Drama and Film

Professors: Jesse G. Kalin, James B. Steerman (Director of Film Studies and Chair);Associate Professors: Sarah R. Kozloff, Kenneth M. Robinson; AssistantProfessors: Gabrielle Cody, Christopher Grabowski, Denise Walen; Lecturers: Holly Hummel, William Miller.


Drama


Requirements for Concentration: 11 units. Drama 101, 102, 221-222, 390. 2 additional units in dramatic literature or theater history from the following courses, of which at least 1 must be at the 300 level: 201, 231, 317, 324, 335, 336, 337. 2 units from the following theater arts courses: 203, 205, 209, 213, 302, 304, 305, 307; 2 additional elective units at the 200-level or above in drama, film, or dance.

Senior Year Requirement: Drama 390.

Note: a student may enroll in only one theater arts course each semester. Such courses include Drama 102, 200, 203, 205, 209, 213, 302, 304, 305, 307, 391.


1. Introductory

101a or b. Introduction to Western Theater (1)

An introduction to the varied aspects of theater as practiced in the Western world, including an overview of its historical, theoretical, and practical dimensions. Special emphasis will be placed on the cultural energy which produced specific aesthetic movements as well as the physical forms of Western theater through the ages from its ritual beginnings to the advent of performance art and multimedia performance. Ms. Cody, Ms. Walen, Mr. Grabowski.

One 75-minute lecture and one 75-minute discussion period.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 102.

102a or b. Introduction to Stagecraft (1)

Basic fundamentals of stagecraft, including scenic design communication and the processes of flat and platform construction. Mr. Miller, instructor to be announced.

Three 50-minute periods plus production laboratory.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 101.


II. Intermediate

200a or b. Production Laboratory (1/2)

Participation in the performance, design, or technical aspects of department productions. The department.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, and permission of the department.

Unscheduled.

201b. Text and Performance (1)

The structural analysis of plays and its practical application in theatrical production. Ms Cody, Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102.

203a or b. The Actor's Craft (1)

The development of rehearsal techniques and strategies in preparation for acting on the stage. Theory and approaches will be drawn from the work of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Brecht, Suzuki, and Bogart, among others. Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

205a or b. The Actor's Voice (1)

Instruction, theory, and practice in the use of the voice for the stage. Instructors to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

209b. Topics in Production (1)

Concentrated study in one design area. May be repeated in another area of design. Ms. Hummel, Mr. Miller.

Topics for 2000: Drafting and Draping (Hummel) or Sound Design (Miller).

Prerequisites: Drama 102 and permission of the instructor.

Unscheduled, plus production laboratory.

213a. Visual Elements of Design (1)

A study of the visual elements of design as they apply to scenic, lighting, and costume design. Mr. Miller; instructors to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

221a-222b. Sources of World Drama (2)

A cross-cultural survey of important plays and nonliterary performance traditions from the Greeks to the present, encompassing Europe, Asia, and Africa. In addition to a historically based exploration of world dramatic literatures, the course will explore why theater emerges in a given culture and examine the implications of past and present intercultural theatrical practice. Ms. Walen (a-semester), Ms. Cody (b-semester).

Prerequisite: Drama 101.

Two 75-minute periods.

231b. History of Fashion for the Stage (1)

History of dress from the Egyptians through the nineteenth century as seen in sculpture, painting, and illuminated manuscripts. Cultural background investigated through the manners, customs, and styles of movement in Western Europe. Ms. Hummel.

Permission of the instructor required.

[241b. Introduction to Black Drama in America] (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 241)

Not offered in 1999/00.

280a. Movement for Actors (1)

Training in stage movement for actors. Students learn to understand neutral posture alignment and explore the dynamic and expressive qualities of movement, as well as the methods of developing a rich physicalization of character. Concepts from the Alexander Technique, Laban Movement Analysis, experimental theatre, and post-modern dance are used. Ms. Tacon.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser and the Office of Field Work.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


III. Advanced

302a or b. Problems in Design (1)

Advanced study and portfolio development in the area of set, costume, or lighting design. May be repeated in another area of design. Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 213 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

304a or b. The Art of Acting (1)

Advanced scene study in which students will examine the challenges of creating an entire acting role. Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 203, 205, 1 unit in dance or movement analysis, and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

305a. The Director's Art (1)

An exploration of the history of the stage director as well as an intensive theoretical and practical examination of the visual and aesthetic elements of directorial composition for the stage. Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 201 or 203, or 213, and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

307b. The Directorial Production Process (1)

An examination of the directorial aspects of realizing the theatrical event, including preproduction research, structures and traditions of collaboration, rehearsal strategy and techniques, and articulation of directorial concept. Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 201 or 203 or 213 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

317a or b. Dramatic Writing (1)

(Same as Film 317) Studies of dramatic construction, analysis of, and practice in writing stage plays and/or screenplays. Mr. Steerman.

Prerequisites: Drama 101 or Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Open only to juniors and seniors.

One 2-hour period.

[324b. European and American Drama] (1)

Historical and critical study of European and American dramatic literature, theory and criticism, playwrights, and/or aesthetic movements. Topic changes each year. Ms. Walen.

