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.

 

 

Technique:

 

11951

THTR 101   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

 

11477

THTR 201   Intro to Acting: The Actor

and the Moment

Lynn Hawley

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

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

 

11483

THTR 207 A  Intro to Playwriting:

The Theatrical Voice

Chiori Miyagawa

. . . . F

10:10 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

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

 

11953

THTR 207 B  Intro to Playwriting:

The Theatrical Voice

Chiori Miyagawa

. . . Th .

1:30 -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONF ROOM

PART

See above. Class size: 12

 

11484

THTR 209   Scene Study

Jean Wagner

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

11952

THTR 226   Masks: Neutral, Character,

and Commedia

Geoffrey Sobelle

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

PART

This class covers the rudiments of mask work as taught by Jacques Lecoq.  We will be focusing on three styles of mask work in particular: neutral; character; and Commedia dell’Arte.  The neutral mask is the root from which all physical theatre grows.  Students learn physical/compositional principles such as balance, presence, breath, focus and rhythm through a rigorous study of movement analysis.  Character masks introduce an element of psychology, which creates a new range of performance possibilities.  Commedia dell’Arte adds appetite and desire, leading students to archetype, extreme character, physical comedy and the creation of lazzi.  Mask is a marriage of physical precision with emotional/psychological abandon.  Students will learn mask technique on their feet and in their body, through structured improvisation in class.  They will apply the principles that they have studies to create performances and character studies that will be performed in class and critiqued. Class size: 16

 

11481

THTR 250   Dramatic Structure

Gideon Lester

. T . Th .

4:40 -6:00 pm

OLIN 204

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

 

11954

THTR 307   Advanced Acting

Jonathan Rosenberg

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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: 15

 

11482

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

 

11778

DAN 350   Junior / Senior Seminar

Leah Cox

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

FISHER PAC CONF ROOM

 

Cross-listed: Theater What is the current landscape of the contemporary performance world?  What are the most relevant models for funding and producing independent work?  Who are the other professionals involved in getting a performance?  What are the options for continuing your learning after your undergraduate career and when is graduate school the right next step, if at all?  This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to begin a professional practice.  Among other skills, students will prepare a portfolio of their work, delve into development, and imagine future work.  Students will explore the range of jobs that allow for a continuing creative practice and understand how to interact with professionals in all aspects of the performing arts.  A rotating roster of guest teachers will address issues relevant to artists entering the field and discuss their own roles within the professional dance/theater world.  This course is geared towards junior and senior dance and theater majors.  Led by Leah Cox (btjaz@bard.edu) Note: This course will demand 2-4 hours of project-based homework each week.  Class size: 15

 

 

Context:

 

11476

THTR 145   Intro to Theater & Performance:

Revolutions in Time and Space

Miriam Felton-Dansky

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

11956

THTR 310I   Minstrelsy, Vaudeville,

and Melodrama

Jean Wagner

. . W . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

AART/DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies, American Studies  Popular theater, a type of entertainment that appeals to a broad range of audiences, played a large role in the formation of American culture and identity in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  This course will examine, from both a performance and historical perspective, three specific forms that flourished in the United States during this seminal time period: Minstrelsy, Melodrama, and Vaudeville.  We will investigate how these media altered and reflected emerging American ideologies, such as nationalism, racism and capitalism. Readings will include melodramas by Dion Boucicault, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the African American musicals of Williams and Walker, a wide variety of Vaudeville acts and sketches and theoretical and historical texts. Screenings will include archival footage as well as films such as “The Jazz Singer” and “Bamboozled.” Assignments will include scene-work, oral presentation, essays and a final project to be determined in consultation with the instructor.  Class size: 15

 

11955

THTR 326   Brecht and his Legacy

Miriam Felton-Dansky

. . W . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONF ROOM

AART

Cross-listed:  Literature, German, and Experimental Humanities.  Few modern theater artists have been as path-breaking in their own time—or as influential for future generations—as German playwright, poet, director, and theorist Bertolt Brecht. This seminar will explore Brecht’s writings for the theater and his theatrical legacy: after grounding our study in a survey of Brecht’s plays and theory, we will take stock of his influence on dramatic literature from postwar Germany to Brazil, South Africa, and the New York avant-garde. We will locate Brechtian aesthetics in arenas such as feminist and queer performance texts, documentary and political drama, postcolonial drama, and contemporary critiques of capitalism. Other writers and artists under investigation will include Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss, Caryl Churchill, Augusto Boal, and more. Students will prepare an analytical essay examining a Brecht play in relation to his theory, poetry, or production history, and a research paper treating the relationship between Brecht's aesthetics and those of one or more of his artistic heirs. As a class, we will also create a digital scholarship project, mapping Brecht's legacy across time and space.

Class size: 15

 

11491

THTR 335   Contemporary Practice in Theater and Performance

Gideon Lester

. . . Th .

11:00 – 1:20 pm

RKC 200

AART

This advanced seminar is intended for Juniors and Seniors wishing to investigate contemporary theater & performance in greater depth.  We will study the work of directors, writers, ensembles, performers, and designers, from this country and abroad, whose practice is advancing the field.  The syllabus will be informed by the current season in New York City, and our research will be augmented by several field trips to theaters, museums, and festivals, as well as meetings with leading artists visiting Bard.  Discussions and readings will stress the cross-disciplinary nature of theater & performance, and will incorporate perspectives from visual arts, architecture, dance, music, philosophy and new technology. Students will make several written and oral presentations throughout the semester. Open to Upper College students only.  Class size: 12

Creative Practice and Research:

 

11478

THTR 208   Playwriting II

Jorge Cortinas

. . W . .

1:30 -4:30 pm

FISHER PAC CONF ROOM

PART

4 credits   This course will function as a writer’s workshop. Students focus on developing a full-length play, with sections of the work-in-progress presented in class for discussions.  Students grow as playwrights by developing characters and themes that are sustained through a full-length play.  The students will also read a wide range of dramatic literature and be exposed to diverse styles of playwriting. Prerequisite: Playwriting I, Writing Political Theater,  or Theatrical Adaptations.  Interested students should email Prof. Cortinas  prior to registration. (jcortina@bard.edu) Class size: 12

 

11486

THTR 244 A  Introduction to Theater Making

Geoffrey Sobelle

M . . . .

. . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

10:10 - 11:30 am

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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.  Class size: 16

 

11487

THTR 244 B  Introduction to Theater Making

Jonathan Rosenberg

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PART

See above.  Class size: 16

 

11957

THTR 310   Survey of Drama:

Solo Performance

Nilaja Sun

M . . . .

11:50 -2:50 pm

FISHER PAC STUDIO NORTH

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, John Leguizamo and Mike Daisy who created them. Through writing, theatre, and improvised exercises, 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: 15

 

11958

THTR 331   Devised Theater Lab

Anne Gridley

. . W . .

11:50 -2:50 pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

12034

THTR 345  Writing the Fantastic

Neil Gaiman

TBD

TBD

 

PART

2 credits  This advanced intensive reading and writing workshop explores the history of the fantastic, approaches to fantasy fiction, and the meaning of fantasy today.  We will read authors including Dunsany, Margaret Yourcenar, Kipling, Shirley Jackson, Gene Wolfe, and R. A. Lafferty, and write new fiction in response to our readings.  Students will complete a longer work of fantasy fiction by the end of the semester.  Note: The course will meet over eight 4-hour evening sessions in April 2014, to be determined. Interested students should send a cover letter and 5 page writing sample to theaterapp@bard.edu by midnight on December 1, 2013.  The list of accepted students will be announced by December 10, 2013.  Only moderated students are eligible to apply. Class size: 12