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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

Spring 2014 Courses

THEA 10.1: Human Rights and Performance (11)

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 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. Edmondson.

THEA 10.3/RUSS 18: Russian Theater (10)

This course is devoted to Russian drama and theater from the 19th through the 21st century. We will read eight plays that are central to Russian literary and theatrical tradition and then discuss their most significant interpretations on both the Russian and the world stage. The meetings will be conducted in a non-traditional format. In our examination of the plays, we will attempt to model the process of stage production in accordance with the principles developed by Konstantin Stanislavsky-a celebrated Russian director whose approach to theater transformed acting in Russia and beyond. The course will culminate in the production of a play by a Russian playwright which students themselves will cast, direct, and design. All readings are in English. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Somoff.

THEA 10.4: Acting for Musical Theater (2A)

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. Interviews for this class will be conducted on Tuesday, March 25th from 1 PM to 4 PM. ***Please come prepared with 32 measures of an up-tempo song and 32 measures of a ballad to be sung a cappella.*** A sign-up sheet for interviews will be posted in Shakespeare Alley on Monday, March 24th at 8:30 AM. Dist: ART. Dunne.

THEA 10.5/CLST 2: The Tragedy and Comedy of Greece and Rome (2)

This course studies in translation selected works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca (tragedy), Aristophanes and Plautus (comedy), and some of their central themes and questions: law, community, revenge, passion, and justice. We will approach them both as texts and as scripts/librettos, considering their relationship to other types of performance (ritual, rhetoric, music, dance) and genres (history, philosophy) as well as to theatrical space. There will be practical workshop opportunities for those interested. Open to all classes. Dist: ART; WCult:W. Riesbeck.

THEA 17: Theater and Society III: 19th and 20th Century Performance (12)

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. Edmondson.

THEA 22/AAAS 31/ENGS 53.21: Black Theater, U.S.A. (2A)

This course is an introduction to black performance in the U.S. since 1959. The course will be structured around theatrical works including the classics of Hansberry, Baldwin, Childress, Baraka, Shange, Kennedy, and Parks. Black performance has provided rich theoretical terrain for the consideration of ontological questions of subjectivity and objecthood, labor and value in Capital, as well as identity, community, social activism, and the relationship of theater to everyday life. This class will place particular emphasis on ways of defining theater as a medium against other modes of artistic performance as we consider ways that black performance in sound, dance and performance art are mutually informed by and against mainstream theater. In addition to the classics, this class will look at selections from contemporary film and television and plays by emerging playwrights Brandon Jacob Jenkins and Young Jean Lee that lay out issues of representation facing actors of color working today.
Class meetings will be composed of a combination of lecture, student presentations, discussion and in-class viewings. Readings for the course will include scripts, selections from performance theory and artists' writings. Assignments will explore techniques for responding creatively to performance. Emphasis will be on developing a project. Open to all classes. Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Winfrey.

THEA 24/AMES 24: Asian Performance Traditions (2A)

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 Javanese 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. Chin, W.

THEA 30: Acting I (2A)

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. Interviews will be conducted on Tuesday, March 25th from 2-4 PM. A sign-up sheet for interviews will be posted in Shakespeare Alley on Monday, March 24th at 8:30 AM. Dist: ART. Hackett.

THEA 31: Acting II (10A)

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. Interviews for this class will be conducted on Tuesday, March 25th from 10 AM to noon. A sign-up sheet for interviews will be posted in Shakespeare Alley on Monday, March 24th at 8:30 AM. Dist: ART. Kohn, C.

THEA 32: Acting III (10A)

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 should be taken in the term following Acting II. Dist: ART. Hackett.

THEA 36: Speaking Voice for the Stage (2A)

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. Interviews will be conducted on Tuesday, March 25th from 11 AM - 2 PM. ***Please arrive for your interview about ten minutes early to fill out a questionnaire.*** A sign-up sheet for interviews will be posted in Shakespeare Alley on Monday, March 24th at 8:30 AM. Dist: ART. Rice.

THEA 43: Scene Design II (2A)

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. Prerequisites: THEA 42, or permission of the instructor. Dist: ART. Alexi-Meskhishvili.

THEA 48: Costume Design I (10)

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; WCult: W. Churba Kohn.

THEA 50: Playwriting I (3A)

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. Limited enrollment. Dist: ART. Sutton.

THEA 51: Playwriting II (ARR)

Permission of the instructor is required. Dist: ART. Sutton.

THEA 80: Independent Study (ARR)

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. Kotlowitz.

THEA 91: The Honors Thesis (ARR)

An Honors project, which normally extends through two terms and receives two major credits, must include a thesis or thesis project. This course must be elected by all honors candidates. For acceptance into this course see the section on Theater Honors Program. Kotlowitz.


Last Updated: 3/21/14