Drama and Film

Professors: Jesse G. Kalin, James B. Steerman; Associate Professors: Gabrielle H. Cody (Chair), Sarah R. Kozloff (Associate Chair, Film), Kenneth M. Robinson; Assistant Professors: Christopher Grabowski, Denise Walen; Visiting Assistant Professor: David Birn;Lecturers: Holly Hummel, William Miller; Adjunct Instructors:Matthew Beisner, Darrell James, Erin Mee, Dennis Reid, Bess Welden, Kathy Wildberger.


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.


I. 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, Mr. Birn.

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, Mr. Birn.

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. Ms. Mee, Mr. James.

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. Ms. Weldon, Mr. Beisner.

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

One 3-hour period plus production laboratory.

209a or b. 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 topic to be announced (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, Ms. Hummel, Mr. Birn.

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.

231a. 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)

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. Wildberger.

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.

Reading Course

297.01. Shakespeare's Contemporaries (1/2)

Ms. Walen.

Reading Course.

Permission required.

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. Mr Birn, Ms. Hummel, Mr. Miller.

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. Mr. Reid.

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)

(Same as Women's Studies 324b) Historical and critical study of European and American dramatic literature, theory and criticism, playwrights, and/or aesthetic movements. Topic for 2000/01: Women Interpreting Shakespeare. Ms. Walen.

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

[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.

Not offered in 2000/01.

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.

[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. Ms. Walen.

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

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2000/01.

380a Contemporary U.S. Latina/o Theatrical Arts and Culture (1)

As this 21st century begins, Latina/o writers, artist and musical performers are gaining increasing recognition form mainstream periodicals, publishers and producers. The prevailing narrative within these discoveries is that the Latina/o artist is a new phenomenon. This course intervenes in these discourses by charting a historical trajectory of Latina/o cultural and artistic production since the Civil Rights Movement. The artistic forms that we study include but are not limited to : dramatic texts, performance art, visual art, music, dance, folkloric art and film. Course objectives include: 1) identifying the connections between Latina/o arts and the assertions of Latina/o identities; 2) exploring the role (s) Latina/o arts play within intra-Latino struggles and alliances that arise from gender, ethnic and class differences; 3) critically examining the relationships between Latina/o cultural production and the political economic positions of Latina/o/a as within the U.S. and; 4) asking how (or if) these artists have been engaged in the creation of a U.S. Latina/o aesthetic. Ultimately, this course encourages students to ask: How are Latina/o artists challenging not simply the borders imposed around traditional U.S. historical narratives and ideas about citizenship and identity, but how are Latina/o artists re-mapping the borders drawn around art itself?

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

Each student undertakes 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.

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

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


Film


Requirements for Concentration: 11 units. Film 210/211, 392. 6 additional elective units in film selected from Film 212, 230, 238, 245, 246, 300, 301, 317, 320/321, 323, 324, 325, 326/327, 328/329, 387, with the following restrictions: 1) no more than 4 elective units in film, video, or digital production (Film 245-246, 320/321, 323-324, 328/329) may be counted toward the concentration; 2) 2 of the above 6 elective units must be courses in film history/theory at the 200-level or above (Film 212, 230, 238, 387, plus special studies courses, when offered); 3) 2 units earned in the Advanced BAFA/Vassar London JYA Program may be used to meet this 6 unit elective requirement, but restrictions 1) and 2) apply; 4) only 1 thesis option (Film 300 or 301) may be chosen. 2 additional elective units at the 200-level or above from the following categories: 1) courses offered by the Film Department, Drama Department, and the Advanced BAFA/Vassar London Program; 2) film-related courses offered by other departments which appear on the Film Department approved elective list, or, if pre-approved by the department, such courses taken while students are enrolled in JYA or Exchange programs at other institutions.

Senior-Year Requirement: Film 392.


I. Introductory

175b. 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 are treated topically rather than historically. Enrollment limited to freshmen and sophomores who have not previously taken film courses at Vassar. Mr. Kalin.


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.

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.

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. Topic for 2000: Film Musicals. Ms. Kozloff.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus film screenings.

230a. or b. 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, instructor to be announced.

Topics for 2000-01 a: Minorities in the Media

This course studies visual and written texts in which the dynamics of race, gender and sexuality in American life are expressed. Throughout the semester, we analyze films, videos, advertisements, and newspaper articles, as well as other mediated discourse, to assess the way categories or minority identity have been constructed in mainstream society. Along with examining images of those persons collectively known as "minorities", we consider the representation of those who have defined themselves as "majority" Americans. In addition to scholarship by film theorists, black British cultural theorists, African American scholars, and critical race theorists, this course enlists scholarship from the emerging field of "whiteness studies." Films studies may include: Blackboard Jungle,Slaying the DragonBlood in the FaceBlack is, Black Ain'tShake Rattle and RockWhiteboyz. Requirements include screenings, readings and papers.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus film screening.

[238a. Music in Film] (1)

(Same as Music 238a)

Not offered in 2000/01.

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.

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)

320/321. 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. Ungraded. Mr. Robinson, Mr. Roques.

Fees: see section on fees.

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, ten-twelve 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. Mr.Robinson, Mr. Roques.

Open only tosenior film majors who have produced work of distinction in Film 320a-321b.

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

One 3-hour period, plus lab.

328a/329b. 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 DVD-Rom. 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. Mr. Roques.

Open only to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited.

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

One 3-hour period plus lab.

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 contribute to the class through research projects and oral presentations. Their work culminates in lengthy research papers. Because the topic rotates, this course may be taken more than once.

Prerequisites: Film 212 or 230 and permission of instructor.

One 3-hour period plus film screenings.

Topic for 2000/01a: Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman. Mr. Kalin.

Topic for 2000/01b: John Ford's Vision of The American West. Mr. Steerman.

Topic for 2000/01b: Non-Western Cinema. Ms. Mask

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. Mr. Steerman, Mr.Robinson.

Special application required.

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. See Film 245-246 for general summer workshop details. Mr. Steerman, Mr. Robinson.

Special application required.

Prerequisites: Film 245-246 or 320-321.

Offered only in case of sufficient demand.

British American Film Academy/Vassar Program in London.

For complete course descriptions and program information, consult BAFA/Vassar brochure, available in the Film Department Office or the Office for Study Away. Please note that only courses taken in the Advanced BAFA/Vassar Program may be used to meet requirements for the Concentration in Film.

Introductory Program (A-semester):

213a. European Film History and Criticism (1)

217a. Screenwriting (1)

220a. Directing for Film and Television (1)

223a. Acting for Film and Television (1)

224a. Acting Shakespeare on Film (1/2)

225a. Film Adaptations (1/2)

226a. Filmmaking Laboratory (0)

Required of all students in program.

Advanced Program (B-semester):

303b. Advanced Acting for Film and Television (11/2)

312b. Advanced Film History and Criticism (1)

315b. History and Theory of Documentary (1/2)

318b. Advanced Screenwriting (11/2)

323b. Advanced Filmmaking (11/2)

330b. Advanced Film Directing (11/2)