Skip to main content

Jose Joaquin Garcia, Patricia Herrera and Jesse A. Myers lead a workshop on Theater and Social Justice

photo of workshop instructors

Click HERE to read about this workshop in the Bentley on October 11

 

 

 

Follow us on Facebook here.
View our Schedule of Events here.
Sign up to receive e-mails concerning opportunities to work backstage and in the Scene Shop here.

 
Department of Theater
Dartmouth College
6204 Hopkins Center
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: 603-646-3104
Fax: 603-646-1757
Email: Department.of.Theater@Dartmouth.EDU

Course Descriptions

THEA 1: Introduction to Theater

As a set of staged practices rich with social context, theater has sought to document, engage, and affect communities. This course introduces and explores theater from page to stage as a live performing art. Topics include the relationship between theater and society (historical and contemporary), dramatic structure, theatrical representation, and the crafts of theater artists such as directors, designers, playwrights, and actors. We will also engage with live performances and video archives of past performances. Dist: ART. 15W: 12, Thomas.

THEA 10.01/COLT 34.02: Human Rights and Performance

This course explores performance texts and theater scholarship that engage with the discourse of human rights. The course examines various case studies of state-sanctioned violations of human rights and how theater and performance artists have responded to those violations. In addition to a series of short response essays, each student will develop an independent research project throughout the term. Dist: INT or ART. 14F: 11. Edmondson.

THEA 10.07/COCO 4.02/RUSS 38.01: The Sound of Silence: A Chekhov Writing Workshop

Anton Chekhov, one of the key figures in modern drama, once described the challenge for a playwright thusly: "People dine, they simply just dine, while their happiness is made and their lives are smashed."  With that thought in mind, we will read Chekhov's major plays in this class to discover, through a series of creative exercises and discussion of the plays themselves (as well as their most prominent productions and film adaptations), just what it is that makes Chekhov's plays distinctive.  Course participants will then be asked to script their own one-act plays using the Chekhovian style. Participants will work on their scripts in collaboration with their classmates and with the professors, moving from preliminary to completed drafts. The class will then culminate in the presentation of all the plays in an evening of stage readings. Dist: ART; WCult: W. 14F: ARR. Sutton and Somoff.

THEA 10.04: Acting for Musical Theater

This course will introduce student to the techniques used by actors/singers to play musical theater scenes believably, honestly and dynamically. Basic acting techniques will be taught as well as work in singing, text analysis, movement and speech. Students will begin with individual songs, then prepare, rehearse and present two-person musical scenes from Company, West Side Story, Side Show, Jane Eyre, Into the Woods, Passion, She Loves Me, The Secret Garden, Follies and others. Permission of the instructor is required. Dist: ART. 15W: 10A. Dunne.

THEA 10.06/WGST 59.05: Sex and Drama: Sexuality Theories/Theatrical Representation

Sex & Drama examines the representation of sexuality onstage. Topics will include Mae West and 1920s New York, the gay and lesbian theater movement of the 1960s, Oscar Wilde and the Victorian era, and the lesbian performance scene of the 1980s with Split Britches and Holly Hughes. The course will also examine queer performances from the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries, including Denise Uyehara, Sharon Bridgforth, and Doug Wright. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. 14F: 2. Thomas.

THEA 10.07/COCO 04.02/RUSS 38.01: The Sound of Silence: A Chekhov Writing Workshop

Anton Chekhov, one of the key figures in modern drama, once described the challenge for a playwright thusly: "People dine, they simply just dine, while their happiness is made and their lives are smashed." With that thought in mind, we will read Chekhov's major plays in this class to discover, through a series of creative exercises and discussion of the plays themselves (as well as their most prominent productions and film adaptations), just what it is that makes Chekhov's plays distinctive. Course participants will then be asked to script their own one-act plays using the Chekhovian style. Participants will work on their scripts in collaboration with their classmates and with the professors, moving from preliminary to completed drafts. The class will then culminate in the presentation of all the plays in an evening of stage readings. Dist: ART. 14F: ARR. Sutton and Somoff.

THEA 10.08: Creativity and Collaboration

Creativity and collaboration are skills useful to all disciplines and regularly requested, although rarely taught. In this course, students will have the opportunity to develop creative abilities through experiences in performance-based arts, and apply these in a collaborative project. Faculty artists active in movement and theater will teach the course, which is open to students with no performance experience, as well as those looking for a new approach to existing skills. Dist: ART. 15W: 10A. Evans and Kotlowitz.

