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Courses

Drama

A Play Takes Place in the Audience

A play is a unique, self organizing process which generates new states of order spontaneously out of nothing. It uses this order to create a perception shift in the audience. We will read 10 plays together to investigate the way that plays generate meaning. There will be a series of short writing exercises, and students will write a 30-60 minute play as their final project. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Sherry Kramer | FA2013 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4133.01

Acting Shakespeare: Play Upon the Text!

This course is an investigation of the principles and techniques of acting Shakespearean verse, and pros. We will explore: scansion, phrasing, image clusters, operative words, rhetorical devices, imagery, textual analysis, physicalizing the text, textual clues and the challenges of weaving these concepts with the Stanislavski base of action and objective to help students interpret and personalize Shakespeares heightened language in a rehearsal format. This is a first half of term intensive course.

  • Chris Edwards | FA2014 | TF, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA4181.01

Adaptation

Adaptation: A writer is a reader moved to imitation. Appropriation, repurpose, pastiche, hybrid, sampling, remix, in conversation, mash up. Everyone knows that when you steal, steal from the best. When we write we may borrow the structure of a sonata, the plot from a story, the tang and tone of a novel, and characters from our own lives. Is everything we write adaptation? We will read 3-5 works of literature, watch movie and musical adaptations, adapt a fairy tale, a poem, a news item, an inanimate object, a song, and a short story. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sherry Kramer | SP2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2111.01
  • Sherry Kramer | SP2014 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2111.01

Adaptation II

Adaptation: A writer is a reader moved to imitation. Appropriation, repurpose, pastiche, hybrid, sampling, remix, in conversation, mash up. Everyone knows that when you steal, steal from the best. When we write we may borrow the structure of a sonata, the plot from a story, the tang and tone of a novel, and characters from our own lives. Is everything we write adaptation? We will read 8-10 works of literature, watch movie and musical adaptations, adapt a fairy tale, a poem, a news item, an inanimate object, a song, and a short story. Prerequisites: Five to thirty page writing sample in any genre, hard copy, to instructor by November 13th.

  • Sherry Kramer | SP2013 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4111.01

Advanced Acting Ensemble

The ability to quickly make and commit to choices based on close textual analysis is a skill an actor employs in auditions, readings and rehearsals. Preparation is often accomplished in isolation and the time to explore in rehearsal limited. This class will challenge actors to prepare thoroughly and make bold choices through analyzing, researching and rehearsing multiple plays from a variety of periods and presenting them in a series of public readings. To this end we will build an Ensemble of Actors through physical and vocal exercises as well as explore the types of preparation one might use to enliven an understanding of a play, including research into time period, accents, voices, physicality, a plays production history and, of course, the playwright. Students can expect to be cast in a variety of roles: some for which they may be suited and some which will constitute an extreme stretch. Prerequisites: Two previous terms of Acting and permission of instructors. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Jenny Rohn | SP2013 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4112.01
  • Kirk Jackson | SP2013 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4112.01

Advanced Portfolio Projects in Costume Design

This class is intended for students who have previous experience in costume design, garment construction, or other demonstrated background in similar areas. The format will be an intense immersion for 1/2 of the semester in projects and scripts with the goal of producing work which is portfolio worthy. Prerequisites: Previous courses or independent study in costume design and costume construction, or permission of the instructor.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2013 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4157.01

Advanced Projects in Theater Design and Animation

The course will be for sustained work on animation or set design. Students will be expected to create a complete animation , completed project or set design. The expectation is that students will become dexterous in a number of programs, creating sets and characters, and work with sound effects and sound scores. Work by animators will have a public showing. Prerequisites: Prior work in puppets and animation or set design and permission of the instructor.

  • Sue Rees | SP2012 | T, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA4796.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2014 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | MA4796.01
  • Sue Rees | SP2011 | T, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MA4796.01

Alternative History: Writing About Choice

The theatre is the place where we learn how to be. At its best, it is a rehearsal for the great moments of our life, including our happinesses. Love, death, we see it on stage and it prepares us for our life. -- John Guare A play is a metaphoric and empathic art form that seduces us into imaginatively making choices and suffering consequences along with the characters on stage. Every day in the real world, we watch as people make choices whose consequences are truly ours to share--some global, some local, some only in our dreams. What if we could rewrite those choices? And change what happens to our lives, our world. We will spend a little time reading from the Alternative History canon, and then read two tragedies and two comedies to study the arc of choice and consequence on stage. Students will then choose a person born since 1925, a public figure or a family member or someone in between, research their life, identify a series of their choices and the resulting consequences, and then write a play where a different choice is made, and the world, as defined by the world of the play--changes. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Email creative writing sample (prose or play) of 3 to 5 pages to skramer@bennington.edu no later than May 1. Class list will be posted by May 4 on the Playwriting bulletin board on the drama faculty hall in VAPA.

  • Sherry Kramer | FA2011 | W, 6:30PM-10:10PM | DRA4104.01

American Theater Now

This non-performance based course will focus on a detailed, coast-to-coast examination of the state of the American Theater in 2013-2014 making theater? How and why are they making it? We will explore the history of theater in America, specifically the regional theater movement of the 1950s, and then turn our focus to the not-for-profit resident theaters and the for-profit theaters currently in operation. We will have a variety of guest speakers and visit several theaters. Students will collaborate weekly on the presentation of group research. There will be a mid-term quiz and a final paper. Prerequisites: None.

  • Jenny Rohn | SP2012 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA2151.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2013 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA2151.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2014 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA2151.01

An Actor's Technique - Nuts and Bolts

How do actors bridge the gap between themselves and the role they are playing? How do actors rehearse with other actors in order to explore the world of the play? This non-performance based class is designed to help individual actors discover their own organic, thorough rehearsal process. Step by step we will clarify the actor's process: character research, character exploration, text analysis, identifying actions, working with scene partners, emotional preparation, and scene presentation. Each student will be required to research and present the biography of one renowned actor during the term, and these presentations will serve as a springboard for an on-going group conversation about the craft of acting. Students will work to create a warm-up specifically designed to meet their individual needs, and work on one scene throughout the term, allowing them to explore deeply, revise, and edit their choices. Various rehearsal techniques will be explored, so that students can begin creating their own rehearsal technique for future performance work. Prerequisites: DRA2170 The Actor's Instrument or permission of the instructor. Co-requisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Dina Janis | SP2012 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4127.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4127.01
  • Jenny Rohn | FA2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4127.01
  • Jenny Rohn | FA2013 | TF, 8:00AM-10:00AM | DRA4127.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4127.01

An Introduction to the Art of Sound Design

How can music, voices, natural and human sounds be used to create a sonic world for live performance, recordings and visual media? This class explores how sound designers work with and manipulate these elements to create sound art. Classes include the exploration of the various uses of Pro Tools as a computer audio production tool for media and live performance, discussions on readings by and about important musical/sound artists, and weekly viewings of films that illustrate the concepts under discussion. Students are encouraged to enter into collaborations with directors, choreographers and film makers in the creation of their final projects. Prerequisites: None.

  • Julie Last | FA2011 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | MSR2100.01
  • Julie Last | FA2012 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | MSR2100.01
  • Scott Lehrer | FA2011 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | MSR2100.01

Animating the 2-Dimensional World

The class will be concerned with creating short animations utilizing two dimensional imagery. The animations will be created using After Effects, Photoshop, scanned and captured images and manipulated with After Effects and other software programmes. Original narratives or adapted stories will be used for the animations. Various animators will be looked at. Prerequisites: MA2325 Puppets and Animation 1 or permission of the instructor.

  • Sue Rees | FA2011 | T, 8:00AM-12:00PM | DRA4120.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2014 | M, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MA4101.01

Architectural Light

Light and architecture partner in shaping the appearance and our experience of all structures and spaces. This course will explore the interaction and interrelationship of light and architecture, from the perspectives of aesthetics, functionality and economics. Topics will include human vision and perception, color science of light sources, human factors in lighting design, daylight, developing lighting design ideas and approaches, applications of lighting technology, lighting considerations for different kinds of spaces, lighting for visual impact, and energy efficiency. Course work will consist of readings, demonstrations and discussions in class, and weekly assignments. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Giannitti | SP2011 | M, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2238.01
  • Michael Giannitti | SP2013 | M, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2238.01

Artist's Portfolio

Explaining art work often goes against the grain, yet artists are regularly called upon to articulate their processes, tools, and dynamics of collaboration. To help secure any of the myriad forms of institutional support including funding, venues, and engagements, artists must develop, creatively and flexibly, essential skills. Finding a public language for what is the private process of creation is an art in itself. Furthermore, understanding and discovering ways to adapt to changing economic realities is a critical component of making work; bringing the work into the world is a natural part of the artist's process. This course addresses basic issues involved in generating, developing, producing, and presenting art work. Students will write artist statements, press releases, biographical statements, resumes, c.v.'s, grants and cover letters; will prepare budgets, will organize promotional portfolios/videotapes; will interview each other; and will give short lecture demonstrations. Prerequisites: Advanced level work in one of the art forms. Permission of the instructor.

