Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:
- (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
- (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
- (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
- (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
- (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
- (D-I) = Diversity - International
- (D-L) = Diversity - Language
- (ES) = Earlham Seminar
- (IE) = Immersive Experience
- (RCH) = Research
- (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
- (W) = Wellness
- (WI) = Writing Intensive
- (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year
For First-Year Students
Many Theatre Arts courses are appropriate for first-year students:
THEA 132, 134, 135, 230, 234, 235, 236, 238, 250, 260, 261, 282 and 333.
*THEA 132 APPLIED THEATRE: SET CONSTRUCTION (1 credit)
Students are taught vocabulary and construction skills, as well as tools and safety while working on the set of current main stage production or senior project. In working with the scenic designer, the student will begin to understand how the set affects the audience’s viewing experience of the play. (A-AP)
*THEA 134 APPLIED THEATRE: COSTUME CONSTRUCTION (1 credit)
Students are taught vocabulary and sewing skills while working on the costumes of current main stage production or senior project. In working with the costume designer, the student will begin to understand how the costumes affect the audience’s perception of the personalities of the play. (A-AP)
*THEA 135 APPLIED THEATRE: LIGHTING CREW (1 credit)
Students are trained in the vocabulary, organizational and operational skills of a theatrical electrician while working on the lighting design of current main stage production or senior project. In working with the lighting, the student will begin to understand how lighting affects the audience’s perception of the world of the play. (A-AP)
*THEA 230 APPLIED THEATRE: ACTING (1-3 credits, as designated by the instructor)
Students cast in a main stage production or senior project collaborate as actors in the process of developing, rehearsing and performing the production for a public audience. Prerequisite: Students must audition and be cast by the production’s director. (A-AP)
*THEA 234 APPLIED THEATRE: WARDROBE (2 credits)
Students are trained in the vocabulary, organizational and operational skills of a wardrobe technician — the person responsible for the care, repair and organization of the production’s costumes. Experience is gained while working with the costume designer and the costumes of the current main stage production or senior project. In working with the costumes, the student will begin to understand how costumes contribute to the audience’s perception of the world of the play. (A-AP)
*THEA 235 APPLIED THEATRE: LIGHTING/SOUND CONSOLE OPERATOR (2 credits)
Students are trained in the vocabulary, organizational and operational skills of a computer lighting console or sound mixer while working on the design of current main stage production or senior project. In working with the lighting and sound designers, the student will begin to understand how lighting and sound affect the audience’s perception of the world of the play. Requires attendance at the last four weeks of rehearsal. (A-AP)
*THEA 236 APPLIED THEATRE: BACKSTAGE RUNNING CREW (2 credits)
Students are trained in the vocabulary, organizational and operational skills of various backstage duties (props, deck crew or wardrobe) while working on the current main stage production or senior project. In working with the designers, director, cast and stage management the student will begin to understand how a production comes together and learn strong collaborative skills. Requires attendance of the last four weeks of rehearsals. (A-AP)
*THEA 238 APPLIED THEATRE: MAKEUP CREW (2 credits)
Students are taught vocabulary, application skills and visual awareness of a makeup artist for the stage. Through a series of projects, the student will gain the understanding of how makeup may affect the character's personality on stage. (A-AP)
*THEA 250 INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE: COLLABORATION, ANALYSIS AND EXPRESSION (3 credits)
Students are introduced to the concepts, vocabulary, traditions and range of interdisciplinary techniques involved in the process of creating Western theatre. Experiential and cooperative learning opportunities around the skills required to bring a play to life lead to student research and discussion of artistic, social and ethical questions. Students also read, analyze and write response papers to a variety of recorded and live theatre events. (A-TH)
THEA 260 FOUNDATIONS OF ACTING (4 credits)
Students learn and practice the fundamental principles of acting within a practical, disciplined approach to the creative process. Work begins by developing awareness of personal mind-body-voice connections and progresses to improvisation, scene study and monologues. No audition required. (A-TH)
*THEA 270 THEATRECRAFT (4 credits)
Students are introduced to the organization, design and execution of theatre productions. Topics include theatre architectural forms, basic elements of design and composition, scenery, properties, lighting, costumes, sound and make-up. The class includes a lab where they serve as crew for one of the theatre department's productions. Through their lab work, students immerse themselves in the production thus providing a practical application to their theoretical studies. (A-AP, A-TH)
THEA 275 VIDEO PRODUCTION (3 credits)
Provides a basic understanding of the theory and technologies of video production. Also looks at the functions of video and television as communication media and social forces. Also listed as FILM 275. (A-AP)
*THEA 280 SCRIPT ANALYSIS (3 credits)
The study and application of various analysis techniques used in understanding the structure and mode of expression of a written play, as the theatre artist prepares for the play's production. (A-TH)
*THEA 282 SPECIAL TOPICS (2-3 credits)
Supervised activities as a member of the crew responsible for parts of the production not covered by set construction, costume construction or lights/sound crew. Duties are performed in conjunction with the current main stage production or senior project. Examples could include: wig work, scenic artistry, specialty prop construction, recording original sound, mask making, video work or others, pending on the needs of the current production. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. (A-AP)
THEA 290 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC SPEAKING (3 credits)
Many people are filled with anxiety when even thinking about public speaking. This fear stems from the fact that communication in general, and public speaking specifically, is not something that most people naturally know how to do effectively. Introduction to Public Speaking provides students with a supportive, interactive environment in which to learn fundamental communication theory and to put theory into practice through a variety of formal and informal speaking opportunities. Each student will leave this course feeling more confident in his/her ability as a communicator and better equipped to create and present an effective oral message.
