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.  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:

 

17383

THTR 101

 Acting for Non-Majors

Naomi Thornton

  W       3:10pm-5:10pm

FISHER PAC NORTH

PA

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

 

17384

THTR 107

 Intro to Playwriting

Chiori Miyagawa

M         1:30pm-4:30pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE

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

 

17385

THTR 110

 The Actor & the Moment

Jean Wagner

 T  Th 1:30pm-2:50pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

17386

THTR 208

 Intermediate Playwriting

Jorge Cortinas

M         1:30pm-4:30pm

FISHER PAC 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. (jcortina@bard.edu) Class size: 12

 

17387

THTR 209

 Scene Study

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th 10:10am-11:30am

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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

 

17388

THTR 307

 Advanced Acting

Lynn Hawley

M         10:10am-1:10pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

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 instructorClass size: 12

 

 

CONTEXT:

 

17531

IDEA 220

 Performing Race and Gender: Uncle Tom's Cabin on Page and Stage

Donna Grover

Jean Wagner

M         1:30pm-3:50pm

      W        1:30pm-3:50pm

 

RKC 103

FISHER PAC RESNICK

AA

LA

D+J

AART

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Literature; Theater  6 credits So you’re the little lady who started the war,” Abraham Lincoln allegedly told Harriet Beecher Stowe. He was of course referring to her best-selling novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a seminal work of 19th century American literature. It also has been adapted many times for the theater and performed all over the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will examine the important role this work played in the birth of an American theater and culture. We will begin with a close reading of the novel, then turn our attention to the various theatrical adaptations that were produced and toured the United States over the years. Among the questions that will be examined include: What role did the novel and its theatrical adaptations play in the formation of American culture and what do its theatrical adaptations tell us about what it means to perform “American”? What does it mean for its archetypal characters to be portrayed by performers of different races or genders? Also, we will look at the uses or misuses of dramatic literature as a form of popular entertainment as well as early American propaganda. Important to our inquiry are the relationships between Uncle Tom’s Cabin, blackface and the roles, race and gender play in the creation of a contemporary American culture. Other works to be examined include Spike Lee’s movie “Bamboozled,” the contemporary Broadway hit “Hamilton,” George C. Wolf’s musical “The Colored Museum,” and “Funnyhouse of a Negro” by contemporary playwright Adrienne Kennedy. Close readings, in-class discussions, film screenings, performance projects, personal essays, and other project-based explorations of texts will round out the class. Class size: 28

 

17390

THTR 229

 History OF East Village PerformANce

John Kelly

M         1:30pm-4:30pm

FISHER PAC SSR

AA

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: 16

 

17391

THTR 317

 20th Century Avant Garde PerformancE

Miriam Felton-Dansky

 T         1:30pm-3:50pm

FISHER PAC NORTH

AA

AART

Cross-listed: Art History, Experimental Humanities, Literature  "Set fire to the library shelves!" wrote the Italian Futurists in their first manifesto of 1909. With their revolutionary politics, audience provocations, and enthusiastic embrace of the new, the Futurists inaugurated a century of avant-garde performance. This course will investigate that century, tracing the European and American theatrical avant-gardes from 1909 to 1995, including movements and artists such as Expressionism, Surrealism and Dada; John Cage, Allan Kaprow, and Happenings; utopian collectives of the 1960s; Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, the Wooster Group and Reza Abdoh. We will explore questions including: the implications of assuming the mantle of the "avant-garde"; the contested status of the dramatic text in avant-garde performance; the relationship between performance and emerging media forms; and avant-garde artists’ efforts to create radical fusions of art and life. This course will require a research paper, reading responses, and a presentation. Class size: 15

 

 

CREATIVE PRACTICE AND RESEARCH:

 

17392

THTR 213

 Writing Plays based on non-fictional sources

Chiori Miyagawa

  W       1:30pm-4:30pm

FISHER PAC CONFERENCE

PA

PART

Cross-listed:  Written Arts   This is a writing workshop that explores ways to dramatize nonfictional sources. The course encourages students to find inspiration in facts and theatricalize them rather than adapting already fictional materials such as novels and period plays. The students will write several short plays using a variety of interesting phenomena and data.   For the final project, students will choose their own nonfiction inspiration to write a one-act play.  Prerequisite: 1 creative writing workshop class.  This course fulfills a Creative Practice requirement in Theater & Performance  Class size: 12

 

17393

THTR 241

 Performance Composition

Jack Ferver

M         1:30pm-4:30pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

 Cross-listed: Dance  A Creative Practice course in which students develop original movement- and text-based performances, using a series of exercises to locate and deepen self-expression. The semester begins with stretch and placement techniques and core work to develop a neutral and ready body, followed by a sequence of impulse-based improvisation techniques enabling students to find authentic movement and push past their physical limitations. These improvisations will lead into original phrase work, training students to develop their own unique choreographic and performance styles.  The second half of the semester is focused on writing composition.  Students will complete timed writing exercises in class, designed to free the creative voice, and will then be given individual guidance and dramaturgical assignments, leading to the development and performance of an original text and movement score.

Class size: 12

 

17394

THTR 244 A

 Intro to Theater Making

Jonathan Rosenberg

 T  Th 11:50am-1:10pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

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

 

17395

THTR 244 B

 Intro to Theater Making

Gideon Lester

  W  F   11:50am-1:10pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

See above.

 

17600

THTR 339

 choreographic shift

Tere O’Connor

       F         1:30pm – 4:30pm

FISHER PAC RESNICK

PA

PART

Cross-listed: Dance  In recent years, artists from diverse genres have embraced choreographic thought, relocating it outside of dance to apply to various other modalities. In this class we will engage evolving definitions of choreography to generate tools for creating all types of performance with the current interdisciplinarity of contemporary art as a frame. We will look at how non-narrative principles of dance might be harnessed to rethink text in performance. Each week we will devise individual and group works, and analyze these through discussion and critical writing. Class size: 15

 

17396

THTR 345

 Writing the Fantastic

Neil Gaiman

    TBD -

 

PA

PART

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities 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, Ursula Le Guin, 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 in April for four  3-hour evening sessions, dates to be determined. Interested students should send a cover letter and 5 page writing sample to theaterapp@bard.edu by midnight on December 1, 2016. The list of accepted students will be announced by December 8, 2016. Only moderated students are eligible to apply. Class size: 12

 

17397

THTR 405

 Junior / Senior Colloquium:

 The zocalo

Gideon Lester

  W       6:30pm-8:00pm

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

 

 

Cross-listed courses:

17212

LIT 2481

 Theater and Politics

Thomas Wild

 T  Th 4:40pm-6:00pm

OLIN 201

FL

ELIT

Cross-listed: German  Studies; Theate Class size: 22

 

17291

MUS 223

 American Opera Narratives

Kyle Gann

 T  Th 3:10pm-4:30pm

BLM N217

AA

AART

Cross-listed: Theater   Class size: 15