  • Dana Reitz | FA2012 | T, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DAN4366.01
  • Dana Reitz | FA2013 | T, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DAN4366.01
  • Dana Reitz | FA2014 | T, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DAN4366.01
  • Dana Reitz | FA2011 | T, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | VA4366.01

Basic Design Techniques of Theatrical Sound

Over four intensive sessions we will discuss the creative process of designing sound for plays and will look at the hardware and software tools used to express these designs. In the first two classes students will be introduced to the recording, editing and mixing techniques used in preparing music and sounds for theatrical productions. In the second weekend we will look at basic theatrical sound playback and reinforcement systems and examine how we approach programming our recorded sources for use in dramatic productions. After the introductory session, members of the class will have access to the Greenwall sound design studio for their projects throughout the term. This course will meet over three weekends. Saturday, March 1, 2 - 6:00pm and Sunday, March 2, 12:00 - 3:00pm and Sunday, March 9 1:00 - 5:00pm and Sunday, March 16, 1:00 - 4:00pm Prerequisites: None.

  • Leon Rothenberg | SP2014 | , - | DRA2245.01

Beat by Beat

Students in this class will read a selection of plays and be required to analyze and explore these plays beat by beat in class discussion and weekly critical writing exercises. This is a script interpretation class in which theme, dramatic structure and arc, character development, tone, style and extensive study of the given playwrights and their influences will be explored in detail. This is not a performance class, though it is suggested for actors, directors, playwrights, designers, and students from other disciplines interested in dramatic literature. Prerequisites: None.

  • Dina Janis | SP2011 | TF, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2122.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2013 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4122.01

Beginning Playwriting: One Act Structures

Emerson said: In skating over thin ice our safety is our speed. The same is true in this course as beginning playwrights will read and write a number of one-act plays in multiple styles and genres. There will be numerous writing exercises that focus on writing short plays and monologues. The exercises will focus on specific issues of craft, form, or genre. Playwrights will also be reading short plays from classic and contemporary authors (Anton Chekov, Vaclav Havel, Fernando Arrabal, Albee, Lynne Nottage, etc.) The objective is to challenge playwrights to venture out onto the thin ice of their own creativity (both stylistic and personal). We will achieve this by working quickly and by whetting our skates with questions of form and structure. Prerequisites: None.

  • John Walch | FA2014 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2146.01

Belarusian Dream: Human Rights & Performance

This course will be part of an international festival of short plays commemorating Belarusian Freedom Day, 25 March, the unofficial holiday invoked to express opposition to the current regime (referred to as the last dictatorship in Europe). The eight plays, four Belarusian and four international, explore human rights issues and promote social action. We will rehearse and stage the plays over the course of the spring term, with several debuting on 25 March 2014. Other venues throughout the world will be producing the same 8 plays on the same day; an international documentary film chronicling this event is planned. Production style will reflect the constraints under which artists standing up to repressive regimes must work: censorship, movable performances, ensemble work, and spare production elements. Student actors, directors, designers, and those interested in exploring theater for social action and the transformation of conflict are all encouraged to participate. Prerequisites: At least one term studying two of the following disciplines: acting, theater history, design, dramaturgy, stage management, directing, and/or politics, or permission of the instructor.

  • Jean Randich | SP2014 | MWThF, 6:30PM-10:10PM | DRA4182.01

Character and Modern Dress

This class will examine the utilization of fashion as a tool to tell the story of a character and a script. We will possibly have the opportunity to work with ""How Water Behaves"" and/ or ""Bellarusian Dream"" as part of the class. Prerequisites: None.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2279.01

Choice and Consequence: Alternative History

"The theater is the place where we learn how to be. At its best, it is a rehearsal for the great moments of our life, including our happinesses. Love, death, we see it on stage and it prepares us for our life"" -John Guare A play is a metaphoric and empathic art form that seduces us into imaginatively making choices and suffering consequences along with the characters on stage. Every day in the real world, we watch as people make choices whose consequences are truly ours to share - some global, some local, some only in our dreams. What if we could rewrite those choices? And change what happens to our lives, our world. We will spend a little time reading from the Alternative History canon, as well as novels and plays that reveal tragedies and comedies on page and stage. Students will then chose a person born since 1930, a public figure or a family member, research their life, identify a series of their choices and the resulting consequences, and then write a 20-45 minute play where a different choice is made, and the world, as defined by the world of the play, changes. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sherry Kramer | FA2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2277.01
  • Sherry Kramer | FA2013 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2277.01

Collaboration in Light, Movement, and Clothes

Visual elements are a significant component of performance, whether they be found in theatre, performance art, music or dance. With many performance projects, there is little time to contemplate, rethink or adjust designs in the actual performance space and little opportunity to understand the impact of visual factors on the performance itself, let alone a chance to revisit movement choice. There is rarely an opportunity to watch a collaborative art develop. In this class, equipped space is available to give the time to seriously look at and question the integration of performance elements. Furthermore, this situation is an opportunity to explore equal partnership among the collaborators, whose roles will shift. Students are actively involved in all aspects -- making movement, designing lighting and designing costumes. Explorations are structured for both formal theatrical contexts and informal studio situations as well as found environments. Time for group project development must be invested outside of class in the Martha Hill Theatre. While some projects are done on an individual basis, most coursework requires close collaboration with other students in the class and close observation of the work of others. All work done for the course is viewed and discussed by the class and instructors as a group. Lab is required. Prerequisites: Previous experience in drama, dance, or visual arts: in creating, directing, performing, and/or designing. Co-requisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4286.01
  • Dana Reitz | SP2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4286.01
  • Dana Reitz | SP2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4286.01
  • Daniel Michaelson | SP2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4286.01
  • Michael Giannitti | SP2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4286.01
  • Michael Giannitti | SP2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4286.01

Color in Light: Changing Perceptions

Light dramatically affects the way we look at the world, and the use of color in light adds to this drama. It can alter our sense of space and time, affect our emotions and subtly guide us in unexpected directions. In this class, we will focus on the impact of color in space, honing our skills in using it to translate and alter ideas. Students are expected to work in teams and independently, to develop ideas outside of class and present them to the group. Class critiques will be essential to help understand how well ideas are communicated in light. Brief writing assignments will sharpen observation skills as well. Prerequisites: None.

  • Rick Martin | SP2012 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2239.01

Comedy

Funny then, funny now, funny forever. What makes a great comedy great? In this course we'll examine the development of comic form and its relation to the social and aesthetic context that produces great comic drama. We'll begin with classical comedy, reading plays by Aristophanes, Plautus and Terence, then move to neoclassical comedy with Moliere, Jonson, and Shakespeare, followed by the Restoration writers Wycherley and Congreve. Finally, we'll look at their direct descendant, Oscar Wilde, and conclude with a couple of 20th century experimental playwrights. We'll also investigate comic theory in essays by Frye, Bergson, Meredith and others. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: Previous work in Drama or Literature at Bennington.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4220.01

Costume Construction Studio Basics

The goal of this course is to teach fundamental skills used every day in the construction of garments for the stage. After acquiring a variety of sewing techniques every costume technician needs, students will learn the rudiments of flat pattern manipulation and draping, enabling them to pattern and create a mock-up garment of their own design. Prerequisites: None.

  • Richard MacPike | FA2011 | Th, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2211.01
  • Richard MacPike | FA2013 | Th, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2211.01
  • Richard MacPike | SP2012 | Th, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2211.01

Costume Design for Multimedia

Costume is a consideration that must be addressed for virtually every human-based character in any medium. This class will focus on how to approach costume design in the context of a project you are working on, such as a film, video, or animation. We will explore design options based on character, period, style, and storyline. Class presentations may be drawn, illustrated, or storyboarded based on the nature of your project. Techniques for bringing your ideas to life, such as researching, building, and sourcing costumes, will be explored. Source materials such as scripts will be reviewed; presentations will be critiqued during class; class members may also work collaboratively on their projects. Prerequisites: The students must bring a project of their own to the class.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2014 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2246.02

Costume Design I: From Script to Stage

Students learn to analyze text for character and historical context as well as how to present and articulate their ideas in words and images. We start with a design for a character monologue; then move on to a television script or modern dress play, and a period project. While drawing skills are not necessary, students are expected to address and improve how to communicate their designs in various ways, therefore some drawing during the term can be expected. Prerequisites: DRA2216 The Scene: Theatrical Design History / DRA2153 History of Theater I (or equivalent).