*THEA 333 APPLIED THEATRE: ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER (1-3 credits as designated by the instructor)
Students are taught vocabulary, communication and organizational management skills while serving as part of the stage management team for a main stage production or senior project. In working with the stage manager and director throughout the rehearsal period and run of the show, students will begin to understand the complex challenges of coordinating the various elements that affect audience perceptions of the play. (A-AP)
*THEA 335 APPLIED THEATRE: MASTER ELECTRICIAN (3 credits)
Students are trained in the vocabulary, organizational and leadership skills of a theatrical mater electrician while working on the lighting design of current main stage production or senior project. While executing the lighting design artfully is important, the focus of this course is on planning and leadership. Prerequisite: THEA 135 and 235. (A-AP)
*THEA 337 APPLIED THEATRE: DRAMATURGY (2 credits)
This course provides the opportunity for interested students to pursue additional development in theatre history, “Writing for the Theatre," script analysis and theatrical research through practical application of dramaturgical skills on a current departmental production. Upper level requirement. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor. (RCH)
THEA 339 ASSISTANT DESIGNER (2 credits)
Assistant designers will work closely with the costume, lighting, props, sound or scenic faculty designer on the theatre arts mainstage production. They will learn first hand how to successfully collaborate with the production team while gaining real life experience in the theatre design industry. They will take the time to carefully develop their craft by observing the faculty designer and take on an active roll in the design process. Assistants will take a leadership role in the various production shops and apply creative problem solving skills to any problem that might rise. Upper level requirement. Prerequisite: THEA 270 or consent of instructor. (A-TH)
THEA 350 TRENDS IN WESTERN THEATRE HISTORY I (3 credits)
This course is an overview of the formal elements that distinguish one theatrical period from another. By the end of the course the student will be able to 1) accurately list and define the scriptural and performance elements of most Western dramatic forms, 2) accurately identify the historical period of a play based on analysis of dramatic elements, and 3) effectively develop and execute research of a play to gain greater depth of knowledge concerning that play. (A-TH, RCH)
*THEA 358 GREEK AND ROMAN DRAMA (3 credits)
A study of tragedies and comedies from the Greek and Roman traditions. A typical reading list would include such works as Aeschylus' Oresteia, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus, Euripides' Medea, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plautus' Menaechmi, and Seneca's Medea and Oedipus. Also studies the staging of drama and considers works of criticism including Aristotle's Poetics. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. Also listed as ANCS 358. (A-TH, RCH, WI)
THEA 359 SHAKESPEARE AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS (4 credits)
A study of the poetic and dramatic art of Shakespeare through an examination of six to ten plays, including tragedies, comedies, histories and romances. Approach varies between attention to the written text and the text as performance. Prerequisite: 200-level English course or consent of instructor. Upper level requirement. (A-TH)
THEA 360 ACTING STYLES (4 credits)
Students further develop and practice scene analysis, character development, rehearsal and performance skills through study of specific acting techniques required for various dramatic genres. Coursework begins with historical, contextual and social research as related to the world of the play that then informs exploration of physical, voice/diction and behavioral choices that embody the playwright’s vision. Students also gain practical experience with staging techniques that effectively negotiate the desired relationship with the audience. Prerequisite: THEA 260. May be repeated for credit.
