Course Offerings - Catalog 2013-14


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Dramatic Arts

Division of Humanities


The Dramatic Arts Program seeks to provide a balanced and comprehensive theatre experience for all students. We offer classes for both majors and non-majors that provide a thorough foundation in theatrical history, theory, and literature as well as training in acting, directing, design, and technical theatre. Thus, students are prepared for graduate education and for employment in any field that values high level communication skills as well as for careers in theatre as teacher, artist, technician or manager.

In preparation for their graduate school and/or a professional career, majors are required, as part of their senior seminar experience, to reflect upon their time in the drama program at Centre College. This reflection process involves a public “exhibition” of their four years of work within the program. Student are therefore encouraged to save the physical evidence of work (programs, photographs, models, masks, drawings, designs etc.) for this display.

For the student body at large, the program affords the opportunity to experience, as audience or participants, a wide range of dramatic forms selected both to educate and to entertain.

Faculty

Matthew Hallock(chair), Mark deAraujo, Anthony Haigh, Patrick Kagan-Moore

Students

Emily Nuthall, Olivia Palmer

Requirements for the Major

DRA Practicum (3 credits), 117, 133, 134, 150, 230, 500;
Five classes from the following, at least one from each area:
Area A: Performance: DRA 310, 311, 315, 318, 320-329;
Area B: Technology and Design: DRA 250, 350, 351, 355, 356, 360-369;
Area C: Dramatic History and Literature: DRA 330, 331, 332, 338, 340-49

Requirements for the Minor

DRA Practicum (3 credits);
Two of DRA 117, 150, 230, 338;
DRA 133 and 134;
Two additional DRA courses numbered 300 or higher

Dramatic Arts Courses

DRA 111 Practicum (one credit hour)
This course requires the practical involvement of the student in a faculty-directed or supervised production. This production must be a part of the regular season of the Dramatic Arts Program. Notes: Admission by audition and appointment only; graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis; only six hours of practicum credit may be applied toward graduation.

DRA 112 Practicum (two credit hours)
This course requires the practical involvement of the student in a faculty-directed production either in a lead acting role or as a crew head. This production must be a part of the regular season of the Dramatic Arts Program. Notes: Admission by audition and appointment only; graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis; only six hours of practicum credit may be applied toward graduation.

DRA 113 Practicum (three credit hours)
This course requires the practical involvement of the student either in directing a major production or as a lead designer on a faculty-directed production. This production must be a part of the regular season of the Dramatic Arts Program. Notes: Admission by appointment only; graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis; only six hours of practicum credit may be applied toward graduation.

DRA 114 Beginning Modern Dance Technique (one credit hour)
An introduction to the study of modern dance. Classes include basic dance warm-up exercises designed to stretch and strengthen various muscles throughout the body, and simple movement combinations designed to improve balance, coordination, flexibility, and rhythm. The class is supplemented by the viewing and discussion of videotapes of works by modern dance choreographers.

DRA 115 Intermediate Modern Dance Technique (one credit hour)
An intermediate study of modern dance. Classes include basic and advanced dance warm-up exercises designed to stretch and strengthen various muscles throughout the body, and simple and complex movement combinations designed to improve balance, coordination, flexibility, and rhythm. The class is supplemented by the viewing and discussion of videotapes of works by modern dance choreographers. Prerequisite: DRA 114 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 116 Modern Dance Performance (one credit hour)
Preparation of a dance performance. By learning, rehearsing, and performing pieces choreographed by the instructor, students gain an understanding of the choreographic process. The course culminates in a public performance. Prerequisite: DRA 115 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 117 Acting-I
An introduction to the basic theory, techniques, and history of European and American ensemble training for the actor, from the work of Constantin Stanislavski to the present. The course begins with exercises designed to improve performance technique, progresses to character analysis and development, and finally focuses upon scene rehearsal and performance. Students read and analyze texts, learning to evaluate them as compositions for performance.

DRA 133 Foundations of Dramatic Literature-I
A survey of Western dramatic literature from the ancient Greeks to the eighteenth century.

DRA 134 Foundations of Dramatic Literature-II
A survey of Western dramatic literature from the eighteenth century to modern times.

DRA 150 Technical Theatre (four credit hours)
An introduction to the foundation concepts of theatrical production. Topics covered include theatrical architecture, scenic production, lighting production, and theatrical organizational structures.

DRA 230 History of the Theatre
A survey of theatre history from the classical world to the Modern Age.

