Drama (DR)

DR 101. Understanding Theater.3 Credits.

This course presents an introduction to the practices and purposes of theater through play going, readings in theater history, dramatic theory and stage production work.

Offered: Every year, All

DR 140. Stagecraft.3 Credits.

Stagecraft is a practical, semester-long workshop on the process of transforming a design concept into a workable end. This course provides an introduction to the theory, techniques, materials and equipment of theater technology with an emphasis on the ways in which practical considerations inform the process and product of theater making. Areas of study include set and costume construction, scene painting, lighting, projection and sound. The course incorporates extensive practical work both in and outside of class, and students are required to participate in technical production work for the mainstage production season.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

DR 150. Performance Fundamentals.3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to the basic vocal, physical and improvisational skills necessary for successful performance in a variety of areas. Skills to be emphasized include vocal support and projection, physical relaxation and focus, diction, articulation and improvisational techniques. Students interested in broadcast journalism, newscasting, public relations and advocacy, as well as more theatrical areas of public performance, learn to work effectively in front of an audience while maintaining focus and energy.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

DR 160. Acting I.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the basic principles of acting, including scene analysis, motivation, intention and character work. Students perform exercises, monologues and scenes.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

DR 181. Improvisational Acting.3 Credits.

This course introduces students to long-form improvisational theater. In this form, actors build scenes from scratch with only a one-word suggestion from the audience. This course is an introductory course and is suitable for students with or without prior performance experience.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

DR 191. Theater Practice I.1-4 Credits.

All basic theater components through the active production of a full-length play are studied in this course. Students may participate as actors, designers, stage managers, assistant directors, dramaturges and in various production roles. (Minimum 40 hours production work.) Requires permission of instructor.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

DR 199. Independent Study.1-3 Credits.

A student may, in collaboration with an instructor, create course which focuses on specific area of dramatic study. Internships and work on university theater program productions are possible areas of focus.

Offered: As needed, All

DR 200. Special Topics.3 Credits.

This course focuses on a specialized area of theater study. Past topics have included scenic and lighting design and special topics in theater history and dramatic literature. Course may be repeated for credit.

Offered: As needed

DR 210. Hands On: An Introduction to Puppetry.3 Credits.

Students learn the art of puppetry by studying the theory and history of the form. They actively participate in the creation and manipulation of various forms of puppets. Prerequisite is waived if student has taken any 100- or 200-level studio art course.

Offered: As needed

DR 220. Voice and Movement.3 Credits.

This course covers practical laboratory work in vocal production and movement, utilizing developmental techniques of Kristen Linklater, Alexander Feldenkrais, Jerzy Grotowski, Michael Chekhov, with special emphasis on individual coaching and problem solving. Studio work also may include techniques of characterization, including neutral and character mask exploration, work with classical texts, and acquisition of dialect skills.

Offered: Every year, Fall

DR 230. Directing for the Theater.3 Credits.

This course serves as an introduction to the craft of the theatrical director. Topics include play analysis and interpretation, director's concept, visual composition and the history and theories of directing. Also included: methods of actor coaching, rehearsal techniques and working with the creative team of designers, dramaturges and production staff. As a final project, each student directs a scene that is presented in a student workshop performance at the end of the semester.

Offered: Every year, Spring

DR 257. Design for the Theater.3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to theatrical design history, process and implementation. Students explore the concept of design and what it is in the theater. They read first- and second-hand accounts of historic designers and movements in theatrical design. They examine the design process and apply it to class projects. They also reflect and evaluate on their personal process. These topics are presented through readings, lectures and discussions, and applied through group and individual assignments. Although the main focus is scenic, lighting and costume design, all aspects of theater are explored. This course is suitable for students with or without prior theater experience.

Offered: Every year, All

DR 260. Acting for Film/TV.3 Credits.

