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) This course is only available to second-semester Sophomores intending to moderate into the Theater & Performance Program.

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.

 

 

TECHNIQUE:

 

91776

THTR  101   

 Acting for Non-Majors

Naomi Thornton

. . W . .

3:10 pm -5:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

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

 

91777

THTR  107   A

 Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

. . W . .

1:30 pm -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

91778

THTR  107   B

 Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

. . . Th .

10:10 am -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

PART

See above.  Class size: 12

 

91779

THTR  107   C

 Intro to Playwriting

Chiori Miyagawa

. . . . F

1:30 pm -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

PART

See above.  Class size: 12

 

91780

THTR  110   A

 The Actor & the Moment

Jean Wagner

. T . Th .

10:10 am - 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

 

91781

THTR  110   B

 The Actor & the Moment

Lynn Hawley

. T . Th .

11:50 am -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PART

See above.  Class size: 16

 

91782

THTR  110   C

 The Actor & the Moment

Jonathan Rosenberg

. . W . F

11:50 am -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PART

See above.  Class size: 16

 

92194

THTR  110   D

 The Actor & the Moment

Jonathan Rosenberg

. . W . F

10:10 am -11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PART

See above.  Class size: 16

 

91783

THTR  209   

 Scene Study

Lynn Hawley

M . W . .

10:10 am -11:30 am

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

PART

4 credits   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: 16

 

91784

THTR  243   

 Voice and Text

Lindsey Liberatore

. T . . .

10:10 am -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

PART

This course introduces actors and performers to the fundamentals of voice work and text analysis.  Students first develop their vocal apparatus by applying a range of techniques (including Fitzmaurice Voicework, Linklater, and yoga) to access greater range and variety of vocal character and to rid the body of tension and free the authentic voice.  We will learn safe warm ups and preparatory exercises that can be used in rehearsals and in private practice.  Students will be taught to approach text by seeking out dynamic phasing, operative words, and arc, creating a profound connection between body, breath, voice, and language.  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: 15

                                                                               

91774

THTR  255   

 Physical Theater

Jack Ferver

M . . . .

10:10 am -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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: 16

 

91786

THTR  308   

 Advanced Scene Study

Naomi Thornton

. . . Th .

1:30 pm -3:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

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

 

 

CONTEXT:

 

91787

THTR  145   A

 Intro to Theater & Performance: Revolutions in Time and Space

Miriam Felton-Dansky

M . W . .

1:30 pm -2:50 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO 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

 

91788

THTR  145   B

 Intro to Theater & Performance:

Revolutions in Time and Space

Gideon Lester

. T . Th .

3:10 pm -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

AART

See above.   Class size: 25

 

91789

THTR  146   

 Intro to Theater History

Miriam Felton-Dansky

M . W . .

11:50 am -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

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

 

91790

THTR  310   

 Shakespeare: The director and

the text

Jonathan Rosenberg

. . . Th .

10:10 am -12:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE

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

 

91793

THTR  337   

 The Sixties

Miriam Felton-Dansky

. T . . .

10:10 am -12:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE

AART

Cross-listed:  Art History, Literature  From the Civil Rights movement to the Rolling Stones, from the Vietnam War to the birth of post-modern dance, the 1960s was a landmark decade for the arts, culture, and society in the United States.  In theater and performance, playwrights, directors, and performance artists were mapping out a radically new artistic landscape.  Late modernist and emergent post-modern art coexisted, and the work of movements for social change—the Civil Rights movement, Students for a Democratic Society—infused theatrical practice. We will investigate this defining period in American theater, examining artists such as Carolee Schneeman, Valerie Solanas, Amiri Baraka, Charles Ludlam, and Jack Smith; and movements such as early off-off-Broadway, the Black Arts Movement, and Judson Dance. Our study will conclude by examining twenty-first century reenactments of iconic 1960s performances as a means of understanding the deep significance that this decade holds in the American imagination. Assignments will include research papers, presentations and a creative project inspired by the work we study. Class size: 16

 

91794

THTR  349   

 The Exorcist

David Levine

. T . . .

1:30 pm -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NO.

