Theater and Dance

The Department of Theater and Dance offers courses spanning the major areas of interest in both disciplines. Theater offerings include acting, voice, movement, directing, design-technical, and devised performance as well as courses in literature, history and criticism. In all of our courses our goal is to examine the intersection of critical thought and creative practice. Theater is an ever-changing art, and we strive to expose students to its most recent innovations and the cultural currents that influence them.

Dance gives students at all levels opportunities for active participation in three basic areas: technique, choreography and analysis, and performance. The broadest goal of these offerings is to increase understanding of the art of dance as a contribution to a liberal arts education and to connect theory and practice through embodied learning. Goals that are more specific are the development of a trained, articulate body; somatic research; increased choreographic skill and performance skills; and the awareness of Dance Studies as a way to understand current issues and arts from a global perspective.

While there is a regular major in Theater Arts, advanced students may apply to the chair of Dance for a special major in Dance.

Requirements for the Dance Minor

The Minor in Dance is for the student who is interested in continuing and deepening their focus on dance. It can provide an opportunity for cross disciplinary work and connecting dance studies with another major. Acceptance to the program is based on personal interviews with the program director.

The minor has three components and requires 36 credits for completion:

Technique and Performance: A minimum of 12 credits

  • It is recommended that at least one technique class be taken per term. Additional technique classes offered at Carleton or through OCS may qualify with permission from the program director.

         At least one credit of each of the following:

  • DANC 205 Winter Dance (1 credit)
  • DANC 206 Spring Dance (1 credit)
  • DANC 215 Winter Dance, Student Choreography (1 credit)

       With at least nine additional credits from:

  • DANC 107 Ballet I (1 credit)
  • DANC 147 Moving Anatomy (1 credit)
  • DANC 148 Modern Dance I: Technique and Theory (1 credit)
  • DANC 150 Contact Improvisation (1 credit)
  • DANC 158 Contemporary Dance Forms I (1 credit)
  • DANC 200 Modern Dance II: Technique and Theory (1 credit)
  • DANC 205 Winter Dance (1 credit)
  • DANC 206 Spring Dance (1 credit)
  • DANC 208 Ballet II (1 credit)
  • DANC 210 Contemporary Dance Forms II (1 credit)
  • DANC 215 Winter Dance, Student Choreography (1 credit)
  • DANC 253 Movement for the Performer  (3 credits)
  • DANC 300 Modern Dance III: Technique and Theory (1 credit)
  • DANC 301 West African Dance (2 credits)
  • DANC 309 Ballet III (1 credit)
  • DANC 310 Contemporary Dance Forms III (1 credit)
  • DANC 350 Semaphore Repertory Dance Company (1 credit, Requires audition)

Choreography: a minimum of 12 credits

  • DANC 190 Fields of Performance (6 credits)
  • DANC 268 The Body as Choreographer  (6 credits)
  • DANC 391 Advanced Choreography (Independent Study)
  • DANC 295 Dance Lab

History, Theory, and Literature: a minimum of 6 credits

  • DANC 100 Meaning In Motion (6 credits)
  • DANC 115 Cultures of Dance (6 credits)
  • DANC 266 Reading the Dancing Body: Topics in Dance History  (6 credits)

Required Elective: a minimum of 6 additional credits in any of the three categories:

  • Technique/Performance
  • Choreography
  • History, Theory, and Literature

Dance Courses (DANC)

Technique and Performance Courses: 107, 147, 148, 150, 158, 200, 205, 206, 208, 210, 215, 253, 300, 301, 309, 310, 350

Classes in Modern Dance Technique and Ballet are offered on at least two levels during all terms. Other technique classes offered on a rotating schedule are Moving Anatomy and Contact Improvisation. All courses may be taken any number of terms at the appropriate level. A maximum of 24 credits from dance technique classes may be counted toward graduation.