THEA 362 ACTING PORTFOLIO (2 credits)
Acting students select, develop and practice a portfolio of monologues to showcase their unique gifts. Students also will practice instant script analysis, cold-reading and improvisational audition skills, learn how to locate regional audition opportunities, and prepare a professional resume and marketing materials. (This course is strongly recommended for KCACTF Irene Ryan nominees.) Prerequisites: THEA 230, THEA 260 or permission of the instructor.
THEA 370 DIRECTING (4 credits)
Students are taught the basic skills required to integrate script analysis, production design, character development and staging techniques to realize a specific theatrical vision for an audience. Experiential learning opportunities arise as Directing students facilitate the work of Acting Styles students in classroom exercises, scene work and a final collaborative project for public presentation. Prerequisite: THEA 260, 270 and 280.
THEA 371 SET, LIGHTING AND COSTUME DESIGN (3 credits)
A scenographic approach to designing for theatre. In addition to creating theoretical designs for productions, perception, formal design analysis and non-verbal expressions based on the script are studies. Intended for directors, designers, filmmakers and all interested in the non-verbal methods of expression in the theatre. Prerequisite: THEA 270; THEA 280 also encouraged. (AY)
THEA 372 DRAWING AND RENDERING DESIGNS (3 credits)
Trains students in the methods used in the theatre for expressing their design ideas. Develops communication methods used to bring the design to fruition. Includes drawing, painting, model-building and drafting. Students are encouraged to select two areas of specialization from: scenic, costume, lighting, sound, makeup and prop design. Prerequisites: THEA 280 and THEA 371. (RCH) (AY)
THEA 373 ADVANCED DESIGN PRACTICES (3 credits)
Following an approved learning contract, students will work on assignments and projects personalized to their needs and goals. Assignments and projects include advanced design problems, continued technique development, and building the portfolio and resume. Intended for students clearly planning on a career in theatrical design or those interested in developing the advanced skills necessary for acceptance into graduate schools and professional internships. Prerequisites: THEA 372. (RCH) (AY)
*THEA 380 THEATRE: MULTICULTURAL THEATRE (4 credits)
This class will look at theatre as a way to discuss issues of race and identity in the United States. The course will look at the works of such playwrights as Baraka, Wilson, Hainsberry, Shange, Fusco, Moraga and Howe. Also listed as ENG 380. Upper level requirement. (A-TH, D-D)
THEA 382 SPECIAL TOPICS (3 credits)
Topics include theatre of non-Western countries, 20th-century theatre movements, theatre of race, class and gender, and theatre as change agent. Prerequisites: Earlham Seminar. (A-TH, RCH)
THEA 384 TRADITIONAL THEATRE OF ASIA (3 credits)
A survey of the traditional theatrical arts of India, China and Japan, we will study the theatrical performance traditions and their cultural foundations. The course includes research, presentations and experiences in actual performance techniques. (A-TH)
THEA 386 DEVISED THEATRE (4 credits)
This course provides a practical introduction to collaborative created theatre. Students will be exposed to devised theatre theory and practices (from Peter Brook to Anne Bogart to current experimental theater troupes) to apply to a variety of methods, including group writing, physical composition, improvisation, design-based work, as well as ways of offering critical feedback on works-in-progress. Through this course experienced theatre makers will discover an alternate approach to the creation of work and a supplemental set of artistic tools; for novices it provides an accessible entry point into application of valuable “soft skills” theater offers such as collaboration, communication, problem solving and self expression. (A-TH, A-AP, RCH)
*THEA 387 THEATRE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE (3 credits)
Based on the belief that theatre requires both artists and audience members to exercise their compassion muscles, this course requires students to listen actively, research carefully and consult widely before setting performance goals for a target audience. Students must determine how best to achieve their goals through theatrical means, then spend the majority of their time in this class exploring and experimenting with different modes of presentation/audience interaction. Students will learn through class exercises, interviews, brainstorming, research, analysis and discussion, rehearsal, and presentation sessions both in and outside of the classroom setting. Prerequisite: Earlham Seminar I. (A-TH, RCH)
THEA 388 VIDEO PRODUCTION II: EDITING (3 credits)
Editing is often seen as the hidden art form in film and video. When it is well done, an audience doesn’t notice. Editing conventions and techniques as well as practice will develop a core set of editing skills in the Final Cut X app. Students will explore “the invisible art” through readings like In the Blink of an Eye, films, and hands-on exercises. Prerequisite: THEA 275 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as FILM 388. Upper level requirement.
