Areas of Study: The Theater and Performance Program offers courses in Context, Technique, and Creative Practice and Research, and students are required to take classes in all three areas of study. Context courses include the history of theater and performance, contemporary practice, theories of theater and performance, dramatic literature, world theater. Technique courses include skills-based classes in playwriting, directing, acting, voice, movement, dramatic structure, performance, and composition. Creative Practice and Research comprises productions, performance laboratories, master classes and specialized workshops.  All courses carry 4 credits except where otherwise indicated.

 

Moderation Requirements: The following 5 courses are required for students wishing to moderate into the Theater and Performance Program:

1. THTR 145 Introduction to Theater and Performance: Revolutions in Time and Space

2. THTR 110 Introduction to Acting: The Actor and the Moment

3. THTR 107 Introduction to Playwriting: the Theatrical Voice

4. THTR 244 Introduction to Theater Making (spring semester)

5. THTR 146 Introduction to Theater History

In addition, students participate in the creation and performance of a group-devised Moderation project.

 

 

TECHNIQUE:

 

18470

THTR 101

 Acting for Non-Majors

Jean Wagner

    F     10:10 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

2 credits    Scene preparation and beginning scene technique.  Emphasis on relaxation, breathing, and concentration.  Teaching the actor to make choices and implement them using sense memory and to integrate this work with the text.  Group and individual exercises and improvisations. Continuous work on the acting instrument stressing freedom, spontaneity, and individual attention. Materials: poems, monologues, stories, and scenes.  Reading of American plays, 1930 to present.  Class size: 12

 

18471

THTR 107 A

 Intro to Playwriting

Andrea Thome

 T        1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

Cross-listed: Written Arts  An introductory course that focuses on discovering the writer's voice. Through writing exercises based on dreams, visual images, poetry, social issues, found text, and music, each writer is encouraged to find his or her unique language, style, and vision.  A group project will explore the nature of collaborative works.  Students learn elements of playwriting through writing a one-act play, reading assignments, and class discussions. All students welcome, preference to Theater majors.  (No writing sample required.)   Class size: 12

 

18472

THTR 107 B

 Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

  W      1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

See above.  Class size: 12

 

18473

THTR 110 A

 The Actor & the Moment

Lynn Hawley

M  W  10:10 am-11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

In this class we examine how an actor brings truth to the smallest unit of performance. The richness of the moment is created by the imaginative, physical, psychological, intellectual and emotional qualities that the actor brings to it. We explore ways to gain access to richly layered authenticity through games, improvisations, individual creations and exercises in given circumstance.  Students are given tools to transcend accepted logic, embrace risk-taking, and live fully in the present.  Class size: 16

 

18474

THTR 110 B

 The Actor & the Moment

Jean Wagner

  W  F  1:30 pm-2:50 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

See above.  Class size: 16

 

18476

THTR 209

 Scene Study

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th 10:10 am-11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

A course intended for students who have taken one semester of Intro to Acting and would like to continue their study. The course deals with movement from a games oriented curriculum into work with theatrical texts and discovery of the processes of scene study. Class size: 12

 

18475

THTR 252

 Clown

Virginia Scott

 T        1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

In each performer there is a clown. Your clown exists on the other end of the tether that begins with your generosity, honesty, vulnerability, and desire to be upon the stage and give to the audience what you value. The clown cannot be crafted but must be discovered. Through a series of warm-ups, exercises in kinesthetic and empathic response, and group and individual improvisations we will explore the students' ability to express physically and vocally, to soften the intellect fully, to play and to explore the physical dimensions of emotion. This course will use a pedagogy developed from the work begun by Jacques Lecoq in his Paris school. This technique focuses on helping the performer to become more physically alive, grandly expressive and ferociously honest on the stage; qualities that can translate to theatrical performance of all kinds. Students will read texts and analyze plays and live performances from a clown perspective. In the second half of the semester they will create a series of short individual and group performances. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Acting.  Class size: 15

 

18477

THTR 307

 Advanced Acting

Lynn Hawley

M  W  11:50 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

This is a studio acting class where students will explore scenes from challenging plays of varied styles. Extensive rehearsal time outside of class is required. Pre-requisites: Intro to Acting and Scene Study, or by permission of the instructor. Class size: 12

 

18478

THTR 370

 Junior / Senior Seminar: creative producing for the performing arts

Caleb Hammons

   Th    10:10 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE ROOM

AA

AART

Cross-listed: Dance  2 credits  The current landscape of creative producing models in the contemporary performing arts is a unique and ever-evolving environment. This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to evolve their creative imaginations and launch a creative practice post-graduation. We will explore how we develop sustainable and adaptable practices for participating in the professional performing arts, grounded in an awareness of the theoretical, ethical, political, and cultural issues inherent in performing and performance-making in today's age. Topics covered include budgeting, grant-writing, and crafting an articulate artist's statement. Guest speakers and the producing resources of Bard's Fisher Center for the Performing Arts will be used to provide a range of perspectives. This course will demand 2 - 4 hours of project-based homework each week. 