This is an intermediate studio course in which students gain experience in the specialized performance skills demanded by the film and television mediums. Students work on monologues and scenes that emphasize truth and emotional reality and receive training in the techniques of Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner. When scheduling permits, students in Drama 260 collaborate with a mass communications video production class in filming/taping acting scenes.

Offered: Every year, All

DR 270. World Theater History & Dramatic Literature I.3 Credits.

In this course, students integrate a multicultural history of world theater with the study of performance traditions and dramatic literature. Participants study the ritual foundations of theater through the theater of the early Renaissance period, emphasizing the importance of historical and literary research in devising actual production concepts for period plays. Students apply their knowledge in active and creative projects. Does not have to be taken in sequence with DR 275.

Offered: Every other year, Spring

DR 270H. Honors World Theater History and Dramatic Literature I.3 Credits.

This course covers the historical development of European theater covering the Classical, Medieval and Early Modern periods. It also examines various types of non-Western performance traditions with a focus on India, Africa, Japan and China. Plays from each time period are read and placed within their historical, political and cultural contexts. The historical development of theater architecture, stage craft, acting theory, and the changing status of the theater artist also is explored. Students apply their knowledge in scholarly and creative projects. Does not have to be taken in sequence with DR 275.

DR 275. World Theater History and Dramatic Literature II.3 Credits.

This course traces the development of European theater from the Renaissance through the late 19th century and the beginning of modern drama. It also examines non-Western performance traditions in India, China, Japan and Africa. Students learn the importance of locating dramatic literature within its cultural, political and historical contexts. The historical development of theater architecture, stage craft, acting theory, and the changing status of the theater artist also is explored. Students apply their knowledge in scholarly and creative projects. Does not have to be taken in sequence with DR 270.

Offered: Every other year, Spring

DR 286. Comparative Drama/ Play Analysis.3 Credits.

Students learn methods of script analysis that can be used to successfully interpret plays for the theater. This skill is essential for all theater practitioners and can be useful to any student who wishes to sharpen his or her analytical and interpretive skills. Each class meeting centers on the discussion of a new play. Selected motifs and structures in drama are examined. Plays with common themes are compared to illuminate differing playwriting strategies.

Offered: Every Third Year, Spring

DR 290. Acting for Classical Stage.3 Credits.

This intermediate studio course emphasizes the performance skills necessary to execute a classical role. Students work on monologues and scenes drawn from the plays of the Greek tragedians, Shakespeare, Moliere and the writers of the English Restoration. Students acquire the techniques necessary to speak verse and to physically embody a classical character.

Offered: Every Third Year, Fall

DR 291. Theater Practice II.3 Credits.

All basic theater components through the active production of a full-length play are studied in this course. Students may participate as actors, designers, stage managers, assistant directors, dramaturges and in other production roles. (Minimum 80 hours of student involvement, rehearsal journal and research project). Requires permission of instructor.

Offered: Every year, All

DR 299. Independent Study.1-6 Credits.

This intermediate level tutorial course stresses independent investigation of a topic in theater/drama selected in consultation with the instructor. One conference weekly; oral and written reports. Course may be repeated for credit.

Offered: As needed, All

DR 300. Special Topics.3 Credits.

This advanced level seminar explores a specific area of theater practice, literature or history. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit.

Offered: As needed

DR 305. Theater for Young Audiences (ED 362).3 Credits.

This seminar course allows students to explore various aspects of creating theater for young audiences. Performance skills in improvisation and creative dramatics, adaptation of fairy tales, folklore and other children's literature for plays, and the integration of drama into classroom curriculum are emphasized. Students conduct enrichment workshops at participating area schools and/or perform for young audiences in staged readings, workshops and/or fully mounted productions. Community outreach and service learning are emphasized. Requires permission of instructor. This course may be repeated for credit.

Offered: As needed

DR 307. Drafting and Rendering for Theater.3 Credits.