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2012 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4206.01

Costume Design Projects

The focus of this intermediate/advanced class is the actual production, which the student designs, as well as any particular costume areas of interest. This might include period research, museum conservation of fabric, sketching, or costume construction. Prerequisites: DRA 2210 Introduction to Costume Design: Fig Leaves in the Theatrical Garden or permission of the instructor. Corequisites: Costume lab assignment.

  • Daniel Michaelson | SP2011 | T, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | DRA4210.01

Costume Design Projects for Dance

The focus of this class is the design of costumes for dancers. The members of the class will be designing the clothes for the performances in the Martha Hill Dance Concert as well as the WIP (works in progress) performances. Prerequisites: Students should have taken a Dance Composition course of 2000 or 4000 level, or a costume design or costume history course or obtain the permission of the instructor.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2012 | F, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DAN4206.01

Costume Rendering

This class will explore various methods of communicating one's design ideas to directors, performers, producers, and other members of a creative team. We will use traditional materials such as paper, pencil, and paint. We will also work in new media, such as 'Brushes' on tablets, or Photoshop. It is beneficial if students are comfortable drawing and familiar with programs like Photoshop. Prerequisites: None.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2012 | F, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DAN2205.01

Creating the Sensory World of a Play

How do you create imaginary rain or cold or heat? Where are you coming from when you enter a stage from the wings? How do you personalize and endow the set and props your character thinks of as real? What is substitution and how can it help bring the relationships of a play to life? In this class, we will work with the basic canon of sensory exercises designed to give the performer these skills of the imagination and body. We will utilize the improvisational techniques of actress and teacher- Kim Stanley- to explore place: how one creates place, and how this allows one to achieve the much sought after- privacy in public that allows for greater freedom of expression.

  • Dina Janis | FA2014 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2136.01

Creative Collaboration in Writing and Performance

This class is about surviving the crucible of creative collaboration to satisfy the instant gratification of a hungry audience. Students write, produce and perform serialized stories. The class will divide into story line teams; each team writes and performs three scenes of a developing narrative every week. Each episode will necessitate meeting at least four times per week with your group: 1) to write a first draft 2) to rewrite a performance draft 3) to rehearse/tech the performance and 4) to perform for the campus community (Thursdays at 10pm) the combined alternating scenes from all story lines. The first half of the term will be devoted to collaborative writing exercises and assignments used to develop formulas for quick generation and collaborative processing of material, to establish teams and each story's genre. Performances constitute the second half of the term. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor upon receipt of writing sample by November 2 and subsequent interview. Writing sample: hard copy, three pages minimum of dialogue or creative writing, submitted to Kirk Jackson, VAPA, E223.

  • Kirk Jackson | SP2011 | T, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | DRA4261.01
  • Kirk Jackson | SP2013 | T, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | DRA4261.01

Demystifying Scenic Design

Creating set designs for plays and musicals may seem like a great mystery, but the key to successful set design is always found in the authors original text. An understanding of that text is vital to creating an imaginative performance space that serves the storytelling. Once the essence of the original work is understood, the set designers creative process can begin. Students in this course will learn how to utilize the text to inspire their own set designs, through a series of group and individual creative projects. This is an introductory course in set design and is open to all students interested in the fundamental dynamics of theater. Corequisites: Dance or drama lab assignment. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Schweikardt | SP2014 | F, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2135.01

Design and/or Stage Management: School for Lies

Students in this course will engage in the process of set design, lighting design, and/or stage management for the production of THE SCHOOL FOR LIES. Class meetings will provide a forum and mentoring for students involved in design and/or stage management production projects, and out of class work on the production will be substantial. It is open to students who have completed at least one course in design, or have completed or are currently enrolled in a stage management course. While the production will provide the context for most of the work, other assignments may complement the produced work. Students should expect that the hours required to complete the work will not be equally distributed throughout the term; during production periods, much more intensive work is necessary. Students may take this course for two or four credits, depending on their desired work load. Students in the two and four credit section meet together weekly as a class. The amount of credit is based on project magnitude and duration. Depending on the College production calendar, students enrolled for two credits may be able to complete most of their work within half of the term. Prerequisites: One design or stage management course, or current enrollment in DRA2251 Stage Management Process.

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2012 | M, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DAN4291.01

Designing a Light Plot

As a follow-up to the course Working With Light, students in this class will learn how to merge lighting design ideas with the constraints inherent in theater spaces, scenery and lighting equipment. Design drafting will be emphasized in this course. In one major project, students will synthesize and apply material covered to develop (on paper) a complete lighting design. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: DRA2234 Working With Light in first half of term (or a previous term).

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2012 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | DAN2245.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2235.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2235.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2235.02

Devising Performance and Collaborative Creation

Devised Performance emerged in the 50s and 60s when American avant-garde groups such as the Living Theatre and Open Theatre pioneered non-text-based rehearsal and performance practices to liberate and empower the actor. We will investigate the history, philosophies, and evolving techniques of this ensemble-based movement in which the company generates all aspects of the performance. Looking at the work of Augusto Boal, Elevator Repair Service, and Theatre de Complicite, among others, we will explore how devised performance has been invoked for aesthetic, political, visual, and social ends. Students participate in physical exercises, improvisations, games, and create collaborative works throughout the term. The final project is a showing of short pieces of devised performance. Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites but a spirit of collaboration is welcome.

  • Jean Randich | SP2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2134.01

Directing I: The Director's Vision

What is action? What is character? What are gesture, timing, rhythm, and stakes? How do actors, playwrights, and directors collaborate in the creation of a story that happens in time and space? This seminar offers theater artists the chance to examine their craft from the inside out. In the first half of this course, non-writers make up stories, non-actors act, and those who have never directed direct. We begin by exploring the energy in the body, focusing on stillness and release. We continue with physical exercises from both the eastern and western traditions leading into improvisation as a method for tapping the sources of true impulses. We consider the Viewpoints as a tool for creating kinetic compositions spontaneously in space. In the text analysis section, we study the expression of action and character through structure and dialogue. We hone our verbal skills through warm-up, dropping in, and imaging exercises. By midterm, everyone directs a short scene from Chekhov. At the same time, students learn to express character/action through costume, spatial, and sound design. In the second half of the term, the students direct and perform a series of scenes from one contemporary play. Directors and actors work together to rehearse, design, stage, and present a public performance of this event. Prerequisites: Two to three prior terms in at least two of the following: stage-management, dramatic literature, acting, playwriting or design and permission of Instructor.

  • Jean Randich | SP2011 | F, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4332.01
  • Jean Randich | SP2012 | F, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4332.01
  • Jean Randich | SP2013 | F, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4332.01
  • Jean Randich | SP2014 | F, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4332.01

Directing II

We will address the process of discerning a text's dramatic potential and realizing that potential in performance by developing and implementing a directorial approach through analysis and rehearsal techniques. The term is divided between exercises and rehearsal of individual projects. The work of the course will culminate in a director's approach essay, a rehearsal log, and an open performance of student-directed scenes. Prerequisites: DRA4332 Directing I plus two courses in one of the following: a) design, b) stage management, or c) play analysis or playwriting.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2011 | F, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4376.01
  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2013 | F, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4376.01
  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2014 | F, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4376.01
  • Kirk Jackson | FA2012 | F, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4376.01

Drama Faculty Production: Backstage

Working back stage on the Drama Faculty production provides an opportunity to learn what is involved in putting on a performance, and to observe the creative process of the director, designers and actors first hand. Students will fill a role through the week of technical rehearsals and performances, either as general run crew, light or sound board operator, or wardrobe crew, and will be expected to submit a journal reflecting on the experience at the conclusion of the production. The Spring 2014 production will be HOW WATER BEHAVES by Sherry Kramer, directed by DIna Janis. The approximate schedule will be: April 28-May 1 (Mon-Thurs) 6:30-11:30 pm; May 2-3 (Fri-Sat) 6:30-10:30 pm; May 4 (Sun) 6:30-11:30 pm. It is likely that a few additional sessions will be scheduled during the preceding week. ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE AVAILABLE AT ALL OF THE TIMES LISTED ABOVE. This course will meet intensively during the times listed, and not for the entire term. Taking this course will fulfill any drama or dance lab requirement. No previous technical theater experience is required. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Michael Giannitti | SP2014 | , - | DRA4179.01

Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama

This course investigates the great flourishing of drama in late 16th and early 17th century England, a period of little more than fifty years that produced the most robust theater in the English-speaking world. We read plays by several of the major writers of the period, with the exception of Shakespeare: Kyd, Marlowe, Green, Jonson, Dekker, Heywood, Webster, Middleton and Ford. We note the influence of medieval drama on the development of Elizabethan drama by reading examples of the morality play and the English cycle play. We pay particular attention to conventions of Elizabethan theater practice and the relationship of the audience to the theatrical event. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: One dramatic literature or literature course.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2014 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA4361.01

Embodying Action in Drama

How does one choose an action as an actor? How does one understand the arc of the action in a play or text that one is directing? How does one embody action, personalize it, understand it in one's own terms and bring it to life on the stage? Through the in-depth study of the canon of dramatic theory on this subject, analysis of plays with the specific goal of breaking them down in terms of actions and beat changes, as well as the practice of embodying our choices in scene work on our feet- this class will strive to zero in on this often discussed but little understood theoretical and practical concept in drama. Prerequisites: At least one prior acting, directing, or playwriting class.

