Department of Theater and Dance


Eldred Hall
www.case.edu/artsci/thtr
Phone: 216-368-4868; Fax: 216-368-5184
Ron Wilson, Chair
E-mail: ron.wilson@case.edu

 

Mather Dance Center
http://dance.case.edu
Phone: 216-368-2854; Fax: 216-368-6936
Karen Potter, Director
E-mail: karen.potter@case.edu

 

The Department of Theater and Dance offers education and participation in all aspects of drama and dance, with course offerings in acting, dance technique, choreography, stagecraft, costume, scene design, directing, and playwriting. Students have the opportunity to perform on stage as well as to serve on the technical crews in dance concerts and mainstage theatrical productions each year. The high ratio of faculty to students ensures that students will be able to work closely with highly skilled professionals. The department treats all performances as educational experiences and welcomes the participation of all students regardless of their academic majors and career goals.


Actor education in the theater arts program prepares majors for acting career opportunities in the American theater. Graduates are currently employed nationally and regionally. The MFA Acting Program, a collaboration between the University and The Cleveland Play House, represents a unique alliance between one of the oldest theater programs in the United States and the nation’s first regional theater.


Graduates of the dance program are currently employed as modern dance company members (regionally and nationally), company directors/choreographers, dance production managers, and dance educators in state and private universities. Others have pursued specialized advanced training and work as dance therapists.


The department is affiliated with the National Theater Institute (NTI) in Waterford, Connecticut. This prestigious program offers our students the best in concentrated theater training, and its Moscow semester provides a unique cultural perspective as well. Students may participate in NTI programs during the fall or spring semester; full credit is available with no loss of scholarship aid.


Many of our students go abroad for either one semester at the British American Drama Academy (BADA) or for a full year in other programs. BADA offers a conservatory-based intensive program in all aspects of actor training, with full credit transfer and no loss of financial aid. For more information on this and other opportunities, consult Catherine Albers, director of undergraduate theater studies.


Department Faculty


Ron Wilson, B.G.S.
(Wichita State University)

Katharine Bakeless Nason Professor of Theater and Drama; Chair; Director, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program
Movement for the actor; acting; acting for the camera; playwriting; performance theory


Catherine Albers, M.F.A.
(University of Minnesota)

Professor; Director, Undergraduate Theater Studies
Acting; audition laboratory; business of the business; acting for the camera


Russ Borski, M.F.A.
(Northwestern University)

Associate Professor
Stage and lighting design; portfolio; production


Gary Galbraith, M.F.A.
(Case Western Reserve University)

Associate Professor; Artistic Director, Mather Dance Ensemble
Contemporary dance technique; choreography; dance wellness; production and technology


Shanna Beth McGee, M.F.A.
(University of Georgia)

Associate Professor
Voice


Karen Potter, M.F.A.
(Case Western Reserve University)

Associate Professor; Director, Dance Program
Contemporary dance technique; choreography; pedagogy


Jerrold Scott, M.F.A.
(University of South Carolina)

Associate Professor; Artistic Director, Eldred Theater
Acting; speech; directing


Adjunct Faculty


Michael Bloom, Ph.D.
(Stanford University)

Adjunct Associate Professor; Artistic Director, The Cleveland Play House


Mark Alan Gordon, M.F.A.
(Ohio University)

Adjunct Associate Professor; Associate Director, MFA Acting Program
Acting; script analysis


Visiting Faculty


Jeffrey Ullom, Ph.D.
(University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana)

Visiting Assistant Professor
Dramatic literature, history


Undergraduate Programs


THEATER ARTS


Major


The Bachelor of Arts program in theater offers concentrations in general theater, acting, design/technical theater, dramatic writing, and directing.


The basic course requirements for all theater majors are as follows:

  1. THTR 101, 102, 103, and 201 (12 hours)
  2. At least 4 but not more than 8 hours of THTR 385/386 and 6 hours of English above the 300 level. The department strongly recommends ENG 324 and 325.

Additional course requirements for each concentration are as follows:


General Theater (27 hours)

THTR 223, 224, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 231 or 232, 329, 330, 375, 312 or 327


Total hours, not including THTR 385/386: 39

Acting (31 hours)

THTR 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 231, 232, 306, 311 (1 hour), 330, 375, 376, 327 or 329, and 382 (Senior Capstone)


Total hours, not including THTR 385/386: 43

Design/Technical Theater (30 hours)

THTR 105, 223, 224, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 330, 352, 380, 327 or 329, 424 or 440


Total hours, not including THTR 385/386: 42

Dramatic Writing (30 hours)

THTR 223, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 312, 314, 316, 327, 329, 330, 399


Total hours, not including THTR 385/386: 42

Directing (30 hours)

THTR 223, 224, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 327 or 329, 330, 331, 380, ARTH 272, MUSC 221


Total hours, not including THTR 385/386: 42

Departmental Honors in Theater


Majors wishing to take a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in theater must make written application to the director of undergraduate theater studies no later than May 1 of the junior year. Students must have a minimum 3.25 overall grade point average and a minimum 3.75 grade point average in theater. Acceptance into the honors program is contingent upon faculty support and recommendation by the director of undergraduate theater studies and the department chair.