History Courses: Dance: 100, 115, 266

Choreography Courses: 190, 268, 295

DANC 107 Ballet I A beginning course in ballet technique, including basic positions, beginning patterns and exercises. Students develop an awareness of the many ways their body can move, an appreciation of dance as an artistic expression and a recognition of the dancer as an athlete. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; Jennifer Bader
DANC 115 Cultures of Dance The study of dance is the study of culture. We will look at dance as culturally-coded, embodied knowledge and investigate dance forms and contexts across the globe. We will examine, cross-culturally, the function of dance in the lives of individuals and societies through various lenses including feminist, africanist and ethnological perspectives. We will read, write, view videos and performances, discuss and move. This course in dance theory and practice will include a weekly movement lab. No previous dance experience necessary. 6 credits; HI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
DANC 147 Moving Anatomy This course seeks to provide an underlying awareness of body structure and function. Using movement to expand knowledge of our anatomy will encourage participants to integrate information with experience. Heightened body awareness and class studies are designed to activate the general learning process. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Spring; Jane Shockley
DANC 148 Modern Dance I: Technique and Theory A physical exploration at the introductory level of the elements of dance: time, motion, space, shape and energy. Students are challenged physically as they increase their bodily awareness, balance, control, strength and flexibility and get a glimpse of the art of dance. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Winter, Spring; Daphne L McCoy
DANC 150 Contact Improvisation This is a course in techniques of spontaneous dancing shared by two or more people through a common point of physical contact. Basic skills such as support, counterbalance, rolling, falling and flying will be taught and developed in an environment of mutual creativity. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter; Jane Shockley
DANC 158 Contemporary Dance Forms I This course provides an introduction to a variety of movement approaches that develop an awareness of the body in space and moving through space. Students will learn approaches designed to strengthen muscles, support joint mobility, find breath support, enhance coordination, and encourage embodied learning. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter; Jane Shockley
DANC 190 Fields of Performance This introductory course in choreography explores games, structures, systems and sports as sources and locations of movement composition and performance. Readings, viewings and discussion of postmodernist structures and choreographers as well as attendance and analysis of dance performances and sports events will be jumping off point for creative process and will pave the way for small individual compositions and one larger project. In an atmosphere of play, spontaneity and research participants will discover new ways of defining dance, pushing limits and bending the rules. Guest choreographers and coaches will be invited as part of the class. Open to all movers. No previous experience necessary. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Judith A Howard
DANC 200 Modern Dance II: Technique and Theory A continuation of Level I with more emphasis on the development of technique and expressive qualities. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Spring; Daphne L McCoy
DANC 205 Winter Dance Intensive rehearsal and performance of a work commissioned from professional guest choreographer. Learning and training the basics of Krump. The process of the growth development in this intensive will be approached with LUAEE (Learn, Understand, Apply, Investigate and Execute). The end result will be for each individual to know more about the style’s foundation and become able to improvise within the style. The class will culminate in a performance in the Spring Term, so students taking this course should plan to register for DANC 206 in Spring. Open to all levels. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Winter; Judith A Howard
DANC 206 Spring Dance Rehearsal and full concert performance of student dance works created during the year and completed in the spring term. Open to all levels. Prerequisite: Dance 205 or 215. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Spring; Judith A Howard, Jane Shockley
DANC 208 Ballet II For the student with previous ballet experience. This course emphasizes articulation of technique and development of ballet vocabulary. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; Jennifer Bader
DANC 210 Contemporary Dance Forms II This course is intended for students seeking to refine and deepen their awareness of embodied movement approaches. Through these approaches, students will work to develop an alert and articulate body. In both standing and floor work, momentum, dynamic shifts and spatial challenges are introduced. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter; Jane Shockley
