This course surveys the history of Western clothing and fashion from the ancient world to the present day. Work will include papers, oral presentations, lectures, and discussion. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or DRAM 111. This course will generally be offered every year.
This course presents an introduction to the costume designer's creative process. Through a series of projects, students will explore the relation of the costume to the character, the plot, the work of the director, the actor, and the other designers. Projects involve drawing, painting, collage, writing, and research. Prerequisite: DRAM 111. This course will generally be offered every year.
This course will focus on plays of the last fifty years by British and American playwrights, taught from the practitioner's perspective. The class will include work by Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Sam Shepard, Caryl Churchill, Jez Butterworth, August Wilson, Paula Vogel, Annie Baker, Tracy Letts, Kia Corthron, Bruce Norris, Martin McDonagh, David Lindsay-Abaire and others. The work for the class will include papers, quizzes, reading scenes from the assigned plays, and an active class presence in discussion. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or DRAM 111. This course will generally be offered every third year.
This course examines the work of the director through the analysis of plays and the exploration of the visual means of realizing that analysis on stage. Work includes exercises, written assignments, readings, discussion, and lectures. Students will direct scenes and a short play. Prerequisite: DRAM 111. This course will generally be offered every other year.
Puppetry has been integral to the performance traditions of most every culture and continues to be a vital art today. This course will investigate puppetry from the point-of-view of the designer. Students will learn the process of developing and realizing a puppet design through a series of projects. During the course, students will learn about the theory and practice of puppetry in various cultures and study historical and contemporary examples to better understand the visual language of puppetry and its role in narrative storytelling. Prerequisite: DRAM 111.
"Improvisation" is designed to help students explore the development of relationships in theatrical space without the benefit (or confinement) of a script. By cultivating and developing basic performance skills including spontaneity, self-awareness, unobstructed use of the body and mind, access to the imagination, and collaborativity, this course has applications for actors and performers of all varieties interested in both scripted and explicitly improvised performance as well as those interested in devising and developing material through the world's oldest and news form of art.
One of the intentions of the course is to generate truthful, creative, and collaborative play, which can lead naturally to material that is funny or humorous as an organic outcome of the moment. However "comedy" or "improv comedy," which has a different set of intentions altogether, will be strongly discouraged in this course. "Getting laughs," as a goal in and of itself, manufactures unproductive pressure to "be clever" or to "succeed" in ways that are inconsistent with truly creative engagement. Prerequisite: DRAM 111 and permission of the instructor.