Drama

Professors: Gabrielle H. Cody (Chair, Drama),Sarah R. Kozloff, Kenneth M. Robinson (Chair, Film), James B. Steerman; Associate Professors: Christopher Grabowski, Denise Walen; Assistant Professors: David Birn, Mia Mask; Adjunct Professor: Jesse G. Kalin; Visiting Assistant Professors: Jamie Meltzer, Neil Worden; Lecturers: Holly Hummel, William Miller, Kathy Wildberger.

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I. Introductory

102a or b. Introduction to Theater-Making: Theory & Practice (1)

An exploration of the strategies theater artists use to approach the realization of dramatic texts on the stage. Through the staging of weekly projects, the class examines the challenge posed by a variety of dramatic genres. Ms. Cody, Mr. Grabowski or Mr. Birn, Ms. Walen.

Two 75-minute periods.

One 75 minute laboratory.

103a or b. Introduction to Stagecraft ( 1/2)

An introduction to the fundamentals of stagecraft, including the processes of flat and platform construction, scene painting, rigging, and theatrical safety. Mr. Miller.

This is a six-week course.

Two 75-minute periods.

Two 2 hour laboratory.

II. Intermediate

200a or b. The Experimental Theater ( 1/2)

This course focuses on putting theory into practice through participation in the performance, design, or technical aspects of department productions. The 2006/07 season included Pygmalion, Quills, Into the Woods, and Oedipus at Colonus. The department.

Prerequisites: Drama 102, 103, and permission of the department.

May be repeated up to four times.

One 4-hour period and production laboratory.

201b. Text In Performance (1)

The analysis of performance texts as they are interpreted in contemporary production. Students engage in close readings of play texts and criticism and then examine the ramifications of production choices by viewing a number of professional productions. Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 102, 221-222 or special permission of the instructors.

One 2-hour period and laboratory.

[202. The Art of Theater Making] (1)

This course is a sequel to Drama 102. Students explore more deeply the complexities of interpretation and realization of texts on the stage. The source materials include a poem, a play, a short story, and culminates in the conceiving and staging of a non-dramatic text. Ms. Cody and Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 102, 221-222 or special permission of the instructors.

One 2-hour period and laboratory.

203a or b. The Actor’s Craft: The Study of Acting Theories From 1915-present. (1)

The development of rehearsal techniques and strategies in preparation for acting on the stage. Ideas are drawn from the work of Constantin Stanislavsky, Michael Chekhov, Tedashi Suzuki, Anne Bogart, Sanford Meisner, and others. Mr. Worden.

Prerequisites: Drama 102, and permission of the department.

Two 2-hour periods.

205a. The Actor’s Voice (1)

Instruction, theory, and practice in the use of the voice for the stage.

Prerequisites: Drama 102 and permission of the department. Instructor to be announced.

One 3-hour period.

206a. 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 102, and permission of the instructor.

One 3 hour period.

209a. Topics in Production (1)

In-depth study of one or more of the specialized skills used in the creation of the technical aspects of theatrical production. Past topics have included Drafting and Draping. Graphic Communication for Designers, Scene Painting, and Stage Management. May be repeated, but students may study each skill area only once. Mr. Birn, Ms. Hummel, or Mr. Miller.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Unscheduled.

221a/222b. Sources of World Drama (2)

An exploration of dramatic literature and performance practices from around the world and the theories that have affected both the literature and practice of theatre from Aristotle’s The Poetics to writings by late twentieth-century theorists. The course focuses in depth on a number of critical periods rather than surveying the development of dramatic literature. Ms. Walen.

Prerequisite: Drama 102.

Two 75-minute periods.

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

A historical survey of dress from the Egyptians through the nineteenth century as seen in sculpture, manuscript illumination, painting, and drawing. Cultural background investigated through manners and customs in Western Europe. Ms. Hummel.

Permission of the instructor required.

Two 75-minute periods.

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)

Study of set, costume, lighting or sound design. May be repeated in another area of design. Mr Birn, Ms. Hummel, or Mr. Miller.

