuing a special topic as their craft emphasis. The craft emphasis will culminate in a performance or workshop, incorporating stage combat skills.

9251.     Acting for the Camera  (3 s.h.)

The study of acting techniques as applied to film, soap operas, prime-time dramas, prime-time situation comedies, commercials and industrials.


9382. Projects in Directing I    (1-4 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Permission of the department is required.

The course is offered each year on a tutorial basis and may be repeated for credit.

9383. Projects in Directing II   (1-4 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Permission of the department is required.

The course is offered each year on a tutorial basis and may be repeated for credit.

 

9387. Directing Practicum III.   (1-3 s.h.)

The theory and practice of directing, focusing on specific genre scenes. Students will study the scene as a means of exploring the work of challenging playwrights.

 

9388. Directing Practicum IV.   (1-4 s.h.)

The theory and practice of directing, focusing on specific genre scenes. Students will study the scene as a vehicle for developing stylistic or methodological approaches to directing.

9881. Projects in Playwriting   (3-6 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Permission of the department is required.

Working with a mentor on an ongoing project. The course is offered each year on a tutorial basis and may be repeated for credit.

9882. Projects in Playwriting   (3-6 s.h.)
Prerequisite: Permission of the department is required.


Working with a mentor on an ongoing project. The course is offered each year on a tutorial basis and may be repeated for credit.

9991.     Research (1-4 s.h.)
9995.     Thesis  (1-8 s.h.)

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Theater/Directing updated 9.2007

Theater/Playwriting updated 10.2007

Theater/Acting updated 11.2007

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Not yet verified. Waiting for description and credits (Design):

5287 0437 REHEARSAL/PERFORMANCE
5288 0438 REHEARSAL & PERFORMANCE
8411 0440 ADV TECHNICAL PRACTICE I
8412 0441 TECHNICAL PRACTICE II
8431 0476 SCENE PAINTING I
8482 0941 PROJECTS TECHNICAL PROD
8511 0551 LIGHTING DESIGN II
8521 0552 LIGHTING DESIGN III
8611 0561 COSTUME DESIGN II
8621 0562 COSTUME DESIGN III
8641 0415 THEATRICAL MAKE-UP
8682 0961 PROJECTS IN COSTUMING
8711 0571 SCENE DESIGN II
8721 0572 SCENE DESIGN III
9411 0641 SEM IN TECH PRODUCTION
9421 0642 SEMINAR IN TECH PROD II
9483 0942 PROJECTS TECHNICAL PROD
9511 0651 SEMINAR IN LIGHTING I
9521 0652 SEMINAR IN LIGHTING II
9582 0952 PROJECTS IN LIGHTING
9611 0661 SEMINAR IN COSTUMES
9621 0662 SEMINAR IN COSTUMES II
9682 0962 PROJECTS IN COSTUMING
9711 0671 SEMINAR IN SCENERY
9721 0672 SEMINAR IN SCENERY II
9782 0972 PROJECTS SCENIC DESIGN
 

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Updated 11.2007