Course descriptions listed on this page for the Department of Theatre are from the 2017-2018 College Catalog. For more information on the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, please log in to the course schedule through STAR.
Theatre 101 - Basic Acting
This course offers an approach to understanding, appreciating, and practicing the art of acting and theatre through classroom exercises, improvisations, and performances of scenes from late 20th- and 21st-century plays. One unit.
Theatre 110 - Theatre Practicum
Weekly lab work introduces students to tools and techniques in costumes, scenery, properties, and lighting. Student participation in Department of Theatre major productions gives them the opportunity to put those skills into practice. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and is required with enrollment in Basic Acting or Design and Technical Production. One-half unit.
Theatre 111 - Basic Dance
This is an introductory course for students with little or no dance experience. The course is a combination of studio and lecture/discussion. Students will learn proper alignment, basic positions, and dance combinations. Readings will cover the history of dance and the political and social changes that influence the creative process in the development of dance. Movement studies will be integrated with readings. One unit.
Theatre 125 - American Drama 1920 to Present
American plays from the early work of Eugene O’Neill through that of contemporary dramatists are explored as theatre (through film and video) and as dramatic literature. This course looks at drama in historical and thematic contexts and as the expression of major American playwrights. One unit.
Theatre 127 - Design and Technical Production
This class examines the arts and crafts required to mount a live theatrical production during the planning, preparation, and performance phases. It also explores the function and responsibilities of the design team. Class projects and enrollment in Theatre Practicum provide practical experience. One unit.
Theatre 131 - Balinese Dance 1-2
Balinese Dance is a performance class that surveys the rich classical, contemporary, and folk traditions of music, mask, dance, and theatre from Bali, Indonesia. Hinduism plays a significant role in the performing arts of Bali and will be discussed in relationship to performance. Students rehearse and perform with Gamelan Gita Sari, the Holy Cross gamelan orchestra. This course can be taken for two semesters. One unit.
Theatre 134 - Television Comedy
Television Comedy is designed to introduce students to the history of television comedy, key artists and situation comedies, and theoretical frameworks for examining these works both in and out of context. The goal is for students to learn to analyze television from a variety of standpoints as well as the ways it has both influenced and been influenced by time, place, and culture. One unit.
Theatre 135 - Comedy on Stage and Screen
This course provides students with a theoretical foundation for a variety of styles of comedy. Students analyze plays and films and apply comic theory to them. The first half of the semester is devoted to establishing key concepts in the evolving theory of comedy. The second half of the semester focuses on specific comic styles and their conventions. The written work is tiered so that students can increase their mastery or comic theory and apply it to assigned films and plays. One unit.
Theatre 140 - Holocaust on Stage and Screen
This course uses dramatic literature and film to examine the Nazi policies of genocide that were initiated and enacted before and during World War II. Various representational strategies are analyzed and contrasted in an effort to gauge the relative effectiveness of artists to come to terms with these ineffable events. Issues examined include the relationship between a dramatic text and its historical model, the problem of transfiguration, the applicability of a structural model for organizing texts, documentary versus dramatic enactment, varying national viewpoints, the emergence of feminist and gay perspectives, and the problem of exploitation and revisionism. One unit.
Theatre 141 - Jazz Dance 1-2
This is a studio course open to students with less than six months of dance experience. The course focuses on technique and touches on aspects of jazz history and its relationship to music and social history. This course can be taken for two semesters. One unit.
Theatre 145 - Gay Theatre and Film
Gay Theatre and Film is designed to examine how art (specifically film and theatre) helps us define ourselves, both collectively and individually. Films and plays from different periods and cultures allow the students to examine the evolution of the human condition for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered populations. One unit.
Theatre 151 - Ballet 1-2
Beginning ballet technique is offered for those with less than six months of dance experience. The course emphasizes alignment, ballet positions and vocabulary, as well as the mastery of skills such as turning, jumping, and coordination. In addition to technique, the course introduces dance history and dance appreciation through readings, videos, and class discussion. To offer a richer and more contemporary experience of ballet, students depart from the ballet idiom and experiment with creating a personal movement vocabulary. This course can be taken for two semesters. One unit.
Theatre 160 - American Film
This introductory course teaches the student how to read a movie. Films are presented by genre and conventional examples of each genre are paired with movies that play with, undercut, or expand the conventions. The syllabus includes American movies from 1930 to the present. One unit.