  • Dina Janis | FA2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4107.01

Embodying Structure: Construction of the Corset

In order to construct a historical costume accurately one often needs to start with the foundation garments of that period. This course will examine how corsets and their construction play a role in re-creating period silhouettes. Students will learn how to reproduce period corset patterns as well as construct the corsets with all their structural elements. Particular attention will be paid to fit and how well the natural body is transformed. DRA2211 Costume Construction Studio Basics or prior sewing experience preferred but not required. Prerequisites: None.

  • Richard MacPike | FA2012 | Th, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2213.01

Embodying Text: Shakespeare and Beyond

This course takes students through an investigation of text analysis for performance: scansion, rhythm, sense stress, image work, phonetic phraseology, etc. and explores techniques for enlivening that analysis within the performing body. We study the structure of verse and elements of rhetoric as the primary source for an actor's investigation and performance of a role. We will study how heightened language combined with personalization, characterization and actor-audience relationship informs the physical, vocal, emotional, and intellectual responsiveness of an actor. Prerequisites: DRA2170 Actor's Instrument and permission of the instructor. Co-requisites: Dance or Drama Lab assignment.

  • Kirk Jackson | SP2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4162.01

Faculty Performance Production: Angels in America

After I wrote Louis' line, 'There are no Angels in America,' I made a note in the margin; Louis is wrong." Tony Kushner Angels in America (1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama plus countless other awards) continues to impact and influence American theater since it was first produced twenty years ago. Playwright Tony Kushner's Gay Fantasia on National Themes gave voice to the anger and frustration of a generation ravaged by AIDS, demonized by the government and ignored by the press. 'Angels' also moved the country toward a deeper understanding of the tragedy and offered us hope. In addition to its extraordinary sense of mission, Angels in America relishes in a lively mix of historical, political, racial, sexual, social and spiritual commentary as well as characters and situations that are larger than life and heartbreakingly recognizable. We will present both Part 1: Millennium Approaches and Part 2: Perestroika with two separate casts that share performance dates and venue. We will examine the political, social and epidemiological environment of NYC and its greater place in Reagan America. This course represents the hours of study both in and out of rehearsal necessary to build a grounded performance and develop as a member of an ensemble. Prerequisites: By audition only. Student should prepare a two-minute memorized monologue. Drama auditions to be held during the first week of the term.

  • Jenny Rohn | FA2011 | MTWTh, 6:30PM-10:30PM | DRA4303.01
  • Kirk Jackson | FA2011 | MTWTh, 6:30PM-10:30PM | DRA4303.01

Faculty Performance Production: Great Expectations

Long before the feel-good self-help industry gave us "pay it forward", Charles Dickens gave us Great Expectations. The story of orphan Pip's social, moral and educational coming-of-age serves as critique of the wages of progress and the eternal value of friendship and gratitude. Dickens' genius for creating memorable characters is robus, from young Pip, loyal Joe, his spiteful wife, the distant Estella, Magwitch the convict, Jaggers the lawyer, and most famously the bitter enigmatic Miss Havisham. In our ensembl-based adaptation the twenty plus characters and the story's first-person narrator will be collectively shared by multiple voices. Dickens loved the theater and stage adaptations of his novels have proliferated since he himself began the tradition of performing A Christmas Carol. This class consists of the hours of study in and out of rehearsal necessary for an actor to build a successful performance in production. Prerequisites: By audition only. Students should prepare a two minute memorized monologue to be scheduled during Drama auditions held the first week of term.

  • Kirk Jackson | FA2013 | Sa, 1:00PM- 5:00PM | DRA4575.01

Faculty Performance Production: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare's early tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, ripples with lush poetry, bawdy comedy, and raw violence, culminating in a headlong chase to a sudden end. Wildly popular in Shakespeare's time and equally in our own, Romeo and Juliet nevertheless poses unsettling questions about love, life, and death. We will focus on uncovering just how embedded in Elizabethan conventions Shakespeare's play is, and tease out how these issues resonate today. We will work as an ensemble incorporating fights, dancing, and music into an intense, pared down version of the play. The goal is to speak the speech, fight the fights, and play the play authentically, delivering a 2011 punch. Prerequisites: Auditions will be held the first week of the Spring 2011 term. Actors are requested to audition with a Shakespearean monologue of their choice. Musicians, dancers, composers, designers, and other artists are encouraged to audition as well.

  • Jean Randich | SP2011 | TWThF, 7:00PM-10:00PM | DRA4302.01

Five Approaches to Acting

Taking as our premise that acting is the study of the art of human relationships (actor to actor as well as actor to audience) this course is a comprehensive overview of the theories behind the practice of various ways an actor works from a script to create a character to tell a story. Using the text book "Five Approaches to Acting" by David Kaplan as a study guide, as well as supplemental reading from Stanislavski, Brecht and social anthroplogist Ruth Benedict, we will read plays from Euripedes to Neil Simon and study performance on film from Lillian Gish to Robert DeNiro. Assignments will include both written responses and scene work. Prerequisites: DRA 2170 The Actor's Instrument. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Kirk Jackson | SP2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4170.01
  • Kirk Jackson | SP2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4170.01

Greek Tragedy: Plays and Theory

This course investigates the great beginning of the western dramatic tradition in fifth-century Athens. We'll read plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and theories of tragedy by Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Hegel. Students will write two essays. Prerequisites: One dramatic literature or literature course or one drama course in acting, directing, or playwriting.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2013 | W, 8:00AM-12:00PM | DRA4105.01

History of Animation

We will study past and present styles of animation, and examine animations from the 1800's through to the present. We'll begin with the early devices used to create moving images, through to contemporary artists and production companies such as The Brothers Quay, William Kentridge, Aardman Productions, and Pixar. There will be regular film screenings. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sue Rees | FA2011 | M, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | DRA2137.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2012 | M, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | MA2137.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2013 | M, 6:30PM- 8:20PM | MA2137.01

History of Dress Part II: Rococo to Modern

The focus of this class will be on Western European and United States clothing, though students will do individual reports on non-western clothing, as well. We will see how period clothing has been interpreted by costume designers in film and other media ('Marie Antoinette','The Young Victoria' for example) and by designers working in their own period ('The Philadelphia Story' 1940, costume design by Adrian). Prerequisites: None.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2012 | F, 2:10PM- 5:00PM | DRA2212.01

History of Theater I

This course examines the history and aesthetics of the theater, including the development of staging, production, and acting methods and styles. In the fall of 2012 we will read representative plays from Ancient Greece through seventeenth-century Restoration England. Along with the plays, we'll look at critical and theoretical essays that elucidate the historical context and dramatic conventions of these works. Students will take midterm and final exams and write one essay. Prerequisites: None.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2153.01
  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2014 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2153.01

History of Theater II: Modern Drama

This course examines the history and aesthetics of the theater, including the development of staging, production, and acting methods and styles. In the fall of 2013 we will read representative plays from the modern canon, beginning with the experiments in Naturalism in the nineteenth century through twentieth century modernism to the contemporary drama of today. Along with the plays, we'll look at critical and theoretical essays that elucidate the historical context and dramatic conventions of these works. Students will write one essay and take midterm and final exams. Prerequisites: None.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2013 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2154.01
  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2011 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT2130.01

Honors Seminar: Theory and Practice of Dramaturgy

In this course we'll look at the history and practice of dramaturgy and introduce some tools and methods of that practice, including text analysis, editing, and adaptation. Along with assignments on individual texts, students will observe rehearsals in DRA4376 Directing II and prepare rehearsal notes. The student's major work for the term will be the preparation of a Protocol, or Preproduction Casebook. Prerequisites: Advanced work in Drama or Literature.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | LIT4340.01

How Water Behaves

This class will be a Production Performance class designed to develop, explore and present this new work by playwright Sherry Kramer. It will be audition based and will have room for various ensemble members in addition to assistant directors, dramaturgs, and designers. Prerequisites: by audition and permission of instructor.