Prerequisites: Drama 221-222 or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 1999/00.

335a. Seminar in Western Theater and Drama (1)

Selected topics in Western theater design, dramatic literature, and dramatic criticism. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 221-222 and permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

[336b. Seminar in Performance Studies] (1)

Selected topics in Western and non-Western performance traditions and literatures. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 221-222 and permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 1999/00.

337b. Seminar in Para-theater (1)

Selected topics in "para-theatrical" genres from around the world, such as fairs, festivals, street theater, vaudeville, cabaret, circus arts, performance art, ordeal art, etc. Mr. Walen.

Prerequisites: Drama 221-222 and permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

382b. Acting for the Camera (1)

(same as Film 382) An exploration of techniques which are unique to acting for film and television. Although primarily intended for students interested in acting, the class is also open to students who are interested in screenwriting. In addition to in-class exercises designed to teach students the techniques of film acting, the writing and acting students work together on the creation of short video productions which are filmed and edited as part of the course.

390a or b. Senior Project in Drama (1)

Each student will undertake a project in one of the following areas: acting, directing, design, playwriting, research in dramatic literature/theater history. Nature of project to be determined in consultation with the department. The department. Enrollment limited to senior drama majors.

Prerequisites: senior standing, 1 unit at the 300-level in the project area, and permission of the department. In the case of directing projects, students must also have completed Drama 213. May not be taken concurrently with any other theatre arts course.

Unscheduled.

391a or b. Senior Production Laboratory (1)

Participation in the performance, design, or technical aspects of department productions. The department.

Prerequisites: senior standing, 1 unit at the 300-level in a theater arts course, and permission of the department.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 390.

Unscheduled.

399 a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


Film


Requirements for Concentration: 11units. Film 210/211, 392. 4 additional elective units in film from the following courses: Film 175, 212, 230, 238, 245, 246, 298, 317, 320-321, 325, 385-386, 387, 399. 1 unit from Film 300 or Film 301 or 2 units from Film 326/327. 2 (if electing 326/327 in the senior year) or 3 additional units from the department approved elective list. No more than 4 units of film or video production may be counted toward the concentration.

Senior-Year Requirements: Film 300 or 301 or 326/327, plus 392.


I. Introductory

175a or b. The Art of Film (1)

An introductory exploration of the central features of film and film study, including the relation of film and literature, film genre, silent film, formal and stylistic elements (color, lighting, widescreen, etc.), abstract and nonnarrative film, and film theory. Subjects will be treated topically rather than historically. Enrollment limited to freshmen and sophomores who have not previously taken film courses at Vassar. Mr. Kalin, instructor to be announced.


II. Intermediate

210a/211b. Film History and Theory I and II (1)

Film History I: an international history of film from its invention, through the silent era and the coming of sound, to mid-century. The course focuses on major directors, technological change, industrial organization, the contributions of various national movements. In addition to the historical survey, this course teaches the terminology and concepts of film aesthetics, and introduces students to the major issues of classical film theory. Mr. Steerman, Ms. Kozloff, instructor to be announced.

Prerequisite: 4 units in the humanities or social sciences. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required.

Two 75-minute periods plus film screenings.

Film History II: an international history of film from mid-century to the present day. The course focuses on major directors, technological change, industrial organization, the contributions of various national movements. In addition to the historical survey, this course explores the major schools of contemporary film theory, e.g., semiology, Marxist theory, feminism. Mr. Steerman, Ms. Kozloff, instructor to be announced.

Prerequisite: Film 210. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required.

Two 75-minute periods plus film screenings.

212a. American Film (1)

This course concentrates on a major film genre, tracing its development both in aesthetic terms and through its interaction with the changes in American culture. Readings are drawn from genre theory, auteurist studies of major directors, close-study of individual films, American history. Because topic rotates, this course may be taken more than once. Ms. Kozloff. Topic for 1999: Screwball Comedy.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus film screenings.

23Ob. Film and Culture (1)

An examination of the manner in which film reflects and/or influences cultural ideology and practice, through the in depth study of a given time period or topic. Because topic rotates, this course may be taken more than once. Ms. Kozloff.

Topic for 2000: Film as an Agent of Propaganda or Social Change. A study of films which have been designed to influence their viewers, including propaganda films, documentaries, and fiction films with overt political messages. Films studied may includeBirth of a Nation, The Plow that Broke the Plains, Triumph of the Will, Battle of Algiers, Z, A Question of Silence, I Am a Promise, Do the Right Thing, Philadelphia.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus film screenings.

238a. Music in Film (1)

(Same as Music 238a)

280b. Global Cinema After 1945 (1)

This course examines Global Cinema cultures after the Second World War. Emphasizing, but not limited to, non-western film, the class investigates concepts of national identity as it relates to film form and style, auterism, and the influence of historical events. Moving chronologically, we consider films that are both exemplary of larger movements (e.g., Chinese Fifth Generation Cinema), and also instantiations of the work of pivotal individual filmmakers (e.g., Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray).