This studio course explores hand drafting and color rendering for the theater. Students learn to generate hand drafting of ground plans and detail drawings and then interpret these plans into sketches and watercolor renderings. Students use pencils, acrylic paints, watercolor paints and an array of hand drafting tools to communicate their theatrical designs.

Offered: Every other year, Spring

DR 310. Laboratory in Theater and Community.3 Credits.

Students investigate the potential for theater and performance to be catalysts for social change. The class explores how theater has been an effective site for cultural and political interventions. Moving from theory to practice in the staging of a socially-resonant piece of theater, students explore the ways in which theater may be used to articulate community conflict and to facilitate dialogue, and also examine the practical and ethical issues confronted by those who engage in theater for social change. This course is repeatable for credit.

Offered: As needed

DR 320. Advanced Voice and Movement.3 Credits.

This course includes advanced laboratory work in voice, movement and characterization for the actor with emphasis on improvisation, neutral and character mask exploration, work with classical texts including Shakespeare, familiarity with the international phonetic alphabet (IPA), acquisition of dialect skills, and introduction to Viewpoints compositional techniques.

Prerequisites: Take DR 220.
Offered: As needed

DR 325. Theater Seminar.3 Credits.

Students explore artistic, dramaturgical and production issues associated with the realization of a regional theater's season. Students read scripts produced during a particular semester by an area professional theater and attend technical/dress rehearsals and performances. Guest artists from the theater visit campus. Students also attend symposiums and other outreach programming offered by the theater. The seminar provides a forum for discussing the multifaceted process of selecting a regional theater season, formulating production concepts, conducting dramaturgical research, assembling artistic teams and realizing dramatic texts on stage.

Prerequisites: Take DR 101.
Offered: As needed

DR 330. Advanced Directing.3 Credits.

DR 330 is an advanced course in the theory and practice of directing for the stage. Students study the art of directing by examining the writings and work of major theorists and directors of the 20th century. Topics include directing theories and aesthetics, style, varied rehearsal techniques and practices, and other problems in directing. The process of directing also is studied through the experience of directing a one-act or full-length play for public performance. Classroom discussion focuses on works in progress, with special emphasis on the problems of translating a text to the stage; working with actors, designers, playwrights; composition and creating stage business; rhythm.

Prerequisites: Take DR 230.
Offered: As needed

DR 335. Musical Theater Performance.3 Credits.

In this studio course, students gain expertise in the special skills and techniques necessary to perform in the musical theater style. Each student performs solo, duet and trio musical theater selections with CD accompaniment. (Music is provided; however, students may choose a different solo piece, provided they have the accompaniment track or access to a pianist.) As a culminating exercise, students select pieces drawn from the semester's performance exercises, and these pieces are performed with appropriate costumes, props and choreography in a public cabaret setting.

Offered: As needed

DR 340. Scenic Design.3 Credits.

This class provides an introduction to the world of scenic design. Through discussion, reading, lecture and demonstration, participants explore the theory and practice of designing for the stage. Using this as a base, students research, sketch, paint and model designs for two plays. By investigating the design process in both an academic and hands-on manner, students gain knowledge in the area of scenic design as well as generally improving their problem-solving skills. Students are expected to purchase materials for sketching and model making.

Offered: Every other year, Fall

DR 341. Lighting Design for the Theater.3 Credits.

This course provides hands-on experience with the technical and design elements of stage lighting. Students use equipment and techniques directly relating to the theatrical productions scheduled in a given semester, using an artistic and collaborative approach and working with lighting systems in a theater.

Offered: Every other year, Spring

DR 342. Costume Design.3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to the theory, techniques, materials and equipment of costuming. Participants focus on costume construction, fabric, fasteners, sewing machine use, dyeing techniques and costume design. Extensive practical work is completed on an individual student basis. Students participate in costume construction for two productions during the semester.

Offered: Every other year, Fall

DR 345. Dance for the Musical Theater.3 Credits.

