Courses

Theatre

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Courses Primarily for First- and Second-Year Students 

THEATRE 119-0 Production Laboratory (0 units) Registration for students fulfilling production crew requirements. 

THEATRE 140-1,2 Theatre in Context 1. Combination of lecture, discussion, assignments, play viewing, and text analysis. 2. Seminar emphasizing theatre history, literature, and criticism; research; and writing skills. Prerequisite: consent of department. 

THEATRE 140-3 Production in Context A combination of lecture, discussion, and production lab participation implementing the directing and design process of a theatrical production. Prerequisite: consent of department. 

THEATRE 140-4 Voice for Performance Intensive individual development and use of voice for performance. Open to theatre, dance, and performance studies majors only.

THEATRE 143-0 Acting: Basic Techniques For nonmajors. Introduction to the study of acting: sensory response, imagination, and characterization work leading to prepared scenes from selected plays. 

THEATRE 201-0 Introduction to Design for the Theatre Principles and elements of visual design as they relate to the theatre design areas of scenery, costume, and lighting. Application of these principles and elements to a play bycreating scenery, costume, and lighting design ideas based on text analysis, point of view, and research in a production notebook format. Requirement and prerequisite for all 200-level design courses for the theatre minor.

THEATRE 202-1,2,3 Sophomore Applied Voice (.5 unit per quarter) Individual singing instruction for Music Theatre Certificate students. One 45-minute lesson per week. Prerequisite: admission to the Music Theatre Certificate Program.

THEATRE 210-0 Training the Actor’s Voice Training and development of the actor’s voice, integrating work in THEATRE 140-4 with use of heightened text. Developing optimal pitch and vocal range, improving articulation, and developing skills in intonation and stress through performing scenes, monologues, and Shakespeare sonnets. Prerequisites: THEATRE 140-4 and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 240-1,2,3 Stagecraft Craft and technology used in mounting a theatrical production. Crew participation in department productions. 1. Lighting: mechanics, physics, and practices of the stage lighting technician. 2. Scenery: construction, rigging, and handling. 3. Costumes: sewing techniques, fitting, equipment, and fabrics. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

THEATRE 241-1,2,3 Design Process Development of stage design for the theatrical designer, from initial reading of the script to final design. Crew participation in department productions. 1. Scene design I. 2. Costume design I. 3. Lighting design I. Prerequisite: sophomore standing and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 242-0 Stage Makeup Theory and practice of stage makeup. Crew participation in department productions. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 243-1,2, 3 Acting I: Principles of Characterization 1. Basic concepts. 2. Dramatic imagination. 3. Dramatic characterization. Prerequisites: 140-1,2 (or equivalent) and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 244-1,2 Development of Contemporary Theatre Critical study of major dramatists, theories, and production styles. 1. 1870–1920. 2. 1920–present.

THEATRE 249-1 Introduction to Stage Management Preproduction, rehearsal, and technical rehearsal process of theatrical productions. Basic stage management tools taught in theory: assembling a production book, blocking, scheduling, communication, and cueing. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 249-2 Advanced Stage Management Problem solving in the stage manager’s leadership role; advanced study in production realization and communication. Requires stage managing or assistant stage managing a department production and preparing a production book based on it. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 260-0 Fundamentals of Stage Directing An introductory course focusing on defining the role of the director while discovering a variety of directorial strategies. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 262-0 Musicianship for Actors Designed to develop high-level musical literacy regardless of incoming ability. Practical application of pitch (harmony and melody) and temporal (rhythm, meter, etc.) elements. Sight-singing, ear training, keyboard applications, improvisation, and critical listening. Musical material will be drawn from music theatre repertoire.

THEATRE 263-0 Theatre Sound An introductory class in sound design for the theatre. Crew participation in department productions. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 272-1,2 Sophomore Music Theatre Techniques (.5 unit per quarter) Basics of music theatre performance. The student performer is guided through contact and expression of self, connection to the material, and exploration of the craft of interpreting a song. Both quarters are required for students in the Music Theatre Certificate Program and are open to others by consent of instructor only. 

Theatre Courses Primarily for Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students

Unless otherwise noted, these courses are open only to students who have completed the departmental 200-level requirements or their equivalents.

