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Introduction to Theatre

Course NumberCOM 215W
Lab Hours0
Lecture Hours45
Course DescriptionPrerequisites: READING LEVEL 2 or WRITING LEVEL 2. Offers insight into all the various aspects of theatrical production. Observes and critiques dramatic productions whether on stage, film, or the T.V. screen. Analyzes plays and experiences in acting, directing, scenery, and lighting. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Apply the basic criteria for criticism of a theatrical performance.
  1. Identify the difference between a critic and a reviewer
  2. Recognize the three criterion for criticism: What is being attempted? How well has it succeeded? And was it worth making?
  3. Discover the difference between prescriptive and descriptive criticism

Discover the three challenges of acting.
  1. Discover how actors master the craft of acting by using the body and voice to portray characters.
  2. Discover how actors train to make believable characters.
  3. Recognize the use of synthesis and integration in acting.

Examine the role of directors and manager/producers in theater.
  1. Identify the historical evolution of the director.
  2. Discover the types of directors.
  3. Examine the director at work.
  4. Identify the director's collaborators.
  5. Discover the role of producers in commercial and noncommercial theaters.

Identify the types of theater spaces used for performances.
  1. Describe the characteristics and history of the proscenium stage.
  2. Describe the characteristics and history of the thrust stage.
  3. Describe the characteristics and history of the arena stage.
  4. Discover created or found spaces.
  5. Understand the use of multifocus environments.
  6. Examine all-purpose and experimental spaces.

Examine the use of designers and their relationship to theatrical performance.
  1. Describe the scene designer's objectives.
  2. Identify the physical aspects of scene design.
  3. Identify the process of scene design.
  4. Describe the costume designer's responsibilities.
  5. Identify the costume designer's objectives.
  6. Understand the elements of costume design including makeup and hairstyles and masks.
  7. Describe the objectives of lighting design.
  8. Understand the qualities of stage lighting.
  9. Discover the lighting designer's resources.
  10. Understand sound design technology.
  11. Look at special lighting and sound effects.

Examine the playwright's task in theater.
  1. Examine the playwright's centrality and use of subject, focus and dramatic purpose.
  2. Discover the genres of tragedy, comedy, heroic drama, melodrama, domestic comedy, and tragicomedy.
  3. Understand the essentials of dramatic structure: plot, action, conflict, opposed forces and balance of forces.
  4. Discover the difference between climactic and episodic structure.
  5. Understand the types of dramatic characters.

View and analyze a live theater production.
  1. Critique the play based on three criteria:
    1. What was attempted?
    2. How well was it done?
    3. Was it worth doing?
  2. Comment on the acting, characterization, directing, use of space, scenery, costumes, lighting and text.

Gain practical experience by giving five hours of service to a theater production during the semester.
  1. Gain practical experience using service learning from their chosen area of theater: acting if cast in a role, set construction, lighting, costumes, makeup, sound, business side of production, props, or stage managing.

Discover the historical background of theater production.
  1. Discover the beginnings of theater from the Greeks through modern times by reading and viewing representative plays.
  2. Discover the diversity of modern theater through reading and discussion.

Gain an understanding of and appreciation for the collaboration that is necessary for a theatrical production.
  1. Recognize the connections between all of the theatrical aspects of a production.
  2. Participate in an actual production of a play through service learning.

Utilize writing to promote learning in Outcomes #1, 5, 6, 7, and 9.

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