Course information found here includes all permanent offerings and is updated regularly whenever Academic Senate approves changes. For historical information, see the Course Catalogs. For actual course availability in any given term, use Course Search in the Portal.
Theatre & Dance practicums (THDA 080-THDA 099) give credit for involvement in productions. Please refer to the Portal or consult with department faculty and staff for further details.
- [THDA 084] Choreography Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 085] Dance Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 086] Directing Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 088] Make-up Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 089] Properties Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 090] Sound Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 091] Acting Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 093] Costumes Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 094] Lighting Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 095] Publicity Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 096] Scenery Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 097] Stage Management Practicum (.25)
- [THDA 099] Pit Orchestra Practicum (.25)
A fundamental acting course designed to develop basic acting skills with strong emphasis on the Stanislavski method. Focuses on the analysis of dramatic action and the process of developing a character. Applicable for majors and non-majors. (2A) Offered each semester.
An introduction to ballroom dancing, including basic steps in some of the most popular European, Latin, and American ballroom dance rhythms. Rhythms taught include rumba, cha-cha, mambo, tango, waltz, foxtrot, jitterbug (swing), jive, and polka. Additional rhythms may be chosen from salsa, samba, pasodoble, Viennese waltz, merengue, Charleston, etc., based on student interest. Discussion about the history of ballroom dance and the relationships between dance styles and other cultural phenomena. (2A) Offered each fall.
An introduction to the principles of design and technology for the stage. This class includes an introduction to: research methods, from the designer’s point of view; study of professional practices in the development of designs; an overview of the realization of stage designs. This class does not presuppose any technical knowledge. (2A) Offered each fall.
Introduction to the technique, creative processes, and historical contexts of modern dance. The technical emphasis is on alignment, movement phrases, quality of motion, and performance attitude. Modern I incorporates multiple modern dance styles. Peer mentorship promotes a supportive community. Students watch video and live performances and learn how to view and critique performance. (2A) Offered each fall.
This course is meant to provide theatre and dance students with basic sewing and makeup application skills for the stage. The first half of the term focuses on introductory hand and machine sewing skills, understanding the sewing machine, lessons on fabric, how it is produced and utilized, and ends with a midterm sewing project. The second half of the term focuses on healthy makeup application processes, understanding the skull, and how to manipulate shape using makeup as a tool. As all theatre and dance artists interact with costumes and are expected to know how to apply stage makeup, this course sets our students up for success after leaving Beloit. Students are already expected to take tech and design (more set and lighting focused), thus this hybrid course provides a balanced theatre technology background for our students. (2A) Offered every other fall, even years.
Introduction to the technique, creative processes, and historical contexts of classical ballet. Classes include exercise at the barre, center work, and combinations across the floor designed to acquaint students with the basic principles of ballet movement and aesthetic. Students research, write about, and discuss the history of the art form. (2A) Offered each fall.
Introduction to the technique, creative processes, and historical contexts of contemporary jazz dance. Classes entail practicing basic elements of jazz dance technique and style, including alignment, stretch, isolations, movement style combinations, and basic jazz dance vocabulary. The course focuses on the importance of space, dynamics, and presence as a means of creating variety in performance. Students engage in historical research and creative projects in various jazz dance idioms. (2A) Offered most spring semesters.
This is a movement-based improvisation course using dance and theatre improvisation techniques. Students experience movement discovery through individual and group improvisation. The course fuses creation with execution and focuses on developing the skill of listening and responding with the body while emphasizing movement as a sensorial experience. (2A) Offered odd years, spring semester.
A study of major methods of dramatic and play analysis accompanied by extensive play reading. Works are analyzed from the points of view of the scholar, critic, director, designer, and actor. Major papers required. Offered even years, fall semester.
“Art happens when you intend it to happen. It happens when you leap with intention—The act is the point, more so now than ever,” says Anne Bogart. This course explores theories about the creative inspiration, the performative instinct, the creation of meaning, the artist’s relationship with the audience, the politics of performance, and the “rules” of narrative, spectacle, and performance. The goal is to examine the role of the performance artist in a postmodern world. Throughout the class, students explore interdisciplinary approaches to stretch the boundaries of their imagination. Those interested in media will gain insights to theories critical to understanding and critiquing media. (5T) (Also listed as Media Studies 202.) Offered every fall. Prerequisite: sophomore standing and must have completed at least two theatre and dance courses, or consent of instructor. For media studies majors, sophomore standing is necessary.