THEATRE 302-1,2,3 Junior Applied Voice (.5 unit per quarter) Individual singing instruction for Music Theatre Certificate students. One 45-minute lesson per week. Prerequisites: admission to the Music Theatre Certificate Program and 202-3.

THEATRE 307-0 Studies in Gender and Performance Exploration of recent research on the social and political background of gender, particularly women’s access to performative expressions. Historical aesthetics: changing debates on women’s participation in the public theatre and the significance of the body in performance. PERF ST 307-1,2 are the first 2 courses in this series.

THEATRE 310-0 Advanced Voice/Styles Advanced vocal techniques of the stage actor. Vocal styles include Molière, Restoration comedy, Shaw, Coward, Stoppard. Prerequisites: THEATRE 140-4 (or equivalent) and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 311-0 Dialects for the Stage Using the International Phonetic Alphabet, dialect recordings, and selected text, students learn dialects for stage and film performance. Principal dialects covered: standard British, Cockney, Irish, French, Russian, German. Prerequisites: THEATRE 140-4 (or equivalent) and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 312-1,2 The Art of Storytelling Ancient traditions and current renaissance of storytelling. Strategies for selecting, preparing, and sharing stories in performance. Applications in theatre, communication, education, religion, law, healing professions, leadership, and business. 1. Basic techniques. 2. Advanced techniques of research, preparation, and performance, culminating in a public event; using storytelling in presentations and performance. Prerequisites for 312-2: 312-1 and consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 330-0 Special Topics Content varies. May be repeated with change of topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 333-1 Introduction to Acting for Screen Foundational concerns and practices for screen acting. Scene analysis, rehearsal, staging and camera space, casting, editing for performance. Creating and portraying characters for most effective capture by the camera. Film directing techniques as related to the actor. Required introductory course for the Acting for Screen module sequence. 

THEATRE 333-2 Diagnostic Scene Study Retrospective critique of curricular and extracurricular performance work in the Acting for Screen module. Evaluation of performer’s range and capabilities in terms of future projects and identity as an actor. Relationship between actor and director relative to the camera. Required course for the module. Prerequisites: 368-1 and two approved module electives. 

THEATRE 335-0 Playwriting I: Introduction to Playwriting Students read plays, complete writing exercises based on the readings, see plays off campus, and ultimately research and write the beginning of a full-length play. Open to students in any major and to writers of all levels of experience. 

THEATRE 336-0 Playwriting II: Genres Topics change every year (such as history plays, hip-hop theatre, gothic plays, flash drama/flash fiction, epic theatre, plays for young audiences). Students read plays in a genre, complete writing exercises based on the readings, see related plays off campus, and ultimately write short genre plays. Open to students in any major and writers of all levels of experience. 

THEATRE 338 Theatre Practicum Research, teaching and/or production assistance in collaboration with department faculty. Students learn about theatrical education, research, or artistic process through applied practice rather than through traditional coursework (including independent study) or external professional opportunities (internships, apprenticeships, etc.).

THEATRE 339-0 Advanced Acting Scene-study course in advanced acting techniques emphasizing scene analysis and character development. Focus on creation of realistic characters from modern theatre. Primarily intended for graduate students and undergraduate transfer students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 340-1,2 Stage Directing 1. Staging fundamentals: blocking, movement, business, tempo, script selection and analysis, casting, and rehearsal planning. 2. Special problems: exposition, suspense, surprise, marking of climaxes, and creation of mood. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 341-1,2,3 Acting II: Analysis and Performance Theory, principles, and techniques of interpretation of drama from the point of view of the actor. 1. Greek tragedy. 2. Shakespeare. 3. Modern drama. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 342-0 Lighting Design II For advanced undergraduate lighting design students and graduate students studying lighting design as a secondary area. Lecturesand design projects. Prerequisites: 241-3 and consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 343-0 Scene Design II For advanced undergraduate set design students and graduate students studying scene design as a secondary area. Lectures and design projects. Prerequisites: 241-1 and consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 344-0 Costume Design II For advanced undergraduates studying costume design and graduate students studying costume design as a secondary area. Lectures and design projects. Prerequisites: 241-2 and consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 345-1,2,3 History of Western Theatrical Practice Comprehensive survey of the theory and history of theatre and drama. 1. The classical period. 2. The Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early 17th century. 3. Late 17th century through the modern era. 

