Theater and Dance

 
COURSE OFFERINGS
 
013j    Introduction to the Alexander Technique    The Alexander Technique is an educational method that focuses on teaching individuals efficient, coordinated use of their bodies in everyday activities. Whether standing, sitting, bending, or lifting, students learn to accomplish activities from a place of balance and support. Enhances performance in music, dance, theater, and sports as it minimizes effort, tension, and fatigue. Simple principles realign the body for maximum health and function, thereby reducing stress and injury and improving mental acuity and physical appearance. Noncredit.     SIEGLER

064Af    Drama and Dance: Metamorphoses     Contact Professor Conner. Prerequisite: Audition. Noncredit.     CONNER

064Bs    Next!: A Cabaret From the Front Lines    Conceived and directed by Jonathan Mastro, the Irving D. Suss Visiting Guest Artist in Residence, Next! brings out the dangerous side of musical theatre, taking the most thought-provoking work from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Steven Sondheim, Jacques Brel, and contemporary composers and lyricists out of the context of their original musicals and redeploying them in an original cabaret. Prerequisite: Audition. Noncredit.     MASTRO, WENTZEL

064Cs    Drama and Dance: This Is Our Youth    Contact Professor Coulter. Prerequisite: Audition. Noncredit.     COULTER

113f    The Dramatic Experience     In the digital age, why do people continue to create live performance? What makes the dramatic experience unique? This introductory level immersion course provides a foundation for the study and practice of theater and dance through observation, discussion, and creative activity. No performing arts experience is necessary. Attendance is required at department productions as well as two or three other live performances. Students considering a major or minor in theater and dance are strongly urged to complete this course in their first year. Four credit hours.  A.    CONNER

[131]    Theater Production     An introduction and exploration of basic theatrical engineering and technical planning. Students help build a show from the ground up and apply this knowledge while collaboratively designing and drawing technical solutions to theoretical scenery. No previous experience is necessary, but students who have taken Stagecraft will find this an excellent companion course. Three credit hours.  A.    

135fs    Introduction to Design    An introduction to the principles of visual design and their role in the dramatic event. Particular emphasis on bringing the imagined world of the playwright to life through the use of space, light, and clothing. Historical and contemporary texts are explored through lectures, discussions, and projects. No prior experience is required. Enrollment limited. Four credit hours.  A.    THURSTON

139fs    Stagecraft I    An introduction to exploration of scenic construction, lighting production, and prop-making concepts, techniques, equipment, and materials, emphasizing problem solving through research, experimentation, and collaborative learning. Students will be challenged to understand the interrelationship between stagecraft and other aspects of dramatic art. Out-of-class work is essential. Previous experience is not necessary. Four credit hours.  A.    ERVIN

141s    Beginning Playwriting    An introduction to playwriting for students interested in dramatic storytelling and new play development. Focus on: (1) close reading and analysis of representative plays in order to understand dramatic structure, characterization, rhythm, imagery, etc.; (2) creative experimentation through a series of writing exercises; and (3) participation in the process of workshopping class products, including offering and receiving constructive criticism. Students will have the chance to workshop a short piece at the end of the semester. Four credit hours.  A.    CONNER

155f    Foundations of Dance    Concentration on the basic principles of dance movement: body alignment, coordination, strength and flexibility, forms of locomotion. Four credit hours.  A.    WENTZEL

171fs    Acting I: Improvisation     An overview of the foundational techniques of stage performance, with a focus on invention and structured improvisational problems. Through the use of theater games and movement improvisation, performance skills will be approached from two perspectives: concentration and action. The process allows students, by responding to each other's imagination, energy, and style, to break through thinking and movement patterns that have limited them in the past. Enrollment limited. Four credit hours.  A.    WENTZEL

197j    Acting the Classics    A dynamic approach to acting the classics, allowing students to explore and develop the tools needed to perform texts by Shakespeare and other playwrights of the classical repertory. Addresses the question: what strategies help actors find and convey truth, plausibility, and clarity in the poetic, supercharged, or intricate language of the classical drama? Course expectations include regular memorization outside of class; writing a course notebook; and scene presentations, including a special final performance. Three credit hours.  A.    SEWELL