Those accepted register for THTR 397 and 398 (Honors Studies) during their senior year, for a total of 6 hours. The honors project is defined as a production project in acting, design, playwriting, directing, or management/outreach. A supporting paper discussing the concept, execution, and performance of the project must be filed with the director of undergraduate theater studies no later than one week following the project presentation. Preparation of the project will be supervised by a department faculty member.


This project may be accepted for Honors only if it receives a grade of A from both the project advisor and the director of undergraduate theater studies. The grade of A must be received both semesters. Students who qualify will receive the notation “Departmental Honors in Theater” on their diplomas. Information about the structure and specific requirements of the honors project is available from the director of undergraduate theater studies.


Minor


A minor in theater requires 18 hours. The requirements for each concentration are as follows:

  1. General Theater: THTR 101, 103, 223 or 224 or 352, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), and 327 or 329
  2. Acting: THTR 101, 102, 231, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), and 375
  3. Design/Tech: THTR: 105, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), two of the following: 223, 224, or 352, and one of the following: 329 or 327
  4. Dramatic Writing: THTR: 101, 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 312, 316, 330
  5. Directing: THTR 228, 229 (SAGES Seminar), 223 or 224, 327, 330, 331

DANCE


Major


The basic course requirements for all department majors with a concentration in dance are as follows:

  1. DANC 121 or 122, 203, 204 and THTR 101 (12 hours)
  2. At least 4 but not more than 8 hours of DANC 385/386 and 6 hours from Anatomy, Art, English, Music, or Philosophy, at or above the 300 level are recommended

Additional course requirements for the dance concentration (28-31 hours) are as follows:

  1. DANC 303, 304, 355 (SAGES Seminar), 403, 404, 414, 423, 451, 460 or 461, and one of the following: 413, 415, 416, 445 or 446. A department senior capstone course must also be taken. Recommended is DANC 396.
  2. (Students may elect to substitute THTR 224 or 352 for DANC 423 and 451, with their advisor’s approval.)
  3. Total hours, not including DANC 385/386: 40-43

Departmental Honors in Dance


All majors are encouraged to apply for Honors Studies, DANC 397 and 398, in their final year. This adds 6 hours to the total.


Minor


The minor in dance requires 19 hours. The course requirements are as follows:
DANC: 103, 104, 203, 204 (460 or 461), 303, 304


Graduate Programs


Master of Arts (Dance)


Although the graduate dance program is geared toward the Master of Fine Arts degree, appropriate candidates may select or be encouraged to pursue the Master of Arts degree. The course work for the M.A. may be similar to that for the Master of Fine Arts, enhanced by related studies in the theater arts program and in other departments. The candidate’s program of study will be designed by the primary dance faculty. As required by the School of Graduate Studies, students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.75.


M.A. candidates must complete a minimum of 30 hours, following a program similar to that suggested below. The principal faculty advisor may suggest modifications.

  1. 9-12 hours of technique classes, from DANC 417/18, 403, and 460/1
  2. 6-9 hours of choreography, from DANC 413, 414, 415, and 416
  3. 12 hours of eurhythmics, from MUSC 501
  4. 2-6 hours of kinesiology and topics in dance medicine, science, and wellness, from DANC 445/446
  5. 3 hours of suggested advanced electives: i.e., DANC 535 (Pedagogy) or 455 (History)
  6. 3 hours of Music Resources: DANC 505
  7. 2-4 hours of project-oriented seminars, from DANC tr. 601, 423 or 451

The program recommends Plan B, with requirements including a non-performance, non-production thesis on a topic approved by the primary program faculty. The thesis must be a substantial and contributive work with potential for publication or presentation. The M.A. thesis must be completed no later than one academic year beyond the completion of the course requirements.


Master of Fine Arts (Acting or Contemporary Dance)


The Master of Fine Arts degree, available with concentrations in acting and contemporary dance, is a terminal pre-professional degree. Candidacy for the Master of Fine Arts program requires an undergraduate degree with (ideally) a major in theater or dance, equivalent training and experience, or demonstrable potential for work at the M.F.A. level. In addition, each candidate must provide evidence of technical skill and creative ability in his or her area of concentration.


At the end of each semester in residence, the student’s skill and creative ability are evaluated in light of his or her work in the department. Only students who have clearly demonstrated growth and excellence are permitted to remain in the program. The award of the M.F.A. degree is contingent upon the student’s academic progress and upon the assessment on the part of the faculty that the candidate possesses the potential to work in the field of theater or dance on a professional level.


