Performance, Theater, and Dance Department


The Department of Performance, Theater, and Dance offers students a multidisciplinary approach to understanding performance; emphasizes social responsibility; focuses on performance praxis as inquiry; and highlights the development of original work. Under its umbrella, the disciplines of theater, dance, design, media and performance, and performance studies offer multiple, collaborative perspectives on performance-making and study. The program of study emphasizes hybridity both among these disciplines and beyond them guided by four core values: collaboration, leadership, community reciprocity, and justice. 

In the spirit of the liberal arts, our multidisciplinary approach invites students to integrate disciplinary knowledge from varied fields into performance work and to understand complex discourses on performativity from multiple disciplinary lenses. The department views performance practice and study as paths to engaged citizenship. As they move through the major, students articulate their individual relationship to the department’s core values, demonstrating increased skill in self-reflection, multicultural sensitivity, and the comparison of social values and ethical systems and deepening their understanding of themselves as scholar-artists 

Our annual production season features work by visiting artists as well as students, faculty, and staff. All departmental courses and production experiences are open to non-majors. All public performances are free and open to the community.

Faculty

Chair, Associate Professor Annie Kloppenberg

Associate Chair, Production Manager Marjorie Gallant

AB Brown (Assistant Professor); Lynda Chilton (Academic Administrative Assistant); Matthew Cumbie (Visiting Assistant Professor); John Ervin (Technical Director); Kimberly Fletcher-Stibal (Visiting Instructor); Marjorie Gallant (Production Manager); Kate Hunter (House Manager); Annie Kloppenberg (Associate Professor); Meredith LaBounty (Costume Shop Manager); Gwyneth Shanks (Assistant Professor); Nell Shipman (Visiting Instructor); Jim Thurston (Associate Professor); Bess Welden (Lecturer)


Requirements +

Requirements for the Major in Performance, Theater, and Dance

MAJOR: 41 credit hours

COURSES IN COMMON (13 credit hours):

  • TD124 Performance, Politics, and Practice
  • TD262 Collaborative Company
  • TD3XX Ways of Seeing
    (Seminar to be taken either Junior or Senior fall; prerequisite TD 124)
  • Humanities Theme Lecture Series
    1 credit may be taken at any time as a stand-alone course at any time during a student’s career, but recommended in conjunction with a departmental creative process course related to the theme, such as Collaborative Company or another theme-related faculty-led production. Departmental productions frequently align deliberately with the annual humanities theme.

AREA REQUIREMENTS (8 credit hours):

  • Production — 4 credit hours; one of the following courses:

TD139 Introduction to Stagecraft

TD245 Stage Management: Leadership Behind the Scenes

TD264 as Production Stage Manager for Faculty-led production

  • Praxis — 4 credit hours; one of the following courses:

TD135 Introduction to Design

TD 242 Acts of Activism

TD 247 Performing the Museum

TD 281 Directing

TD 258 Improvisational Practices

TD 285 The Choreographic Process

 

PATHWAY THROUGH THE MAJOR (20 credit hours):

  • Students design and justify their own pathways through the major in consultation with their major advisor; advisors encourage a breadth of experience with deep engagement with a student’s developing research questions.
  • In a written Pathway Rationale, all majors develop and articulate an understanding of the core values of the department: collaboration, leadership, community reciprocity, and justice. These values are introduced in the courses in common, deepened in the area requirements, and will serve as guiding principles for students in their continued study.
  • Up to 12 credit hours may be taken outside the department, with a written rationale explaining the applicability of each course to a student’s focus in the major and approval by faculty vote.
  • No more than 5 credits of 1- and 2-credit physical practice classes (TD115-118 and 215-218) can be counted toward the major, even though students may indeed take more than 5 such credits during their Colby careers.

No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

 

SENIOR CAPSTONE REQUIREMENT:

All students complete a senior capstone which can be any of the following:

  • Senior Scholars
    Full Year; GPA requirement; College Approved in spring of junior year) 16-19cr; up to 8cr can be applied to major.
  • Senior Honors Thesis
    Full Year; GPA requirement; Dept. Approved in spring of junior year) 8cr; up to 4cr can be applied to major.
  • Independent Study
    Full year or half year, advisor approved; no GPA requirement) Variable cr; Up to 4cr can be applied to major.
  • Declaration of engagement in a class or production
    This experience, based on the student’s primary area of interest, becomes the capstone project, and could be fall or spring of senior year. Credit is granted in the course the student enrolls in to complete this requirement.

