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. 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.

 

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.

 

91724

THTR 101 A  Acting for Non-Majors

Naomi Thornton

. . . Th .

3:45 -5:45 pm

FISHER PAC

STUDIO NORTH

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 TECHNIQUE

 

91721

THTR 107 A  Intro to Playwriting

Chiori Miyagawa

. . . . F

10:10 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

PART

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 TECHNIQUE

 

91722

THTR 107 B  Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

. . W . .

1:30 -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC

CONF ROOM

PART

See above.  Class size: 12

 

91723

THTR 107 C  Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

. . . Th .

1:30 -4:30 pm

ALBEE 106

PART

See above.  Class size: 12

 

91728

THTR 110A   The Actor & the Moment

Lynn Hawley

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

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 TECHNIQUE

 

91727

THTR 110 B  The Actor & the Moment

Jonathan Rosenberg

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

PART

See above.   Class size: 16

 

92135

THTR 110 C   The Actor & the Moment

Jeff Binder

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

STUDIO NORTH

PART

See above.   Class size: 16

 

91838

THTR / DAN 130  The Body on Stage: Movement  for the Performer

Jean Churchill

. . . Th .

10:30 – 12:30 pm

CAMPUS MPR

PART

See Dance section for description.

 

91399

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

Gideon Lester

. T . Th. .

 

4:40 -6:00 pm

OLIN 201 /

FISHER ST. NO

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: 25  CONTEXT

 

91726

THTR 145 B  Intro to Theater & Performance:

Revolutions in Time and Space

Miriam Felton-Dansky

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLINLC 115 /

FISHER RESNIC

AART

See above.  Class size: 25

 

91730

THTR 146   Introduction to Theater History

Miriam Felton-Dansky

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

CONF ROOM

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 past—and discover their often-surprising legacies in modern and contemporary performance.

Class size: 15  CONTEXT

 

91733

THTR 207   Writing Plays with

Demons and Ghosts

Chiori Miyagawa

.  . W . .

1:30 - 4:30 pm

FISHER PAC

STUDIO NORTH

PART

Cross-listed:  Asian Studies, Written Arts  In this playwriting workshop, students will write short plays based on the unique structure of Japanese Noh plays and adapt the original texts from the 14th century that often feature ghosts and demons.  The students will encounter the basic components of the magic of Noh Theater, including its history, the craft (masks and kimonos), traditions that accompany this performance practice, and the concept of karma that infuse the original texts—the Buddhist belief in reincarnation.  The students are encouraged to use their imagination to transform this encounter with Noh drama into their own original creations.  Prerequisite: 1 creative writing workshop in any genre. Students who are interested should email Prof. Miyagawa at miyagawa@bard.edu a brief paragraph of interest prior to registration. Class size: 12 CREATIVE PRACTICE & RESEARCH

 

91734

THTR 229   History of East Village Performance

John Kelly

. . . . F

10:10 - 12:30 pm

OLIN 204

AART

Cross-listed:  Art History, Dance, Gender & Sexuality Studies  This course examines the work of performance artists who emerged from New York’s East Village in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, straddling the spheres of theater, performance, visual art, dance, and experimental film and video, including Karen Finley, Jack Smith, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Charles Atlas, Ethyl Eichelberger, Klaus Nomi, and Carmelita Tropicana. Through a combination of viewing of visual and audio documentation, seminar discussions, research and writing, and interaction with visiting artists, we will attempt to delineate the political, economic, and cultural conditions that predicated this wide-ranging artistic movement, how specific variables informed the stylistic range, and how the legacy of this work fits into the larger context of the history of iconoclastic performance. Some of the issues or themes that we will explore include: outsider culture, real estate, and the end of physical Bohemia; ‘Drag’ performance and the blurring of gender codes; the AIDS pandemic, activism, and the consequences of a lost generation; gentrification and the selling of the Lower East Side; the shift from analog to digital technology; the hucksterization of ‘hip.’ Students will be required to keep a weekly handwritten journal (consisting of words and/or drawings); write 2 papers; give a presentation on an artist’s work; and attend a series of field trips and visiting artist presentations. Class size: 18 CONTEXT

 

91403

THTR 303   Directing Seminar

Jonathan Rosenberg

. T . . .

10:10 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

PART

Cross-listed:  Film & Electronic Arts  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. There will be weekly assignments of work that will be brought in and examined in class and one longer more substantial project for the end of the semester. Class size: 10  TECHNIQUE

 

91732

THTR 307   Advanced Acting:Physical Comedy and Clown

Geoff Sobelle

M . . . .