  • Dina Janis | SP2014 | MTWTh, 6:30PM-10:30PM | DRA4216.01

Intermediate Playwriting: The Scene & Structure

The scene is to the playwright as the chapter is to the novelist; it is the primary building block of the play. Working playwrights craft their plays by putting one scene in front of (or behind, or on top of) another. This course invites intermediate and advanced playwrights to enter their plays through scene work and will challenge writers to write in a number of different styles and genres. Playwrights own creative work will be supplemented and enhanced with readings and discussions of scenes from an assortment of plays in order to explore how scenes function both unto themselves and in the larger structure of plays. Simultaneously, playwrights will be writing their own longer plays. Prerequisites: permission of Sherry Kramer

  • John Walch | FA2014 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4140.01

Introduction to Set Design

This class is concerned with taking a text, analyzing it and then producing designs for a performance space. The class is designed for students who are interested in set design and multi-media design, with an emphasis placed on combining forms. Various artists will be looked at as well as a variety of media investigated, basic VectorWorks drafting, and media projection. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sue Rees | FA2011 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MA2215.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2012 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MA2215.01

Light Art

What is light art? How does one look at, think about, and describe this inherently cross-disciplinary medium? We will start with a look at some prominent light artists, such as Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell, Dan Flavin, Jenny Holzer and others who have worked with light bulbs, projection and/or daylight, followed by a brief look at the work of acclaimed cinematographers. Participants will learn to respond critically to these images, both in presentations and in writing; will learn the fundamentals of operating common light sources, including incandescent, fluorescent and LED; and then will design and make light art pieces of their own. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Giannitti | SP2013 | M, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2228.01
  • Michael Giannitti | SP2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2228.01

Live Sound System Design

This class will focus on understanding the conceptual building blocks of live performance sound systems, from the sound source and microphone to the loudspeaker and listener. We will examine the sound requirements of various live performance venues and will develop system approaches appropriate to them. Students are required to do sound for campus productions or concerts to apply these skills in a real world production environment. (Note: This course meets every other week, alternating with MSR4362 Song Production). Prerequisites: MSR 2206 Sound Design for Media and Performance or MSR 2152 Beginning Workshop in Recording. Corequisites: Sound mixing for campus concerts or sound design for a campus production.

  • Scott Lehrer | FA2011 | F, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA4358.01
  • Scott Lehrer | SP2013 | F, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MSR4358.01

Making Yesterday New

Ever had an interest in vintage clothing? Have you ever contemplated the fashion trends of decades past? Ever see a vintage dress that you thought you'd love to reproduce? In this course students will explore and research the fashions of 3 iconic decades; the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's. Students will then design a dress which fits into the silhouette of the period and construct these designs through draping and/or flat pattern manipulation. Prerequisites: DRA 2211, DRA 2213, or permission of instructors

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2014 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4189.01
  • Richard MacPike | SP2014 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4189.01

Masks

Masks' is dedicated to the opening up of physical and vocal expression. To further that goal, this advanced performance class works with several groups of masks. In general masks can be used to hide and reveal, to disguise and transform, to attract, arouse and fire the imagination. Beginning with Jacques Lecoq's neutral mask exercises involving economy of effort and Mexican mask improvisations, the work extends to personal clown statements and verse expression. The second half of the term branches into two parts: spontaneous build up of a fantasy community and careful development of two individual monologues taken from a medieval play, which focus on such personages as Pride, Mercy, Avarice, Envy and Truth. Storytelling combines selected physical gestures and medieval text in site-specific monologues. Required: reading of a medieval play and selected hand outs, and development of source material. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Previous study in Dance or Drama recommended. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Janis Young | SP2014 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4331.01

Meisner Technique

"If you are really doing it, you don't have time to watch yourself doing it." Sanford Meisner was an actor and founding member of the Group Theater. He went on to become a Master Teacher of Acting who sought to give students an organized approach to the creation of truthful behavior on stage within the imaginary circumstances of a play. The class focuses on developing an actor's ability to listen, follow their impulses, trust their instincts, and work from moment to moment off of an acting partner. We will explore repetition, indepedent activities, emotional preparation and text work. The class will require extensive out-of-class preparation, with a minimum of six hours a week for rehearsals and the crafting of exercises. In addition we will be reading Eleanora Duse's biography, A Mystic in the Theater. Prerequisites: One 4000-level acting class and permission of the instructor. Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab assignment.

  • Jenny Rohn | SP2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4268.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4268.01

Methods of Lighting Design, via Text and Music

An introduction to the methods and techniques of stage lighting design, using dramatic literature and music as the genesis for design ideas. Students will explore the creation of lighting ideas by investigating the light they observe in their every day environments, as well as the images they discover through the reading and discussion of selected plays. There will also be special emphasis placed on the role of music in creating lighting ideas, and the way lighting designs are generated for music-specific events, such as musical theater, opera and concerts. Class time will be devoted to the practical exploration of lighting techniques generated by previous class discussions. Prerequisites: None.

  • Matthew Adelson | SP2012 | F, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA2226.01

Motion Capture: Interactivity

This workshop is concerned with investigating the interaction of projected manipulated imagery with performers, motion, and space and its use in performance. Using Watchout, a multi-display production software, and utilizing various other tools such as live cameras, animations, motion sensing input devices, and real-world inputs, students will investigate the integration of live performance and multimedia design. Integrating ways to use live video within a performance or installation will be experimented with, including real-time manipulation, tracking, and projections on a variety of surfaces, static and in action. Investigation will center on how projections alter the reality of what they are projected on and our perception of what is real. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor.

  • Joshua Higgason | SP2014 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4208.01

New Play Development: Rewriting in Company

For students with completed first drafts of plays. We will create a workshop environment, and all students in the class will make contributions to each play, serving as actors, directors, and dramaturges in turn. Different models for generating new work and presenting it will be studied and sampled. Two full drafts of plays are expected, culminating in a finished draft and a staged reading. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; writing sample required

  • Sherry Kramer | SP2014 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4213.01

Off the Page: Conceptualization and Collaboration

The collaborative process is central to the development of most theatrical work, yet it is often first experienced when people come together to work on a project with imminent production deadlines. Students in this course will have the opportunity to experience the initial portions of the collaborative process several times over, through a series of class projects, free of the pressures of production. After initial discussion of the collaborative process itself, students will work in teams to develop conceptual approaches to a range of plays which pose substantial design challenges. Team composition will change with each project so that students will experience working with an assortment of collaborators. Groups will share the results of their exploratory work by summarizing their process and the ideas discussed, and presenting visual research and some basic sketches showing their proposed design choices. Additional group meetings will be organized outside of class. Project work will be augmented by visits from several distinguished guest artists, who will critique the group project work and discuss their successful collaborative experiences with the class. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment.

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2013 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2105.01

Otherness in Performance

This course examines dramatic texts that thematize otherness as a concern. Why has difference served as a compelling way of defining the normative? What role does stereotype play? How do artists of color respond to the dominant culture and create alternate identifications? We will consider plays, films, and musicals that feature the representation of difference in gender, race, religion, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Potential authors: Euripides, Shakespeare, Buechner, Ping Chong, Suzan-Lori Parks, Young Jean Lee, Anna Deavere Smith, among others. Prerequisites: None.

  • Jean Randich | SP2014 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2218.01

Out of the Ordinary- Costume Design for Fantasy

This class will focus on designing costumes for characters that exist in fantasy worlds. Students will explore methodology to create the costume that they would wear. Research sources will include aspects of period dress, works of art, and the students own imaginations. Note: this is not a construction class. Prerequisiites: Costume history, costume rendering or at least one class in a visual discipline are highly recommended. Students should have strong creative impulses and good research skills. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2013 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2244.01

Packaging the Body: The History of Fashion

This class will examine the history of fashion, primarily but not exclusively in the western world. The class will be oriented towards the use of historic costume by costume designers. Students will explore art works illustrative of the period styles and the interpretation of those styles by designers. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment. Prerequisites: None.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2223.01

Performance Production: Dancing at Lughnasa

This course is for students cast in a faculty-directed drama production, representing the hours of study both in and out of rehearsal necessary for an actor to build a successful performance in production. Rehearsals, techs, and performances constitute the student's commitment.

  • Jenny Rohn | FA2014 | MTWTh, 6:30PM-10:30PM | DRA4214.01

Performance Production: The School for Lies

Rambunctious, sexy, snide, witty and it rhymes! In the fall of 2012 Drama will present The School for Lies, David Ives's hip and hilarious adaptation of Moliere's 17th-century comic masterpiece The Misanthrope. Like the original, the play skewers hypocrisy in the arenas of love, law, and art, at the same time paying sly homage to Richard Wilbur's great verse translation from the 1950s. This faculty-directed production will guide the student actor toward a successful performance of the play, with preparation, rehearsals, and performances constituting the students' commitment. Prerequisites: By audition only. Students should prepare a two-minute memorized monologue to be scheduled during Drama auditions held the first week of term.

