THE 105 - (6) through 405-(6) Theatre Production
Open to all Hillsdale College students (including freshmen) interested in working on Hillsdale College theatre productions either as actors; as members of technical crews in set construction and painting, lighting, properties, costumes or makeup; or in promotion, ticket sales and house management. Students can earn one credit each semester that they are enrolled during the four-year course of study.
THE 200 - Understanding Theatre
Readings, lectures and discussion provide the student with the basic concepts and terms necessary to appreciate the theatre as an art. Dramatic structure, style, purpose and effect are the keys to understanding the forms of communication among author, performer and audience. Special attention is paid to the interlocking functions of all the artists of the theatre: not only playwright and actor, but also director, designer and architect.
THE 210 - The Theatre in History I: Dramatic Literature, History, Theory and Criticism of the Ancient World
The history of theatre as an art, as a medium of cultural expression and communication, and as a social institution. The theatre of the past is examined both for its own artistic techniques and for the light that it may shed on the cultural patterns and values of the societies in which it has served as a forum of the public imagination. THE 210 investigates the drama and theatre of preliterary cultures, ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, the traditional civilizations of the Orient and the European Renaissance.
THE 215 - The Theatre in History II: Dramatic Literature, History, Theory and Criticism; Renaissance to Revolution (1500-1800)
The history of drama and theatre in Europe and America since the 17th century is examined according to the norms described above (see THE 210): the courtly, classical and commercial theatres of Baroque Europe; the rise of middle-class audiences and the aesthetic of realism; Romanticism; modern modes of subjectivist and formalist theatre.
THE 225 - Basic Theatre Technology
The theatre craftsman as technician and problem solver. Students are engaged in both practical and theoretical exercises in stage carpentry, scene painting, scenery rigging, lighting, drafting, acoustics, electronically amplified sound, scenic projection, stage properties, costume constuction and the offstage handling of a whole production.
THE 235 - Acting I: Basic Performance Techniques
Fundamental processes, structures and forms of theatrical performance are investigated experientially through theatre-games, improvisation and rehearsed events, as well as conceptually through assigned readings and discussion. The course serves as a unifying introduction to acting and direction, with emphasis on dramatic analysis and on the visual and kinetic dimensions of the art.
THE 236 - Design for Theatre I
An introduction to the various ideas and techniques of designing in the theatre. This team-taught course will explore the fundamentals of the design process in set, lighting and costume design disciplines. Stress is placed on script analysis, design research, and the shared aspects of drawing for the theatre; as well as the creative handling of the elements of design and composition as they relate to all areas of theatrical design. This course is the pre-requisite for THE 336, Design for the Theatre II.
THE 301 - The Theatre in History III: Dramatic Literature, History, Theory and Criticism; Early Modern Drama (1800-1918)
A careful examination of the relationship of the development of social drama, Romanticism, Melodrama, Realism, Naturalism and the early anti-realist movements to the general trends of history and poetic theory between 1800 and the end of World War I.
THE 302 - The Theatre in History IV: Dramatic Literature, History, Theory and Criticism; Contemporary Drama (1918-Present)
A study of contemporary drama and dramatic theory, and its development from early 20th century models, with particular emphasis on contemporary dramatic theory.
THE 310 - Playwriting: Sources and Methods
Intensive exercises in creating short plays and in adapting non-dramatic material as dramas, with the goal, first, of learning a variety of dramatic forms and structures by “hands-on” application, and second, of increasing the student’s appreciation of drama as a flexible mode of artistic expression and communication.
THE 335 - Acting II: Characterization for the Stage
Practical works, readings, rehearsed scenes and discussion supply the basics of creating a character. Students learn techniques of character analysis and the interaction of roles in scenes. Attention is given to rehearsal techniques and to considering the choices made by the actor, emphasizing the techniques of psychological realism. Prerequisite: THE 235.
THE 336 - Design for the Theatre II
The creative design process as it relates to a specific area of theatrical design, chosen from among the following types: scenic, lighting or costume. Students will build on the material from Design for the Theatre I to focus their learning in one of the three areas listed. Both artistic and practical drawings will be emphasized. Opportunities for realized designs or assisting Faculty designers will be provided when possible. May be repeated for credit in each of the three design areas. Prerequisite: THE 236
THE 339 - Makeup Design
Intended for the serious performer, this class will prepare students to proceed from character analysis to finished performance makeup. Topics include understanding, emphasizing and changing basic facial structure; application of wigs and hairpieces; special-effects makeup; prosthetics and plastics; aging; and historical period effects. Prerequisite: THE 225.
THE 340 - Basic Directing for the Theatre
Provides an introduction to the techniques of directing for the theatre. Students will study the history of directing and the performance theories of several important directors. The course will provide discussion and practical experience in script analysis, conceptualization, use of the stage, derivation of ground plan, choosing and working with actors, and the development of a set design for a production. Prerequisite: THE 235.
THE 393 - Seminar in Theatre Studies: Variable Topics
A seminar concerned with the interrelation of dramatic theory and literature with theatrical practice: questions of style, genre, period, aesthetics, politics, philosophy and cultural history. Specific topics vary each year, and the course may be taken for credit more than once.
THE 404 - Musical Theatre
The study of the musical as a distinct form in style and content. The class will trace the development of and trends in this particular theatrical form from the mid-19th century to the present. Selected musicals, as well as composers, lyricists and librettists will be studied in depth.
THE 408 - History of American Theatre
American plays from the colonial period to the present will be examined in relation to changing political, social and cultural issues in the United States and to the search for—and development of—a distinctly “American” theatrical identity.
THE 410 - Dramaturgy
Taught every other academic year, this course will directly involve students in the research, conceptualization and production of a main-stage production. Students will embark on a rigorous study of the author, the author’s other works, the theatre history and the cultural history of the time period of the play. Students will be expected to incorporate their research into all aspects of the production and produce a substantial essay on some aspect of the play. This essay will be included in a dramaturgical pamphlet presented to each audience member. Required of the major. Prerequisite: THE 210 or 215.
THE 425 - Projects in Theatre Design and Technology
Student scene-, costume- and lighting-designers will form a team with student technical craftsmen to research, conceive and realize all the visual and mechanical components of a major production, under faculty direction and guidance. Prerequisite: THE 225 or 336.
THE 435 - Acting III: Movement for the Stage
The emphasis of the course is on training in movement and period style for the theatre. The student will learn psycho-physical “centering” techniques, Laban movement analysis and work in the neutral mask. The student will also come to grips with acting styles required by such genres of theatre as the Elizabethan, Neoclassical, Absurdist and Post-Modern. Prerequisite: THE 335 or permission of the instructor.
THE 436 - Professional Preparation for the Stage
Open to all students needing to prepare for professional or summer work, or prepare for graduate school admission, this course is designed to help students ready themselves for the demands of auditioning, interviewing and portfolio presentation. Acting students will develop six or more audition pieces and get working headshot/resumes. Design students will work on portfolio development and work on the presentation of design projects for the American College Theatre Festival regional design competition. Theatre history students will work on the development and presentation of substantial writing projects and prepare for the GRE examinations. This course is open to juniors and seniors only. Prerequisites: THE 235 for acting students; THE 225 for design students; THE 210 and 215 for theatre history students.
THE 440 - Projects in Directing
Under faculty guidance, each student will choose, research, plan, cast and rehearse a sizable one-act play for public audiences. Throughout the projects, emphasis will be placed on the challenges of style: by period, genre or clearly projected experiment. Prerequisites: THE 340 and permission of the instructor.
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