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 (fall semester)

 

 

 

TECHNIQUE:

 

19442

THTR 107 A

 Intro to Playwriting

Andrea Thome

 T           1:30-4:30 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

 

19443

THTR 107 B

 Intro to Playwriting

Brooke Berman

    F        10:10-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

See above. Class size: 12

 

19444

THTR 110 A

 Introduction to acting:

The Actor & the Moment

Lynn Hawley

M  W      10:10-11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

19445

THTR 110 B

 Introduction to acting:

The Actor & the Moment

Jean Wagner

 T  Th    1:30-2:50 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

See above. Class size: 16

 

19446

THTR 208

 Intermediate Playwriting

Brooke Berman

   Th       4:40-7:40 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

Cross-listed:  Written Arts  Students will initially experiment with different forms and then focus on developing a one-act play (35-45 pages), with sections of the work-in-progress presented in class for discussions. Students will develop characters and themes most effective within the one-act format. The students will also read a wide range of dramatic literature from the twentieth century to the present day, and be exposed to diverse styles of playwriting. Prerequisite -- One of the following: Intro to Playwriting, a screenwriting workshop or a poetry workshop.  Class size: 15

 

19447

THTR 209

 Intermediate Acting: Scene Study I

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th    10:10-11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

This is a studio acting class where students will discover their unique process as an actor through rehearsal and performance of scenes primarily from modern and contemporary American Theater. We will explore the different ways an actor approaches a text, and how to mine a text. We will practice effective rehearsal methods, learn how to ask questions about character, how to develop circumstances, and how to tell a story through action. Prerequisite: The Actor and the Moment.  Class size: 12

 

19448

THTR 243

 Introductory Voice for Actors

L. Dickinson

    Th      1:30-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

This course introduces actors and performers to the fundamentals of voice work and its application to text. Students first develop their vocal apparatus by applying a range of techniques (including Fitzmaurice Voicework, Linklater, and yoga) to rid the body of tension and free the authentic voice. From this place of release, students will then learn to safely support their voices, allowing greater range and variety of vocal character. Students will be taught to apply this broadened vocal pallet to the performance of text, discovering the possibilities available through both exploration and conscious shifts in the voice and body. The result will be a profound connection between body, breath, voice and language. Students will also leave with a toolkit of safe warm ups and preparatory exercises that can be used in rehearsals and private practice. While the course is primarily intended for Theater & Performance students, it may be of interest to others who which to develop their public speaking skills. This course fulfills a Technique requirement in the Theater & Performance Program.   Class size: 14

 

19450

THTR 255

 Physical Theater

Jack Ferver

   Th       10:10-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

Cross-listed:  Dance  This course gives performers tools to find the truthful physical expression of their characters, and to build strength and mobility as they create powerful and nuanced performances.  Our work will consist of several parts: first we will slough off habitual behavior and postural “holds” through a comprehensive warm-up using aspects of Graham, Alexander, and Release Technique; once the body has been strengthened, we will use impulse-based improvisation exercises to build kinetic awareness and hone intuitive prowess; finally we will explore scene work to find a character through movement and to remain present and fully invested at each moment of a performance.  Students will be assessed on in-class exercises and participation throughout the semester, as well as frequent technical and practical assignments.  Pre-requisite: Introduction to Acting.  Class size: 14

 

19848

THTR 344

 ADVANCED ACTING: REHEARSAL TECHNIQUE

Lynn Hawley

 M  T      11:50-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

In this studio acting course students will explore rehearsal techniques tailored to specific acting opportunities. How does preparing an audition monologue differ from rehearsing a scene for audition purposes? How does the style of a play dictate the choices made in approaching rehearsal?  Students will prepare material from a wide variety of theatrical texts to rehearse with instructor and perform in scheduled showings. Class size: 12

 

 

 

CONTEXT:

 