THEA 10.10: Solo Performance

This course will introduce and engage the history, texts, topics, theoretical guideposts, and landmark figures/performances central to the genre of solo performance. Working between critical examination and practice, participants will analyze the form and content of leading solo performers while also composing a series of short exercises that activate solo performance strategies and methods. The course will culminate in the creation of a participant's self-authored, short solo performance piece. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD. Mayorga.

THEA 10.21: Violence & Pleasure in British Drama: Renaissance Corpses, Modern Bodies

This course will read violent theatre from the 17th century beside its modern echoes in the 20th century and then look back again. The course will include texts by John Fletcher, Thomas Middleton, and John Ford, two versions of King Lear (by Wm. Shakespeare and Edward Bond), Sarah Kane's Blasted, Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and F***ing, and Philip Ridley's Mercury Fur. In this way, Violence & Pleasure in British Drama aims to rethink subjectivity across the centuries, examining time, the staging of history, and theatrical images of the body in both pain and pleasure through British drama. Dist: ART. 15W: 2. Thomas.

THEA 15: Theater and Society I: Classical and Medieval Performance

This course explores selected examples of world performance during the classical and medieval periods in Western Europe and eastern Asia.  Plays to be discussed might include those by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Seneca, Plautus, Terence, and Zeami.  Through the reading and discussion of primary and secondary texts, we seek to situate selected performance texts within their sociopolitical and artistic contexts. Open to all classes. Dist: ART or INT; WCult: W. 14F: 12. Edmondson.

THEA 16: Theater and Society II: Early Modern Performance

This course explores selected examples of world performance during the early modern period (fourteenth through the eighteenth centuries). Plays to be discussed might include those by Shakespeare, Calderón, Sor Juana de la Cruz, Molière, Racine, Marivaux, and Carlo Gozzi. Through the reading and discussion of primary and secondary texts, we seek to situate selected performance texts within their sociopolitical and artistic contexts. Dist: ART or INT; WCult: W. 15W: 10A. Edmondson.

THEA 17: Theater and Society III: 19th and 20th Century Performance

This course explores selected examples of world performance in the 19th and 20th century.  Plays to be discussed might include those by Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Lorca, Ionesco, Beckett, Williams, Miller, and Brecht, as well as contemporary U.S. playwrights such as Suzan-Lori Parks and Charles Mee. Through the reading and discussion of primary and secondary texts, we seek to situate selected performance texts within their sociopolitical and artistic contexts. Dist: INT or ART; WCult: W. 15S: TBD, Thomas.

THEA 22: Black Theater, U.S.A.

This course will examine African American playwrights, drama, and theater from 1959 to the present. Further exploration will focus on the impact of civil rights, the Black Arts movement, and cultural aesthetics on the form, style, and content of African American plays. Readings will include plays of Hansberry, Baldwin, Baraka, Kennedy, Childress, Shange, Wolfe, Wilson, Parks and others. Open to all classes.

THEA 23/AAAS 54: Topics in African Theater and Performance

This course introduces the student to the startling diversity of sub-Saharan African theatre performance. Through an exploration of performance traditions and plays, the course addresses the cultural and political complexities of this troubled but vibrant continent. The course is organized around a series of key issues and debates, such as the intersection of ritual and theater, the role of colonialism and imperialism, resistance to the state, gender and performance, and the theater of war. Although the performance traditions and playwrights of several countries will be touched upon in the course of the term, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda receive a strong emphasis. Open to all classes. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. 15W: 2A. Edmondson.

THEA 24/AMES 24: Asian Performance Traditions

This course studies the performance traditions of Asia, focusing on China, Japan, Indonesia and India. Classical forms studied include Noh, Bunraku, Beijing opera, Sanskrit drama, Balinese dance and Japanese puppet theater. Attention is paid to social, religious and aesthetic influences on these traditions, theories on which they are based, the history behind the theatrical practices, and training and dramatic techniques. Students gain an appreciation of the rich variety and scope of theatrical conventions of Asia. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. 15S: 2A. Chin.

