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Theatre and Dance Courses

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.

Practicums

  • THDA 084. Choreography Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 085. Dance Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 086. Directing Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 087. House Management Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 088. Make-up Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 089. Properties Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 090. Sound Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 091. Acting Practicum (.25)

  • THDA 092. Box Office 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)

Courses

  • THDA 106. Fundamentals of Acting (1). 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.

  • THDA 109. Ballroom Dancing (.25). 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.

  • THDA 112. Introduction to Design and Technology (1). 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.

  • THDA 113. Modern Dance I (.75). 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.

  • THDA 114. Costume Techniques (1). Students learn a range of costume-related skills, which include millinery, mask-making, and corset-making. Sewing skills are enhanced through the process of building costume accessories. An overview of period styles are examined through film and examination of authentic period clothing. In addition, silk painting, dyeing, and other theatrical fabric modification techniques will be taught. Offered even years, fall semester.

  • THDA 115. Ballet I (.75). 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.

  • THDA 116. Color Theory (.5). This course provides an introduction to color theory with emphasis on its application to the visual arts. Students learn key terms and the basics of color physics and the physiology of visual perception. The course covers theories and practices of color relationships based on a color sphere incorporating both color and value with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors identified. The course explores characteristics such as hue, value, and saturation; additive and subtractive color mixing; color interaction; simultaneous contrast; transparency; the relationship between form and color; and the spatial effects of colors. (2A) Offered occasionally.

  • THDA 117. Jazz Dance I (.75). 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.

  • THDA 122. Elements of Design (.5). The purpose of this course is to develop visual literacy. Students explore the role of design as a part of the production process. Study of the elements and principles of design are emphasized and examined as they apply to scenic, lighting, and costume design. The course covers both two- and three-dimensional design, basic presentation and visual communication skills, research, and project analysis/organization. Course projects include 2-D & 3-D techniques, including collage, model building, sculpting, drawing, and painting. Students are required to furnish art supplies and materials. (2A) Offered occasionally.

  • THDA 140. Stage Management (.5). Basic principles, responsibilities, duties, problems, and actual training in specific skills needed to become a stage manager at any level. Offered odd years, spring semester.

  • THDA 142. Dance Improvisation (.5). 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 focus on developing the skill of listening and responding with the body while emphasizing movement as a sensorial experience. (2A) Offered odd years, spring semester.

  • THDA 199. Script Analysis (1). 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.

  • THDA 202. Theories of Contemporary Performance and Media (1). "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 Stidies 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.

  • THDA 203. Connecting and Contextualizing Technique, Modern Dance (.25). 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 performing in December Dance Workshop Performance or Chelonia). (2A)

  • THDA 205. Connecting and Contextualizing Technique, Ballet (.25). 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 performing in December Dance Workshop Performance or Chelonia). (2A)

  • THDA 206. Acting: Character and Scene Study (1). 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.

  • THDA 207. Connecting and Contextualizing Technique, Jazz Dance (.25). 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 performing in December Dance Workshop Performance or Chelonia). (2A)

  • THDA 213. Modern Dance II (.5). 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.

  • THDA 215. Ballet II (.5). 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.

  • THDA 217. Jazz Dance II (.5). 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.

  • THDA 220. Scenic Painting (.5). This is an introductory-level course in scenic painting technique. Beginning with choice of paint and ending with touch-up, this class works on the skills necessary to transform raw materials into a dramatic environment for a theatrical production. Students are introduced to techniques such as faux painting (wood grain, marble, and foliage), glazes, washes, and other basic techniques needed to do trompe-l'oeil, the illusionistic representation of real objects. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 112 or consent of instructor.

  • THDA 227. Scenic Design (1). This course focuses on the fundamentals of scenic design theory through the application of basic mechanical and conceptual solutions in a variety of theatre spaces and genres for the development of research and presentation skills. Projects and readings may include comedy, tragedy, melodrama, musicals, opera, and ballet. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 112.