Requirements for the M.F.A. degree include:

  1. A minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all course work on the graduate level
  3. Completion of the course requirements for the M.F.A. Thesis Portfolio
  4. Successful completion of the Third Year Internship at The Cleveland Play House, or performance in the Mather Dance Center mainstage season
    Specific requirements for the MFA degrees in acting and in dance appear below.

M.F.A. in Acting


In 1996, The Cleveland Play House and Case Western Reserve University joined forces to create a new program in professional actor training. The students begin their involvement with the Play House in their first semester, and their level of involvement steadily increases until, in the third year, they become professional apprentices in the Play House company.


Course requirements for the M.F.A. in acting are as follows:

  1. 18 semester hours of acting, including script analysis, implementation of acting theory, characterization, Modernist playwrights, and Shakespeare
  2. 12 semester hours of movement, chosen from mask work, period styles, stage combat, and commedia
  3. 9 semester hours of voice, chosen from voice production, articulation, and interpretation
  4. 6 hours of speech, using Edith Skinner techniques, dialects, verse and lyric drama, and Shakespeare
  5. 6-9 semester hours of performance theory, projects, and professional seminars
  6. 6 semester hours of creative thesis


M.F.A. in Contemporary Dance

 

The M.F.A. degree requires 60 hours. Specific course requirements are as follows:

  1. 18-24 semester hours of dance technique
  2. 11-12 semester hours of choreography
  3. 4 semester hours (two each) of light and costume design
  4. 2 semester hours of eurythmics, MUSC 501
  5. 3 semester hours of contemporary dance history
  6. 3 semester hours of music resources
  7. 12-15 semester hours of kinesiology, pedagogy, or allied fields, chosen in consultation with advisor
  8. 6 semester hours of creative thesis

Course Descriptions


DANC 103. First-Year Modern Dance Techniques I (3)
Comprehensive perspective of theory established, through active participation, to serve individual development of normative movement principles in a broad spectrum of applications including theater movement dance, and sports. Content is directly and fundamentally serviceable to subsequent specialized training applications of the actor, dancer, musician, athlete, physiotherapist, and educator.


DANC 104. First-Year Modern Dance Techniques II (3)
Continuation of DANC 103.


DANC 121. Dance in Culture - Ethnic Forms (3)
A lecture class designed to introduce dance as an art form and the many roles it plays in a variety of cultures. Focus will be on ethnic forms and primal cultures.


DANC 122. Dance in Culture - Theatrical Forms (3)
Introduction to an historical and cultural overview of many different forms of dance from various cultures specifically selected to encompass geographic diversity and represent different periods in history. Basic craft elements of the structures of dance will be introduced to provide a foundation for viewing dance and developing a personal aesthetic.


DANC 160. Introduction to Ballet Technique I (3)
This introductory-level course offers the beginning ballet student the basic tenets and principles of ballet technique. Classwork will involve strong emphasis on proper alignment of the body, dynamic timings, and a command of ballet terminology.


DANC 161. Introduction to Ballet Technique II (3)
Continuation of DANC 160.
Prereq: DANC 160 or consent of department.


DANC 189. Improvisation I (1)
Movement and dance structures designed to engage responsivity in group dynamics applied to challenge specific technical components which include time, effort, shape, and kinetic awareness. Recommended preparation: DANC 103.


DANC 190. Improvisation II (1)
Continuation of DANC 189. Recommended preparation: DANC 189.


DANC 203. Second-Year Modern Dance Techniques I (3)
For the performing arts student, normative movement principles are formally extended in both theory and application to include individual correction, modification of adaptation as foundational preparation for the subsequent specialized training needs of the actor, dancer, and singer.
Prereq: DANC 103 and DANC 104.


DANC 204. Second-Year Modern Dance Techniques II (3)
Continuation of DANC 203.
Prereq: DANC 103 and DANC 104.


DANC 260. Second-Year Ballet Technique I (3)
In-depth exploration of principles and foundations of ballet technique as preparation for the specialized training needs of dancers.


DANC 261. Second-Year Ballet Technique II (3)
Continuation of DANC 260.
Prereq: DANC 260 or consent of department.


DANC 303. Third-Year Modern Dance Techniques I (3)
For the dance major and advanced non-major. Durational formalities of dance technique as a contemporary American art form structure the aesthetic and technical challenges of development.
Prereq: DANC 204.


DANC 304. Third-Year Modern Dance Techniques II (3)
Continuation of DANC 303. Recommended preparation: DANC 303 or consent of department.


DANC 355. History of Modern Dance (3)
Origins and development of contemporary dance in its historical context.
Prereq: 100 level first year seminar in USFS, FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, or FSCS. Prereq or Coreq: FSTS 100.
SAGES Dept Seminar


DANC 385. Rehearsal and Production (1-3)
Practicum for students participating in production work in the Department of Theater and Dance. Supervised laboratory experience in technical theater, construction techniques, scenery, costumes, lighting, and props; production; ticket office operations, promotion, publicity and public relations; house management; wardrobe responsibilities; stage management; assistant directing; and other production positions relating to the mainstage performances in Mather Dance Center. Students are recommended to take one credit hour per production, with a maximum of 8 credit hours allowed during their undergraduate career.