Note: This course is identical to DAN 350, Junior/Senior Seminar in Dance, and alternates with it annually.  Students may not take both courses.  Class size: 12

 

 

CONTEXT:

 

18479

THTR 326

 Brecht and his Legacy

Joshua Lubin-Levy

 T        10:10 am-12:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE ROOM

AA

AART

Few modern theater artists have been as path-breaking in their own time or as influential for future generations as German playwright, poet, director, and theorist Bertolt Brecht. This seminar will explore Brecht's writings for the theater and his theatrical legacy: after grounding our study in a survey of Brecht's plays and theory, we will take stock of his influence on dramatic literature from postwar Germany to Brazil, South Africa, and the New York avant-garde. We will locate Brechtian aesthetics in arenas such as feminist and queer performance texts, documentary and political drama, postcolonial drama, and contemporary critiques of capitalism. Other writers and artists under investigation will include Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss, Caryl Churchill, Augusto Boal, and more. Students will prepare an analytical essay examining a Brecht play in relation to his theory, poetry, or production history, and a research paper treating the relationship between Brecht's aesthetics and those of one or more of his artistic heirs. As a class, we will also create a digital scholarship project, mapping Brecht's legacy across time and space.  Class size: 15

 

18480

THTR 336

 Contemporary PerformANCE AND THEATER BY WOMEN

Jean Wagner

   Th    4:40 pm-7:00 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

AA

AART

DIFF

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies  In this course we will examine the complexity and diversity of contemporary theater and performance by women. We will begin with an investigation into the roots of feminist theater, and then explore contemporary practices through the lens of gender and performance theories. We will then investigate how contemporary women in theater and performance are changing, adapting and re-imagining definitions of both gender and performance through their work. Students will research contemporary writers and performers and engage with these works both creatively and critically, through presentations and papers. Students will also prepare scenes from selected plays and explore the theatrical techniques suggested by the writers. Discussions will address how theatrical and performance traditions initiated by women find expression in feminist performance practices today. Writers and performers whose works we will investigate include Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Kennedy, Maria Irene Fornes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane. Performer/writers will include Lisa Kron, Karen Finley, Ann Liv Young and  Marina Abramovic, among others.  Class size: 15

 

18481

THTR 353

 Performing Queer

Jorge Cortinas

 T        4:40 pm-7:40 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE ROOM

AA

D+J

AART

DIFF

Cross-listed: Art History, Gender & Sexuality Studies   Theater and performance artists who are interested in upending hetero-normative constructions of gender have long used a powerful array of performance strategies such as camp, cross dressing, cabaret, utopic longing, disidentification and radical re-imaginings of both private and public sex acts. This seminar will conduct close readings of critical readings grounded in feminism, post-colonialism, and queer studies, and then explore how those texts illuminate and complicate the work of artists such as Justin Bond, Split Britches, Taylor Mac, Nao Bustamante and Charles Ludlam. In addition to written and oral assignments throughout the semester, students will complete a final project that unpacks and demonstrates familiarity with these queer performance strategies. The final project may be an academic paper or a creative project. The focus and form of the final project must be approved by the instructor.   Class size: 15

 

18482

THTR 375

 Sex and Violence in the politics of Performance

Joshua Lubin-Levy

M         1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE ROOM

AA

D+J

AART

DIFF

The body in pleasure. The body in pain. How do we understand the politics of representing the body in, as some would argue, such un-representable states? Against the moralizing rhetoric of a popular culture and in a world inundated with images of sex and violence, this course will explore different approaches artists and theorists have taken to the continuum of pleasure and pain as a political practice in theater and performance since the 1960s.   At the same time, we will question the ways in which sex and violence have often be used to subjugate the body, defining the limits of what a body can be or do.  Our course will begin with a broad historical overview of the use of "pleasure" and "pain" in the context of post-War art.  Each class will be organized around a different site of study   often foregrounding controversial examples   that will further enrich our understanding of what it means to deploy sex or violence in the context of performance.  A strong emphasis will be placed on reading and writing, as students will spend the semester developing a research paper on a topic of their choosing.  We will study work by: Carolee Schneemann, Amiri Baraka, Chris Burden, Reza Abdoh, Jen Rosenblit, Sarah Kane, Saidiya Hartman, Judith Butler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Laura Kipnis, Fred Moten, among others.    Please note that due to the conceptual framework of this course, students will be required to engage with challenging materials at times of an explicit nature.  While the comfort and safety of all students is paramount, it is also requested that students consider their own comfort level with dealing with representations of sex and violence before electing to take this course.  Class size: 16