  • Kathleen Dimmick | FA2012 | MWThF, 7:00PM-10:00PM | DRA4305.01

Performance Production: When You're Here

In Samuel D. Hunter's new play, When You're Here, "It's Famiglia Week at the Olive Garden on the brink of extinction in Pocatello, Idaho, where corporate culture has become the culture. As two families try to reconcile past and present, they search for a new definition of home, a new way to relate to the world - and to each other." 2011 Obie Award-winning playwright Sam Hunter will be in residence this spring at Bennington College. In staging his new play, students will experience first hand what goes into crafting an original work of theater that speaks to our financially and emotionally precarious time. This course represents the hours of study both in and out of rehearsal necessary for artists to create a successful performance in production. This course may also be of interest to designers, assistant directors, musicians, dancers, and dramaturges. Rehearsals, techs, and performances constitute students' commitment. Prerequisites: By audition only. Students should prepare a two-minute memorized monologue to be scheduled during Drama auditions held the first week of the term.

  • Jean Randich | SP2012 | TWThF, 7:00PM-10:00PM | DRA4304.01

Playscript Development

In the modern American theater, few new plays make it to the stage before going through several drafts. A key component of playwriting is the ability to take notes, receive feedback, and push a script further through rewrites. In this course, students will act as both playwright and director as they push existing material through a developmental process. We will spend time reading plays and dramatic theory/criticism, but the bulk of our time will be spent discussing and shaping student work. All students are expected to have either a full draft that is in need of development or a large amount of material they wish to shape into a full length play. Students will be expected to both give notes on other student plays and rewrite their own plays, culminating in a final presentation at the end of the term. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Email material that is intended to be workshopped in the class to samhunter1@gmail.com no later than October 28.

  • Sam Hunter | SP2012 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA4367.01

Playwriting: Structuring the Drama

2300 years ago, Aristotle analyzed Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and gave us one of the earliest examples of dramatic theory. His ideas of plot, character, reversal, climax, etc., have fundamentally shaped our idea of how plays operate. But two millennia later, how have our ideas of dramatic structure changed? As dramatists, what new, evolving dramaturgical tools do we have at our disposal? We will spend some time looking at some ideas and writings from dramatic theory, but the bulk of our time will be spent reading and writing plays. Students will complete short writing assignments throughout the semester, and will write a one-act play as a final project. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sam Hunter | SP2012 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2273.01

Projects in Costume Design: 'Angels in America'

This intermediate/advanced class will focus on researching, analyzing, conceptualizing and realizing the clothes for over thirty characters, contemporary, historic and otherworldly, that inhabit Tony Kushner's classic play. The fall Faculty Production of both Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika will share a design aesthetic but utilize separate casts. Hours required are not solely confined to class time and may include attendance at some production meetings (Mondays 1-2) and evening technical rehearsals. Prerequisites: DRA2210 Introduction to Costume Design: Fig Leaves in the Theatrical Garden and production experience in any design, management, or performance capacity. Corequisites: Costume lab assignment.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2011 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4211.01

Projects in Costume Design: Myths & Hymns

This class will be focused primarily on the creation of costumes for the faculty directed production of Adam Guettel's "Myths and Hymns", directed by Jean Randich with costume design by Chiip Schoonmaker. The class will be involved in production meetings, design meetings, fittings and rehearsals. The class will also be involved in research, shopping, sourcing fabrics and accessories as well as assisting with hair and make up design. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Students with a variety of interests and backgrounds besides fashion and costume are encouraged to inquire.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | SP2013 | , - | DRA4156.01

Puppets and Animation I

The class will be concerned with animating inanimate objects by strings, drawn and digital animation, human puppets, and mechanical means. A variety of filmmakers and techniques will be looked at including The Brothers Quay, Jan Svankmajer, Jiri Trnka, Ladislaw Starewicz, and William Kentridge. Students will be expected to produce a variety of short projects followed by a longer more sustained project based on current events and issues. Students will be additionally instructed in using video editing software and various other programs. Students are required to take MA2137 History of Animation in conjunction with this class. The subject matter of assignments will have roots in the soil--gardening and plants. The class will have group workshops, field trips and showings during the term with FV2101 Introduction to Video students who will be working with the same subject matter. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: MA2137 History of Animation (M 6:30 - 8:20 pm). Lab, Tuesdays 1- 2 pm.

  • Sue Rees | FA2011 | M, 8:00AM-12:00PM | MA2325.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2012 | M, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MA2325.01
  • Sue Rees | FA2013 | T, 8:20AM-12:00PM | MA2325.01

Queer Theater

This class will look at theater through the lens of 20th Century artists and works that address, use, or challenge norms of gender, sexuality, and otherness to question politics, aesthetics, and discourse. We will primarily read, view, analyze, and discuss texts for performance. Students will write a paper and create a project based on their own exploration either individually or in groups. Students enrolled in this class may also be interested in DRA2217 Tennessee Williams: Poet of the Heart that meets at the same time for the first 7 weeks of term. Prerequisites: None.

  • Kirk Jackson | FA2012 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA2145.01

Resisting the Stitch

This class is an exploration in fabric modification through the use of dyes and various stitched resist techniques often referred to as shibori. Students will learn to work with acid, direct, cold process, union, and natural dyes. Concurrently students will learn a variety of resist techniques such as kanoko, mokume, orinui, makinui, karamatsu, boshi, arashi, itajime, adire eleso, and katano which create patterns and designs on fabrics when dyed and/or overdyed. Prerequisites: None.

  • Richard MacPike | FA2014 | Th, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2126.01
  • Richard MacPike | SP2013 | Th, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2126.01

Scenes from Dramatic Literature: Landford Wilson

In this advanced scene study class students will immerse themselves in the life and plays of Landford Wilson. Students will read selected plays in addition to biographies, period research materials, and critical reviews of various work and productions of his plays. The bulk of expected class work will be in the form of extensive out of class rehearsal with scene partners. Students can expect approximately six hours of out-of-class rehearsal time per week. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Dina Janis | SP2012 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4171.01

Scenes from Dramatic Literature: Wendy Wasserstein

This advanced level scene class will be run in a traditional conservatory master class format. Students will be required to read the canon of Wasserstein's work during the first several weeks of the term, choose scenes and monologues to work on, find scene partners, rehearse extensively weekly with their scene partners, present each and every week of the term, possibly culminating in an end of term showing. Rigorous and extensive out side of class rehearsal and research is assumed. Prerequisites: Extensive acting training and permission of the instructor.

  • Dina Janis | SP2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4176.01

Science, Drama & The Power of the Inquisitive Mind

"Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so" Galileo "To be or not to be, that is the question" Shakespeare How do the worlds of science and theater connect and what do they share? What is the role of the revolutionary thinker in society? We will study a variety of dramatic texts that look at these questions, exploring the nature of the inquisitive mind and its relationship to social, cultural and political systems throughout history. Students in this class will develop scenes for presentation from a small canon of plays that include: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, The Physicist by Friedrich Durrenmatt, Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, Proof by David Aubern, and The Doctor's Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw - among others. We will study in depth the lives and discoveries depicted in these plays and the way in which society was impacted by these discoveries. Rehearsals of scenes outside of class, several research-based papers as well as end of term performance can be expected. Students from varied disciplines are welcome. Prerequisites: None.

  • Dina Janis | FA2012 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2259.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2259.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2011 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2259.01

Sensory Exploration Lab

What is Sense Memory? How does one create the world of the play sensorially and bring it to life on the stage? How does one prepare the previous circumstances to a scene and embody them in the context of the play? This process-based class will explore, in-depth and on our feet, a series of exercises designed to achieve greater sensory skill in acting technique. Actors will be required to prepare one such exercise each week and share this in class in an "actors gym" atmosphere traditional in this kind of training. There will be extensive class readings investigating the history and development of these kinds of techniques as well as the theater makers known for this development. Film and video will be regularly viewed for our analysis as well. Reading will include: A Dream of Passion by Lee Strasberg, On Method Acting by Dwight Easty, An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski. An attempt will be made to demystify this often misunderstood, basic acting technique. Prerequisites: DRA2170 The Actor's Instrument, DRA4332 Directing I, or a beginning playwriting course.

  • Dina Janis | SP2011 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4272.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA4272.01

Set Design Fundamentals

Before the first words are spoken on stage, the audience is confronted by the set design, setting the tone and their expectations. This course will explore the process of developing a set design through the analysis of 5 plays: Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, Suzan Lori-Parks' In The Blood, William Shakespeare's Hamlet, David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. As a class we will examine each text and engage in defining "the world of the play". We will consider such questions as: what do we mean by realism? What is a psychological space? Can you successfully recontextualize a play to understand its meaning in the present culture? Students will be asked to read each play and generate visual responses through a variety of media including 2D and 3D collage.The second half of the semester will focus on developing these ideas into a set design through research, drafted groundplans, and scale models. There will be weekly assignments, group discussions and critiques, technical demonstrations, and in-class model building projects. Prerequisite: basic drafting and model making skills and permission of the instructor.

