Courses of Study

Theater and Dance
 
See course descriptions for this department or program 

Chair, Associate Professor Lynne Conner
Adjunct Professor Christine Wentzel; Associate Professor Lynne Conner; Adjunct Associate Professor James Thurston; Assistant Professor Todd Coulter; Technical Director John Ervin; Visiting Guest Artist Jonathan Mastro

The primary mission of the Department of Theater and Dance is to promote the historical, theoretical, and experiential study of the performing arts as vital and important areas of inquiry for liberal arts students. The study and practice of performance disciplines foster creative expression, stimulate critical and imaginative thinking, increase cultural literacy through study of the history and literature of the field, develop aesthetic judgment and analytical tools, and encourage collaborative learning through disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research. Undergraduate students in theater and dance also increase their abilities in self-reflection, multicultural sensitivity, and the comparison of social values and ethical systems; in short, they learn how to be productive citizens and professional leaders through their scholarly and applied experiences. In addition to traditional lecture and discussion courses, the program of study includes frequent opportunities for practical experience in theater and dance, including creative research and production opportunities and service learning projects. The department also seeks to entertain and to educate the larger community through its rigorous production schedule of plays, dance concerts, touring artists, and residency workshops with guest artists.

Consistent with the College’s mission, the major in theater and dance is a liberal arts, not a pre-professional, major. It is, however, a major that will adequately prepare particularly interested and talented students for graduate study and further involvement with performing groups. It is a structured major, ensuring that all students have experience and training in acting, directing, movement, design, and technical production in addition to the historical and theoretical study of theater and dance.

 
Requirements for the Major in Theater and Dance
An 11-course major comprising the following courses: 
  1. Theater and Dance 113   The Dramatic Experience.
  2. Practice   Five courses, one from five of the following six areas: acting, dance, directing/choreography, design, playwriting, and applied study (Theater and Dance 064 or 264).
  3. Theater and Dance History   Two courses: Theater and Dance 224 and 226.
  4. Advanced Topics in Theater and Dance   Two courses from Theater and Dance 335, 349, 361.
  5. One elective in the student’s area of interest at the 300- or 400-level chosen in consultation with the advisor, or Honors in Theater and Dance.
  6. In addition to the required courses, students must have significant participation in four faculty-directed productions in four separate semesters: one must be in performance, one must be in design/technical production, and one must be in stage management. Theater and Dance 064 or 264, Drama and Dance in Performance, counts as one of these experiences.
Honors in Theater and Dance
Theater and Dance majors with a minimum cumulative grade point average in the major of 3.50 and an overall GPA of 3.25 at the end of the January term of the junior year and with unanimous approval of the department faculty are eligible to apply for the honors thesis. These projects signify a serious engagement with independent scholarship, and interested students should plan to devote a large segment of their academic time to the project during their senior year. Interested students should contact a faculty sponsor during the spring semester of the junior year to discuss a project and secure that faculty member's sponsorship. Students must then petition the department for permission to undertake honors work. With unanimous approval from the department, students can register for Theater and Dance 483. Students wishing to change their honors project topic must petition the department for approval of the new topic. Honors research projects will be a total of six to eight credits and will be conducted during the student's last two semesters (one of which may be Jan Plan). Successful completion of the honors thesis will include an approved thesis and an oral presentation at the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium as well as the completion of the required course work for the major. The students fulfilling these requirements and receiving at least an A- for the honors thesis will graduate "With Honors in Theater and Dance." In cases where requirements have not been fulfilled at the end of either semester, Theater and Dance 483 and 484 (Honors Thesis) will revert to graded Theater and Dance 491 and 492 (Independent Study). For specifics on the procedures and expectations for Honors in Theater and Dance (depending on the proposed area of study, i.e. dramatic literature, acting, dance, design, history, technical direction, or sound), please consult faculty in the Department of Theater and Dance.
 
Requirements for the Minor in Theater and Dance
A six-course minor comprising the following courses: 
  1. Theater and Dance 113   The Dramatic Experience.
  2. Practice   Three courses, one from three of the following six areas: acting, dance, directing/choreography, design, playwriting, and applied study (Theater and Dance 064 or 264).
  3. Theater and Dance History   Either Theater and Dance 224 or 226.
  4. Advanced Topics in Theater and Dance   One course from Theater and Dance 335, 349, 361.
  5.  
  6. In addition to the required courses, students must have significant participation in two faculty-directed productions in two separate semesters. Theater and Dance 264, Drama and Dance in Performance, counts as one of these experiences.
The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses offered toward the major. No requirement for the major or minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.