3:00 -6:00 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

PART

This advanced acting course teaches a physical approach to clowning. Through exercises in movement analysis, we learn concrete tools to discover and identify physical and psychological idiosyncrasies and embrace them for comic potential. Through guided improvisation, students create clown characters based on their own unique qualities, and then learn to write for the clown: to create the “numéro” (number.) Themes we will explore include: rhythm, timing, the beat, the gaze, complicity, risk, truth and hilarity. Behind the smallest mask in the world - the red nose, the clown arrives with grace and stupidity, naivety and genius. A supreme idiot, the clown fails. Through failure we find our vulnerability - the essential core of an actor’s humanity. This class will culminate in an evening of clown performance for the public.  Prerequisite: Intro to Acting: The Actor and the Moment.  Class size: 12 TECHNIQUE

 

91404

THTR 308   Advanced Scene Study

Naomi Thornton

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:30 pm

FISHER PAC

STUDIO NORTH

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  TECHNIQUE

 

91731

THTR 310 B  Shakespeare: The Director

and the Text

Jonathan Rosenberg

. . . Th .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

FISHER PAC

CONF ROOM

AART

Cross-listed:  Literature  A director reads a play the way a conductor reads a score; not as a work of literature but as a work to be translated into the language of the stage. In this class we will do a close reading of several of Shakespeare’s plays, trying to understand how the information analyzed and then processed through the director’s imagination, aesthetic, social and political views, emotions and dream life manifests in the production. We will also examine (through video, pictures and written descriptions) seminal productions of these plays and discuss how these directors might have read these texts. Although the primary reading will be of the plays themselves, there will be additional readings from texts such as Jonathan Miller’s Subsequent Performances, Peter Brook’s The Shifting Point and Evoking (and Forgetting) Shakespeare, Bert O. States’ Great Reckonings in Little Rooms, Jan Kott’s Shakespeare Our Contemporary, Susan Bennett’s Performing Nostalgia: Shifting Shakespeare and the Contemporary Past, and Political Shakespeare edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield. Open to upperclassmen and qualified sophomores by permission of the instructor. Class size: 15  CONTEXT

 

91737

THTR 324   Visiting Artist Lab:Composition

Robert Woodruff

. T . . .

3:10 -6:10 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

PART

This advanced laboratory course will investigate possible sources of inspiration in creating live performance, and ask fundamental questions about how to make theatrical compositions using time, space, music, and text.  We will consider historical and contemporary theory, and the work of artists who have become seminal influences in the development of contemporary performance, such as Cage, Rothko, Tanzanaki, Cunningham, Godard, Deren, Abdoh, Lupa and Burden.  Each week students will present four minutes of composition that they have prepared outside class, which will be discussed and critiqued. Readings will be assigned from multidisciplinary and cross-cultural sources.  This course fulfills a Creative Practive and Research requirement in Theater & Performance.  Class size: 12  CREATIVE PRACTICE & RESEARCH

 

91736

THTR 328   Visual Performance

John Kelly

. . . Th .

3:10 -5:30 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK

PART

Cross-listed:  Studio Art  This studio course in performance art is primarily intended for advanced students in Theater & Performance and Studio Arts, though is open to all. Working collaboratively or individually, students will develop performance material based on specific iconographic characters, such as artists, historical figures, movie stars, fairy tales, or myths. By identifying, isolating, amplifying, and re-configuring their essential characteristics, we will aim to give these icons unanticipated performance life through a unified combination of visuals, text, movement, video and sound. This process will begin with a research phase, with group viewing and discussion of performance documentation, imagery, and writing by performers, artists, creators, and filmmakers who have found inspiration articulating character from specific sources, including the Wooster Group, Charles Ludlam, James Franco, Isaac Julien, Kazuo Ohno, and Eleanor Antin, followed by group discussions of this material. Students will then participate in weekly exercises that will explore how the primary tools of the performer’s body, with its visual, kinetic, vocal, and dynamic possibilities, augmented by the addition of production tools such as props, lighting music and soundtrack, and projection design can create character through a focused idea. As the development phase continues students will keep weekly journals and give work-in-progress presentations, and the class will culminate in a final performance in a black box, gallery space, or site-specific locations.  Class size: 16 CREATIVE PRACTICE & RESEARCH

 

91835

HUM 332   Performing Arendt

Robert Woodruff

M . . . .

. . W . .

3:00 -6:00 pm

11:50 -1:20 pm

FISHER PAC

RESNICK/ST NO.

PART

Cross-listed: Studio Art, Dance,  Human Rights, Music, Theater  This interdisciplinary studio course will investigate the writings and philosophy of Hannah Arendt and use them as the basis for the creation of collaborative performance-based projects.  The class meets twice a week: once in a research and study seminar; once in a creative laboratory.  We will draw inspiration from Arendt's texts, as well as commentaries on her work, historical and contextual documents, and other writings and artifacts.  After a period of immersion in Arendt's universe, students will be divided into cross-disciplinary groups and will create original performances.  In the second half of the semester, classes will alternate between performance presentations and critiques.  Students will be required to meet in their groups and develop ideas outside of class.  Open to moderated students.  Class size: 15  CREATIVE PRACTICE & RESEARCH