DANC 215 Winter Dance, Student Choreography For students enrolled in Dance 205, supervised student choreography with two public showings. Prerequisite: Dance 205. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Winter; Judith A Howard
DANC 253 Movement for the Performer This course investigates the structure and function of the body through movement. Applying a variety of somatic techniques (feldenkrais, yoga, improvisation, body-mind centering). The emphasis will be to discover effortless movement, balance in the body and an integration of self in moving. 3 credits; ARP; Winter; Jane Shockley
DANC 266 Reading The Dancing Body Dance is a field in which bodies articulate a history of sexuality, nation, gender, and race. In this course, the investigation of the body as a “text” will be anchored by intersectional and feminist perspectives. We will re-center American concert dance history, emphasizing the Africanist base of American Dance performance, contemporary black choreographers, and Native American concert dance. Through reading, writing, discussing, moving, viewing videos and performances the class will “read” the gender, race, and politics of the dancing body in the cultural/historical context of Modern, Post Modern and Contemporary Dance. 6 credits; HI, IDS; Winter; Judith A Howard
DANC 268 The Body as Choreographer  "The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body pursues its own ideas-for my body does not have the same ideas I do." -Roland Barthes. Through guided movement sessions we will explore the body as a source for ideas. Using "Authentic Movement," experiential anatomy practices and compositional strategies, students will generate several small compositions and one larger gallery project exploring alternative spaces and the influx of various media (movement, text, images, technology, objects, sites, fabric). This choreography "lab" will help answer the question: How do you make a dance? For both beginning and advanced dance students.  6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
DANC 295 Dance Lab DANCE LAB will provide an adventurous and practical space where students of various levels can explore body-based performance with an emphasis on the solo form. Students will examine the choreographic elements of space, time, energy, action, framing, and environment as they discover personal aesthetics and investigate how to organize physical ideas in both immediate and virtual spaces. A community of deep listening will support creative acts that can effect change - socio-political-personal. Performance solos will be developed through discussion, peer feedback, and regular meetings with the faculty mentor. Work for the class will include your own rehearsals and, outside readings and viewings. The ability to record your work is required and access to a camera is recommended (phones are fine).   6 credits; ARP; Fall; Judith A Howard
DANC 300 Modern Dance III: Technique and Theory Intensive work on technical, theoretical, and expressive problems for the experienced dancer. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter; Daphne L McCoy
DANC 301 West African Dance In this class you will be introduced to traditional West African dance movement accompanied by live drumming. A variety of dynamics such as grounding, centeredness, and footwork will be addressed. Each class will cover the cultural background of the rhythm as well as the conversation between drummer and dancer. All levels are welcome to join in this vigorous experience of West African dance forms.
2 credits; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Spring; Whitney McClusky
DANC 309 Ballet III This is an advanced class for students who have some capabilities and proficiency in ballet technique. Content is sophisticated and demanding in its use of ballet vocabulary and musical phrasing. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Spring; Jennifer Bader
DANC 310 Contemporary Dance Forms III This advanced course will continue to focus on a variety of embodied movement approaches to refine the awareness of the moving body and prepare for the rigors of performance and physical research. The aim will be on finding a personal connection to movement through subtlety, speed and effort. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Spring; Jane Shockley
DANC 350 Semaphore Repertory Dance Company Provides advanced dance students with an intensive opportunity to develop as performers in professional level dances. Skills to be honed are: the dancer as contributor to the process of art-making; defining individual technical and expressive gifts; working in a variety of new technical and philosophical dance frameworks. In addition to regular training during the academic terms, participation in a "preseason" rehearsal period before fall term is required. A few pieces of student choreography will be accepted for repertory. The group produces an annual concert, performs in the Twin Cities and makes dance exchanges with other college groups. Prerequisite: Audition required. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; Judith A Howard, Jane Shockley