  • THDA 228. Lighting Design (1). This course focuses on the fundamentals of lighting, including the history, styles, and aesthetics of lighting design. Exploration of the design process will include practical projects such as light plots, essays, and sketches for productions. Individual topics in lighting include optics, color psychology of light, position, control, distribution, and timing. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 112.

  • THDA 233. Writing for Performance (1). 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.

  • THDA 234. Post-Colonial Drama (1). This course specifically treats the dramatic literature of emerging nations, native populations, and minority cultures. The students are exposed to a wide range of works by playwrights in non-Western and submerged Western traditions. Emphasis will be placed on plays written within the last two decades. Topics course. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: English 190, 195, 196, or Theatre and Dance 199.

  • THDA 235. Theatre History I (1). The study of the development of world theatre from antiquity to the English Restoration, including a section on non- Western theatre traditions. Emphasis is placed on the examination of theatre as a cultural, social, political, and religious barometer of the times. Representative plays, practitioners, and practices will be examined. Required of all theatre majors. (Also listed as History 217.) Offered odd years, fall semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106 or 112.

  • THDA 236. Theatre History II (1). Continuation of Theatre History I from the Restoration in England to mid-20th century. Required of all theatre majors. (Also listed as History 218.) Offered even years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106 or 112.

  • THDA 237. Dance History (1). 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.

  • THDA 242. Choreography (1). 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.

  • THDA 244. Modern Drama (1). The development of modern dramatic literature and theatre styles from Ibsen and Strindberg to Ionesco and Edward Albee, with consideration of significant variations in style as demonstrated by the chief contemporary dramatists of continental Europe, England, Ireland, and the United States. Topics course. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: English 190, 195, 196, or Theatre and Dance 199.

  • THDA 246. Topics in Dance Entrepreneurship (1). 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.

  • THDA 250. Topics in Theatre and Dance (.5, 1). 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 non-domained version of this course is listed as Theatre and Dance 251.

  • THDA 252. Drama of the British Renaissance (1). When English 252 focuses specifically on dramatic literature, the course will be cross-listed here and may be taken for theatre arts credit rather than for credit in English. Such a course might include wide-ranging examination of Shakespeare's growth as a dramatist, using plays by Beaumont and Fletcher, Webster, Marlowe, and others for comparison and contrast. This course is conceived by reference not to specific writers or bodies of content in the British Renaissance, but to methodology: the study of dramatic art as expression and engagement of its historical context. (Also listed as English 252.) Offered occasionally. Topics course. Prerequisite: English 190, 195, 196, or Theatre and Dance 199.

  • THDA 300. Performing Gender (1). 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.

  • THDA 306. Acting: Performance Styles (1). 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 topic is different. Offered every fourth semester. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 106 and 206, or consent of instructor.

  • THDA 310. Fundamentals of Directing (1). 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, 112, and 199.

  • THDA 313. Modern Dance III (.5). 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.

  • THDA 315. Ballet III (.5). 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.

  • THDA 317. Jazz Dance Technique III (.5). 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.

  • THDA 321. Theatre Design Studio (.5). Projects in design theory and conceptualization. Advanced work, individually oriented to develop graphic and analytic skills used in design, with special attention to portfolio development. The class is a studio/ seminar style course in which students regularly present their research, analysis, and designs to the class for discussion and critique. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Theatre and Dance 112, and 227 or 228.

  • THDA 340. Directing II (1). 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, and junior or senior standing.

  • THDA 342. Contact Improvisation (1). 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.

  • THDA 350. Advanced Topics in Theatre and Dance (.5, 1). 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 topic is different. (2A) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: varies with topic.

  • THDA 351. Devising New Work (1). 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 scenery, costumes, lights, sound, media, movement, and action. 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. Offered odd years, spring semester. Prerequisite: junior and senior standing, or consent of instructor.

  • THDA 352. Senior Project (.5). 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.

  • THDA 360. Professional Development Seminar (.5). 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.

  • THDA 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Individual work under faculty supervision with evaluation based on appropriate evidence of achievement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

  • THDA 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.

  • THDA 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.25, .5). Course and curriculum development projects with faculty.