19452

THTR 145

 Intro to Theater & Performance

Miriam Felton-Dansky

M  W      11:50-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

AA

AART

This course introduces a sequence of key concepts and ideas in world theater, and should ideally be taken at the start of a student’s journey through the Theater and Performance curriculum.  We will base our discussions on primary and secondary texts and modes of performance from 2,500 years of world theater, starting with Aristotle and the Greek tragic playwrights and approaching the cutting edge of contemporary performance practice.  We will ask questions about interpretation, ephemerality, and reenactment, investigate how great artists from across the centuries have controlled our experience of theatrical time and space, and examine such topics as the representation of reality on stage, the relationship between performance and audience, and the constantly evolving interplay of theater and democracy.   Class size: 22

 

19338

THTR / HIST 236

 Power & Performance in the Colonial Atlantic

Christian Crouch

Miriam Felton-Dansky

M  W      10:10-11:30 am

RKC 102

HA

HIST

Cross-listed: American Studies; Experimental Humanities; Historical Studies  Societies in different historical periods have habitually used performance to stage, reinforce, and re-imagine the scope of political and colonial power. The history of the theater, therefore, is inextricably connected with the history of how societies have performed conquest, colonialism, and cultural patrimony in different parts of the world. This interdisciplinary course, covering performance and power of the early modern period, will disrupt habitual assumptions about both the disciplines of theater and history. Students will read baroque plays, study their historical contexts, and experiment with staging scenes, to uncover the links between imagined and actual Atlantic expansion and the impact of colonialism, 1492-1825. Artistic forms to be examined include the English court masque, the Spanish auto sacramental, and spectacles of power and conversion staged in the colonial Americas; plays will range from Shakespeare's The Tempest to Marivaux's The Island of Slaves to allegorical works by Calderon, Lope de Vega, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and more.  Class size: 22

 

19449

THTR 250

 Dramatic Structure

Gideon Lester

 T  Th    3:10-4:30 pm

OLIN 204

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Literature  In this seminar we will explore the dynamics, mechanics, and fundamental building blocks of drama, and discover how analysis of a play's structure can be indispensable and revelatory for theater artists and scholars.  We will investigate models of dramatic structure from Aristotle and the Greeks, through Shakespeare, neoclassicism, and modernism, to contemporary experimental and “post-dramatic” theatre.  We will consider plays, dramatic theories, and performances, as well as practical methods for putting structural discoveries to use in rehearsal and production.  Students will become adept at several modes of structural analysis of texts and performance events.  Assigned work includes substantial reading, a series of written exercises, and a comprehensive structural map of at least one full-length play with an accompanying written analysis and plan for production. 

Class size: 16

 

19454

THTR 253

 THE Politics of Interactive Performance

Tania El Khoury

  W         10:30-1:00 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

AA

AART

Cross-listed: Africana Studies, Human Rights   What is the difference between creating art with communities and creating art about communities? Does a socially engaged artist necessarily produce socially engaged art? In this seminar class, we will explore the political potential of contemporary interactive and socially-engaged performance. Students will read and present in class on the subjects of participatory art, relational aesthetics, social practice, and interactivity, studying the work of artists and collectives such as Hiwa K, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Center for Political Beauty, and Rirkrit Tiravanija amongst others. The class explores the political potential of interactive performance and develop a critical reading on the complex intertwining of politics and performance. Creativity will be encouraged in the class and students will be invited to propose their own ideas for interactive performances.

Class size: 15

 

 

CREATIVE PRACTICE & RESEARCH:

 

19455

THTR 244 A

 Intro to Theater Making

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th    11:50-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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.  Pre-requisite: Either THTR 110 Introduction to Acting: The Actor and the Moment or THTR 145 Introduction to Theater & Performance: Revolutions in Time and Space.  Class size: 10

 

19456

THTR 244 B

 Intro to Theater Making

Jack Ferver

  W Th   3:10-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

See above.  Class size: 10

 

19458

THTR 330

 One-to-One Performances

Tania El Khoury

 T           4:40-7:40 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

D+J

PART

Cross-listed: Human Rights  One to One Performance, when a single performer engages with a single audience member, has been a popular trend in contemporary performance in the last decade. The form raises significant questions about the politics and aesthetics of spectatorship and participation.  In this advanced studio course we will create One to One performances, specifically on the subject of borders, in conjunction with the upcoming Live Arts Bard Biennial on borders and migration. We will study the work of key artists in the field of One to One such as Adrian Howells, Franko B, Leena Kela, Oreet Ashery, and Brian Lobel. Students will develop interactive One to One performances that engage with the current US border policies and a refugee resettlement program in the Hudson Valley that was canceled last year by the Trump administration’s travel ban. Students will give in-class presentations on the work of artists, and develop several One to One performances on borders over the course of the semester.  Class size: 12