  • Andromache Chalfant | SP2013 | F, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA4178.01

Setting the Stage

A set design communicates lots of information to an audience, and provides the physical world in which a performance takes place. Students in this course will work through the process of designing a stage set. Basic design principles and conceptualization, play analysis, theatrical style, research, drafting and model making will all be covered. Students will be expected to read each play and respond with various types of visual images, including research, sketches, plans and models. Although design for live performance will be the focus, this class will be useful for students shaping space in other media.

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2014 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2128.01

Solo Performance - Telling My Story

Students develop original and/or primary source material and explore its shape, arc, and thematic whole in a performance medium that can involve text, movement, characterization, and personal examination and observation. We will view solo performance artists. Students write, edit, rewrite multiple drafts and perform original memorized material. Class work will be tailored around the specific challenges facing individual participants and will culminate in a final showing of an original solo performance piece approximately ten minutes in length. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor upon receipt of a writing sample and brief description of project goal submitted no later than October 28. (VAPA faculty box or email to kjackson2@bennington.edu) Individual conferences will be scheduled between 10/28 and 11/4. A class list will be posted November 7.

  • Kirk Jackson | SP2012 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4322.01

Stage Management

Students explore the role of the stage manager in the production process in this class. Readings, discussions, and projects on topics including scheduling, play breakdowns, prompt book preparation, blocking notation, ground plan and theatre layout, and the running of rehearsals and performances are included. The relationship of the stage manager to others involved in the process is also addressed. A significant and required part of the coursework is work as stage manager or assistant stage manager on a College production to gain first-hand knowledge and experience. This production component lasts from two to eight weeks, and may include attendance at all rehearsals held for the particular production. Adjustments are made regarding other assignments for this class due to the production demands. Prerequisites: None Co requisites: Stage Management Lab assignment.

  • Michael Giannitti | SP2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2241.01

Stage Management Process

Students explore the role and process of the stage manager in this course. Readings, discussions, and projects on topics including scheduling, play breakdowns, prompt book preparation, blocking notation, ground plan and theater layout, and the running of rehearsals and performances are included. The relationship of the stage manager to others involved in production is also addressed. Those who would like to apply material covered in a production context may co-register for the two-credit DRA4290 Design and/or Stage Management: School for Lies course. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2012 | T, 8:10AM-10:00AM | DRA2251.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2251.01

Tennessee Williams: Poet of the Heart

Tennessee Williams was one of America's most famous and prolific playwrights. Awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he was also blacklisted by Roman Catholic Cardinal Spellman who called one of his plays, "revolting, deplorable, morally repellant, and offensive to Christian standards of decency." His plays are deeply personal, filled with private anguish and apprehension. We will explore his life and how it informed his work by reading aloud and analyzing several of his major and lesser-known plays. We will also read the biography Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams by Lyle Leverich. Students enrolled in this class may also be interested in DRA2145 Queer Theater that meets at the same time for the second 7 weeks of term. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Jenny Rohn | FA2012 | W, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DRA2217.01

The Actor's Instrument

The craft of acting will be the main focus of this class. Through physical and vocal warm-up exercises, sensory exploration, improvisation, scene work, and extensive reading students will be asked to develop an awareness of their own unique instrument as actors and learn to trust their inner impulses where this is concerned. Extensive out of class preparation of specific exercises as well as rehearsal with scene partners will constitute the bulk of expected work. Students can expect this to amount to six hours of required rehearsal time per week. In addition students will read several plays throughout the term, as well as weekly theory handouts. The writings, exercises, and work of such theater artists as Anne Bogart, Constantin Stanislavski, Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, Jerzy Grotowski among others will be researched and discussed in class. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Dina Janis | FA2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Dina Janis | SP2014 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Kirk Jackson | SP2012 | MTh, 4:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2013 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | DRA2170.01
  • Jenny Rohn | FA2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2011 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Kirk Jackson | FA2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Kirk Jackson | FA2013 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2170.01
  • Dina Janis | FA2013 | MTh, 8:00AM-10:00AM | DRA2170.02
  • Jenny Rohn | FA2012 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | DRA2170.02
  • Dina Janis | FA2014 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2170.02
  • Jenny Rohn | FA2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2170.02

The Concentrated Moment: The Art of Auditioning

Auditions are an opportunity to develop your artistic voice and your confidence in that voice through self-critique. In this class we will work to demystify the process of auditioning and understand how to prepare and present work under challenging circumstances. We will cover cold readings, monologue and prepared scenes, with an in depth look at each step of the process, from the artist's point of view. We will address physical movement, text analysis, making choices, taking direction, interviewing, prep and post audition activity in order to experience the entire audition as a work of artistic expression. We will work towards developing a sense of self-evaluation that allows us to be independent of the need for feedback as well as the skills to participate in constructive feedback sessions. Students present work weekly. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

  • Jenny Rohn | SP2014 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4103.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2011 | W, 9:30AM-12:00PM | DRA4103.01

The Costumes of 'Wolf Hall'

This course will be a study of Hilary Mantel's novel "Wolf Hall" from the vantage point of clothing. The novel details a dynamic period in history, when King Henry VIII of England was attempting to annul his first marriage and marry Anne Boleyn. We will have the opportunity to study Tudor costume from both historic and dramatic vantage points, and we will look at how this moment in history has been portrayed in film and on television.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4121.01

The History of Dress Part I: Ancient to Baroque

This class is for students interested in how people dress and ornament their bodies. The main thrust of the class will be clothing and fashion in western civilization. Students will also present researched assignments on non-western clothing. Prerequisites: None.

  • Charles Schoonmaker | FA2011 | T, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DRA2209.01

The Magical Object - Intermediate Level

There is a great difference between a prop and an object on stage that is built or filled with the dramatic forces of a play. Such objects become metaphors, they become fresh comprehensions of the world. In the theatre, we believe in magic. Our gaze is focused on ordinary objects...a glass figurine, a pair of shoes, a wedding dress...and then our attention is shaped, and charged, and we watch the everyday grow in meaning and power. Most of our greatest plays, written by our most poetic playwrights, contain a visual metaphor, an object with metaphorical weight that we can see on stage, not just in our mind's eye. How do we make the ordinary into the extraordinary? How do we create something that can carry meaning across the stage, into the audience and then out of the theatre, all the way home, and into the lives of these strangers who come to sit together in the dark? How do we generate a magical object on stage? Students will read five plays, write a critical paper, write a small play that contains a magical object, and, as their final project, build/create that magical object. Prerequisites: Students interested in taking this course must email a five page sample of their work to SKramer@bennington.edu by November 1. Since the final project is the making of a magical object, affinity for and facility with the making of things (architecture, painting, sculpting, ceramics, etc.) is strongly encouraged.

  • Sherry Kramer | SP2011 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4116.01

The Magical Object - Visual Metaphor

There is a great difference between a prop and an object on stage that is built or filled with the dramatic forces of a play. Such objects become metaphors, they become fresh comprehensions of the world. In the theater, we believe in magic. Our gaze is focused on ordinary objects...a glass figurine, a pair of shoes, a wedding dress...and then our attention is shaped, and charged, and we watch the everyday grow in meaning and power. Most of our greatest plays, written by our most poetic playwrights, contain a visual metaphor, an object with metaphorical weight that we can see on stage, not just in our mind's eye. How do we make the ordinary into the extraordinary? How do we create something that can carry meaning across the stage, into the audience and then out of the theater, all the way home, and into the lives of these strangers who come to sit together in the dark? How do we generate a magical object on stage? Students will read five plays, write a small play that contains a magical object, and, as their final project, build/create that magical object. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sherry Kramer | SP2014 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2116.01
  • Sherry Kramer | FA2012 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2116.01
  • Sherry Kramer | SP2013 | W, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2116.01
  • Sherry Kramer | SP2011 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | VA2116.01

The Master and Margarita

Exploration, Adaptation, Collaboration We will develop organizing principals and explore the idea of compression and editing in theatrical adaptation, looking at issues of close vs. free adaptation and examining how adaptation creates a parallel work of art. We will focus on one work, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, one of the great novels of the 20th century, which begins on a hot spring night, when the devil arrives in Moscow, accompanied by a beautiful naked witch and a huge talking black cat with a fondness for chess and vodka. Before it ends, heads will roll beneath trolleybuses, deals will be made with the devil, ordinary Muscovites will become vampires and witches and ride through the skies on men turned into hog-broomsticks, true love will overcome both good and evil, and it will be proven, once and forever, that great manuscripts don't burn. A triumph of the artists voice over a totalitarian state, the novel has been repeatedly adapted for the stage and screen. Some adaptations have been more successful than others, but none of them, according to conventional wisdom, has ever fully captured the truth and power and magic of the work. We will investigate what makes a work irresistible to adapters and, at the same time, so very difficult to adapt. We'll look at the political/artistic time; Russia under Stalin and the life of Bulgakov. We'll look at adaptations, including a graphic novel, film, and opera versions, as well as other theatrical adaptations of novels by Bulgakov. The second half of the class will be spent adapting the novel in rotating groups of 5, and presenting our work in class as we progress. Prerequisites: None.