198s    Interpreting the Song    An introduction to preparing songs from the musical theater repertoire. Students will work on ensemble and solo pieces and learn how to use vocal technique for dramatic impact. Emphasis on harmony singing, vocal technique, and interpretation of lyrics. Students will also learn how to choose and develop audition pieces. Four credit hours.    MASTRO

224f    Performance History I     Explores a wide array of world performance traditions from antiquity to the early modern era (c. 1700 CE), examining the ways in which theater, dance, and other types of live performance arise out of and give expression to their surrounding cultures. Through daily discussion, papers, presentations, exams and archival exercises, students analyze the larger contexts of theatrical events by carefully considering social and political history and aesthetic trends. Course material includes primary documents, architectural/scenic renderings, photographs, videos, representative works of dramatic literature, performance memoirs, and theoretical treatises on staging practices from around the globe. Four credit hours.  L.    COULTER

226s    Performance History II     Explores a wide array of world performance traditions from the early modern era (c. 1700 CE) to the post-WWII period, examining the ways theater, dance, and other types of live performance arise out of and give expression to their surrounding cultures. Through daily discussions, papers, presentations, exams, and archival exercises, students analyze the larger contexts of theatrical events by carefully considering social and political history and aesthetic trends. Course material includes primary documents, architectural/scenic renderings, photographs, videos, representative works of dramatic literature, performance memoirs, and theoretical treatises on staging practices from around the globe. Four credit hours.  L.    CONNER

[235]    Intermediate Design     A studio course concentrating on the exploration of viable design solutions for dramatic texts and choreographic ideas. Conceptual choices are informed by research and expressed through a variety of media including computer design, rendering, modeling, and technical drawings. Emphasis is placed on the necessary balance between theory and practice and centers on an integrated visual design philosophy including scenery, costumes, and lights. Prerequisite: Theater and Dance 135. Four credit hours.  A.    

239fs    Stagecraft II     Further exploration of scenic construction, lighting production, and prop-making concepts, techniques, equipment, and materials. In addition to an expansion of the course of study from Stagecraft I, students will examine scene painting through theoretical and practical projects where possible. Out-of-class work is essential. Prerequisite: Theater and Dance 131 or 139. Four credit hours.    ERVIN

[246]    American Musical Theater in the 20th Century    Listed as Music 236. Four credit hours.  A.    

[255]    Advanced Dance: Moving Through Human Anatomy     An overview of the major systems of the body (skeletal, fluids, nervous, etc.) to show how these systems support and move the body in and through space. Personal awareness of these systems fosters understanding of their interrelationships in self and others and helps to refine personal, technical clarity with regard to movement expressivity in performance. Course content will change each semester; may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Theater and Dance 155. Four credit hours.  A.    

259f    Choreography     Description and analysis of movement and its relation to basic elements of dance: time, space, weight, and flow. Improvisation and choreographic studies will be the vehicles for exploring the formal compositional fundamentals of dance and their application to group choreography. Final projects will be research based and fully conceived dances to be presented in an informal concert format. Open to first-year students with permission of the instructor. Formerly listed as Theater and Dance 359. Four credit hours.    WENTZEL

264Af    Drama and Dance: Metamorphoses     Contact Professor Conner. Prerequisite: Audition. Two credit hours.    CONNER

264Bs    Next!: A Cabaret From the Front Lines    Conceived and directed by Jonathan Mastro, the Irving D. Suss Visiting Guest Artist in Residence, Next! brings out the dangerous side of musical theatre, taking the most thought-provoking work from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Steven Sondheim, Jacques Brel, and contemporary composers and lyricists out of the context of their original musicals and redeploying them in an original cabaret. Prerequisite: Audition. One or two credit hours.    MASTRO, WENTZEL

264Cs    Drama and Dance: This Is Our Youth    This mainstage production, written by Kenneth Lonergan, is a funny, tough and ultimately very moving look at two days in the lives of three college-aged West Siders as they struggle to grow up. Prerequisite: Audition. One or two credit hours.    COULTER