DANC 386. Rehearsal and Performance (1)
Practicum for students participating in performance in the Department of Theater and Dance, relating to the mainstage productions at Mather Dance Center. This course may be repeated, for a maximum total of 2 credits.


DANC 397. Honors Studies I (3)
Individual projects in dance.


DANC 398. Honors Studies II (3)
Individual projects in dance.


DANC 399. Independent Study in Theater Arts (1-3)
Independent research and project work in areas of dance and pedagogy.


DANC 403. Fourth-Year Contemporary Dance Technique I (1-3)
A logical progression of advanced technique. Performing skills assessed and developmentally stressed. Sections from repertory works learned.
Prereq: DANC 303.


DANC 404. Fourth-Year Contemporary Dance Technique II (1-3)
Continuation of DANC 403.
Prereq: DANC 403.


DANC 405. Improvisation I (1)
Movement and dance structures designed to engage responsivity in group dynamics applied to challenge specific technical components which include time and effort, shape, and kinetic awareness.


DANC 406. Improvisation II (1)
Continuation of DANC 405.


DANC 408. Fourth-Year Modern Dance Techniques II (1-3)
Continuation of DANC 407.


DANC 413. Space and Choreography (1-3)
Principles governing the dynamics of concrete and imagistic space applicable to stage values defined, differentiated, and tested through applied studies. Exercising the dual role of choreographer/performer, the sequencing is designed to enlarge active perception of space values, spatial dynamics, and relationships with spatial determinants. Introduced are the psychological principles involved in the development of one’s own creative process; involvement of these principles integrates the subsequent work in the choreography and production sequences.


DANC 414. The Craft of Choreography (3)
An in depth investigation of choreographic craft elements is presented through lecture, practical involvement and specified studies. Emphasized are tools to discover primary movement vocabulary, development of vocabulary through per-mutative investigations and the co-ordering of movement vocabulary into phrases, structural units and larger sections.


DANC 415. Choreography and Music (3)
Combining craft resources with emphasis on use of music. Music selections, historically categorized, are chosen for the purpose of analyzing metric and structural characteristics in accord with which choreography will be created.
Prereq: DANC 414.


DANC 416. Choreography and Theatrical Elements (3)
Use of properties, costumes, and scenic elements in both “first-and second-function” (Northrop) or “literal” and “abstract” applications challenge the functional and aesthetic appropriateness of conjoined choices. Dance structures fully developed under supervision. Successful results may be programmed for performance and tested for applicability to the Production sequence.
Prereq: DANC 414.


DANC 417. Advanced Contemporary Dance Technique I (1-3)
Performing skills enlarged to include rehearsal and performance of full repertory works. Adaptability, versatility, and fidelity to choreographic intention stressed.
Prereq: DANC 404.


DANC 418. Advanced Contemporary Dance Technique II (1-3)
Continuation of DANC 417.
Prereq: DANC 417.


DANC 423. Light Design for Theatrical Dance (2)
Elements of stage light design and technology for theatrical dance. Lectures and laboratory experience on color, instruments, and computerized design.


DANC 445. Kinesiology for Dance (1-3)
Seminar and laboratory for assessment of kinesiological and biomechanical principles as related to dance. Assessment of current research will be implemented to affect cross-training protocols.


DANC 446. Topics in Dance Medicine, Science, and Wellness (1-3)
Review and application of continually emerging information from the fields of Dance Medicine and Science that impacts general dancer health and the care and prevention and treatment of dance specific injuries. Participation in the Dancer Wellness Program is encouraged to facilitate continued application of principles developed in DANC 445.


DANC 451. Costume Design and Construction for Dance (2)
Lecture and studio course in selecting fabrics, draping techniques, construction, and design for concert dance.


DANC 455. History of Modern Dance (3)
Origin and development of modern dance in its historical context.


DANC 460. Ballet Technique for Modern Dance Students I (1-3)
Ballet Technique for Dancers will focus on developing the ballet skills required of the Modern Dance major. The technical level of the class will range from intermediate to advanced where applicable in barre work as well as center. Consent of department is required.


DANC 461. Ballet Technique for Modern Dance Students II (1-3)
Ballet Technique for Dancers will focus on developing the ballet skills required of the Modern Dance major. The technical level of the class will range from intermediate to advanced where applicable in barre work as well as center. Consent of department is required.
Prereq: DANC 460.


DANC 485. Rehearsal, Performance and Production (1-3)
(See DANC 385.)


DANC 505. Music Resources for Contemporary Dance (3)
Resources in the various periods and styles of music for the dancer/choreographer. Study of the choreographic use of music.


DANC 509. Seminar: Introduction to Performance Theory (3)
Research seminar designed to acquaint the dance student with the major theoretical writings of performance theory. Readings on the creative process and archetypal mythology. Exploration of anthropological, psychological, and cultural sources of art and the theatrical impulse.