Theatre 161 - Theatre History 1: Classical to Romantic
This studies eastern and western theatre periods before 1900, including Classical Greek, Medieval, Renaissance, Kabuki, Neoclassical, and Romantic. Readings include plays by Euripides, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Calderon, Molière, Montzaemon, Schiller, Boucicault, and others. One unit.
Theatre 162 - Theatre History 2: Modern and Contemporary
This course studies western and African theatre after 1900, including realism, naturalism, expressionism, epic theatre, metatheatre, and theatre of the absurd. Readings include plays by Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw, Chekhov, Lorca, Brecht, Ionesco, Pirandello, Beckett, Soyinka, Pinter, Churchill, McPherson, and others. One unit.
Theatre 165 - World Film
Like American Film, this is an introductory course that teaches the student how to read a movie. However, the content is exclusively non-American films, viewed thematically and historically, as well as in their cultural contexts. The syllabus typically includes films from France, Italy, England, Japan, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Canada, and other countries. One unit.
Theatre 170 - Modern Drama
This course surveys the major aesthetic movements of the last century, employing dramatic texts and theoretical writings to illustrate successive ideas. Movements such as naturalism, symbolism, expressionism, surrealism, and the absurd are examined through a close reading of works by Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw, Wedekind, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, and others. One unit.
Theatre 181 - Modern Dance 1-2
This is a basic introductory modern dance technique course for beginners or students with less than six months of dance experience. Students learn beginning modern dance exercises and movement combinations. The basic components of modern dance and its place in 20th-century art are examined. This course can be taken for two semesters. One unit.
Theatre 190 - Stage Combat
Stage Combat unites creativity and critical thinking in a course that investigates the uses and effects of representative violence in classical and contemporary plays. The course introduces both armed and unarmed techniques while developing an appreciation of the use of the human body to express the intentions of the characters and the ideas of the work through physical means. Specific attention is paid to how the physical action can heighten and support the text. One unit.
Theatre 202 - Voice in Acting 1
Students learn how to correct regionalisms, support the voice, and increase range in songs and dramatic texts. Healthy vocal production, flexibility, relaxation, and support are emphasized. Prerequisite: Theatre 101. One unit.
Theatre 203 - Scene Study
This is an intensive scene study class. Plays ranging in style from Restoration to contemporary are analyzed and performed. Physical and vocal exercises from Basic Acting and Voice in Acting are continued with the addition of period style work. Prerequisites: Theatre 101 and 202. One unit.
Theatre 210 - Advanced Theatre Practicum
Students participate in Department of Theatre major productions through crew assignments in scenery and props, lighting, costumes, sound, and stage management. Schedule for the course is determined by the production schedule. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and may be taken multiple times. Theatre majors must take it twice. Prerequisite: Theatre 110. One-half unit.
Theatre 227 - Scene Design
Alternate years, spring
Principles of scenic design and script analysis are used to create an environment for the action of the play. Includes a historical survey of scenic design, theatre architecture, period style, drafting, and rendering techniques. Work on a set for a Fenwick Theatre production provides practical experience. One unit.
Theatre 228 - Lighting Design
Alternate years, spring
A study of the properties of light and the objectives of stage lighting in drama and dance, this course includes basic electricity and its control, lighting equipment, and drafting. Practical experience is obtained through designing and running a production. One unit.
Theatre 229 - Virtual Realities
This course examines works that immerse an audience in an alternative reality, ranging from the fantasy island of Shakespeare's The Tempest to the video game MYST. It includes use of unreal creatures, puppets, automata, and robots. Students investigate and reproduce special effects used in theatre, dance, radio and cinema (when they were new media), and computer graphics. One unit.
Theatre 230 - Costume Design
Every third year
This course introduces students to the process of script and character analysis as it relates to costumes. It develops sketching and painting techniques, as well as research of Greek, Renaissance, and 18th- and 19th-century fashion. Prerequisites: Theatre 101 and either 161 or 162. One unit.
Theatre 232 - Balinese Dance 3-4
Advanced Balinese Dance builds on the background and techniques covered in Balinese Dance 1-2. Students delve more deeply into the traditions of Bali and perform more advanced repertoire in a concert setting. Students may take this course for two semesters with the permission of the instructor, progressing to advanced repertoire of both traditional and contemporary Balinese dances, including solos. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Theatre 131. One unit.