271f    Acting II: Scene Study    Concentrated monologue and scene work based on Stanislavsky's techniques, with strong focus on script analysis, particularly with regard to playing actions and intentions. Development of skills in sense memory, creating character, concentration, and spontaneity while preparing polished finished scenes and audition pieces. No prior experience is required. Four credit hours.    COULTER

335s    Topics in Design: Advanced Scenography    Advanced studies in design and technical production. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical and historical role of design in theater and dance. Topics vary from semester to semester and focus on the historical context of design, design theory, production design, technical theater, and theater architecture. Prerequisite: Theater and Dance 135 or 139. Four credit hours.    THURSTON

339s    Stagecraft III     Further exploration of scenic construction, lighting production, and prop-making concepts, techniques, equipment, and materials. In addition to expanding their studies from Stagecraft II, students will examine M.I.G. welding through theoretical and practical projects where possible. Out-of-class work is essential. Prerequisite: Theater and Dance 239. Four credit hours.    ERVIN

[349A]    Topics in Dramatic Literature: Political Theater from Lysistrata to Stuff Happens     References to the "political stage" during elections remind us that since ancient times theater and politics have been closely linked. The Greeks used plays to expose enemies as well as to model behavior for democratic governance. More recently, British playwright David Hare's Stuff Happens turned real speeches, meetings, and press conferences into an evening of controversial theater about the Iraq war. The focus will be on dramatic texts and live performance (from street theater to sketch satire) that explore the complexities of the political realm. Four credit hours.    

[349B]    Topics in Dramatic Literature: Script Analysis     Focuses on developing close reading and interpretation skills for directors, actors, designers, dramaturgs, playwrights, and others whose work involves the process of moving plays from the page to the stage. Through in-depth analysis of a wide range of dramatic texts from a variety of cultures, students will be able to identify and meaningfully discuss genres, structural components, plotting elements, tonal/stylistic aspects, and thematic constructs. Class projects will involve conceptualizing the analyzed plays for imagined productions. Four credit hours.    

361As    Musical Theater Skills Lab    Scenes and songs from the musical theater repertoire. Working in groups of two and three, students learn how to turn the transition between speech and singing into a character choice. Emphasis on scene work, vocal technique, and pursuing character objectives through song. Four credit hours.  A.    MASTRO

361Bs    Topics: Theater as Laboratory     Through a combination of seminar and applied work, explores the history of alternative theater models in the United States throughout the 20th and early 21st century. With papers, presentations, exams, archival exercises, and possible on-site study, students will analyze the ways in which lab theaters have challenged and complemented established theater models in relationship to contemporary cultural trends. The final semester project will invite students to create and test a design for a new laboratory-style theater company in residence at Colby Theater and Dance. Four credit hours.  A.    COULTER

361Jj    Topics in Performance: Performing Colby's 200th Birthday     Colby celebrates its bicentennial in 2013. Imagine the stories that 200 years of college life have generated. In this experimental class, students will research the history of the College using archival materials (photographs, yearbooks, memoirs, letters, college publications and records, scrapbooks, etc.) to discover the raw material for building original monologues, stand-up acts, songs, spoken word, short plays, raps/rhymes, and other forms of creative, performative storytelling. Culminates in an informal performance opportunity. Three credit hours.  A.    CONNER

379s    Directing     Theories and techniques of staging theater. Emphasizing the collaborative nature of theater, allows students to explore a wide variety of performance styles. Includes practical matters such as casting, the design process, and working with actors, as well as the historical role of the director and its place in contemporary theater. Students cast and direct scenes and present a final directing concept for a longer, more substantial piece of work. Equal parts studio and lecture. Requires stringent attendance and preparatory/rehearsal time outside of class. Four credit hours.    COULTER

483f, 484js    Honors Thesis in Theater and Dance     Majors may apply for admission in spring of their junior year. Requires research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member and focused on an approved topic leading to the writing of a thesis, an oral public presentation or performance, and a presentation in the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium. Prerequisite: Senior standing, a 3.25 grade point average, a 3.50 major average at the end of January of the junior year, and unanimous approval of the department. Three or four credit hours.    FACULTY

491f, 492s    Independent Study    Individual projects in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One to four credit hours.    FACULTY