Requirements for the Theater Major

Requirements for the major:

Note: any single course may satisfy only one requirement.

Sixty-eight credits distributed as follows:

1. 12 credits in theater history and theory:

2. 6 credits from the following courses in design or technical theater:

  • THEA 115 Principles of Design
  • THEA 229 Makeup Design
  • THEA 234 Lighting Design for the Performing Arts
  • THEA 237 Scenic Design for the Performing Arts (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 238 Costume Design for Theater (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 239 Costume Pattern Development (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 256 Costume Construction (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 320 Live Performance and Digital Media (not offered in 2020-21)

3. 18 credits from the following courses in practical theater:

  • DANC 150 Contact Improvisation
  • DANC 253 Movement for the Performer
  • DANC 268 The Body as Choreographer (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 110 Beginning Acting
  • THEA 185 The Speaking Voice
  • THEA 226 Avant-garde Theater and Performance (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 227 Theatre for Social Change
  • THEA 245 Directing
  • THEA 246 Playwriting (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 260 Space, Time, Body, Minds
  • THEA 312 Topics in Theater
  • THEA 345 Devised Theater and Collective Creation (not offered in 2020-21)

4. 18 credits at the 300 level, at least six of which should be English 310 (additional courses may be added to this group as approved):

  • ENGL 310 Shakespeare II
  • GRK 351 Aristophanes (not offered in 2020-21)
  • RUSS 351 Chekhov
  • THEA 312 Topics in Theater
  • THEA 320 Live Performance and Digital Media (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 345 Devised Theater and Collective Creation (not offered in 2020-21)

5. 6 additional credits, in literature, criticism, or history courses from the following list:

  • CLAS 116 Ancient Drama: Truth in Performance
  • ENGL 116 The Art of Drama
  • ENGL 129 Introduction to British Comedy (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ENGL 144 Shakespeare I
  • ENGL 213 Christopher Marlowe (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ENGL 214 Revenge Tragedy
  • ENGL 219 Global Shakespeare
  • ENGL 244 Shakespeare I
  • ENGL 258 Playwrights of Color: Taking the Stage
  • ENGL 278 London Program: Shakespeare's England
  • ENGL 282 London Program: London Theater
  • FREN 237 Page and Stage: The Performance of Culture (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 226 Avant-garde Theater and Performance (not offered in 2020-21)
  • THEA 248 We Can't Go On, We'll Go On: Existential Themes in Drama, Ancient to Modern
  • THEA 251 Top Girls: Women Playwrights (not offered in 2020-21)

6. 2 credits of THEA 190, Players Production

7. 6 credits of 400, Integrative Exercise

Requirements for the Theater Minor

The Theater minor requires 38 credits. It is designed for students who are interested in extending and deepening their exploration of Theater Arts. Theater is inherently cross disciplinary. Its sub-disciplines include acting, directing, design, playwriting, and literary analysis. The Minor has four tracks and two required courses. Students may choose one track or a combination of tracks to arrive at the minimum of 38 credits.

1. Two required courses:

2. One of the following tracks.  Courses marked with an * are required.

  • Acting
    • *THEA 110 Beginning Acting
    • *THEA 195 Acting Shakespeare (taken at the 200 or 300 level);
    • 6 credits from one of the following courses or approved by the minor coordinator or department chair.
      • THEA 185 The Speaking Voice
      • THEA 312 Topics in Theater: Acting
      • THEA 345 Devised Theater and Collective Creation (not offered 2020-21)
      • CLAS 116 Ancient Drama: Truth in Performance
      • FREN 237 Page and Stage: The Performance of Culture (not offered 2020-21)
  • Directing:
    • *THEA 115 Principles of Design
    • *THEA 245 Directing
    • *THEA 345 Devised Theater and Collective Creation (not offered 2020-21)
  • Design
    • *THEA 115 Principles of Design
    • 12 credits from the following courses or approved by the minor coordinator or department chair
      • THEA 229 Makeup Design
      • THEA 234 Lighting Design for the Performing Arts
      • THEA 237 Scenic Design for the Performing Arts (not offered 2020-21)
      • THEA 238 Costume Design for the Theater (not offered 2020-21)
      • THEA 320 Live Performance and Digital Media (not offered 2020-21)
  • Playwriting and Research
    • * THEA 226 Avant-Garde Theater and Performance (not offered 2020-21)
    • * THEA 246 Playwriting (not offered 2020-21)
    • 6 credits from the following courses or approved by the minor coordinator or department chair.
      • THEA 251 Top Girls: Women Playwrights (not offered 2020-21)
      • ENGL 129 Introduction to British Comedy (not offered 2020-21)
      • ENGL 144 Shakespeare
      • ENGL 213 Christopher Marlowe (not offered 2020-21)
      • ENGL 214 Revenge Tragedy (not offered 2020-21)
      • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color
      • ENGL 282 London Program: London Theater
      • GRK 304 Greek Tragedy for Advanced Students
      • GRK 351 Aristophanes (not offered 2020-21)
      • RUSS 351 Chekhov

3. Six course credits outside the chosen sub-disciplinary track approved by the minor  coordinator or department chair.

4. Two credits of THEA 190 Carleton Players Production

         or

    Three credits of THEA 199 Theater Practicum.