Requirements for the Minor in Performance, Theater, and Dance

MINOR — 25 CREDIT HOURS

COURSES IN COMMON (9 credit hours):

  • TD124 Performance, Politics, and Practice
  • TD262 Collaborative Company
  • Humanities Theme Lecture Series
    One credit recommended in conjunction with a creative process course related to the theme, but may be taken at any time.

PATHWAY (16 credit hours):

  • Students design their own pathways through the major in consultation with their minor advisor; in our department we have an practice of assigning advisors to minors.
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to take seminar 3XX, Ways of Seeing as a part of their pathway.
  • Advisors encourage a breadth of experience with deep engagement with a student’s developing research questions.
  • Up to 4 credit hours may be taken outside the department, with a written rationale explaining applicability of each course to a student’s focus in the major.
  • No more than 5 credits of 1- and 2-credit physical practice classes (TD115-118 and 215-218) can be counted toward the major, even though students may indeed take more than 5 such credits during their Colby careers.

No requirement for the minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Examples of courses in other departments that could apply to the Pathway:

AM245 Land, Sovereignty, and Art

AY344 Black Radical Imaginations

AY421 Anthropology of Creativity

AR101 Reading Images

AR135 Visual Thinking

AR255 Contemporary Art

AR319 Art, Medicine, and Race

AR356 Writing Art Criticism

BI147 Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga and Mindful Practice

CI138 Film and Media: 1919-1939

CI248 Digital Publishing: Telling Stories Online

CL136 Myth and Magic

CS151 Computational Thinking: Visual Media

CS353 Interactive Systems I: Interactive Agents, Environments, and Systems

EA274 East Asian Art and Architecture, 1300 to the Present

EC214 Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America

EC364 Gender in the Macroeconomy

ED201 Education and Social Justice

EN271 Critical Theory

EN278 Fiction Writing I

EN279 Poetry Writing I

EN280 Creative Nonfiction Writing I

FR223 French Theater Workshop

FR252 Provocative Texts: A Critical Toolbox

FR493N Seminar: L’ecriture de soi

GE123 How to Build a Habitable Planet

GS227 Visual Ways of Knowing: Transcultural Documentary Filmmaking

GM252 Mission Impossible: Multicultural German Literature and Film

GM297 Women’s Literary, Cultural, and Visual Production

GM297B German Cinema: Past and Present

GO149A Utopia in Fiction: Happy Tomorrows or Hells on Earth

GO226 Media and Politics

GO227 Social Movements

HI339 South African Women’s Memoir

HI320 Joan of Arc: History, Legend, and Film

HI351 Desiring Asia: Gender and Sexuality in East Asia

HI397C What is Past? The Historian’s Craft

MU262 Music in Life, Music as Culture: Introduction to Ethnomusicology

MU298 Introduction to Sound Art and Soundwalks

PL111 Central Philosophical Issues: Justice and Society

PL113 Central Philosophical Issues: On Being Human

PL232 History of Modern Philosophy

PL337 Philosophy of Humor

PL328 Radical Ecologies

PS233 Biological Basis of Behavior

PS253 Social Psychology

PS272 Sensation and Perception

PS345 Seminar in Human Movement

RE218 Global South Asia: Literature, Art, Environment

RE319 Bollywood and Beyond: South Asian Religions through Film

SO252 Race, Ethnicity, and Society

SO2XXA Sociology of Creativity

SP239 Latin America at the Movies

SP348 The Afro-Americas: Race, Power, and Subjectivity

SP397 Ancient Selfies: Self and Mirror-Text in Pre-Modern Spain

WG311 Feminist Theories and Methodologies

WG339 Disability Studies and the Environmental Humanities

WG349 Queer of Color Critique

Honors in Performance, Theater, and Dance

Performance, Theater, and Dance majors with a minimum cumulative grade point average in the major of 3.5 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. Honors projects signify a serious engagement with independent research, 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 by March 1. With unanimous approval from the department, students can register for Performance, Theater, and Dance 483. Students wishing to change their honors project must petition the department for approval. 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 Liberal Arts 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 Performance, Theater, and Dance.” In cases where requirements have not been fulfilled at the end of either semester, Performance, Theater, and Dance 483 and 484 (Honors Thesis) will revert to graded Performance, Theater, and Dance 491 and 492 (Independent Study). For specifics on the procedures and expectations for Honors in Performance, Theater, and Dance (depending on the proposed area of study, e.g. dramatic literature, acting, dance, design, history, technical direction, or sound), please consult faculty in the Department of Performance, Theater, and Dance.

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.