Fall 2014 Courses
Fall 2014 courses are listed on this page for convenience. For the most accurate and up-to-date listing of course offerings, please visit the course timetable at the Office of the Registrar website:
Complete descriptions of all Theatre Arts courses, please visit:
THEATRE IN PHILADELPHIA (THAR 076.301)
FRESHMAN SEMINAR - This class is open only to the freshman class.
Instructor: Malague, R. – Tues & Thurs., 3 pm to 4:30 pm
The focus of this course will be on investigating and experiencing live theatre in Philadelphia. This semester we will have the opportunity to see numerous plays in production. We will examine the theatre experience in its entirety, considering: place and space of performance; audience; production elements such as directing, acting, and scenic design; as well as the play or performance piece itself. In addition, we will examine the state of the contemporary theatre culture of Philadelphia by looking at: the history of theatre in the city; the theatre buildings themselves; as well as the history, mission, and current state of selected theatre companies. Our readings will include: historical and theoretical context for the attending the theatre and viewing plays in production; scripts for plays we will see; and local newspaper coverage of the Philadelphia theatre scene. The course will also include tours of local theatres as well as discussions with local and visiting theatre artists.
INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE (THAR 100.601)
Instructor: Fox, D. – Tues., 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
What is theatre? For whom—and by whom—is it created and performed? What does it take to “make” theatre? What is the role of theatre in society and in our culture(s)? Why—and how—is the theatre a unique art form? This course is an “introduction” to the art of the theatre. We will learn to read plays not merely as pieces of literature, but as scripts designed for performance; live viewing of some of these plays in production will be a feature of the class. We will examine the roles of actor, director, designer, and playwright; we will look back at moments in the theatrical past—and forward to new ways of thinking about performance. This course is also an introduction to people: guest lectures will be given by members of the Theatre Arts Program faculty and by Philadelphia practitioners and scholars.
THEATRE, HISTORY, CULTURE I: From Classical Greece to European Enlightenment (Thar 101.301)
Instructor: Schlatter, J. Tues./ Thurs., 1:30 pm to 3 pm
This course investigates the history of theatre practice in Europe and Asia from Fifth-Century Athens to roughly the end of the Eighteenth Century. In addition to analyzing major dramatic works, this course examines the evolution of production methods —scenography, acting, costuming, theatre architecture - across cultures and at key socio-historical moments. Readings will be drawn from historical research, theoretical writings, and contemporary social documents. A particular focus will be on the integral role that the theatre plays as a cultural institution in the ongoing civic life of major cities, including Athens, Rome, London, Paris, and Heian-kyo (Kyoto). The course approaches theatre as broadly interdisciplinary and examines its intersection with religious practice, political developments, national identity, geography, the visual arts and the urban landscape.
INTRODUCTION TO ACTING (THAR.120)
Section 120-301 – Instructor: Ferguson, M. – Tues./ Thurs., 1:30 pm to 3 pm – Freshman Seminar
Section 120-302 – Instructor: Malague, R., - Tues./ Thurs., 12 noon to 1:30 pm – Freshman Seminar
Section 120-303 - Instructor: Schlatter, J. – Tues./ Thurs., 10:30 am to 12 Noon
Section 120-304 – Instructor: TBA – Day/ Time - TBA
Rooted in the system devised by Konstantin Stanislavsky, this course takes students step by step through the practical work an actor must do to live and behave truthfully on-stage. Beginning with relaxation and physical exercise, interactive games, and ensemble building, students then learn and put into practice basic acting techniques, including sensory work, the principles of action, objectives, given circumstances, etc. The semester culminates in the performance of a scene or scenes, most often from a modern American play. This course strongly stresses the responsibility of the actor to work and especially to one's fellow actors. Practical work is supplemented by readings from Stanislavsky and a variety of other acting theorists that may include Uta Hagen, Robert Cohen, Stella Adler, among others. Students are required to submit short essays over the course of the semester in response to the readings and in preparation for their final scene project.
INTRODUCTION TO DIRECTING (THAR 121-301)
Instructor: O’Connor, D., - 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm
The aim of this course is to provide students with a basic knowledge of directing through an introduction to the functional tools of the craft. Classes provide lectures and practical work in dealing with topics such as the function of the director, analyzing a script, visual composition, blocking, stage business, and working with actors. This course is a prerequisite for Advanced Directing.
INTRODUCTION TO LIGHT, SET AND COSTUME (THAR 130.301)
Instructor: Baratta, E. – Tues./ Thurs., 1:30 pm to 3 pm
This course will introduce students to the traditional elements of scenic composition, including stage scenery and props, lighting, costume design. Students will gain an appreciation for the breadth of historic scenic convention as well as an understanding of the roles played by historic convention in modern stagecraft. Theatrical relationships between actor/audience/setting/text will be examined using the analysis of play scripts, theatre history, theoretical writings, illustrations and other media as a series of case studies. Emphasis will be given to an understanding of the role of design and technology in the transformational event of the theatre production, and the various contextual approaches that inform the design process, including the role of the theatre designer/technician as artist and collaborator within the framework of the production team. Project work in this course includes: design studies, research and critical writing, project presentation, and a practicum project associated with the Theatre Arts Program production schedule.