A student participating in a department production is automatically enrolled in THEA 190, which is allotted one academic credit. Students with significant roles in a production can earn three credits in THEA 199 with permission and must waitlist for the class.

Theater Courses

THEA 110 Beginning Acting Introduces students to fundamental acting skills, including preliminary physical training, improvisational techniques, and basic scene work. The course includes analysis of plays as bases for performance, with a strong emphasis on characterization. 6 credits; ARP; Fall, Winter; David E Wiles, Andrew I Carlson
THEA 115 Principles of Design Explores the process of communicating ideas and experience through visual means. Whether that process begins with a written text, choreographed movement or abstract idea, such elements as color, shape, space, value and balance inevitably come into play in its visual representation. This course teaches these fundamental principles and how to apply them in practice. Principles of Design is an essential course for students interested in any aspect of theater, dance, or performance. 6 credits; ARP; Fall; Mary Ann A Kelling
THEA 185 The Speaking Voice This course seeks to provide a practical understanding of the human voice, its anatomy, functioning and the underlying support mechanisms of body and breath. Using techniques rooted in the work of Berry, Linklater and Rodenburg, the course will explore the development of physical balance and ease and the awareness of the connection between thinking and breathing that will lead to the effortless, powerful and healthy use of the voice in public presentations and in dramatic performance. 6 credits; ARP; Fall, Spring; David E Wiles
THEA 190 Carleton Players Production Each term students may participate in one Players production, a hands-on, faculty-supervised process of conceptualization, construction, rehearsal, and performance. Credit is awarded for a predetermined minimum of time on the production, to be arranged with faculty. Productions explore our theatre heritage from Greek drama to new works. Students may participate through audition or through volunteering for production work. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; Andrew I Carlson
THEA 195 Acting Shakespeare Though widely read, Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed. This acting class, designed for students with no prior experience with Shakespeare, will explore approaches to performance with an emphasis on the use of the First Folio. Students will create performances using Shakespeare's approaches to rhetoric, imagery and structure while examining some of the plays' principle themes. Video and audio recordings will be used to develop a critical perspective on acting Shakespeare with an emphasis on the differing demands of live and recorded performance. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 199 Theater Practicum This course is designed for students who have major responsibilities in Carleton Players productions as Stage Managers, Actors and Designers. Students enrolled in this class will have more responsibility and be expected to commit to more time than the students registered in Theater 190, including additional time for research, design and role preparation. Students in this course will get in-depth learning experiences in the processes most central to the discipline; the creation of performances. Students will waitlist for the course; enrollment in the course will be by instructor's permission depending on the responsibilities students have. Prerequisite: Waitlist only, instructors permission required. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; ARP; Fall, Winter, Spring; David E Wiles, Andrew I Carlson
THEA 225 Theater History and Theory Throughout history, theatrical performance has been both a reflection of cultural values and a platform for envisioning social change. In this course, students will examine many of the traditions that inform contemporary understandings of theatre, including Greek tragedy, commedia dell’arte, Japanese Noh, Sanskrit drama, Realism, Brechtian theatre, and the Theatre of the Oppressed. Students will also study the history of theatre in the United States by examining blackface minstrel performance, African American drama, and the role of theatre in the social movements of the twentieth century. Class sessions will combine lecture, discussion, embodied exercises, and performance of historical texts. 6 credits; LA, WR2; Fall; Andrew I Carlson
