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:

 

92010

THTR 107 A

 Intro to Playwriting

Chiori Miyagawa

M            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

 

92011

THTR 107 B

 Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

M            4:40 pm-7:40 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

See above. Class size: 12

 

92012

THTR 107 C

 Intro to Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

 T           10:10 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

PART

See above.  Class size: 12

 

92013

THTR 110 A

 The Actor & the Moment

Lynn Hawley

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

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

 

92014

THTR 110 B

 The Actor & the Moment

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th     10:10 am-11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

See above. Class size: 16

 

92015

THTR 110 C

 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

 

92016

THTR 203

 Directing Seminar

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

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

 

92017

THTR 208

 Intermediate Playwriting

Chiori Miyagawa

  W         1:30 pm-4:30 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.  Students should email the instructor before on-line registration to express interest. (miyagawa@bard.edu)  Class size: 12

 

92018

THTR 209

 Scene Study

Lynn Hawley

M  W       10:10 am-11:30 am

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

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

 

92019

THTR 243

 Voice and Text

Liza Dickinson

    F        1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PA

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

 

92022

THTR 255

 Physical Theater

Jack Ferver

 T           1:30 pm-4:30 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

 

92023

THTR 307

 Advanced Acting

Jack Ferver

M            1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISH SSR

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

 

 

CONTEXT:

92025

THTR 145 A

 Intro to Theater & Performance

Gideon Lester

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

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: 25

 

92026

THTR 145 B

 Intro to Theater & Performance

Jean Wagner

  W  F     11:50 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

AA

AART

See above.  Class size: 25

 

92027

THTR 146

 Intro to Theater History

Joshua Lubin-Levy

M  W       4:40 pm -6:00 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

AA

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

92028

THTR 310G

 Shakespeare: the director and the text

Jonathan Rosenberg

  W         10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 309

AA

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

 

92021

THTR 348

 Performing Photography

Joshua Lubin-Levy

 T           3:10 pm-5:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

AA

D+J

AART

Cross-listed: Photography  Since the invention of photography, the photograph has always been an unstable document. Caught between then and now, here and there, the photograph slides between presence and absence attesting to a world beyond the present moment. Performance, on the other hand, is often thought of as pure presence – as an ephemeral medium that resides wholly in its enactment. This class will challenge both of these presumptions, inviting students to explore the history and theory of both performance and photography. Our study will begin with the history of photography, considering questions about the politics of representation and the display of the body. Moving to the 1960s and beyond we will then explore ways in which artist have intervened in this history of photography through performance, focusing on works by Louise Lawler, Dan Graham, Helio Oiticica, Lucy Lippard, Mark Morrisroe and Nan Goldin. We will conclude by looking at a number of contemporary projects that offer up the photograph itself as a performance, often staging powerful revisions of some of our more ingrained cultural assumptions about self and other. At the center of the mediums of both performance and photography lie fundamental uncertainties about the ontology of the body. As such, we will be particularly attuned to queer, feminist, trans, and critical race and ethnicity studies that open up new terrains for the usefulness of photography and performance.  Students will give presentations and conduct writing assignments based on readings.  We will also develop a collective photography and performance journal, to be presented in a series of conference days at the end of the semester. Class size: 16

 

 

CREATIVE PRACTICE AND RESEARCH:

 

92020

THTR 224

 Design Studio

David Szlasa

M            10:10 am-1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

This course will introduce students to the development and implementation of design techniques for the stage.  Through a series of case studies we will explore the history and semiotics of scenic, lighting, and new media design, watching production recordings from a range of artists including Ralph Lemon, Julie Taymor, Big Art Group, and Robert Wilson, and reading texts from Walter Benjamin, Mashall McLuhan, and Quentin Fiore to The Backstage Handbook.  In parallel practical units students will study the basics of scenic design, from rigging and carpentry to rendering, lighting, and projections.  The course will culminate in a design project in the form of a model construction and/or digital rendering, which will combine dramaturgical and historical research with design techniques acquired over the semester.  Class size: 12

 

92029

THTR 310

 Survey of Drama: Solo Performance

Dael Orlandersmith

   Th       3:00 pm-6:00 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

AA

AART

This course introduces solo performance through the review and discussion of several solo pieces, their unique structures and the performers such as Spalding Gray, Anna Devere Smith, Eric Bogosian, Ruth Draper and Mike Daisy who created them. Through writing, theatre and improvised exercises, students will explore their own voice, and if writing about someone else, other characters' voices. Students explore their own stories, those which have been woven into the fabric of their lives and craft a personalized solo piece. Pre-requisite: Intro to Acting: The Actor and the Moment. Class size: 12

 

92032

THTR 347

 Adapting Shakespeare

Neil Gaiman

   TBD

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE ROOM

PA

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.  Note that the course will meet for 12 sessions in a concentrated period between October and November,  Schedule TBD.  Class size: 12

 

92030

THTR 354

 Live Art Installation

Justin Bond

M            1:30 pm-4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

PA

PART

This advanced studio course in live art is primarily intended for students in Theater & Performance and Studio Arts, though is open to all.   Working individually and collaboratively, students will develop projects at the intersection of performance and installation.  Participants will be encouraged to locate and amplify their singular artistic voices, exploring techniques from live art, text, movement, video, sound, installation, and performance.  Students will create work each week, both during and outside class, for presentation and critique.   We will study the work of pioneering artists from across genres, including Jerome Caja, Colette, the Cockettes, Derek Jarman, Cindy Sherman, Nina Simone, Benjamin Smoke, and Elizabeth Swados.  Class size: 12

 

92031

THTR 405

 Junior / Senior Colloquium: The zocalo

Gideon Lester

  W         6:30 pm-8:00 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK STUDIO

 

 

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