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Theatre Program Information


Theatre Emphasis

Tempest photo 
Ferdinand (Dave Cowan) and spirits in 2002 production of The Tempest.

The Theatre Emphasis offers beginning and intermediate level courses in theatre arts. Classes are designed to equip students with a solid understanding of the theatrical process in an atmosphere valuing individual growth. Students learn to work cooperatively as members of an ensemble, to appreciate the many arts of the theatre, and to focus their creative energies. While the training is geared toward students at all levels of experience and professional aspiration, theatre is approached as a serious art form demanding commitment and dedication. The busy schedule of productions and workshop presentations allows students ample opportunity to apply their training in public performances.

THE 105A Narrative Theatre (3 units)
Students in this course develop an original ensemble theatre production based on an established theme. The material may be drawn from personal stories, community-based interviews or historical research . The class focuses on the development of ensemble performance skills, techniques for creating original performance material and the role of theatre as community story telling. Students learn to utilize theatre to reflect upon the political, social, and cultural dynamic of a particular community, to listen across cultural divides and / or to give voice to their personal stories.

THE 105B, C & D:  Play Development I, II & III (1 unit)
Participate in the development of an original play from page to stage.  Students may contribute as writers, directors, actors, and /or designers, learning to collaborate with an  ensemble of theatre artists in the creation of new plays.

THE 118 Introduction to Directing (3 units)
Introduction to fundamental principles of directing. Study and practice in the directorial process including research, script analysis, conceptualization, casting and rehearsal techniques. Concurrent enrollment in a laboratory production course (THE 105B, 105C or 105D) is required. Recommended preparation:  THE 202, THE 210B and THE 210C).

THE 119A, B & C:  Costume Construction (2-3 units) 
THE 119D: Introduction to Costume Design (3 units)
An introduction to the crafts of designing, building, & coordinating theatrical costumes.  Techniques of basic pattern drafting, cutting and fitting are applied through practical work on the Theatre Department’s current production. Basic elements of costume design, including period style, color choices, and characterization, are discussed as they relate to the play under construction.   Recommended preparation:  CLO 105

THE 121A, B, C & D: Acting Performance I, II, III & IV (3 units)
Participation in college production as a performing member of the cast.  Variable credit will be determined by the hours involved in rehearsal and performance.  All actors will be required to audition for roles.

THE 125A, B, C & D: Production - PCrew I, II, III & IV (1-2 units)
Participation in a college production as a member of the production staff or crew.  Involvement in one or more of the following areas during the development of the play: scenery building and painting, stage lighting, make-up, costumes, publicity and house management.

THE 170 Introduction to Playwriting  (3 units)
This course is designed for both beginning and experienced writers to explore the art of playwriting in a supportive, inquisitive environment.  Through readings, writing exercises, and continual revision of our works-in-progress, we will explore how plays evolve from fledgling ideas to stage-ready scripts.

THE 200:  Introduction to Theatre  (3 units)
An introduction the principles and purposes of drama. Western theatre is surveyed from its origins in ancient Greece through the Medieval, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary periods. Non-western theatrical styles are also examined, as are emerging  multi-cultural and cross-cultural theatrical directions.  Investigation of the creative contributions made by playwrights, actors, directors, designers, stage managers and technicians enhance the student’s appreciation of theatre.  Lectures, films, theatre attendance, assigned reading and practical "hands-on" projects  acquaint students with some of the joys and challenges of creative work in the theatre.

THE 201:  Introduction to Film  (3 units)
History and background of film and cinematic arts in an international framework.  Appreciation of the purposes and principles of film as art and the contributions made by actors, directors, and technicians in the film industry.

THE 202 Introduction to Dramatic Literature (3 units)
Reading and discussion of American plays.   Some European and non-Western dramatic texts from various historical periods may also be included.  Students in this course learn to analyze scripts from the perspective of a theatre artist preparing for a production.  The viewpoints of the actor, the director and the designer are considered.  The course offers an introduction to dramatic literature and the theatrical process.

THE 210A Improvisation (3 units)
This class functions as an improv ensemble, creating improvised theatre that is spontaneous, energetic and engaging. Fundamental acting techniques such as commitment, spontaneity and concentration are addressed through exercises and performance.  Most importantly, the course strives to create an environment of creative risk taking in which each student’s full imagination may flourish.  No previous theatre experience or preparation required.

THE 210B:  Beginning Acting  (3 units)
This class is an introduction to fundamental acting techniques. Through exercises, scene work, and improvisation, students develop their ability to "live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Topics covered include: relaxation, concentration, listening, ensemble techniques, objectives, inner monologue, and given circumstances. Students write critiques of professional and college productions and read scripts and related texts. No prior experience in theatre is required.

THE 210C: Intermediate Acting  (3 units)
Students continue to develop the fundamental skills explored in THE 210, working on a variety of structured improvisations, scenes, and monologues. The course culminates in a public performance of a group project. Topics covered include: commitment, spontaneity, physicalization, and ensemble techniques. Students continue to write written critiques of professional and college productions and read scripts and related texts. Prerequisite: THE 210B.

THE 210D Acting Styles (3 units)
Exploration of the special demands of non-realistic and poetic drama.  Students rehearse and perform a variety of contemporary and classical scenes, including the works of Shakespeare, Moliere and the Greek tragedians.  Special topics such as improvisation, vocal production, physicalization, commedia del arte, stage combat and audition techniques may also be  included as they relate to the material being studied.  Prerequisite:  THE 210B.  Recommended preparation:  ENG 200 and THE 210C.

THE  212 The Actors Voice (1 unit)
Techniques for effective vocal production for the stage.  Utilizing the techniques of Kristin Linklater, students develop the basic skills of relaxation, breath, resonance and articulation.  Ongoing physical and vocal exercises are combined with practical applications through rehearsal and performance of dramatic material.

THE 215A:  Stagecraft   (3 units)
Technical aspects of scenic production, including set construction, painting, rigging and shifting; basic lighting; properties construction, and stage management.  Participation in major productions.

THE 215B:  Lighting  (3 units)
Basic concepts of stage lighting, including planning, rigging, and operation of lighting systems; optics, equipment, electricity and color; basic lighting design.