THEA 226 Avant-garde Theater and Performance "Make it new!" was the rallying cry of the modernists, and ever since, the theater has never ceased its efforts to break both aesthetic and social conventions, boundaries, and taboos. Beginning with some of the important precursors of the twentieth century--Artaud, Brecht, and Meyerhold--this course will explore the history and theory of the contemporary avant-garde, charting the rise of interdisciplinary "performance" and exploring such topics as politics and aesthetics, site-specificity, body art, solo performance, and multimedia. Students will also spend significant time creating their own performance works. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 227 Theatre for Social Change This class is an examination of significant artists who use theatre as a tool for envisioning and enacting social change. We will study the justice-making strategies of a variety of artists, including Augusto Boal, Cherríe Moraga, Anna Deavere Smith, among many other contemporary artists whose work continues to shape American society.  We will also examine influential methods of using theatre for social change, including documentary theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, theatre for young audiences, and theatre in prisons. The class will include a number of guest artist visits from people making work in the field. The final project will be an original theatrical creation that uses the strategies studied in class to address a contemporary social issue.   6 credits; ARP; Spring; Andrew I Carlson
THEA 229 Makeup Design Theory and practice of two and three dimensional makeup design for the performer. This course explores corrective, character and specialized makeup techniques as well as rendering techniques. 3 credits; ARP; Spring; Mary Ann A Kelling
THEA 234 Lighting Design for the Performing Arts An introduction to and practice in stage lighting for the performing arts. Coursework will cover the function of light in design; lighting equipment and technology; communication graphics through practical laboratory explorations. Application of principles for performance events and contemporary lighting problems will be studied through hands-on application. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Tony J Stoeri
THEA 237 Scenic Design for the Performing Arts This course will focus on the art and practice of creating scenic designs for the performing arts. It will introduce basic design techniques while exploring the collaborative process involved in bringing scenery from concept to the stage. The course will include individual and group projects utilizing collage, sketching, and model-making. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 238 Costume Design for Theater An introductory course in costume design. This course will examine the basic concepts of design and how they apply to costumes. In depth analysis of the script and characters will lead to an exploration of how costume design can be used to enhance the production. Basic rendering techniques and clothing history will also be studied. 3 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 239 Costume Pattern Development Costume Pattern Development is an in-depth exploration of flat patterning techniques. These techniques will be used to translate a costume or clothing design to a pattern that can be used to create the designed garment. Each student will pattern and create a garment of their own design. Knowledge of sewing is beneficial but not required.  3 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 242 Modern American Drama A study of a selection of significant American plays from Eugene O'Neill's Hairy Ape (1920) to August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean (2003) in the context of larger American themes and cultural preoccupations. The premise of this course is that these plays define the modern American theatre. By studying them we will gain a deeper understanding of American theater and the links that connect it to the larger culture and to some of the transformative events of American history. 6 credits; LA, WR2, IDS; Winter; David E Wiles
THEA 245 Directing Although many directors begin their artistic careers in some other discipline (usually acting), there is a set of skills particular to the director's art that is essential to creating life on stage. Central is the ability to translate dramatic action and narrative into the dimensions of theatrical time and space: the always-present challenge of "page to stage." In this course, students will learn methods of text analysis strategic to this process as well as the rudiments of using that analysis to generate effective staging and powerful acting. Having mastered the fundamentals, students will then explore and enhance their theatrical imagination, that creative mode unique to the medium of live performance. Class time will be devoted to work on three major projects and almost daily exercises. 6 credits; ARP; Spring; Andrew I Carlson
THEA 246 Playwriting A laboratory to explore the craft of playwriting, concentrating on structure, action and character. The class uses games, exercises, scenes, with the goal of producing a short play by the end of the term. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 248 We Can't Go On, We'll Go On: Existential Themes in Drama, Ancient to Modern Many twentieth century playwrights focused their plays on the existentialist belief that we are absurd beings in a universe empty of meaning. Those writers responded in part to questions raised by the World Wars, the Great Depression, genocides and the Cold War. But those ideas are examined from antiquity onward and from many cultures in response to catastrophic events from earlier times to the threats posed by pandemics, war and environmental challenges in the current century. This course compares existential plays across time and cultures. It includes works by Beckett, Mishima, Sophocles, Soyinka, Wallace, Williams, Xingjian, and others.  6 credits; LA, WR2; Spring; David E Wiles