PART

Cross-listed:  Experimental Humanities  Briefly America’s most terrifying movie, now an inexhaustible source of camp, reference, and technique, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist is not only a vital allegory of America in the ’70s; it is an allegory of American acting itself—its techniques, its reputation, its promises of total self-transformation, and its demonic commercial drive. This advanced workshop in devising and adaptation will perform (literally) an examination of the significance and meaning of The Exorcist, created over the semester using historical research, conversations, attempts at re-staging, religious rites, death-metal growls, and head turns of 180 degrees or more. The course will examine the film as an allegory for everything American in the 20th century--specifically contradictory ideas of acting, art, directing and selling out (or buying in)--and will ask what relevance (if any) this style of filmmaking and choice of subject have for the 21st century. Students will engage in extensive research, discussion, and creation, both individually and in groups. Class size: 14

 

 

CREATIVE PRACTICE & RESEARCH

 

91795

THTR  242   

 Acting and Authenticity

David Levine

. . W . .

10:10 am -1:10 pm

OLIN 204

AART

This is a text- and studio-based seminar that explores the realist idea of ’acting’ alongside philosophical, psychological, and scientific notions of authenticity and falsehood, presence, mimesis, identity, and empathy. What does it mean to turn into someone else? How total is the transformation? What are the implications for our understanding of the individual? Various texts, from the acting primers of Stanislavski and Strasberg to works of literary criticism, natural science, cognitive psychology, and philosophy of mind will be considered, alongside acting exercises and projects that attempt to examine what "realism" means in the 21st century. The seminar will culminate in a final project in which participants turn into each other. Students will be assigned weekly readings and presentations, and/or weekly exercises. These exercises will sometimes involve working with a collaborator. Class size: 14

 

91796

THTR  306   

 Advanced Playwriting

Chiori Miyagawa

. . W . .

1:30 pm -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE

PART

Students will write a full-length play during the semester (65-75 pages), with sections of the work-in-progress presented in class for discussions. Students focus on developing characters and themes that are sustained through a full-length play. The students will also read a wide range of contemporary and current dramatic literature and make a field trip to see a production.  Prerequisite -- One of the following: Intro to Playwriting or any other playwriting workshop and an invitation from the professor. Students should email the professor before on-line registration to express interest. Class size: 10

 

91775

THTR  328   

 Visual Performance

John Kelly

M . . . .

1:30 pm -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PART

This studio course in performance art is primarily intended for advanced students in Theater & Performance and Studio Arts, though is open to all.  Commitment and courage are more important than technique.  Working individually and collaboratively, students will develop performance material based on various sources, including:  autobiography, specific characters, artists, or historical figures, dreams, fairy tales, myths.  By identifying, amplifying, and re-configuring the essential characteristics of characters or events, you will aim to give your ideas and choices performance life through unified combinations of visuals, text, movement, video and sound.  This process will include group viewing and discussion of performance documentation, imagery, and writing by performers, artists, creators, and filmmakers who have found inspiration articulating the possibilities of character delineation from specific sources, including the Wooster Group, Charles Ludlam, Dina Martina, Isaac Julien, Kazuo Ohno, and Eleanor Antin.   Class size: 16

 

91791

THTR  347   

 Adapting Shakespeare

Neil Gaiman

TBA

TBA

 

PART

Cross-listed:  Experimental Humanities, Written Arts  In this intensive writing and performance workshop we will explore the history and practice of adapting Shakespeare's plays into a variety of genres and styles. We will ask why some new versions have become iconic in their own right, and what makes for a particularly successful adaptation, addressing the constraints, norms, and cultural connotations of each medium. Using A Midsummer Night’s Dream as our primary source text we will unpack Shakespeare’s dramatic strategies (such as juxtaposition, comic tropes and conventions, extremity, fantasy) and examine existing adaptations (films, poetry, graphic novels, plays, musicals, television.) We will also create our own contemporary responses to the play in a variety of genres, which we will both write and perform.  Admission by application.  Applications are welcome from upper-level students with substantial backgrounds in writing, theater, dance, music, or studio arts.  To apply, send a cover letter, resumé, and 5-10 page creative writing sample, to: theaterapp@bard.edu by midnight on May 1, 2015.  Note that the course will meet for 12 sessions in a concentrated period between October and November: schedule TBD. Class size: 15

 

91798

THTR  405   

 Junior / Senior Colloquium:

 The  Zócalo

Gideon Lester

. . W . .

6:30 pm -8:00 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

 

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 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 Zócalo carries 0 credits.  Class size: 30