THEATER AND PERFORMANCE

 

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.

 

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

1. THTR145 Introduction to Theater and Performance: Revolutions in Time and Space
2. THTR 201 Introduction to Acting: The Actor and the Moment

3. THTR 207 Introduction to Playwriting: the Theatrical Voice

4. Introduction to Theater Making (spring semester)

5. A theoretical or historical course drawn from elsewhere in the Arts Division, i.e. film, music, dance, art history, photography, studio arts.

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

 

Upper Level Requirements: After Moderation, students are required to take 2 courses in each of the 3 areas of study Context, Technique, Creative Practice and Research for a total of 6 courses. In addition, students complete a Senior Project; a group-devised production or performance together with a written assignment, which carries the equivalent workload and credit of 2 courses.

All courses carry 4 credits except where otherwise indicated.

 

Context Courses:

 

91559

THTR 145A Introduction to Theater & Performance: Revolutions in Time and Space

Gideon Lester

. T . Th .

4:40 -6:00 pm

OLIN 204

AART

This lecture course introduces a sequence of key concepts and ideas in world theater, and should ideally be taken at the start of a students 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: 25

 

92112

THTR 145B Introduction to Theater & Performance: Revolutions in Time and Space

Miriam Felton-Dansky

. T . Th .

10:10 11:30 am

OLINLC 115

AART

See above.

 

91671

THTR 246 Great Theaters of the World,

from Ancient Greece to the Enlightenment

Miriam Felton-Dansky

. . W . F

10:10 -11:30 am

FISHER PAC

AART

Where should a study of theater begin, and how did pre-modern models of theater change, as successive societies revised, rejected, and appropriated the forms that had gone before? This course will investigate selected periods in world theater, beginning with the massive communal festivals of ancient Greece and culminating in the philosophical upheavals of the Enlightenment. Paying close attention to connections between drama, stagecraft, and modes of spectatorship, we will ask how the theater has shored up political power; how the stage has served as a scale model for the known world; and what has been at stake in changing notions of classicism. Through analytical essays, class presentations, and a final performance project, we will cultivate a critical vocabulary for discussing theaters of the pastand discover their often-surprising legacies in modern and contemporary performance.

Class size: 15

 

91674

THTR 343B Latino Theater and Performance

Jorge Cortinas

. . W. . .

6:30 8:50 pm

FISHER PAC

AART

Cross-listed: Art History, LAIS The United States is a multilingual, globalized country that creative citizens will need to be prepared to both address and describe. One way to prepare for this challenge is to familiarize ourselves with the specific aesthetic strategies Latino theater and performance artists have find most useful when wrestling with issues such as immigration, territoriality, exile, human rights and hybridity. Some of the most effective aesthetic strategies include mestizaje, transculturation, choteo, stereotype, satire and disidentification. Some of the artists the course will review include Ana Mendietta, Jos Rivera, Nao Bustamante, Cherre Moraga, Guillermo Gomez Pea, and Mara Irene Forns. Class will culminate with a student driven, creative project that seeks a productive relationship between form and content. Class size: 15

 

91675

THTR 343A Contemporary Women Playwrights

Jean Wagner

. . . Th .

10:10 12:30 pm

FISHER PAC

AART

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies A survey of the complexity and diversity of contemporary theater and performance by women. Through readings and discussions of plays, criticism, and historical texts, we will examine the roots of theater created by women, its practice today, and its relationship to feminism. In addition, we will examine how contemporary women theater-makers are changing, adapting and re-imagining definitions of both gender and performance. Writers we will investigate include Virginia Wolf, Caryl Churchill, Adrienne Kennedy, Maria Irene Fornes, Sarah Kane, Suzan-Lori Parks, Elfriede Jelinek and Young Jean Lee, as well as works by performance artists such as Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley and the choreographer Pina Baush. The course will follow a seminar format. Students will research specific writers, performers and theater artists and analyze their work through critical papers, oral presentations and performance of site-specific scenes. Class size: 15

 

Technique Courses:

 

91557

THTR 101 Acting for Non-Majors

Naomi Thornton

. . . Th .