THEA 26: Movement Fundamentals I

An introduction to movement for the stage, this course will animate the interplay between anatomy, movement theories and performance. Through exploration of physical techniques, improvisation and movement composition, students will experience a fundamental approach to using the body as a responsive and expressive instrument. Assignments will include readings, written work, class presentations, mid term exam and final paper. Instructor permission required. Dist: ART. 14F: 2A, Coughlin.

THEA 27: Movement Fundamentals II

A continuation of THEA 26, this class will explore further the relationship between efficient and expressive movement and body connectivity. Contact improvisation, conditioning, kinesiology and movement repertoire form the foundation from which class will explore individual performance. Assignments include readings, written work, class presentations and a final paper. Prerequisite: THEA 26. Dist: ART. 15W: 2A, Coughlin.

THEA 29: Dance Theater Performance

Students will examine movement theories and techniques, utilizing these elements to create physical language while developing enhanced ensemble skills. Emphasis will be placed on the creation of a dance theater ensemble piece, which culminates the term in a final performance. The creative process, collaboration, and individual performance are key components of the experience. Readings in Dance Studies and critical reviews of performances are included to contextualize the course's creative work. Open to all classes, with instructor's permission. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD, Coughlin.

THEA 30: Acting I

Basic introduction to acting technique for the stage. Designed to develop ability to play dramatic action honestly and believably, using realistic/naturalistic material as well as self-scripted autobiographical writing. Course work includes exercises and improvisations exploring awareness, relaxation, observation, the senses, voice, and physical and emotional life. Work in preparation of the monologue will be introduced. Scene work, in the second half of the term, will focus on breaking down the play, analysis, identity, motivation and action. Out-of-class assignments include required readings from acting texts and plays. Attendance at, as well as responses to, a number of stage productions scheduled during the term is required. A commitment to regular journal writing in the form of an Observation Notebook will be expected. Open to all classes, with instructor's permission. Do not pre-register for this course: registration is invalid without permission from the instructor. To enroll in this course you must first interview with the instructor. Dist: ART. 14F: 10A with Dunne, 10A and 2A with Rice. 15W: 10A with C. Kohn. 15S: TBD with C. Kohn.

THEA 31: Acting II

Further study of acting technique for the stage. Course work includes continued exercises, improvisations, and naturalistic/realistic scene study. Out-of-class assignments include the reading of plays and theoretical works on acting technique; required attendance at area stage productions; analytic and critical writing assignments; scene preparation, investigations, and rehearsal; and an extensive acting journal of work done in and out of class. Prerequisites: THEA 30 and permission of the instructor. Dist: ART. 15W: 10A, Rice. 15S: TBD, C. Kohn.

THEA 32: Acting III

An advanced scene study class that focuses on developing a process for performing non-realistic acting texts. Students will encounter plays that present unique challenges for actors in terms of language, physicality, characterization, style, content, and text analysis. Prerequisites: THEA 30, THEA 31 and permission of the instructor. The department recommends that Acting III be taken in the term following Acting II. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD, Hackett.

THEA 36: The Speaking Voice for the Stage

This course is an examination of the principles and practice of freeing the natural voice. It proceeds from the notion that "voice" and "acting" are inseparable. Although it is an introduction to the use of voice in the theater, it is in no way limited to the actor. A specific progression of exercises will be presented to facilitate freeing the body of tensions, discovering the natural breath, releasing vibrations of sound from the body, and opening the channel for sound (throat, jaw, tongue). Resonance, vocal freedom, and articulation will also be explored. Techniques for accessing emotional and psychological truth will be practiced as fundamental to the actor's creative process. A groundwork will be laid for physical and vocal presence. Each student will be responsible for the development and practice of a vocal warm-up. A variety of speaking assignments will be made to develop confidence, presence and emotional expressivity. Text materials utilized will emerge from self-scripted autobiographical storytelling. A strong commitment to the work is necessary to explore what it means to find one's voice. Do not pre-register for this course: registration is invalid without permission from the instructor. To enroll in this course you must first interview with the instructor. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD. Rice.

THEA 40: Technical Production

An introduction to the technical aspects of scenic and property production, exploring traditional and modern approaches. Topics include drafting, materials and construction, stage equipment, rigging, and health and safety. Lectures and production projects. Open to all classes, with instructor's permission. Dist: ART. 14F, 15W: 11. Silver.