DANC 535. Contemporary Dance Pedagogy (3)
The study and investigation of the approaches and methods of teaching contemporary dance. Detailed study is made of kinesthetic, oral, and creative factors in teaching of dance. Opportunity to assist and teach under supervision.


DANC 601. Special Projects (1-3)
(Credit as arranged.)


DANC 610. Professional Internship (1-4)
Involvement in intensive internships with professional dance companies in the Cleveland area bridging academic and professional lives. Internships range from six weeks to one semester.


DANC 640. M.F.A. Thesis Production I (3)
Preproduction conception in area of specialization researched and documented under appointed advisement, in accord with production syllabus, and subcommittee approval.


DANC 641. M.F.A. Thesis Production II (3)
Production implementation, post production evaluation/defense, and advisory assessment.


DANC 644. M.A. Project (1-12)
Research and development of a Master of Arts project in Theater.


THTR 100. Introduction to Performance (3)
A course designed to provide the non-major or undeclared liberal arts major limited experience with a basic understanding of performance and the theater. Fundamentals in improvisation, vocabulary, and scene study are stressed. This course fulfills THTR 101 should the undeclared student select theater as his or her major or minor.


THTR 101. Acting I: Fundamentals (3)
This course is designed to expose the theater major or minor to the development of the actor’s basic tools. Relaxation, concentration, and improvisation are taught along with basic scene study work.


THTR 102. Acting II: Exploration of Craft (3)
This course continues the work begun in THTR 101 with emphasis on action, emotional life, and text analysis as the essential elements of the actor’s work.
Prereq: THTR 101.


THTR 105. Introduction to Stagecraft (3)
An introduction to scenic construction and painting, hands-on oriented to workshop skills.


THTR 123. Theater in Culture: From Shaman to Steam Engine (3)
An introductory exploration of theater forms and practice from their origins in ritual to the scripts and staging of 19th century Europe. In addition to material presented in lecture/discussion format, the class will attend local University and professional theater productions. This course fulfills General Education requirements and is intended for non-theater majors and minors.


THTR 124. Theater in Culture: From Steam Engine to Cyberspace (3)
Using selected dramatic texts from the 19th century to present day, the course explores the roles of production participants and audiences in their historical, cultural, and contemporary contexts. Material is presented in lecture/discussion format, augmented by live theater performances and audio-visual resources.


THTR 201. Movement for the Actor (3)
The course focuses on developing a kinesthetic awareness of the body and its use as a theatrically expressive instrument. Exercises will encompass development of flexibility, strength building, alignment, motor skills, and concentration.
Prereq: THTR 101 or THTR 102.


THTR 223. Introduction to Scenic Design (3)
An introduction to visual design for the stage through established theories and knowledge of the theater as a physical space. Approaches practical problems of scenic design as well as professional potential of the field.


THTR 224. Introduction to Lighting Design (3)
A “grounds up” guide to theatrical lighting for the stage. Focus made upon instrumentation, choices made in the design process, aesthetics of presentation. Combines theory with practical application.


THTR 228. Theater History I (3)
Acquaints the student with theatrical and dramatic realism in Europe, the United States, and Russia (1880s through 1960s).
Offered as THTR 228 and WLIT 228.


THTR 229. Theater History II (3)
Focuses on the theatrical traditions of Europe and the United States from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first in an effort to look at the history and literature of Western theater from the point of view of the society in which it originated. This course also examines how theater reflects the assumptions of a culture and how theater artists use their medium to express their belief or disbelief in those systems.
Offered as THTR 229 and WLIT 229.
Prereq: 100 level first year seminar in USFS, FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, or FSCS. Prereq or Coreq: FSTS 100.
SAGES Dept Seminar


THTR 231. Acting III: Contemporary Technique (3)
An exploration of advanced contemporary acting technique based on the work of Michael Chekhov. Provides advanced acting students with the tools necessary to work effectively and consistently with contemporary texts, with emphasis placed on psychological gesture and geste.
Prereq: THTR 101 and THTR 102.


THTR 232. Acting IV: Classical Technique (3)
An exploration of techniques to approach classical theater, with emphasis on the works of Shakespeare. Presents the challenges of working with heightened language in classical texts, and provides skills necessary to transfer modern acting methods to these more poetic plays.
Prereq: THTR 102.


THTR 306. Acting V: Camera Technique (3)
Acting for the Camera class with emphasis on how it differs from onstage work. Interviews, scenes, and exercises will be used to highlight the differences and similarities. Emphasis on contemporary works.
Prereq: THTR 231 or THTR 232.


THTR 308. Topics in Theater (3)
The course will offer varying topics such as theater history (national and international), theater criticism, world-theater, and special areas of dramatic literature that will not be covered in the general theater courses. This course will expose students to a wider range of dramatic ideas.