This course must be taken concurrently with any 200- or 300-level modern dance technique class. Students engage in an individual project related to that style of technique to explore the breadth of the style’s impact on dance in general and its place in the broader cultural context. This may include but is not limited to: presentations, papers, and creative work (which could be performed in December Dance Workshop Performance or Chelonia). (2A)
This course must be taken concurrently with any 200 or 300 level ballet technique class. Students engage in an individual project related to that style of technique to explore the breadth of the style’s impact on dance in general and its place in the broader cultural context. This may include but is not limited to: presentations, papers, and creative work (which could be performed in December Dance Workshop Performance or Chelonia). (2A)
Continuation of the acting skills studied in Fundamentals of Acting. Study of character development integrated with comparable study of scene and play analysis as it affects the performance of a role. Intensive scene workshop. Offered every third semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106 or consent of instructor.
This course must be taken concurrently with any 200 or 300 level jazz dance technique class. Students engage in an individual project related to that style of technique to explore the breadth of the style’s impact on dance in general and its place in the broader cultural context. This may include but is not limited to: presentations, papers, and creative work (which could be performed in December Dance Workshop Performance or Chelonia). (2A)
A continuation of Modern Dance I with further emphasis on movement proficiency and combinations. May be taken up to two times for credit. (2A) Offered each semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 113, and either Theatre and Dance 115 or 117.
An elaboration and extension of the principles addressed in Ballet I. Greater emphasis on center adagio and allegro sequences and exploration of balletic style. May be taken up to two times for credit. (2A) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 115, and either Theatre and Dance 113 or 117.
A continuation and extension of the principles addressed in Jazz Dance I. More sophisticated techniques, step variations, and stylistic combinations will be incorporated. May be taken up to two times for credit. (2A) Offered odd years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 117, and either Theatre and Dance 113 or 115.
This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn and participate in both scene and lighting design for theatre and dance. The course begins with discussion about the history, theory, art, and execution of design. Both scenic and lighting design use concepts rooted in physics, architectural design, engineering, and art. This course offers a unique educational approach to those within the department of theatre and dance as well as those interested in film, architecture, photography, painting, and engineering. This course delves into many aspects of theatrical design along with challenging students to think creatively within unconventional guidelines and is intended to provide students with a base knowledge of design. Skills acquired in this class will be applied to a cohesive final project encompassing both design categories. (2A) Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 112.
Whether you plan to offer a play-by-play on air or want to be understood on the stage, this course increases your awareness and control of your own vocal life. Students learn techniques and exercises that facilitate vocal development and control. Voice for Stage and Screen introduces a variety of vocal training systems (Linklater, Berry, Houseman, and Skinner) to help students study their whole voice. This course covers: International Phonetic Alphabet, dialects, classical verse, character voices, Elevated Standard speech, vocal work with a microphone, and exercises that assist in gaining vocal control. Offered occasionally.
Analysis of and practice in writing for live and/or mediated performance, such as for stage, film, or digital storytelling. Offered even years, spring semester. (Also listed as English 215 and Media Studies 215.) Prerequisite: English 205, Media Studies 100, or Theatre and Dance 202, and junior standing; or permission of instructor.
This course is an historical survey of the origins, growth, and development of theatrical dance. It will focus on the forces, processes, and personalities that influenced dance from early primitive societies to the present. (5T) Offered odd years, spring semester. Prerequisite: at least 1 entry-level dance course or Theatre and Dance 106 or 112.
Basic principles, responsibilities, duties, problems, and actual training in specific skills needed to become a stage manager at any level. (2A) Offered odd years, spring semester.
Discussion and application of choreographic principles beginning with the basics of time, space, and line. The course then moves on to more complex issues of form, style, and abstraction. Students compose movement studies for performance in class and for a studio performance at the end of the semester. Anyone interested in choreographing for Chelonia, the department’s annual dance concert, must be registered for this class or have taken it previously. (2A) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
Since the beginning of time, oral history and storytelling have been important traditions across all cultures. When does performance turn to theatre? How did theatre spread around the world? What is its relationship to ritual, dance, and politics? This course looks at the beginnings of performance across time and space, from the first recorded evidence we have of humans confronting the world around them through etchings, writings, and songs. It also explores the archeological remains of theatre buildings in Mexico, Egypt, Greece, Japan, China, and India. This course pays particular attention to how scientists, anthropologists, and theatre historians connect the dots to identify how performances were structured and their meaning to cultures around the world. By reading ancient texts, studying the literature about the detritus found in theatres, and exploring the lived history, students gain an embodied understanding of the beginnings of theatre and its development into a cultural art form. A history course is offered every semester.
