Course Descriptions — Theatre

THE1200 Introduction to Theatre                                                          
3 semester hours
A survey of the theatre from ancient to modern times with an emphasis on the literature, the components (design, acting, directing, play writing, architecture, technical), and its relationship with its audience.
No prerequisites.
Meets General Education “Aesthetic and Philosophical Expression” group B requirement.

 

THE1300 Acting I                                                                                 
3 semester hours
Begins the process of developing the self as a honed communication tool through stage acting technique. Comfortable naturalism on stage is the aim, as students explore their personal awareness, as well as their awareness of others and their sur­roundings. Basic tools of the body, imagination and rationale are developed. Appreciation of not only acting technique, but also the work needed in produc­tion values to support the script and acting are part of study. Students work with exercises, improvisation and contentless scenes, leading to a final scripted scene.
No prerequisites.

 

THE1500 Stagecraft I                                                                            
3 semester hours
An introduction to the terminology and techniques used in technical theatre. Course examines two-dimensional and three-dimensional scenery, the physical theater, stage and scene shop equipment, project organization and process, tech­nical theater graphics, materials, and theatrical construction techniques. Stu­dents in this course will be actively involved in Theatre Department productions.
No prerequisites.

 

THE/ENG2220 Drama Literature                                                          
4 semester hours
A study of the art of dramatic writing that examines representative world theatre texts, along with their cultural and historic contexts. Organized around genre forms (e.g., verse, five-act, three-act, one-person, non-realism), students analyze the form and its context, do playwriting exercises in the form, and study the mas­ters of the form and their themes/motivations. Part performance analysis skill, part creative writing, part scholarly examination, this course is a unique context for studying and experiencing the vibrancy of theatrical forms, their cultural gen­esis or relevance, and for broadening skills in creative writing and understanding ancient and modern dramatic texts.
Prerequisite: ENG1020 or THE1200. (Both recommended)
Meets General Education “Aesthetic and Philosophical Expression” Group B requirement.

 

THE2300 Acting II                                                                                
3 semester hours
Builds upon the skills developed in Acting I to attain more depth in performance of realistic drama, including skills required to perform and audition with monologs. Acting skills are expanded to approach nonrealism scripts. Scene struc­ture, acting vocabulary (including classic and modern methods) and developing character (mentally, physically, verbally) are central. Assignments are in duo and group scenes, monologs and exercises. Other skills, such as cold readings, improv­isation as an acting tool, and specific acting methods may be incorporated.
Prerequisite: THE1300.

 

THE2500 Stagecraft II                                                                           
3 semester hours
In this class students will explore advanced construction techniques and practices such as welding, ornamental carpentry, and furniture construction. Special emphasis will be placed on creative approaches and problem solving. Students will demonstrate their knowledge through individual and group projects. Stu­dents in this course will be actively involved in Theatre Department productions.
Prerequisite: THE1500.

 

THE2900 Theatre Production                                                                
1 semester hour
Provides an opportunity for students participating in AU Theatre Department fall or spring productions to earn one semester hour of academic credit.  Enrollment limited to students identified as production participants.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

 

THE3100 Playwriting                                                                            
3 semester hours
Building on the writing theory and exercises of Drama Literature, this course focuses the student on developing writing style and ability in standard forms of playwriting, (e.g. sketch, ten-minute play, one-act, full-length). Research methods, both of classic examples and of background for plays written, are developed. Mate­rial is presented and developed in workshop format and active participation is imperative, both providing material in timely fashion and constructively critiquing colleagues’ work.
Prerequisite: THE2220.

 

THE3250 Shakespeare in Performance                                                  
3 semester hours
“In Performance” courses function on the assumption that a style or playwright’s work cannot be fully understood by literary study alone, but must be experienced in performance. Linking plays to their historical time, and using interdiscipli­nary studies, students approach acting Shakespeare’s work by examining Eliza­bethan society, literary influences, theatre technology, as well as performance history and notable theories on Shakespeare. Techniques and exercises of Cicely Berry and other notable practitioners provide the basis.
Prerequisite: THE2300.

 

THE3260 Studies in Performance Style                                                 
3 semester hours
“In Performance” courses function on the assumption that a style or playwright’s work cannot be fully understood by literary study alone, but must be experienced in performance. Linking plays to their historical time, and using interdiscipli­nary studies, students approach acting work of a specific time period, genre or playwright by examining it in context of society, literary influences, theatre tech­nology, as well as performance history and notable theories on performance. Techniques and exercises from notable practitioners provide the basis. Studies In Performance Styles may include in-depth analysis in areas such as Comedy; Non- Realism (Becket, Pinter, Shepard, Absurdists, etc.); Restoration; the great realists (Chekhov, Ibsen, Miller) or others. When possible, these studies will comple­ment mainstage production material.
Prerequisite: THE2300.  This course may be taken for credit multiple times, as topic focus changes.