THTR 311. Audition Laboratory (1)
A discussion and practicum exploring the problems faced by an actor in various audition situations. Development of an audition repertory for the actor for stage, video and film.
Prereq: Senior Theater major.


THTR 312. Playwriting (3)
Theory and practice of dramatic writing, in the context of examples, classic and contemporary. Recommended preparation: ENGL 203 or ENGL 213 or ENGL 214 or ENGL 303 or ENGL 304.
Offered as ENGL 305 and THTR 312.


THTR 314. Advanced Playwriting (3)
Theory and practice of dramatic writing with special focus on the craft of writing a full-length play.
Offered as ENGL 314 and THTR 314.
Prereq: ENGL 305 or THTR 312.


THTR 316. Screenwriting (3)
A critical exploration of the craft of writing for film, in which reading and practicum assignments will culminate in the student submitting an original full-length screenplay.
Offered as ENGL 316 and THTR 316.
Prereq: THTR 312.


THTR 327. American Theater and Playwrights (3)
Designed to provide students an overview of the development of theater in the United States and to familiarize them with the work and themes of selected American playwrights.
Offered as AMST 327 and THTR 327.


THTR 329. Dramatic Literature (3)
Dramatic text analyzed in the context of theatrical production. Major analytical tools introduced.


THTR 330. Play Directing I (3)
This course will begin a two-semester study of the art and craft of stage direction of plays. Topics covered will include history of the profession, directorial theory and practice, development of skills such as text analysis, design and concept, and general problem solving.
Prereq: THTR 101 and THTR 102, and upperclass status.


THTR 331. Play Directing II (3)
This course will continue with the basic concepts learned in THTR 330 and will expand them in regard to actual production. Topics will include directing mechanics, ground planning, blocking, and visualization, staging and working with actors. The course will culminate in a faculty supervised directing project for public performance. There are three evening labs for this course.
Prereq: THTR 330, and upperclass status.
SAGES Senior Capstone


THTR 334. Shakespeare: Histories and Tragedies (3)
Close reading of a selection of Shakespeare’s tragedies and history plays (e.g., “Richard the Third,” “Julius Caesar,” “Hamlet,” “King Lear”). Topics of discussion may include Renaissance drama as a social institution, the nature of tragedy, national history, gender roles, sexual politics, the state and its opponents, theatrical conventions. Assessment may include opportunities for performance.
Offered as ENGL 324, ENGL 424, and THTR 334.


THTR 335. Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances (3)
Close reading of selected plays of Shakespeare in the genres of comedy and romance (e.g., “The Merchant of Venice,” “Twelfth Night,” “Measure for Measure,” “The Tempest”). Topics of discussion may include issues of sexual desire, gender roles, marriage, the family, genre conventions. Assessment may include opportunities for performance.
Offered as ENGL 325, ENGL 425, and THTR 335.


THTR 352. Costume Design and Construction (3)
Design and ornamentation of stage costumes and accessories. Laboratory. Recommended preparation: THTR 123 and THTR 124 or consent of department.


THTR 370. Modern Acting Theories in Practice (3)
From Boleslavski to Bogart, this course is designed to offer the advanced undergraduate student an introduction to a wide range of modern acting theories through reading, seminar discussion, and comparison of select theories in extended scene study. Readings and exercises are drawn from the works of Stanislavski-based theorists and practitioners as well as leading anti-realists. Texts reflect both character-based approaches and movement-based approaches to modern actor training.
Prereq: THTR 101 and THTR 102 or DANC 103 and DANC 104.


THTR 375. Voice for the Stage I (3)
Development of the actor’s vocal instrument. Work in articulation, range, and flexibility.
Prereq: Theater major or consent of department.


THTR 376. Voice for the Stage II (3)
Continuation of THTR 375.
Prereq: THTR 375.


THTR 380. Stage Management (3)
Designed to acquaint student with the numerous aspects of stage management.


THTR 382. Crossing Bridges: The Public Role of Artist in Understanding Disease (3)
An in-depth look at the role of the artist in public life and in creating theatrical performance from life experience. The students interact with patients in medical treatment for catastrophic illness and as they understand the experience of disease, they help transform that experience into a performance that gives a voice to the unvoiced in our society. The approved service learning course is offered only as a Senior Capstone and is a demanding challenge for the serious student of theater. Prereq: Acting concentration or consent of department.
SAGES Senior Capstone


THTR 385. Rehearsal and Production (1-3)
Practicum for students participating in production work in the Department of Theater and Dance. Supervised laboratory experience in technical theater, construction techniques, scenery, costumes, lighting, and props; production; ticket office operations, promotion, publicity and public relations; house management; wardrobe responsibilities; stage management; assistant directing; and other production positions relating to the mainstage performances in Eldred Theater. Students are recommended to take one credit hour per production, with a maximum of 8 credit hours allowed during their undergraduate career.


THTR 386. Rehearsal and Performance (1)
Practicum for students participating in performance in the Department of Theater and Dance, relating to the mainstage productions at Eldred Theater. This course may be repeated, for a maximum total of 2 credits.