3:45 -5:45 pm

FISHER PAC

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

 

91645

THTR 201 A Introduction to Acting:

The Actor and the Moment

Lynn Hawley

M . W . .

11:50 - 1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

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

 

91646

THTR 201 B Introduction to Acting:

The Actor and the Moment

Jonathan Rosenberg

. T. Th .

1:30 - 2:50 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

See above.

 

91647

THTR 207A Introduction to Playwriting:

The Theatrical Voice

Chiori Miyagawa

. T . . .

4:40 7:40 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

An introductory course that focuses on discovering the writers 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.)

 

91648

THTR 207B Introduction to Playwriting:

The Theatrical Voice

Chiori Miyagawa

. . W . .

1:30 4:30 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

See above.

 

91649

THTR 207C Introduction to Playwriting:

The Theatrical Voice

Jorge Cortinas

. . . Th .

10:10 1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

Open to all students.

 

91555

THTR 234 Basic Vocal Technique

Elizabeth Smith

. T . . F

10:10 - 11:30 am

FISHER PAC

PART

3 credits This course is designed to develop an awareness of the importance of physical relaxation, breath capacity and control, resonance and placement. There will also be an emphasis on clarity of articulation and the use of vocal range and inflection. This course is intended for moderated and prospective theater majors. Class size: 12

 

91554

THTR 303 Directing Seminar

Jonathan Rosenberg

. . . Th .

10:10 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

This class introduces students to fundamental practical and theoretical concepts in directing. The art and craft of the director involves the close analysis of texts, the conceptualizing of a production, the translation of the text into the language of the stage, and the work with collaborators including actors and designers. The exploration in this class includes exercises examining the language of the stage, analytical and practical work on texts, and an examination of the work and writings of seminal directors. Class size: 10

 

91706

THTR 307 Advanced Acting

Jonathan Rosenberg

. T . . .

10:10 - 1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

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

 

91556

THTR 308 Advanced Scene Study

Naomi Thornton

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:30 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

3 credits Scene Technique with work on specific rehearsal tasks and practice of their application. Continued work on the acting instrument, understanding the actor as artist and deepening the physical, emotional, intellectual connection and availability of each actor. Advanced individual exercises, scenes, and monologues from all dramatic literature. Intended for Upper College students, others by permission. Prerequisite: Introduction to Acting. Class size: 12

 

91558

THTR 340 Voice in Performance

Elizabeth Smith

. . . . F

12:00 -2:00 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

3 credits This course is designed for those students who have already had some training in voice and will concentrate on addressing demands which occur in performance such as speaking over underscoring, sustaining dialogue in fights or dances, and developing power and range. Technical exercises will be used to promote coordination of speech and movement. Class size: 12

 

Creative Practice and Research:

 

91673

THTR 247 A Democracy in America:

Populist Performance in Theory and Practice

Annie Dorsen

M . . . .

1:30 - 4:30 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities This course uses the creation of a crowd-sourced performance as a vehicle for exploring crucial trends in contemporary performance: art-making as social research; the relation between political activism and artistic production; charges of populism or elitism; and the role of social media in art practice. We will explore theories and moments of democratic art. We will look at a wide range of sources to try to understand the potential and problems of crowd-sourced art, politics, labor, economy. Finally, we will make a crowd-sourced performance of our own using the Bard community as our population, by developing this material into collage performance. Class size: 15

 

91761

THTR 247 B Chance in Performance

Annie Dorsen

. T . . .

11:30 - 2:30 pm

FISHER PAC

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

 

91670

THTR 331 Devised Theater Lab

Jean Wagner

. . W . .

10:10 1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

PART

This class will explore the innovative and adventurous process of devising performance works for the stage. Through practical exercises including improvisations, games and ensemble techniques, students will learn how to generate ideas, research, shape, organize and create new works for the stage. Students will experiment with creating work based on a variety of source materials including documentary narratives, fiction, mythology, visual and aural imagery and gesture. 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 generate new works. Assignments will include experiential essays, a research paper, and active participation in collaborative creations. Class size: 12