THEATRE 346-1,2,3 Playwriting Fundamental techniques of playwriting. A yearlong sequence aimed at developing an original full-length play. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 347-0 Theatre for Young Audiences Selection, evaluation, direction, and production of plays for children. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 348-1 Creative Drama Process-centered improvisation and its applications to teaching, performance, therapy, writing, recreation, and other areas. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 348-2 Advanced Creative Drama Exploration of improvised drama as an elementary-school teaching and learning method. Theory and practice through reading, discussion, films, and observation. Course culminates in extended teaching projects with children from local schools. Prerequisites: 348-1 (or equivalent) and consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 349-1,2,3 Acting III: Problems in Style Advanced problems in acting theories and styles. 1. Comedy. 2. Contemporary drama. 3. Special topics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 350-0 Production Management Role and duties of a production manager. Experience in production management. Production management of modern shows in different venues. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 351-0 Staging of Contemporary Drama Production problems peculiar to directing of plays for contemporary theatre. Prerequisite: 340-1,2 or equivalent. 

THEATRE 352-1,2 Junior Music Theatre Techniques A history-based performance class that provides an understanding of the music theatre repertoire from 1900 to the present. Focuses on students’ ability to discover and interpret material that supports their performing talents. Required for students in the Music Theatre Certificate Program and open to others by consent of instructor only. Prerequisites: junior standing and 243-1,2,3.THEATRE 353-0 Topics in Stagecraft Seminars with guest or resident faculty on topics in stagecraft. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 354-0 History of Costume and Décor Style and aesthetics of art, architecture, fashion, and decorative arts. Special emphasis on periods of theatrical production. Current topic will be listed in the quarterly class schedule. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 355-0 Scene Painting Traditional and contemporary theory and practice of scene painting. Lecture and studio. Lab fee required. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 356-1,2,3,4 Drawing and Painting for the Theatre Techniqes and Materials Techniques and materials of graphic communication for the stage designer. 1. Model Building. 2. Rendering Theatrical Space and Light. 3. Rendering the Theatrical Figure. 4. Hand Drafting. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 357-1,2 Drawing and Painting for the Theatre: Principles of Drawing and Composition Drawing and composition using a variety of drawing materials and media for scenery, costume, and lighting designers. 1. Freehand Drawing. 2. The Figure in Space. Lecture and studio. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 360-0 Agnes Nixon Master Class New play development for undergraduate writers, actors, directors, and dramaturges. Students research, workshop, and develop three original full-length plays for staged readings in the Agnes Nixon Festival at the end of spring quarter.

THEATRE 361-0 Textile Arts and Crafts for the Costume Designer For advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying costume design. Topics may include fabric dying, fabric modification, wig ventilation, millinery construction, and yarn arts. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisites: 344 and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 362-0 20th-Century Stage Design Major stylistic developments in 20th-century scenography and scene, costume, and lighting design. Emphasis on the American artist in context of the major influences that have shaped the craft. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 363-0 Theatre Sound Planning and execution of sound for theatrical production; design of the actor’s acoustical environment. Crew participation in department productions. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 364-1,2,3 Period Pattern Drafting and Draping Techniques of flat pattern drafting and advanced construction used to create historical garment patterns for the stage. 1. Flat patterns. 2. Draping. 3. Period patterns. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of instructor.

THEATRE 365-1,2 Theatre and Performance in the Americas Survey of American theatre and drama; examines relevanceof plays, performances such as pageants and blackface minstrelsy, theatre companies, and their original contexts to their national identity. 1. Beginnings through the 1930s. 2. 1940s to present. Prerequisite: 140-1,2 or consent of instructor. 

THEATRE 366-0 Special Topics in History, Literature, or Criticism Content varies. Studies of individual playwrights, national or regional theatres, historical periods, performance practices, or theoretical inquiries. Prerequisite: 140-1,2 or consent of instructor.

THEATRE 367-0 Music Theatre History Survey of music theatre repertoire, literature, critical thinking, and historical context as central to theatre history from Sophocles to Sondheim. Evolution of music storytelling from its emergence as an essential part of classical Greek and Roman theatre through the full integration of music, dance, and theatre in the apotheosis of the art form today.

