Theater/Performance Arts

THEATER STUDIES engages students in critical inquiry into previous performances and previous performance texts, as well as artistic engagement with the craft of producing original texts and performances. PERFORMANCE STUDIES includes theatre studies but encompasses a broader array of performance behaviors, including (among others) the performance of gender, the performance of self in everyday life, the performance of texts other than plays, ritual performances, and political performances, both mainstream and activist.

Major Requirements

Most students who major in the department begin with an interest focused on either theatre/performance studies or rhetoric/communication studies, and the department’s major enables students to pursue that interest passionately and in depth. However, because we want majors to understand the rhetorical/communicative dimensions of performance and the theatrical/performative dimensions of communication, the curriculum requires majors to complete courses in both theatre/performance studies and rhetoric/communication studies.

Majors choose either theatre/performance studies or rhetoric/communication studies as their primary concentration and the other as their secondary concentration. Ten courses are required to complete the major. Fulfillment of the major requires the following:

1. Primary Area of Concentration: Theatre-Performance

Majors must take seven courses in their primary area of concentration, at least two of which must be introductory courses and at least five of which must be advanced courses.

Introductory courses include:

103. Stagecraft.
107. Beginning Acting.
113. Introduction to Performance Studies.
125. Introduction to Dramatic Scripts.
202. Sound for the Stage.
204. Costume History and Construction.
213. Special Topics in Theatre/Performance Studies.
215. Dramatic Texts in Context.
223. Playwriting.
230. Introduction to Modern Dance.
235. Introduction to Jazz Dance.
255. African-American Drama.

Advanced courses studies include:

303. Stage Lighting.
307. Characterization.
309. Acting Styles.
314. Group Performance.
270. Collaboration Across the Arts.
332. Directing.
313. Special Topics in Theatre/Performance Studies.
317. Performing Poetry.
319, 320. Shakespeare.
322. Native American Oral Traditions.
323. South African Drama.
324. Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama.
327. Drama By and About Women.
330. Ritual Studies.
338. Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde.
340. Performance Art.
344. Children’s Theatre in the Schools.
355. Studies in World Dramatic Literature.
437. Contemporary British Theatre. (London)
489/90.  SYE: Senior Project.
498/99.  SYE: Honors Senior Project.

2.  Secondary Area of Concentration: Rhetoric-Communication

Majors must take three courses from their secondary area of concentration, at least one of which must be an introductory course and at least two of which must be advanced courses. While a few courses appear in both areas of concentration, students are not allowed to “double dip” — that is, all courses must be designated as fulfilling a course requirement in one of the two areas of concentration.

Introductory courses include:

111. Rhetoric and Public Speaking.
126. Persuasion.
127. Introduction to Communication Studies.
212. Special Topics in Rhetoric/Communication Studies.
221. Intercultural Communication.

Advanced courses include:

311. Advanced Public Speaking.
318. Argumentation and Debate.
328. Interpersonal Communication.
325. Peer Mentoring in Rhetoric and Communication.
312. Special Topics in Rhetoric /Communication Studies.
315. Gender and Communication.
316. Advanced Communication Studies.
322. Native American Oral Traditions.
326. American Public Address.
329. Rhetoric of Social Movements.
330. Ritual Studies.
331. Presidential Campaign Rhetoric.
489/90. SYE: Senior Project.
498/99. SYE: Honors Senior Project.

While a few courses appear in both areas of concentration, students are not allowed to “double dip”— that is, all courses must be designated as fulfilling a course requirement in one of the two areas of concentration.

3. Electives

In addition to the courses listed above that fulfill major and minor requirements, the department also offers the following electives that do not count for major or minor credit.

100. Beginning Ballet.
101. Production Credit.
226. Introduction to Japanese Drama.
244. Techniques of Screenwriting.
306. Advanced Screenwriting.
480. Independent Study.

4. Honors

To graduate with honors, a major must maintain a 3.5 GPA in the department and a 3.0 GPA overall; the major’s senior project proposal must be approved for enrollment in 498/499 SYE: Honors Senior Project; and the student must earn at least a 3.5 in 498/499.