 

19457

THTR 331

 Devised Theater Lab: mUSIC AND nARRATIVE

Erin Markey

M           1:30-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

This class will explore the innovative and adventurous process of devising music-driven live performance works. Students can but do not have to have prior music training to take this course, but rather, a willingness to invoke their mind-body’s inherent and unique musicality. Through practical exercises including vocal improvisations, journalling, composition exercises, and ensemble techniques, students will learn how to generate ideas, research, shape, organize and create new short-form music-performance works for both theater and site-specific locations. Students will experiment with creating fictional work based on the gut impulses of the body, their own personal narratives, and whatever traditional or non-traditional sound and music-based skills they bring to the classroom.  Theories of narrative and dramatic structure will be examined, and students will experiment with methods and techniques for applying these creatively in practice. We will examine how several contemporary artists and ensembles (i.e. Bridget Everett, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Bjork, FKA Twigs, Trust Your Moves Chorus, Toshi Reagan, Half Straddle, Meredith Monk) generate new music and sound driven works. Assignments will include composition and dramaturgical exercises of various lengths and levels of complexity.  Class size: 12

 

19451

THTR 356

 ACTIVATING Public Space THROUGH Pageant Puppetry

Alex Kahn

Sophia Michahelles

    F        10:10-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

A parade, a festival, a happening, though momentary, can shape our perception of a shared space and alter how we see ourselves as part of a community.  This course explores how artists can animate public space through performance, imprinting a neutral site with lasting narratives, memories, and micro-histories. We will explore hands-on techniques for creating an art parade in a public space, using performing objects, pageant puppetry, body extension, and mobile scenography. The major focus of the class will be the conceptualization, design, construction, and staging of a community-based procession. Students will collaborate (with each other and with local volunteers) to design, fabricate, and animate visual elements for the event. In addition, students will be expected to take responsibility for aspects of production, volunteer coordination, curation, and promotion of the final event. Attendance at the final Saturday performance on May 11 and one off-campus Saturday community work session is mandatory.   Class size: 16

 

19459

THTR 357

 New Play Development:THE WRITER AND THE DIRECTOR

Jean Wagner

  W         1:30-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

This course will be conducted in a workshop format. In it we will explore the collaborative relationship between the playwright and the director within the process of developing new works for the stage. While new play development is ubiquitously touted in the literature of many professional theater companies, there is little agreement regarding what this term actually means. Often playwrights are paired with directors who are tasked with helping them realize their vision, although other collaborative models exist.  In this class, playwrights and directors will be paired up to develop new works generated by the writer. Through this experience, we will explore the roles and relationship between writer and director when working on a new play; the rules of engagement between them; and the collaborative nature of the process as well as its limits. We will also explore questions such as: how collaborative is the process meant to be? Is each collaborative process unique? How do decisions get made, and who gets to make them? Students will assist each other by reading roles in each other’s plays. The course will culminate in stage readings of new work generated in the course.  Prerequisite: either Introduction to Playwriting OR Directing Seminar. Class size: 16

 

19460

THTR 405

 Junior / Senior Colloquium

Miriam Felton Dansky

  W         6:30-8:00 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

 

 

0 credits  The Zócalo 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 Zócalo, 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 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.  Class size: 30

 

 

Cross-listed courses

 

19391

FILM 203

 Performance & Video

Ben Coonley

   Th       10:10-1:10 pm

AVERY 117

PA

PART

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities, Theater and Performance

 

 

19614

LIT 367

 “BRING THE PAIN”: BLACK SATIRE AND CRITICAL HUMOR

Brittney Edmonds

   W        1:30 pm – 3:50 pm

HEG 201

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Theater and Performance