THEATRE 368-0 African Theatre and Drama Major practices in African theatre and drama. Topics may include festival practices, traveling and popular theatres, Anglophone drama, nationalist dramas, reappropriation of the Western canon, or theatre for development. Prerequisite: 345-1, -2, or -3 or AF AM ST 259 or consent of instructor.

THEATRE 369-0 Latin American Theatre Explores the intersection of theatre and politics in modern and contemporary Latin American theatre by linking dramatic texts to readings in history, genre, and theory.

THEATRE 373-0 Computer Graphics for the Theatre Artist Computer graphics for the stage designer; available software programs and strategies for use in theatre. Current topic will be listed in the quarterly class schedule. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Lecture/laboratory. Crew participation in department productions may be required. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 374-0 Text Analysis for Theatrical Production Seminar in analysis of dramatic and nondramatic texts as it relates to the problems of realized theatrical production. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 376-0 Participation Theatre for Young Audiences Participation and story theatre, incorporating improvisation into the structure of a scripted play for the child audience. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 379-0 Topics in Stage Management and Leadership Leadership versus management, delegating, team building, theatrical hierarchy, organizing the design process. Advanced study in leadership, management, communication, and actor-director-designer relationships. Requires stage managing a mainstage production. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEATRE 380-0 Internship in Theatre Practice (3 units for undergraduates; 2 units for graduates) Production and/or management activities in a theatre company. Prerequisite: consent of department.

THEATRE 381-0 Music Theatre Techniques for Non–Music Theatre Certificate Students Analysis and performance ofsongs from various genre and musical theatre styles, providing a context for understanding the techniques of musical theatre performance and the foundational skills needed to personally inhabit these techniques. 

THEATRE 383-0 Theatre Orchestration An accelerated class in instrumentation, arranging, orchestration, and creative design for theatre. Explores history of orchestration, using analysis of past exemplary theatre orchestrations to inform students’ study and practical application. Each student completes an orchestration for an original theatrical song. 

THEATRE 399-0 Independent Study Prerequisite: consent of undergraduate dean after submission of petition.

Dance Classes

Course Planner for:

Technique Classes

DANCE 110-0 Movement for the Stage Movement and body awareness. Improvisational techniques using time, space, weight, and effort as the instrument of expression. 

DANCE 120-0 Topics in Preparation for Performance Different techniques each quarter to help prepare students for performance. Techniques include Pilates, yoga, Alexander technique, and the Feldenkrais method.

DANCE 130-1 Music Theatre Ballet Basic ballet technique. Taken during sophomore year; prerequisite for 130-2 and 130-3.

DANCE 130-2 Music Theatre Dance I Music theatre styles, explored through the study of jazz, tap, and modern repertoire. Taken during junior year.

DANCE 130-3 Music Theatre Dance II Advanced class focusing on a range of Broadway choreography, dance styles, specialty forms, and audition technique. Taken during junior or senior year.

DANCE 140-0 Cultural Forms Sections offer instruction in different ethnic dance forms; sections offered in the past include flamenco, Indian, salsa, and African.

DANCE 150-0, 250-0, 350-0 Modern Offered at levels I, II, and III each quarter to develop modern dance technique. Higher levels progress more rapidly with a greater level of complexity, as class work focuses on a wider range of qualities and aesthetics. Style of modern technique varies with each instructor. 

DANCE 160-0, 260-0, 360-0 Jazz Offered at levels I, II, and III each quarter to develop jazz technique. As class advances, students learn more advanced rhythmic phrases, more complex body-part isolations, and quicker direction changes in space. Style of jazz technique varies with each instructor. 

DANCE 161, 261 Jump Rhythm Technique Offered at levels I and II. Dancing rhythmically—using jazz rhythms and the syncopated rhythms of funk, hip-hop, and other rock-based music to generate all dance movement.

DANCE 170-0, 270-0, 370-0 Ballet Offered at levels I, II, and III each quarter to cover ballet from basic principles through advanced skills. Terminology and movements arebased on class level. Dancers begin at the barre and continue in the center, across the floor, and from the corner with combinations of steps, including turns and jumps. 

DANCE 180-0, 280-0, 380-0 Tap Tap technique. One level is offered each quarter, starting at beginning level. The fundamentals of tap are developed through each level, and rhythmic awareness is expanded.