THEA 399 PRACTICAL SHAKESPEARE (3 credits)
This May Term course will guide students through their design, proposal, implementation and assessment of projects related to the Richmond Shakespeare Festival (RSF). All student projects will be guided both by the course instructor and by an RSF member with project-related expertise (and projects need not be English or Theatre-specific). Students will read and discuss the plays that comprise the Festival’s summer season, as well as those plays’ performance histories and their RSF scripts. By the end of this course, students should not only have some greater experience identifying and solving real-world problems in a real-world organization, but have made meaningful connections between that experience and their personal and professional aspirations. Also listed as ENG 399.
THEA 433 APPLIED THEATRE: STAGE MANAGER (3-4 credits as designated by the instructor)
Students learn and further develop vocabulary, communication and organizational management skills as they work with the director to supervise student actors, assistant stage managers and technicians during a main stage production or senior project. Closely supervised by theatre faculty, the stage management student learns to facilitate production meetings, interdepartmental communications, staging rehearsals and tech rehearsals as well as to call the show and coordinate the various elements that affect audience perceptions of the public performances. Prerequisite: THEA 333 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 434 APPLIED THEATRE: COSTUME DESIGNER (4 credits)
Supervised closely by the theatre faculty, the student works as the costume designer for a main stage production or senior project. Prerequisites: THEA 234, 373 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 435 APPLIED THEATRE: LIGHTING/SOUND DESIGNER (4 credits)
Supervised closely by the theatre faculty, the student works as the lighting or sound designer for a main stage production or senior project. Prerequisites: THEA 335, 372 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 436 APPLIED THEATRE: TECHNICAL DIRECTOR (4 credits)
Supervised closely by the theatre faculty, students work individually as the technical director for a main stage production or senior project. Prerequisites: THEA 270, 336 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 437 APPLIED THEATRE: SET DESIGNER (4 credits)
Supervised closely by the theatre faculty, students work individually as the set designer for a main stage production or senior project. Prerequisite: THEA 132, 371, 372 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 438 APPLIED THEATRE: MAKEUP DESIGNER (4 credits)
Supervised closely by the theatre faculty, students work individually as the makeup designer for a main stage production or senior project. Prerequisites: THEA 238, 374 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 439 APPLIED THEATRE: DIRECTOR (4 credits)
Supervised closely by the theatre faculty, students work individually as the director of a student project. Prerequisites: THEA 370 and consent of the instructor.
THEA 471 PLAYWRITING (3 credits)
This course will focus on the tools and craft of playwriting — how to write dialogue, shape characters, create scenes and structure whole plays. Through reading, writing and discussion the class will seek practical application of the concepts we explore. In brief, this is a writing workshop — where the practice of playwriting begins not with brilliance, but by finding the time and space and presence of mind to write. This class will require additional meetings to be scheduled during the semester for group work, writing instruction and other activities. These times will be flexible, but the class does require that students have some time available for such meetings, as well as time for extensive reading. Also listed as ENG 471. Upper level requirement. (WI)
THEA 481 INTERNSHIP, FIELD STUDY OR OTHER FIELD EXPERIENCES (1-3 credits)
Credit for a summer or semester internship may be granted with approval prior to internship. Consult the convener or the Theatre Arts Department for details.
THEA 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)
THEA 484 FORD/KNIGHT RESEARCH PROJECT (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program. (RCH)
THEA 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
A self-initiated program of study on a particular topic of interest to the student. Petition must be approved by a faculty adviser and the Academic Dean.
THEA 488-1 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE - PREPARATION (2 credits)
Students are required to clarify their learning goals for the capstone, develop a learning strategy and submit the resources they intend to investigate (bibliography, interviews of practitioners, training opportunities for example), and begin producing some of the evidence of their learning.
THEA 488-2 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE - IMPLEMENTATION (2 credits)
The student continues the task of producing evidence of her/his learning, executes the public presentation of the capstone project (the vehicle for sharing the learning goals), completes the final documentation of the experience (reflective self-assessment), the evidence in an organized form, resume, portfolio, and oral comprehensive examination.