 

THE3310 Directing                                                                                
3 semester hours
Builds technique, both mental and experiential, to develop stage productions. This includes interpreting text, analyzing premise, developing visual concepts, translating words and concepts into actions, and communicating in the different jargons of actors and designers. Students explore techniques to develop original work as well as approach established scripts. Techniques of collaboration are practiced by producing scenes/short works.
Prerequisites:  THE1200 or THE1300. Completion of THE2220 is strongly recommended.

 

THE3510 Design for the Stage                                                              
3 semester hours
Using a variety of media, students explore design skills, creative process and essen­tials of costume, lighting, and scenic design. Students will explore the process of translating a script into a visual design. Topics will include designer responsibili­ties, research techniques, communication tools, creative problem solving, direc­tor/ designer relationship, etc.
No prerequisites.

 

THE3520 Costuming                                                                             
3 semester hours
This course will examine costume design, basic sewing, pattern creation/modifi­cation, and other processes used to create costumes for the stage. Students in this course will be actively involved in Theatre Department productions.
No prerequisites.

 

Note: Theatrical practice dates back almost to the dawn of humanity. As the primary mass communication tool for most centuries of civilization, theatre has been used for social, political, religious and commercial means, as well as for personal and communal artistic expression. To do justice to the forms and styles of theatre, which range greatly throughout the world and the ages, three courses comprise AU’s History of Theatre. These are independent courses that may be taken separately or in any sequence. Each History of Theatre course spans tribal or ritualistic dramatic forms to contemporary uses of theatre highlighting major movements, within the geographical areas specified. While geography may be shared, links are also made in origins and influences. Indigenous or unique forms are highlighted. Literature and themes may be incorporated, but development, influences, uses and impacts are more central to the course.

 

THE3600 History of Theatre: Antiquity to Renaissance                        
3 semester hours
This course will give an overview of theatre history from Antiquity through the Renaissance. We will explore the highlights of different periods of history which will include the study of plays and their playwrights, acting styles, staging conventions, architecture and costuming.
Prerequisite: THE1200 or instructor approval. Course sections may be offered with WI notation to meet Writing Intensive requirement and will require a “C” or higher in IDS2000. 

 

THE3610 History of Theatre: Restoration to Present                             
3 semester hours
This course will give an overview of theatre history from Restoration through the Modern theatre. We will explore the highlights of different periods of history which will include the study of plays and their playwrights, acting styles, staging conventions, architecture and costuming.
Prerequisite: THE 1200 or instructor approval. Course sections may be offered with WI notation to meet Writing Intensive requirement and will require a “C” or higher in IDS2000.

 

THE3620 Theatre History Topics                                                          
3 semester hours
This special topics course will concentrate on a global theatre history topic or particular theatre movement outside of those discussed in THE 3600 and THE3610. Within the topic area we will explore historical highlights and include the study of plays and their playwrights, acting styles, staging conventions, architecture and costuming.
Prerequisite: THE1200 or instructor approval.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement.

 

THE4100WI Theatre Theory and Criticism                                           
3 semester hours
Using primary texts of the great philosophers and theorists, ideas of the purpose of theatre are explored. Forms of theatre, from their genesis to influence, and their transformations across generations and societies provide a unique perspec­tive on humanity. The importance of theatre as cultural expression and predic­tor of future trend is debated using primary research in criticism, both contemporary and retrospective. The communal nature that differentiates the­atrical art from other art forms is central. Students will be researching and writ­ing in-depth analysis of established theory and criticism, culminating in development of their own theories. Viewing of performances is incorporated to develop students’ ability to critique.
Prerequisites: THE 2220 and at least one of the following: THE3600, THE3610 or THE3620; IDS2000 with a grade of “C” or higher.
Meets Writing Intensive requirement.

 

THE4990 Senior Capstone Project                                                        
3 semester hours
This will serve as the culminating performance, project, or written work for the theatre major. With approval and guidance from the faculty, student will develop and execute a substantial individual project that will reflect the academic and practical knowledge gained through the theatre program. This project may be realized as a theatrical performance, a design or technical project, a directorial work, a written thesis or a critical/historical document. Faculty will assist in devel­oping specific goals and requirements for completion of the capstone project.
Prerequisites: Completion of all other theatre requirements and consent of the­atre faculty.