DRA 310 Acting-II: Improvisation
This course focuses upon game structure and problem-solving exercises as the basis for theatrical training. Improvisational skill may be taught through group interactions, narrative storytelling, working with and building masks, and the development of scenes from personal experience and non-theatrical literature. Prerequisite: DRA 117 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 312 Acting-II: Physical Comedy
This course will center upon physical styles of theatre, including clowning, farce, satire, and commedia dell'arte. Study is based in the theories and practice of such teachers as Vsevelod Meyerhold (biomechanics), Jacques LeCoq (neutral mask and corporeal clowning), Keith Johnstone and Libby Appel (mask characterization), Ruth Zapora and Eugenio Barba. Students should emerge from this class with a stronger understanding of the ways in which physicality and character are linked, and practical training in the use of masks. Prerequisite: DRA 117 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 318 Directing
A study of the role of the director in the theatrical process. Students study and practice rehearsal techniques, blocking, movement, and production methods. They also investigate the process of other directors. Students are expected to mount a short production at the end of the course. Prerequisite: DRA 117 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 320-329 Advanced Topics in Performance
Courses designed to provide students with an opportunity to do advanced research and practical work in a performance area such as acting, vocal techniques, audition techniques and stage combat, etc. Prerequisite: DRA 117.

DRA 322 Voice for the Actor
A studio performance class focusing on two central goals: improving vocal production and developing effective strategies for performing text. Students should emerge from the class with improved relaxation skills, with greater awareness of their vocal range and of methods to improve vocal production. Committed students should also have greater skills in delivering text and establishing strong connections with dramatic dialogue. Prerequisite: DRA 117 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 330 Playwriting
A study of the creative process of writing a play, emphasizing plot and character development. Secondary emphasis is placed on experimentation with forms of drama and styles of playwriting. Students are required to write a one-act play.

DRA 331 Shakespeare-I
A study of the development of Shakespeare as dramatist, with emphasis on the earlier histories and the romantic comedies. (Also listed as ENG 301)

DRA 332 Shakespeare-II
A study of the mature Shakespeare, the tragedies and romances, with emphasis on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. (Also listed as ENG 302)

DRA 338 Introduction to Drama and Theatre
A survey of the elements of drama and theatre manifested by both text and performance. This course is taught off-campus in London or New York, or another major metropolitan theatre center.

DRA 340-349 Studies in Dramatic History and Literature
Courses in specific national or cultural movements or practitioners in dramatic literature and history from ancient times to the present. Prerequisite: DRA 133 and 134.

DRA 340 Contemporary British Theatre
A study of the development of contemporary theatre in Britain from the "Angry Young Men" of the 1950's to the eclectic theatre of the present. Prerequisite: DRA 133, 134 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 347 Trends in Contemporary Drama
This course explores very recent plays published and produced in the United States and the United Kingdom, relating these texts to historical, political and theoretical developments of the past fifty years. Work include recently published plays by American  playwrights (Eric Lane, Pamela Gien, David Lindsey-Abaire, Teresa Rebeck, Roberto Aguirre-Secasa, Nilo Cruz, John Logan and others), Irish playwrights (Conor McPherson, Martin MacDonough, Marina Carr) and British playwrights (Rebecca Gilman,  Rolin Jones). We will focus on experiments with form and content, and of necessity discuss influential playwrights and performance artists such as Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams, Adrienne Kennedy, Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Charles Ludlum, Anna Deavere Smith, and Karen Finley as well as seminal avant-garde theatre groups. Prerequisite: DRA 133 or 134, or permission of the instructor.

DRA 350 Scenic Design
An analysis of the stage production from the scene designer’s point of view. Emphasis on use of design materials, the ground plan, working drawings, models, the sketch, and the color rendering. Prerequisite: DRA 150 or permission of instructor.

DRA 351 Lighting Design
A study of the historic, aesthetic, and technical aspects of stage lighting design. Emphasis is placed on the technical as a prerequisite to the aesthetic. Participation in actual performances is an integral part of the course. Prerequisite: DRA 150 or permission of instructor.

DRA 355 Stage Management
An introduction to the basic practices of stage management. Emphasis is on the rehearsal and performance duties of the stage manager through a focus on organizational and management skill training. Prerequisite: DRA 150 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 360-369 Studies in Design and Technology
Courses designed to provide students with an opportunity to do advanced research and practical work within the technical and design aspects of the production process. Topics may include, but are not limited to, properties design, computer assisted design, studies in costume design and technology, advanced stagecraft or advanced stage lighting. Prerequisite DRA 150 or permission of the instructor.

DRA 360 Video Production and Acting for the Camera
The course has a dual focus: Introduction to video production (using Final Cut) and acting for the camera. Students produce, edit, and perform in short digital videos during the term.

DRA 362 Costume Design
Through analysis of dramatic text, character study, and research, students design costumes for the stage. Emphasis is on developing the design idea and less so on the ability to render. Designs are presented in multiple media: watercolor, pencil, collage, and acrylic. Little experience with these media is necessary. Prerequisite: DRA 150, ARS 110, or permission of the instructor.

DRA 500 Senior Seminar
A capstone class for dramatic arts majors that requires students to synthesize their experiences in dramatic theory and literature and in theatre performance and production. Assignments might center upon dramaturgy, dramatic theory and criticism, analysis for acting or directing, or production design. Seminar students prepare a portfolio presentation that summarizes their experience and their current vision of the theatre. The class also includes a component in resume preparation and professional presentation.