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser and the Office of Field Work.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


III. Advanced

300a or b. Film Research Thesis (1)

Research leading to a thesis in film history or theory. Open only to students electing the concentration in film. Senior status required. Ms. Kozloff, instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Film 210/211 and permission of instructor.

Film 301a or b. Film Screenplay Thesis (1)

The creation of a feature-length original screenplay. Open only to students electing the concentration in film. Senior status required. Students wishing to write a screenplay instead of a research thesis must have produced work of distinction in Film 317 (Dramatic Writing). Mr. Steerman.

Prerequsities: Film 210/211, Film 317 or Drama 317, and permission of instructor.

317a or b. Dramatic Writing (1)

(Same as Drama 317a or b)

320a-321b. Filmmaking (1)

A-semester: theoretical and practical examination of the art of visual communication in film. Individual projects emphasize developing, visualizing and editing narratives from original ideas. B-semester: exploration of a variety of narrative structures from original ideas. Includes working in partnership to develop, visualize and execute films. Emphasis is placed on writing and production planning, as well as how lighting and sound contribute to the overall meaning of films. Students must concurrently enroll in a 3-hour lab period each semester. Fees: see section on fees. Mr. Robinson, Mr. Roques.

Prerequisites: Film 210/211 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period, plus lab.

325a. Writing the Short Narrative Film (1/2)

Students learn the process of developing original, 10-12 minute narrative screenplays. Scripts to be produced in Film 327 will be selected from those created in Film 325. Must be taken concurrently with Film 326. Mr. Robinson.

Prerequisites: Film 320-321 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

326a/327b. Senior Film Workshop (1)

A-semester: Multiple individual video projects from developed original ideas. Emphasis is placed on aesthetics and directing. B-semester: Creation of films from original ideas. Students work in teams, each member focusing on a specific area of production or post-production to bring forth a completed sync-sound film. Students must concurrently enroll in a 3-hour lab period each semester. Open only tosenior film majors who have produced work of distinction in Film 320a-321b. Mr.Robinson, Mr. Roques.

Prerequisites: Film 320a-321b and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period, plus lab.

[381b. Experimental Videomaking] (1)

An introduction to video production. Instruction in video theory and the use of the video camera as a recording and editing tool. Choosing from a menu of topics, students will create eight short videos, all edited in camera. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors who have not taken and do not plan to take any other film or video production course at Vassar. Limited enrollment. Mr. Roques.

Prerequisites: 1 unit at the 200-level in Film, 1 unit at the 200-level in Art, and permission of instructor.

Not offered in 1999/00.

382b. Acting for the Camera (1)

(same as Drama 382)

385a, 386b. Interactive Multi-media Production (1)

The theory and production of interactive multi-media. The final project of this class will be the production of an interactive multi-media environment which exists on both a website and as a CD-Rom or DVDRom. A-semester: theoretical and practical examination of interactive multi-media, research and development of the group project. B-semester: writing, design, and programming of the project. Open only to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited. Mr. Roques.

Prerequisites: 2 units at the 200-level in film and permission of instructor.

One 3-hour period plus lab.

387b. Shakespeare on Film (1)

(Same as English 387b)

392a or b. Research Seminar in Film History and Theory (1)

This course is designed as an in-depth exploration of either a given auteur or a major theoretical topic. Students will contribute to the class through research projects and oral presentations. Their work will culminate in lengthy research papers. Because the topic rotates, this course may be taken more than once.

Prerequisites: Film 210 and permission of instructor.

One 3-hour period plus film screenings.

A-semester topic: Adaptation. An examination of how narrative material is transformed from their original media into cinema. Concentrates on formal issues and on industrial factors such as censorship, commercialism, and the star system. Texts to be studied may include: Death in Venice (Mann and Visconti), The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck and Ford), The Age of Innocence (Wharton and Scorsese), The Children's Hour (Hellman and Wyler). Ms. Kozloff

B-semester topic: Baltic Light. An examination of Scandinavian Cinema, including its silent origins (Carl Dreyer and Victor Sjostrom), its movie stars (Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman), and its modern directors (Ingmar Bergman Sweden, Lars von Trier and the Dogma 95 Group-Denmark, and Aki Kaurismaki-Finland). Mr. Kalin.

399a, b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


Summer Study

245-246. Workshop in Screenwriting and 16mm Film Production (2)

The summer workshop offers an integrated study of both the conceptual (screenwriting) and practical aspects of 16mm film production. The program concentrates on the techniques needed to create effective narrative films. Students develop their original ideas into screenplay form and produce these scripts in 16mm film and/or video. Special application required. Mr. Steerman, Mr.Robinson.

Five 3-hour meetings per week plus film screenings.

Tuition/room/board $3,100. Tuition/room only $2,500. Tuition only $2,200.

323-324. Advanced Workshop in Screenwriting and 16 mm Film/Video (2) Production

An advanced workshop concentrating on the writing and production of short synchronous sound films or videos. Special application required. Offered only in case of sufficient demand. See Film 245-246 for general summer workshop details. Mr. Steerman, Mr. Robinson.

Prerequisites: Film 245-246 or 320-321.