THTR 397. Honors Studies I (3)
Individual projects in acting, dance, and directing.


THTR 398. Honors Studies II (3)
Individual projects in acting, design, playwriting, and directing.


THTR 399. Independent Study in Theater Arts (1-3)
Independent research and project work in areas of acting, design, voice, theater history, playwriting, directing, or theater management.


THTR 401. Advanced Stage Movement I (3)
This beginning class focuses on developing flexibility, alignment, strength, concentration and basic motor skills and serves as a base for the remaining three semesters. Yoga and Tai Chi exercises are used to develop flexibility and a relaxation of the breath. Elements of Decroux based corporeal mime technique will strengthen the student’s physical instrument as well as address alignment problems. Motor skills (articulations, inclinations and design work) will be developed with Decroux, as well as LeCoq based exercises.
Prereq: Must be candidate in M.F.A. Acting program.


THTR 402. Advanced Stage Movement II (3)
Continuation of THTR 401. The course focuses on simplifying and empowering the physical actor by continuing to connect breath to action to discover relaxation within the given task, and beginning work in characterization. Strength, flow, energy and the shedding of intrusive mannerisms will be gained from a study of Tai Chi form, and LeCoq based neutral mask work. Following the neutral mask work, students will progress to character work through the use of Physical Acting techniques. Stage combat work continues.
Prereq: THTR 401.


THTR 403. Advanced Stage Movement III (3)
The class focuses on expanding the actor’s physical and imaginative range which will enable students to support larger and bolder physical choices in characterization. Building upon the Neutral Mask work from the previous semester, the student will experience, through LeCoq based techniques, Basel and Expressive Masks. Stage combat work continues.
Prereq: THTR 402.


THTR 404. Advanced Stage Movement IV (3)
This class gives the actor the advanced physical skills and techniques needed to encompass the demands of historical dramatic texts. The work will center around period movement for the theater. The actor will experience the philosophies of carriage and deportment; religious, scientific thought and art from particular historic periods most often encountered in the professional theater. Stage combat work continues.
Prereq: THTR 403.


THTR 431. Play Directing I (3)
Fundamentals of directing. Concept and development.


THTR 435. Scene Design I (3)
Special projects in mainstage design for theatrical settings.


THTR 440. Portfolio Designs (3)
Independent projects involving presentation and criticism of scenic or costume designs for given play, musical, or opera. Culminates in presentation of portfolio.


THTR 452. Costume and Construction (3)
Special projects in costuming for mainstage productions.


THTR 456. Costume Design I (3)
Lecture-studio course. The study of costume design. Theory, technique, and principles of the fundamental approach to costuming a production.
Prereq: THTR 352.


THTR 473. Graduate Voice Technique I (3)
Assessment of students’ current vocal and alignment skills. Laboratory for exploring new vocal and alignment habits supportive of healthy vocal functioning. Exploration of the body and voice as it relates to breath, resonance, and the healthy exhalation of sound.
Prereq: Must be candidate in M.F.A. Acting program.


THTR 474. Graduate Voice Technique II (3)
Continued laboratory for the exploration of alignment and vocal skills supportive of healthy vocal functioning. Continued exploration of the body and voice as it relates to breath, articulation, resonance, and the healthy exhalation of sound. Emphasis on the physical and energistic skills needed to produce full-bodied, healthy sound capable of being heard and understood while acting in theatrical productions. Required of M.F.A. candidates in the Acting program.
Prereq: THTR 473.


THTR 475. Voice for Stage: Shakespeare (3)
Development of skills needed to address the specific needs of Shakespeare and Classical texts in performance, including vocal skills, the use of breath, using imagery, and textual studies. Required of M.F.A. candidates in the Acting program.


THTR 479. American Stage Speech (2)
Designed to evaluate the graduate student actors’ current speech skills, to teach them a stage-appropriate dialect using the Skinner narrow IPA set, and to achieve a level of mastery over articulation and diction. Prereq: Course limited to first-year M.F.A. candidates in Acting Program.


THTR 485. Rehearsal and Production (1-3)
Practicum for students participating in production work in the Department of Theater and Dance. Supervised laboratory experience in technical theater, construction techniques, scenery, costumes, lighting, and props; production; ticket office operations, promotion, publicity and public relations; house management; wardrobe responsibilities; stage management; assistant directing; and other production positions relating to the mainstage performances in Eldred Theater. Students are recommended to take one credit hour per production, with a maximum of 8 credit hours allowed during their undergraduate career.


THTR 501. Text Analysis for the Actor (2)
An introduction to the craft of reading a theatrical text from an actor’s point of view. Methods for analyzing the action and dialogue of a play will be applied to dramatic text so that the actor can learn to transform a one-dimensional text into a three-dimensional performance.


THTR 509. Seminar: Introduction to Performance Theory (2)
Research seminar designed to acquaint the theater student with the major theoretical writings of performance theory. Readings on the creative process and archetypal mythology. Exploration of anthropological, psychological, and cultural sources of art and the theatrical impulse.