Prerequisites: Drama 102 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

[304a. The Art of Acting: Classics] (1)

Advanced study of classical acting comparing Shakespeare, Chekhov or Ibsen. Students examine the challenges of a language-driven acting style. Techniques explored include John Barton, Michael Chekhov, Tadashi Suzuki, Anne Bogart, and Kristin Linklater. Mr. Worden.

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

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[305a. The Director’s Art] (1)

An investigation into the actor/director collaboration. Through the exploration of Chekhov plays, students acquire a rehearsal vocabulary and develop rehearsal strategies while working on several projects during in-class exercises. A final project is developed outside of class. Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 202 or 203, 302 or 304, and permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

Not offered in 2007/08.

306a or b. The Art of Acting: Comedy (1)

Advanced study of comic acting styles including clowning, Commedia Dell’arte, Restoration, High Comedy and Absurdism. The work of Lecoq, Suzuki, Wilde, Coward, Ionesco, Beckett and Callow are explored. Mr. Worden.

Prerequisites: Drama 203, 205, 1 unit in dance or movement analysis, and

permission of the instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

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.

Note: students wishing to be considered for admission must submit a short writing sample (dramatic, narrative, poetic) at least ten days prior to preregistration.

Prerequisites: Drama 100 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: Shakespeare in production. Students study the physical circumstances of Elizabethan, public and private theatres at the beginning of the semester. They spend the remainder of the semester in performance work exploring how Shakespearean and other early modern plays worked in these spaces. Ms. Walen.

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

One 3-hour period.

Not offered in 2007/08.

335a. Seminar in Western Theater and Drama: “Serious Play: Female Authorship as Drama” (1)

The course will focus on the study of works by Adrienne Kennedy, Irene Fornes, Marguerite Duras, Karen Finley, and Sarah Kane. We explore the performativity of female authorship through the study of plays, critical essays, letters and biographies. Weekly assignments include performative writing, and performance labs. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 102, 221,222 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

[336a. Seminar in Performance Studies: Modern and Postmodern Theatrical Practice] (1)

Selected topics in Western and non-Western performance traditions and literatures. Weekly assignments will include performative writing, and performance labs. Ms. Cody.

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

One 3-hour period.

Not Offered in 2007/08.

337b. Seminar in Paratheater (1)

An examination of para-theatrical genres and their relation to performance. Readings cover street theatre, demonstrations, stand-up comedy, circus arts, dance, performance art, mediatized performance and theories of liveness as well as the performativity of race, class and gender. Ms. Walen.

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

One 2-hour period.

382b. Acting for the Camera (1)

Techniques of acting and writing for the camera. Special emphasis placed on collective class project. Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 102, 203 and permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

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

Students may propose to undertake a project in one of the following areas: research in dramatic literature, theater history, performance studies, acting, directing, design, or playwriting. Proposals can range from collaborative ensemble projects to solo work, to more conventional endeavors in specific areas such as research, acting, directing, or designing. The nature of this project is to be determined in consultation with the department. The department.

Enrollment limited to senior drama majors.

Prerequisites: senior standing, and permission of the department. In the case of directing and design projects, students must also have completed Drama 209.

Unscheduled.

391a or b. Senior Production Laboratory (1)

Participation in the performance, design, or technical aspects of department productions. Students undertake a major assignment with significant responsibility focusing on theory, craft and collaboration. The department.

Prerequisites: senior standing, 1 unit at the 300-level in Drama, and permission of the department.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 390.

Unscheduled.

392a or b. Diversity in Performance ( 1/2)

(Same as Africana Studies 392) This course is intended to enable students from different backgrounds to create and perform—within the Vassar Experimental Theater season—a non-traditional or non-Eurocentric text, and to document their experience through discussion and journal work. The topic changes each year to encompass many aspects of diversity, including race, sexuality, gender, culture and class. Past projects have included Las Meninas by Lynn Nottage, SUS by Barrie Keefe – and, a race-specific Pygmalion.

One 4-hour period.

399 Senior Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.