 

 

CREATIVE PRACTICE AND RESEARCH:

 

18484

THTR 241

 Performance Composition

Jack Ferver

M         10:10 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

Cross-listed: Dance  A Creative Practice course in which students develop original movement- and text-based performances, using a series of exercises to locate and deepen self-expression. The semester begins with stretch and placement techniques and core work to develop a neutral and ready body, followed by a sequence of impulse-based improvisation techniques enabling students to find authentic movement and push past their physical limitations. These improvisations will lead into original phrase work, training students to develop their own unique choreographic and performance styles.  The second half of the semester is focused on writing composition.  Students will complete timed writing exercises in class, designed to free the creative voice, and will then be given individual guidance and dramaturgical assignments, leading to the development and performance of an original text and movement score.

Class size: 12

 

18485

THTR 244 A

 Intro to Theater Making

Jack Ferver

M  W  3:10 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

This course follows "Introduction to Theater and Performance" as the second class in a sequence exploring the intellectual and creative methods of making theater. During the course of the semester all students will take turns working collaboratively as performers, directors, writers, dramaturgs and designers. The work created in this class will be presented at the end of the semester and will serve as the moderation project for students intending to major in Theater and Performance.  Class size: 16

 

18486

THTR 244 B

 Intro to Theater Making

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th 11:50 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

See above.  Class size: 16

 

18487

THTR 247

 Chance in Performance

Annie Dorsen

M         4:40 pm-7:40 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities The notion of  chance' has been used to describe a wide range of artistic practices, including the readymade, collage, participatory work, indeterminacy in composition and/or performance, and more. This course will cover the major historical, theoretical and practical issues surrounding its use in artistic production, and survey its significance in performance. We will explore distinct and overlapping movements in which chance has figured, beginning with Dada and Duchamp, and including Cage/Cunningham, Fluxus artists, Nature Theatre of Oklahoma and Eve Sussman. Students will create projects using, or responding to, the techniques studied. Class size: 15

 

18483

THTR 316

 Theatrical Adaptation

Gideon Lester

   Th    1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

Adapting classic and contemporary fiction to a theatrical form is a creative process that integrates the original intention of the material with the theater artist's imagination. This advanced studio class will explore the innovative and adventurous process of adapting non-dramatic sources for the stage. In the first half of the semester our work will include improvisations, composition exercises, through which we will learn techniques for creating compelling dramatic adaptations for the stage.  Students will then select a contemporary or classical text as the basis for a longer adaptation, which they will write and stage in the second half of the semester. While the course is primarily intended for upper level Theater & Performance majors, students from across the Arts and Literature Divisions are encouraged to apply. Class size: 14

 

 

 

18488

THTR 405

 Junior / Senior Colloquium

Gideon Lester

  W      6:30 pm-8:00 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

 

 

The Zocalo is the bi-weekly colloquium for the Theater & Performance Program. It is a forum in which students and faculty share news and ideas of relevance to the field and the Program, and to meet visiting artists and other guests. Several times each semester students present work-in-progress performances in the Zocalo, and receive structured feedback from their faculty and peers.  For students entering the College in or after Fall 2015 only: Moderated students in Theater & Performance are required to enroll in the course pass/fail for both semesters of their Junior and Senior years, and to pass all four semesters of the course. Students who have not moderated into Theater & Performance are also welcome to enroll. The Zocalo carries 0 credits.  Class size: 30

 

 

 

Cross-listed course

 

18184

RUS 330

 Russia and Its Theater

Marina Kostalevsky

 T  Th    3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLINLC 210

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Theater and Performance  This course will examine the evolution of Russian dramaturgy in connection with parallel developments in both literature and theater. It will offer students an opportunity to explore various aspects of Russian culture by discussing the specifics of Russian Drama. Special attention with be given to issues of genre and style, tradition and innovation, criticism and theory. Readings include plays by Fonvizin, Griboedov, Gogol, Pushkin, Ostrovsky, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Mayakovsky, Erdman, and Petrushevskaia, as well as theoretical texts by Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, and Mikhail Chekhov. Also, the students will have a chance to see some productions of Russian plays on screen and on stage. Conducted in English. 

Class size: 15