Theatre 240 - Directing
This course introduces students to the craft and theory of theatrical production. Students function as autonomous artists-writers, dramaturgs, and directors, producing a series of dramatic pieces in a workshop environment. This practical work is augmented by extensive scholarly research that provides a theoretical underpinning. Emphasis is placed upon conceptualization, composition, blocking, textual analysis, and working with actors. Prerequisite: Theatre 101. One unit.
Theatre 242 - Jazz Dance 3-4
A studio course open to students with at least one year of previous dance experience. The course focuses on technique and touches on aspects of jazz history and its relationship to music and social history. This course can be taken for two semesters. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Theatre 141 or at least one year of dance experience. One unit.
Theatre 252 - Ballet 3-4
The class follows a traditional format, including barre, adagio, waltz, petit allegro, and grand allegro. In addition to technique, the course examines dance history and dance appreciation through readings, videos, and class discussion. To offer a richer and more contemporary experience of ballet, students depart from the ballet idiom and experiment with creating a personal movement vocabulary. Students may take this course for two semesters. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Theatre 151 or at least one year of dance experience. One unit.
Theatre 263 - Selected American Stage and Film Artists
Every third year
This advanced course is an intensive study of the work of two playwrights and/or filmmakers. By permission. One unit.
Theatre 282 - Modern Dance 3-4
This is an intermediate-level modern dance technique class. Students explore the aesthetic of modern dance through modern dance exercises and combinations and by engaging in critical discussion of selected dance performances in class and on video. Students may take this course for two semesters, progressing to choreography and performance. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Theatre 181 or at least one year of dance experience. One unit.
Theatre 302 - Voice in Acting 2
This is an advanced course for students who are eager to develop their natural voices in a healthy manner. It builds on the vocal technique theory and training presented in Voice in Acting 1. Topics to be covered include an anatomy and physiology review, voice-over and commercial work, duets, solos, high intensity speaking, and a mini-seminar on where to learn about dialects. Prerequisite: Theatre 202. One unit.
Theatre 304 - Audition Techniques
This advanced class focuses on monologues. Students prepare contrasting audition pieces that will be juried at the end of the semester. The course is for fourth-year students only. Prerequisites: Theatre 101, 202, 203, and 360. One unit.
Theatre 340 - Advanced Directing
This course explores advanced theories and practices of theatrical direction. The semester begins with a series of lectures that introduces the avant-garde ideas and practices of artists such as Grotowski, Beck, Chaikin, Serban, Wilson, Akalitis, Bogart, and Boal. Students are expected to put some of these ideas into action as they tackle a short classical piece (Greek or Elizabethan) and then mount a full-length one-act by a major figure of the modern theatre (e.g., Chekhov, Strindberg, O’Neill, Pirandello, Beckett). Prerequisite: Theatre 240. One unit.
Theatre 360 - Shakespeare Through Performance
Functioning as scholarly artists in a laboratory setting, students — working from both the Folio and modern editions — master the rudiments of Shakespearean performance, become acquainted with historical and contemporary staging conventions, investigate the notion of textual integrity, and explore dramaturgical issues. Particular emphasis is placed upon the desirability and/or need to subvert problematic texts through performance. Prerequisites: Theatre 101 and 202. One unit.
Theatre 361 - Film as Narrative
Every third year
This advanced course deals with narrative issues in film (point of view, time, structure, style, tone, adaptation). The syllabus includes American, British, French, Italian, Japanese and Scandinavian movies. By permission. One unit.
Theatre 370 - Kamikaze Acting
Students write, coach, design, and act in original work that they develop. Directors, actors, and theorists who stretch the limits of performance — stylistically, socially, or conceptually — serve as models for students. Prerequisites: Theatre 101 & 202. One unit.
Theatre 400 - Tutorial/Theatre
Tutorials consist of directed study in selected theater, dance, and film topics such as acting, directing, play writing, literature, dance, stage management, set, costume, lighting and sound design, film, and screenwriting. By permission. One unit.
Theatre 405 - Performance Recital
This course is designed for the individual needs of advanced acting students. Rehearsal and performance in a major production is the main basis of grading. Prerequisites: Theatre 101 and 203. By permission. One unit.
Theatre 406 - Performance for Audience
Advanced acting work in a major role. Prerequisites: Theatre 101 and 203. By permission. One unit.
Theatre 450 - Dance Performance
This course is designed for the individual needs of advanced students doing movement-based work. It requires rehearsal and performance of major dance segments in a main stage production or a dance concert. Prerequisite: Any dance course. By permission. Two units.