Students enrolled in this course create a performance company for the duration of the term. With elements of arts administration, non-profit organizations, educational outreach, and artistic collaboration, students curate artistic content to be shared with a broader community. Each time the class is offered, it focuses on a new topic. Examples include but are not limited to: collaboration across campuses, creating and teaching workshops in elementary schools, self-producing, and working with a producing partner as an independent arts organization. Students may take the course again for credit when a new topic is offered. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: students must apply to be in class.
This time period, called the “Middle Ages,” encompasses so much more than the Western world. This era saw religious schism and empires rise, fall, and grow stronger than ever. Trade became increasingly possible and profitable and, for the first time, Europe and Asia unify into one cohesive trade network which helped facilitate the exchange of ideas, produce, and disease across the entire landmass. The exchange of ideas meant that oral histories were now spread, religious performance continued to grow, and cultural practices became performed. At the end of this era, the invention of the printing press meant that performance was more easily recorded, documented, and kept. By looking at how ideas spread and grew during this time and focusing on two dissimilar locales, students embody theatrical texts while analyzing how they wereused for resistance, growth, and cultural performance and/or exchange. A history course is offered every semester.
An exploration of aspects of theatre or dance, based on the particular interests and background of the instructor and/or demonstrated needs of the students. Designed for both the major and non-major in theatre. Such courses might include: Audition Workshop, Voice for the Actor, Costume History, Pattern Making of Period Styles, Costume Design, Design Research, and Dramatic Theory and Criticism. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (2A) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: varies with topic. The un-domained version of this course is listed as Theatre and Dance 251; 5T-domained version is Theatre and Dance 253.
This ensemble features collaborative performance and installation projects among students of all artistic disciplines—writers, actors, dancers, musicians, visual and multimedia artists, and creative students of all types are encouraged to join. Weekly readings and discussion are coupled with labs during which students experiment with unfamiliar media and unconventional approaches to familiar ones. Students form several collaborative partnerships, each featuring unique interdisciplinary combinations, through which members will explore ways to extend their expressive capabilities. Students arrange or create original performance or installation pieces, taking projects from conception, through planning, development and workshopping, rehearsals, all the way to producing the culminating event. All styles and skill levels are welcome. Prerequisite: willingness to experiment with unfamiliar creative practices and collaborate with other artists. Contact the director for the application. (2A) (Also listed as MUSI 276, MDST 276, ART 176.) Offered each spring. May be repeated ONCE for credit.
This course explores the ways gender is performed on a daily basis. Though emphasis is on the art of drag, we look at the ways that we all choose to present our preferred gender and experiment with other (and othered) genders. Class time is equal parts studio practice and lecture/discussion. Studio practice includes experimentation with stereotypically Western male/female movements and gestures, make-up and padding tutorials, and the art of lip-synching. As each student develops and transforms into their drag persona over the course of the semester, they engage in ongoing reflection regarding their experience of the corporality of ‘trying on’ the movements of genders. Professional Drag Queens/Kings join as lecturers. Readings and films dealing with the politics of gender presentation round out the course. The culminating class event is an Extravaganza Show. (2A) (Also listed as Critical Identity Studies 285.) Offered every year. Prerequisite: performance experience preferred.
Introduction and practice in the styles of performance appropriate to the literature of major dramatic periods and genres. Two styles will be covered each term. Styles covered may include: Greek, Elizabethan, Restoration, Commedia dell’arte, Molière, Farce, Absurdist, 19th-century Realism, Expressionism, and television/film. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different. Offered every fourth semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106 and 206, or consent of instructor.
First principles and practice in directing plays. Concentration on basic technique and craft, development of an active directorial imagination, and enhanced appreciation of the directorial function in theatre art. Technical skill, vision, communication, discipline, and concept will also be stressed. Offered odd years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106.
A continuation of Modern Dance II with further emphasis on stylization and performance attitude. May be taken up to two times for credit. (2A) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 213, and either Theatre and Dance 215 or 217.
A continuation and extension of the techniques learned in Ballet I and II, including application of more difficult elements of the ballet style. May be taken up to two times for credit. (2A) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 215, and either Theatre and Dance 213 or 217.
The study and practical application of jazz dance technique, building upon techniques and concepts learned in Jazz Dance I and II. Opportunities for creative exploration are incorporated into the semester. May be taken up to two times for credit. (2A) Offered even years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 217, and either Theatre and Dance 213 or 215.