THEA 251 Top Girls: Women Playwrights A study of women playwrights, performance-makers, and performers and the representations of women they create on stage. Playwrights addressed will range from historical figures like Lillian Hellman to their more recent descendants, such as Caryl Churchill, Suzan Lori-Parks, and Young Jean Lee. More broadly, the course will look at women who have figured prominently as directors or creators of non-traditional performance, such as Hallie Flanagan, founder of the Federal Theater Project, or more recently, Elizabeth LeCompte, artistic director of the experimental Wooster Group. 6 credits; LA; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 256 Costume Construction The first four weeks of this course will use a Zen-like approach to sewing. We will focus on hand sewing techniques, including the Japanese technique of Sahsiko, that can be used to repair, reuse and reinvent clothing. Section one will focus on basic stitches and closures, while section two will practice couture hand sewing techniques and practices. The last half of the term we will work on sewing machines.Section one will learn how to use the machine, covering basic stitches and techniques.Section two will expand on the their sewing machine skills and explore a variety of advanced techniques. 3 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 260 Space, Time, Body, Minds What is a body? What can bodies do? These questions guide our journey into the elements of space/time/body/mind as anchor points to explore contemporary performance art. We will engage feminist technoscience studies, geographies of space and place, trauma-informed care practices, intersectional women of color feminisms, and art as activism to deepen our evolving understandings of spacetimebodyminds. Students will develop performance solos in their chosen artistic mediums that take up and respond to bodies as theoretical, material, concrete, and abstract. The course is open to all students, regardless of experience level, with an interest in: movement, performance, art, community building, feminist theory, and collective creation. Assignments will include a mix of viewings, creative response sheets, journal prompts, embodied exercises, and a research-based photo essay. 6 credits; ARP; Winter; Lizbett J Benge
THEA 270 Art and (Un)Freedom Underpinned by women of color feminisms, abolitionism, and socially engaged performance practices, this course unpacks how art is a vehicle for social change in spaces of unfreedom such as: jails, prisons, ICE facilities, detention centers, and group home facilities. Work for the class will include readings and creative reading responses, researching case studies, and reflective assignments. As a culminating project, students will create individual performance-based works informed by critical understandings of punishment, crime, enslavement, surveillance, and/or state violence.   6 credits; HI, IDS; Fall, Winter; Lizbett J Benge
THEA 312 Topics in Theater Topics in Theater Acting will encompass a series of specialized courses in acting at the advanced level. Topics offered may include non-Western performance forms, Restoration comedy, Theater of the Absurd, Chekhov, and other period- or genre-based modes. Prerequisite: Theater 110. 6 credits; ARP; Winter, Spring
THEA 320 Live Performance and Digital Media We live in a world where the presence of digital technology is ubiquitous. Our reality is augmented by portals that open up universes of undiscovered possibilities for expanding, creating, archiving and documenting art. Yet these media have a physical presence that demands the artist find new ways of negotiating space and time on a stage. This class explores the ways in which digital media shape the everyday and ways in which they relate to performing and performance art in a historical, cultural and technological sense. Students will experiment with processes for incorporating digital technologies into their performances, while engaging in conversations around embodiment, identity and space. Prerequisite: Any course in Theater Arts, Dance, Cinema and Media Studies, Studio Art, creative writing or musical composition. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 345 Devised Theater and Collective Creation A usual evening in the theater consists of seeing a text--the play--staged by a director and performed by actors. While this is certainly a collaborative endeavor, recent decades have seen a marked increase in "devised theater," a mode intended to upset the traditional hierarchies of theatrical production. In practical terms, this means the abandonment of the extant text in favor of a performance "score"--sometimes textual, often physical--developed improvisationally in rehearsal by the performers. This course will explore the methods and approaches used to work in this collective and highly creative manner, and will culminate in a public performance. We will also discuss the history and cultural politics that inform devised practice. Prerequisite: Theater 110 or Dance 150 or 190 or instructor permission. 6 credits; ARP; Not offered 2020-21
THEA 400 Integrative Exercise 1-6 credit; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring; David E Wiles, Andrew I Carlson