THTR 512. Graduate Audition Lab (1-2)


THTR 530. Ensemble Technique (1-2)

A practicum course structured to explore the use of ensemble dynamic techniques in a rehearsal/performance environment, as well as to develop a set of exercises which encourage and sustain the actor’s channels of interpersonal communication during a range of rehearsal and performance situations.
Prereq: Must be candidate in M.F.A. Acting program.


THTR 531. Acting: Research and Performance I (3)
The various elements of the actor’s process considered on advanced levels. Integration of rehearsal discoveries into a practical performance situation. Limited to M.F.A. candidates.


THTR 532. Acting: Research and Performance II (3)
The various elements of the actor’s process considered on advanced levels. Exploration of rehearsal techniques for characterization. Limited to M.F.A. candidates.


THTR 533. Acting: Research and Performance III (3)
Sequential courses designed to explore the various elements of the actor’s process on advanced levels and to integrate the discoveries made into a practical performance situations. Limited to M.F.A. candidates.
Prereq: THTR 531 or THTR 532.


THTR 534. Acting: Research and Performance IV (3)
Sequential courses designed to explore the various elements of the actor’s process on advanced levels and to integrate the discoveries made into a practical performance situation.
Prereq: THTR 531 or THTR 532 or THTR 533.


THTR 540. The Business of the Business (2)
This course covers the basic knowledge needed for an actor to plan and manage a career in the theater. Included is discussion of union rules and applications for AEA, AFTRA, and SAG. Discussion of basic marketing techniques, including development of an individual marketing plan for each student. Guest lecturers might include IRS experts on the actor’s special needs, casting directors, and commercial agents.


THTR 576. Advanced Voice Technique (3)
Vocal instruction individualized to the particular needs of advanced M.F.A. Acting students. This may include the exploration of dialect skills, developing the skills for extraordinary uses of the voice, or continued exploration of skills necessary for classic and poetic texts. Required of M.F.A. candidates in the Acting program.
Prereq: THTR 473 and THTR 474.


THTR 579. American Stage Speech II (3)
This course will continue the work begun in THTR 479 American Stage Speech, continuing the work on IPA, articulation, and general speech clarity for the stage. Exercises from the Berry and Rodenberg Schools of thought will be used in addition to the speech basics of Skinner.
Prereq: THTR 479.


THTR 580. Stage Dialects (2)
This survey course will examine the use and application of major stage dialects in the American theatre using a phonetic tool set as a basis for understanding sound substitutions. The student will also study the ways in which rhythmic changes and resonance and tension shifts affect the dialects.
Prereq: Graduate standing.


THTR 581. Classical Speech and Text (2)
This course will study ways in which the actor’s speech instrument is used differently in classical texts, particularly those of Shakespeare. Students will study tools for analyzing a line of text in order of understand how to use the words and sound of the line.


THTR 601. Special Projects (1-3)
(Credit as arranged.)


THTR 610. Professional Internship (1-4)
Involvement in intensive internships with professional theaters in the Cleveland area bridging academic and professional lives. Internships range from six weeks to one semester.


THTR 620. Advanced Role Analysis Preparation I (3)
Study and performance of scenes involving methods of approaching various types of plays and the specific problems they present to the individual actor. Analysis, action, characterization, and subtext. Open only to M. F. A. Acting students.


THTR 621. Advanced Role Analysis Preparation II (3)
Continued study and performance of scenes involving methods of approaching various types of plays and the specific problems they present.
Prereq: THTR 620.


THTR 630. Performance Studio (3)
A performance laboratory, ensemble-based practicum in which the student works to integrate effectively a wide range of performance skills culminating in a studio production. May be taken two times in the last two semesters of graduate study.
Prereq: THTR 534.


THTR 642. Thesis Portfolio I (1)
Course designed specifically for candidates in the Master of Fine Arts program in Acting. Graduate students enroll for the course during their third year of study, although work spans three years of study, based on roles the M.F.A. actor has created. A portfolio is prepared, according to requirements set forth in the department’s M.F.A. Handbook, and is presented to the faculty during the spring semester of the third year, in a formal oral defense. Satisfactory completion of the portfolio and its oral defense are among the requirements for awarding the Master of Fine Arts degree. Course limited to M.F.A. candidates in the Acting program.


THTR 643. Thesis Portfolio II (1)
Course designed specifically for candidates in the Master of Fine Arts program in Acting. Graduate students enroll for the course during their third year of study, although work spans three years of study, based on roles the M.F.A. actor has created. A portfolio is prepared, according to requirements set forth in the department’s M.F.A. Handbook, and is presented to the faculty during the spring semester of the third year, in a formal oral defense. Satisfactory completion of the portfolio and its oral defense are among the requirements for awarding the Master of Fine Arts degree. Course limited to M.F.A. candidates in the Acting program.