Expansion of the development of directorial skills and techniques with emphasis on various theories and styles of directing. Many of the major directors from the past and present are studied and their respective methods put into actual usage by the class as a stimulus to the student’s own creative methods and imagination. Each student directs a complete production of a one-act play for public performance. Offered even years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 310.
Students build fundamental skills of contact improvisation through movement explorations and the study of physics. In addition, they study the history and theory of the form and how it is evolving. Students develop physical skills for basic contact by falling, rolling, giving and taking weight with the floor, walls, and other bodies, balance, counterbalance, and momentum. The students reflect on the day’s practice by journaling after each class, gaining further insight on the day’s lessons and how they relate to the academic study of the form. (2A) Offered even years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 242 or consent of instructor.
This era is a time of discovering new worlds, colonizing indigenous lands, and experiencing colonization by other countries. The world is becoming knowable and the challenges of geography are being overcome. Performance becomes a way to spread messages of gods, histories, and morals. Performance can also help solidify classes and power by choosing the stories “worthy” of being performed. This course will examine the historiography of an imperial power and its colonized region in terms of both groups’ use of production, performance, and literature. Students will use embodied exploration to identify the performance approaches for the particular regions examined.
The machine has become a global fascination. How are things done more precisely, faster, and for a larger audience? Mechanical inventions quickly make it possible to bring the world closer together and divide the classes. How does a nation communicate its identity and values when the population, economy, culture, and morals are constantly shifting? Theatre takes a more realistic turn, and then becomes more and more abstract as the machine becomes more of an obsession. The approaches used in one culture are showing up in other cultures and the politics of the ordinary person are being spoken from the stage. This course examines at least two regions of the world to study the progression theatre takes as it tries to define a nation and speak to the elite, the workers, and the ordinary person about a rapidly changing world. A history course is offered every semester.
The rise of a global economy influences postmodern theatre which mirrors the desire of people around the world to challenge the form, structure, and content of life and performance. Performance art, devised, digital, applied, and post-dramatic theatre offer new lenses for how identity can be performed and who has the agency to tell the story. The advent of the internet introduces a new way to get and stay connected with people of other cultures and identities, and provides continuously new ways to perform the self. It also provides an insight into political uprisings, revolutions, and cultural contexts the likes of which the world has never seen. This course examines widespread performance trends across the globe while asking students to focus on one centralized location examining the role of performance and theatre in political revolution and change. A history course is offered every semester.
Clothing is a basic building block in any society. To begin understanding modern fashion and its significance in society, we first must understand the history of fashion, dress, and adornments. While examining the history of fashion, students learn how and why clothing trends develop in societies and learn the research skills required to examine dress across history and cultures. Offered every fourth semester. This course does not count as a theatre history course.
This course introduces students to who a costume designer is, their duties, and how to successfully use the elements of design within a final project. Students learn a range of design-related skills, which include the following: understanding of design elements such as color, proportion, scale, and line; script and character analysis; drawing the figure and rendering with watercolor; develop a familiarity with costume history and how to effectively compile research for a production; and understand the process of costume development from concept to performance. Offered every fourth semester. (2A) Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 114 or 112.
Advanced study of theatre, dance and related fields based on particular curricular focus, special interests of faculty, and demonstrated needs of students. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different. (2A) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: varies with topic.
Explores the collaborative process of creating new performance works. This course goes beyond playwriting to explore the possibilities of performance and media. Each year, the instructor proposes a theme. Together, students collaborate to realize a performance (with the potential for use of technical elements that aid in storytelling). This is an interdisciplinary experience where students are asked to do what they know and take risks that they never thought they would. This course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106.
Creative or research capstone project in theatre or dance conducted by a student under the supervision of a faculty advisor (CP). Prerequisite: senior standing, declared Theatre and Dance major, consent of faculty advisor and chair of department.
This course provides support and guidance for students as they investigate possible venues through which to continue their development as theatre and dance artists and practitioners in the professional realm. Course content includes the development of resume/curriculum vitae, artist statements, and networking skills. Additionally, students receive guidance as they research graduate schools, other continuing education possibilities, and job options, as well as the search/application process for each. (CP) Check with department for semester. Prerequisite: senior standing or consent of instructor.
Individual work under faculty supervision with evaluation based on appropriate evidence of achievement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.
Course and curriculum development projects with faculty.