THEA 41: Stage Management

An introductory course in the theories, techniques, and practices of stage managing a production from its initial stages to the conclusion of the run. Plays, musicals, opera, dance, and touring productions will be examined from the perspective of the stage manager. Working with directors, choreographers, and other members of the production team will be discussed as well as calling shows. Students will acquire practical experience through assignments on Department of Theater productions. When practical, field trips to such places as Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, or American Repertory Theatre will be arranged and will include discussions by their production stage managers. Open to all classes. Dist: ART. 15W: 3A. Cunneen.

THEA 42: Scene Design I

An introduction to the basics of scenic design through weekly projects in scale models, drawings, research, lighting and storyboards. Students will also study the collaborative process between scene designers, directors, costume and lighting designers. Suitable for students interested in theater, visual and video art, installation, film, architecture, and sculpture. Students will have the opportunity to assist student and faculty scene designers on Department of Theater productions. Open to all classes. Dist: ART. 15W: 2A. Alexi-Meskhishvili.

THEA 43: Scene Design II

Further study of the design process and the creation of visual expressions of dramatic text. Emphasis will be placed on the difference between theater, opera and ballet. Students will work with scale color models and have opportunities to design student directed department productions. Dist: ART. 15S: 2A. Alexi-Meskhishvili.

THEA 44: Lighting Design

An introduction to the practical and artistic elements of theatrical lighting design. The course will include topics in color theory, form, movement, composition, and the creative process. Through analyzing the script and studying light in nature, film, and art, students will prepare projects that explore the possibilities of light in the theater. Students will have the opportunity to work on Theater Department productions with faculty and student lighting designers. Lectures, discussions, design projects, and critiques. Open to all classes. Dist: ART. 14F: 11. Kotlowitz.

THEA 48: Costume Design I

An introductory course in the appreciation of the costume design process as part of the dramatic production. Through weekly projects students will study the principles of line, texture, and color as well as the history of costume from the Renaissance through the Eighteenth century. Lectures, design projects, and critiques. Open to all classes, with instructor's permission. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD. L.C. Kohn.

THEA 50: Playwriting I

The aim of the course is for each student to write the best one-act play he or she is capable of writing. It is open to students both with a Theater background and those without. This class will involve a number of preliminary exercises, the preparation of a scenario, the development of the material through individual conferences, and finally the reading and discussion of the student's work in seminar sessions. Open to all classes. Dist: ART. 14F, 15S: 3A. Sutton.

THEA 51: Playwriting II

Permission of the instructor is required. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD. Sutton.

THEA 54: Directing

An introductory course in directing for the stage. Topics include the role and function of the director in the contemporary theater; the basic tools of proscenium blocking and staging, such as composition, picturization, movement, and gesture; structural script analysis; and basic actor coaching techniques. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: ART. 15S: TBD. Hackett.

THEA 65: Drama in Performance

A class designed to investigate methods for the development of new work for the theater. Students will participate in all aspects of a main-stage production designed especially for this course. In addition, students will intern with the New York Theatre Workshop during their August residency at Dartmouth. The class will also include fieldtrips, visits by guest artists and independent work in the student's area of concentration. There are mandatory ticket and transportation costs associated with this course. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors by permission of the instructor. Dist: ART. 15X: TBD. Horton.

THEA 80: Independent Study

This course is designed to enable qualified upperclass students, who have completed the appropriate supporting course work, to engage in independent study in theater under the direction of a member of the Department. A student should consult with the faculty member with whom he or she wishes to work as far in advance as possible, and not later than the term immediately preceding the term in which the independent study is to be pursued. A written proposal and the approval of the faculty member and of the Chair are required.

THEA 90: Contemporary Practices in U.S. Theater

This course draws upon faculty and guest artists of the Department of Theater to explore what it means to be a theatre artist of the new millennium. What are the plays, theatre artists, and practices that describe our era? What are the relationships among and between designer, actor, playwright, and scholar? What is the nature of interdisciplinary work? How do you see yourself participating? Course materials include contemporary plays, readings on current practices, and research about contemporary companies. This course is mandatory for senior theater majors. Instructor permission required. Dist: ART. 14F: 3B.

 

 

Last Updated: 9/29/14