  • Sherry Kramer | FA2011 | T, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2121.01

The Scene: Theatrical Design History

Stage design is a magnificent art form dating back over 2000 years. Through the study of design for the theater, we can learn not only the history of design and stagecraft, but also gain insight into the world view and concerns of the designers and their audiences. Throughout the history of western theater, design has supported or confronted the outlook and beliefs of its patrons. In this course, we will examine how design has evolved, both in relation to changing values in society as well as the emergence of applicable technology. The fascinating, newly published book Making the Scene by Brockett, Mitchell and Hardberger will be the primary text; it will be supplemented with some additional readings. Class work will consist of readings, research, class presentations and short papers. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Giannitti | SP2011 | T, 8:10AM-10:00AM | DRA2216.01

Theater and the Arts for Peace and Reconciliation

How can theater and the other arts help youth in at-risk situations, or build international peace, or rehabilitate prisoners, or help victims of genocide? Students in this class will investigate various efforts both local and international that involve theater and other arts as well as help to develop a resource list. Guest artists will discuss their particular projects. Students will work to develop their own individual or collaborative ideas for additional projects. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Previous experience in the arts or work in the social sector preferred.

  • Daniel Michaelson | FA2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DL4102.01
  • Daniel Michaelson | FA2013 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | MED4102.01

Theater Games and Improvisation

Whose class is this anyway? Improvisation is for everyone. Life is made up as it happens and improv is no different. This course will explore the basic elements of improvisation. Through short and long form theater games, pattern and rhythm exercises, we aim to heighten observation, listening skills, and ensemble building. Character, object, and environment work will be explored as well. Our goal is remaining truthful and honest in an improvised scene or monologue. This course will draw from improv gurus such as Del Close and Mick Napier, and the practices of National Comedy Theatre and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Of course, the course will culminate in a public performance of improvised madness.

  • James Smith, III | FA2011 | W, 6:30PM- 8:00PM | DRA2123.01

Theater Projects

This course will provide a forum and mentoring for students involved in design and/or stage management production projects. It is open to students who have completed at least one course in design, or have completed or are currently enrolled in a stage management course. While productions will provide the context for most of the work, other assignments will complement the produced work. This course also includes the reading and the discussion of plays, and the exploration of solutions to more sophisticated design and production problems. The class meets weekly for group discussion of each student's work, as well as to address the other assignments given. Individual meetings may supplement the group meetings. Students should expect that the hours required to complete the work will not be equally distributed throughout the term; during production periods, much more intensive work is necessary. Students are encouraged to take this course for four credits, but may opt for two credits with a commensurate reduction in expected work. Students in the two and four credit section meet together weekly as a class. The amount of credit is based on project magnitude and duration. Depending on the College production calendar, students enrolled for two credits may be able to complete most of their work within half of the term. Prerequisites: One design or stage management course, or current enrollment in DRA2251 Stage Management Process.

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2011 | M, 8:20AM-12:00PM | DAN4110.01

To Die For! Fighting Falling and Fisticuffs

Bringing Shakespeare's characters to life honestly can be a challenge to say the least. In this class we will work to bring honesty to his characters while they are dying. We will focus our exploration on Shakespeare's greatest scenes and the characters that live and die in these scenes through stage combat, martial arts, kinesthetic awareness, physical conditioning and medical and historical research. Through process driven in-class choreography, scene work, and performance projects we will investigate the boundaries of life and death in Shakespeare's plays. Students can expect 6-8 hours of out of class rehearsal/homework per week. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab assignment.

  • Chris Edwards | SP2013 | M, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA4164.01

Tsunami Wave Clouds: Metaphor, Body, and Text

This course explores movement, improvisation and text in order to generate patterns of discovery about our place under a sky filled with water. We will begin our search using clouds--from fair weather cumulus to tornado funnels--as our guides. We will find our own mysterious images, try to find the words and movements in order to develop short compositions in collaboration, and wonder at them. We will examine how they communicate, whether they are infused with meaning or not, whether they transport and transform us. We will begin with chaos, fear, and confusion, and hope to find convergences of the serious, the frivolous, the joyous and the consequential. For playwrights, dancers, actors, writers, and visual artists. Expect to research, create, collaborate, and perform. Prerequisites: Beginning course in Dance, Drama, Literature, or Visual Art.

  • Sherry Kramer | FA2012 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DAN4180.01
  • Susan Sgorbati | FA2012 | TF, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DAN4180.01

Untitled: Construction

Joseph Cornell worked out of his childhood home in Queens, NY and never traveled further than Manhattan yet his constructions and films transport us to other worlds through the use of everyday objects and materials. A set designer is required to become an expert on the people, places, and history set before him/her by the playwright. We may be asked to travel back in time or to a future that has never existed. Like the work of Cornell, many great ideas derive from what is gathered in our daily experience. Students will explore the hunt for such visual inspiration and the mining of ideas through everyday images and objects. Among others we will consider the work of such highly visual theater and film directors as: Pina Bausch, Robert Wilson, Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, Matthew Barney and Lars VonTrier. There will be weekly assignments, readings, films to view, and group discussions. Students will be asked to work with provided texts, develop books of images, and generate constructions in a variety of media. Prerequisites: none

  • Andromache Chalfant | SP2013 | Th, 2:10PM- 6:00PM | DRA2278.01

Viewpoints Groundwork

Viewpoints is a physical improvisational form used for training actors and creating movement for the stage. This class encourages students to explore the physical and vocal possibilities of time and space, with a specific focus on developing the capacity to be physically present, emotionally open, and free to follow creative impulses. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of listening skills and ensemble building. Coursework will cover the nine Viewpoints and their application to composition and character exploration. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Jenny Rohn | FA2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2124.01
  • Jenny Rohn | SP2012 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2124.01

Viewpoints-Exploring a Play and its Characters

Viewpoints is an improvisational movement technique used to train actors and create movement for the stage. In this class students will work as an ensemble, training together in order to create a common physical language. The first third of the term will be dedicated to building the ensemble. Each class will include a warm up, detailed exploration of the individual Viewpoints and extensive improvisational exploration through a variety of exercises. We will then explore a play using Viewpoints. Our primary focus will be to discover the unique inner world of each character, how it manifests itself physically, how it affects interactions with other characters, the world of the play, and ultimately the use of the text. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor, and a previous dance or drama course. Co-requisites: Dance or Drama lab assignment.

  • Jenny Rohn | SP2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA4226.01

Voice and Speech Workshop

The human voice simultaneously communicates thought and emotion whether we will it or not. Through exercises focusing on alignment and release, breath expansion and endurance, vibration and tone, and articulation and flexibility, students will work to free, develop and strengthen their natural voice. Particular attention will be paid to diction to align clarity of thought and speech. Exercises are informed by the work of Voice & Speech pioneers Edith Skinner, Arthur Lessac, Kristin Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg. In addition, students learn IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and to use this tool to master Standard Speech for the American Stage or any given dialect or accent. Prerequisites: None. Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment.

  • Kirk Jackson | FA2011 | TWF, 8:30AM-10:00AM | DRA2114.01

Word Play: Sounds That Make Sense

In daily life and on stage, every word is an action. In this course we will mine the rhythms, images, textures, sounds, structures, and metaphors occurring in everyday speech and dramatic text. Focusing on classical and contemporary plays, we will discover how the text communicates the world of the play. Employing a variety of rehearsal techniques, such as displacement strategies, task performance, resistance exercises, repetition, concretizing thought, and one-upmanship, we will work to connect to thought in a real, physical, and authentic way. Students will work individually and as an ensemble on text analysis and performance. A commitment to physical exploration, risk-taking, and a sense of play is welcome. For the final project each student will present a fully physicalized scene and/or monologue from one of the plays studied. Prerequisites: None.

  • Jean Randich | SP2011 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2120.01
  • Jean Randich | SP2012 | TF, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2120.01

Working With Light

Lighting design has the powerful ability to shape the experience of an audience. Its practice incorporates elements of artistry and craft and should interest those working in all aspects of visual and performing arts. In addition to hands-on work with theatrical lighting equipment in and outside of class, awareness of light, play analysis and conceptualization, color, angle, composition and focus are explored in class demonstrations and in a series of individual and group projects. Some reading and short writing assignments are also included. All enrolled should consider taking the companion course DRA 2235 Designing a Light Plot for a more comprehensive introductory lighting experience. Prerequisites: None.

  • Michael Giannitti | FA2011 | MTh, 2:10PM- 4:00PM | DAN2234.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2012 | MTh, 8:10AM-10:00AM | DRA2234.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2013 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2234.01
  • Michael Giannitti | FA2014 | MTh, 10:10AM-12:00PM | DRA2234.01