CONCEPTS OF LIGHTING (THAR 131.301)
Instructor: Whinnery, P. – Mon./ Weds., 2 pm to 3:30 pm
Course will meet in the Performing Arts Shop; 4100 Walnut Street.
An introduction to the nature and value of lighting in the theatre; emphasizing its functions, history, resources, techniques, and design.
INTRODUCTION TO COSTUME (Thar 132-301)
Instructor: Hiibel, M., - Tues. 3 pm to 6 pm
Costume history and design provides a framework for organized study and practice in this particular facet of theatre production.
VOICE FOR THE ACTOR (THAR 170.301)
Instructor: Doherty, S. – Mon., 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm
This course is to assist professional and student actors through a detailed series of exercises designed by Kristin Linklater to free, develop and strengthen the voice. To teach a method by which an individual may liberate his or her natural voice, integrate the voice with the entire "actor's instrument," and enable the individual to communicate the full range of human emotion and thought. The exercises upon which I draw will guide the actor through a detailed progression of relaxation, physical awareness, breath awareness, alignment of the spine, resonance, range and articulation. We will explore how the voice works and why the voice does not work, and what is the difference between an individual and his or her voice. Partnered with this voice work are group and individual exercises designed to stimulate and develop the imagination, physical awareness, sensory awareness, creativity and the capacity for ensemble work.
INDEPENDENT STUDY (THAR 199.000) Arranged
ACTING SHAKESPEARE (THAR 236.401)
Cross listed with Engl 236.401
Instructor: Mazer, C. – Tues./ Thurs., 12 Noon to 1:30 pm.
Prerequisites: Thar 120 or Thar 121 and Permission of the Instructor.
This course is not open to freshmen.
Through specialized readings, writing assignments, and in-class acting exercises, the class will develop methods of interpreting Shakespeare's plays through theatrical practice. Topics include: Shakespeare's use of soliloquy, two and three person scenes, the dramatic presentation of narrative source material, modes of defining and presenting the "worlds" of the plays, and the use of theatrical practice to establish authoritative text.
SEEDS OF MODERN DRAMA (THAR 275-401)
Instructor: Mazer, C. – Tues./ Thurs., 10:30 am to 12 Noon
This course examines western drama from the middle of the nineteenth century through the First World War, which aspired to new levels of theatrical and social realism, and then experimented with piercing the boundaries of the realism that it had just achieved. Readings will include plays by Ibsen, Strindberg, Hauptmann, Wedekind, Synge, Shaw, Granville Barker, Elizabeth Robins, and Chekhov.
CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN DRAMA AND THEATRE (Thar 275-402)
Instructor: Schlatter, J. – Tues./ Thurs., 3 pm to 4:30 pm
Historically, great civic and national cultures have been identified with, and at times defined by, great theatre. Today, in America, theatre is thriving due to the immense creativity of our playwrights and associate theatre artists, the enthusiastic engagement of a wide audience, and the passionate commitment of artists and audiences to an engaged political discourse. This course will investigate the contemporary American theatre as an indispensable asset in helping our country sustain its vigorous public culture. It will also enable us to create a collective portrait of who we are as a people at a critical time in our national history. This course will examine a range of new plays by authors such as David Lindsay-Abaire, Sara Ruhl, Lynn Nottge, David Mamet, and Tracy Letts, among others. Students will research major theatre companies, both traditional and experimental, and individual theatre makers who are continually forging new work. The course will include attendance at performances by local Philadelphia theatre companies and visits by Philadelphia theatre artists.
SENIOR THESIS (THAR-299.000) Arranged
REHEARSAL & PERFORMANCE (THAR 350.301)
Instructor/Director: Ferguson, M., – Meets primarily evenings, 7 pm to 11 pm until production.
Permission is needed from instructor through audition or interview.
For more information, watch our website for updates. http://www.sas.upenn.edu/theatrearts/
This course is designed to provide students with deep intellectual and artistic immersion into the theatrical process through intensive research, rehearsal, and performance of a full-length stage piece. Students may enroll in this course as actors (by audition only) or as assistant directors, stage managers, dramaturgs, or designers (by permission of the instructor). Theatre Arts 350 may be taken multiple times, as the research and performance process will be different for every project. Each semester, the faculty-directed play will be featured in the Theatre Arts Program production season.
PROVOCATIVE PERFORMANCE (Thar 579-640)
Instructor: Malague, M. – Tues., 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Course offerings listed here may change to reflect the needs of the program and its declared majors.
Theatre Arts Program
Marcia Ferguson , Program Director
Kevin Chun, Administrative Assistant