Students learn musical theater dance styles and choreography through studio performance. As a culminating exercise, students select dance pieces to perform with appropriate costumes, props and choreography in a cabaret setting open to the public.

Offered: As needed

DR 350. Playwriting.3 Credits.

The course explores a wide range of playwriting strategies, exercises in technique and innovative methods through which new playwrights may begin to develop an individual voice and unique style capable of communicating their visions. Students read well-known plays of the modern era, analyzing the ways in which individual playwrights have employed conventional and unconventional structures in telling their stories. Students also complete a series of writing exercises designed to develop specific skills.

Prerequisites: Take EN 101.
Offered: Every year, Fall

DR 360. Advanced Acting.3 Credits.

In this advanced studio course, student actors use exercises in acting technique to deepen and refine their ability to create reality on stage. The techniques portion of the class consists of exercises and theories drawn from the work and writings of Stanislavski, Strasberg, Meisner, Hagen, Adler, Lewis and Chekhov. Students explore the skills necessary to create a sense of truth on stage, whether working with realistic texts or those drawn from non-realistic and classical theater.

Prerequisites: Take DR 160.
Offered: Every other year, Fall

DR 370. Internship in Theater Administration, Production, Performance, Education or Theater and Community.3 Credits.

Junior or senior theater majors complete a semester-long or summer-long internship in their focus area. Possible internship sites include education and humanities departments of regional and professional theaters, public schools, social service agencies, administration and production departments of professional and regional theaters; and professional theaters in the New York/New England area offering internship programs in performance. Junior or senior status in the major required.

Offered: Every year, Fall

DR 375. History and Dramatic Literature of the Contemporary Theater.3 Credits.

This advanced seminar class encompasses a socio-historical study of dramatic literature and theory from the beginnings of the modern era to the present with an emphasis on relevance to contemporary performance techniques. The course examines such movements as realism, naturalism, futurism, symbolism, expressionism, surrealism, constructivism and absurdism, studying the texts, artists and critics of the modernist and post-modernist movements in an attempt to locate contemporary theater within its social, historical and political contexts.

Offered: As needed

DR 380. Theater Administration.3 Credits.

Students explore the economic, legal and managerial aspects of professional theater. The course examines the roles of producers, managers, agents, house managers and box office managers as well as the responsibilities of marketing, programming, touring, public relations, strategic planning and fundraising. A final project requires students to develop a strategic and creative plan for their own performing arts center. This is the first in a three-course series designed to prepare students for dynamic careers in arts administration and the entertainment industry.

Offered: As needed

DR 386. Modern Drama.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to principal movements in continental, British and American drama from Ibsen to the present. Emphasis is on the main currents of modern dramatic development through the critical analysis of representative plays.

Offered: As needed

DR 386H. Honors-Modern Drama.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to principal movements in continental, British and American drama from Ibsen to the present. Emphasis is on the main currents of modern dramatic development through the critical analysis of representative plays.

Offered: As needed

DR 391. Theater Practice III.3 Credits.

All basic theater components through the active production of a full-length play are studied in this course. Students play substantial roles in the production, either acting in a major role or taking on a major production responsibility (e.g., stage manager, assistant director, student designer). (Minimum 120 hours of student involvement, rehearsal journal and substantive dramaturgical/research project). Requires permission of instructor.

Offered: Every year, All

DR 399. Independent Study.1-6 Credits.

This advanced tutorial course stresses in-depth, independent investigation of a topic in theater selected in consulation with the instructor. A significant amount of research and writing is required.

Offered: As needed, All

DR 410. Senior Project.3 Credits.

This senior project in the theater major's chosen focus area may be research, production or performance-based, but must entail both analytic and creative endeavor involving substantial research, analysis and writing. A public presentation or performance is required. Depending upon their focus area, theater majors may opt to complete DR 300 Laboratory in Theater and Community as the senior project. A directed study, this course is the capstone experience for all theater majors. Prerequisite: Senior standing in the major.

Offered: As needed