DANCE 181, 281 Jump Rhythm Tap Offered at levels I and II. Using not only the feet but other parts of the body as well to “play” the syncopated rhythms of swinging jazz, Latin jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, and hip-hop music.

Dance Academic Courses

DANCE 101-1,2,3 Introduction to the Dance Experience Foundation for further studies in dance technique, science, history, and analysis. 1. Movement awareness: introduction to body-mind approaches to movement study, including Laban movement analysis, yoga, tai chi, body-mind centering, and Feldenkrais. 2. Dance in the context of other aspects of human behavior; exploring social dance, ritual, and theatrical performance. 3. Introduction to improvisation: dance and movement improvisation as a tool for developing a personal movement vocabulary.

DANCE 201-0 Cultural Studies of Dance Dance as a force in culture and society amid ethnic, social, and theatrical traditions. Participation in labs, class lectures, and discussions. Required readings; independent video viewing and concert attendance. 

DANCE 202-0 Experiential Anatomy for Performers The language and analysis of anatomy; heightening of bodily awareness using kinesthetic sensation and imagery. Combines theory and practice to achieve both intellectual and experiential awareness of the kinesthetics of anatomy.

DANCE 215-0 Dance History Choreographic accomplishments in the major developmental periods of American dance. Readings, discussion, video screenings, movement workshops, and research.

DANCE 225-0 Dance Composition Fundamental choreographic elements: time, space, shape, form, dynamics, and design. Choreographic exploration of the basic principles of dance composition.

DANCE 235-0 Choreography for Music Theatre How to manipulate space, time, and energy in short movement studies; creating a movement study in dramatic action that relies on those manipulations; choreographing a short dance using the previous movement studies as guideposts.

DANCE 315-0 Dance Criticism Critical and theoretical thought of writers on Western theatrical dance.

DANCE 325-0 Advanced Choreographic Study Manipulation of space, time, and energy according to the principles of organic compositional development to produce personal, poetically charged choreographic statements. Lecture-laboratory investigation of advanced choreographic concepts;abstraction, style, use of music, group work, humor in dance. Prerequisite: 225 or consent of instructor. 

DANCE 326-0 Advanced Improvisation Improvisation as a source for composition and performance. For musicians and actors wishing to expand dance vocabulary and for dancers exploring the musical and theatrical dimensions of their art. Focus on interrelationships between people moving and between the performing arts that students bring to the course. Prerequisite: 101-3 or consent of instructor. 

DANCE 335-0 Special Topics in Dance Research Research methodologies, dance scholarship, criticism, and historical reconstruction. Critical issues and contemporary problems. Content varies. 

DANCE 345-0 Studies in Collaboration Workshop exploration of collaboration as well as historical and theoretical perspectives. Seminar, practicum. Through studio work, reading, and discussion, dancers and musicians will explore our shared language. 

DANCE 355-0 Dance in Education Organizing and teaching dance technique and creative movement for children and adolescents. Creative play, movement exploration, acquisition of basic motor skills, links to the classroom. Lecture, laboratory, and field experiences. 

DANCE 356-0 Theories of Dance and Expressive Arts Therapies Overview of dance, drama, and art therapies for treating disabled, mentally ill, or other special populations. Introduces diverse theoretical perspectives in the role and use of art forms as therapeutic modalities. Symbolic meaning, group dynamics, and the language of movement as it relates to personality, body image, and expression. 

DANCE 365-0 American Rhythm Dancing and the African American Performance Aesthetic Viewing (via video) and evaluating the sources and contemporary influences of jazz, tap, Broadway, and other vernacular forms of theatre dance. Light movement exercises to convey the kinesthetic basis of American rhythm dancing. 

DANCE 375-0 Summer Dance Institute One-week summer workshop exploring various forms of dance with guest artists. 

DANCE 387-0 Theatre/Dance Practicum Offered during the summer to provide academic credit to students participating in a Northwestern performance. 

DANCE 395-0 Senior Seminar Forum for addressing issues of transition, career planning, and support, providing a structure for analyzing professional dance opportunities. The seminar is also responsible for creating and producing the Senior Concert, the culminating activity of the dance major. The course meets as a yearlong sequence with grade and 1 credit unit awarded in the spring. 

DANCE 399-0 Independent Study Prerequisite: consent of undergraduate dean after submission of petition.