Theatre

Requirements & Courses

Movement is one of the communicative means in theatre. Actors use their bodies in space as a prime means of expression. Alma’s Theatre program stresses the development of imagination, creativity and performance skills. Several theatre productions are presented each term.

Theatre graduates find employment in professional, educational and community theatre; arts administration; or in such non-theatre areas as broadcasting, social work and public relations.

Major Requirements
Thirty-six credits which must include THD 125, 170, 171 and 232; eight credits from among THD 261, 262 and 263; four credits from Dance Studio Technique courses which include: THD 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 147, 240, 242, 243, 244, 245 (any of which may be repeated for credit) and THD 141 (which may not be repeated for credit); plus eight credits in advanced-level Theatre courses.

All Majors are required to take the departmental comprehensive examination which is administered by the Department on campus at the end of the Winter Term of the senior year.

Minor Requirements
Twenty-four credits which must include THD 125; 170 or 171; THD 232; four credits from THD 261, 262 or 263; four credits from THD ;146 or Dance studio (technique) courses; plus four credits of Theatre electives.

Four credits from THD, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Humanities.

Courses

  • THD
    125
    .
    Acting
    4 credits
    Introduction to acting through participation in exercises which emphasize moment-to-moment acting from the actor’s impulse in contact with a partner. Culminates with class performance.
  • THD
    140
    .
    Modern Dance I Beginning
    1 credit
    Development of modern dance as a performing art. Movement exploration exercises and beginning techniques of modern dance. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    141
    .
    Social Dance
    1 credit
    Application of basic steps and variations of the cha cha, Charleston, jitterbug, polka and waltz.
  • THD
    142
    .
    Tap Dance I Beginning
    1 credit
    Elementary exploration of rhythms and steps basic to the art form of tap dancing. Study of terminology and technique. Beginning tap routines with elementary progressions. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    143
    .
    Yoga I - The Experience
    1 credit
    Yoga complements the dancer as well as the human being in many ways, particularly in the physical realm. Slow stretching and breathing increase flexibility and awareness, and restore tone and vitality. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    144
    .
    Ballet I Beginning
    1 credit
    Development of ballet as a performing art. Build strength and develop body carriage/posture and learn basic techniques of ballet. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    145
    .
    Jazz Dance I Beginning
    1 credit
    Development of jazz dance as a performing art. Principles of basic jazz dance. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    147
    .
    Techniques of the Male Repertoire
    1 credit
    Development of the male repertoire of dance as a performing art. Building strength, developing body carriage/posture, and learning the skills of the specific male repertoire of movement. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    170
    .
    Theatre Crafts
    4 credits
    Introduction to the terminology, technology and techniques of technical production in the performing arts. Laboratory sessions in the theatre, workshops and backstage assignments on department productions ensure practice of the topics discussed in class.
  • THD
    171
    .
    Design for the Theatre
    4 credits
    Introduction to the design of the physical environment in the theatre. Consideration of scenery, costume, lighting and sound for live performance; their unifying aesthetic principles and distinctions. Culminates in class presentation of student designs for particular plays.
  • THD
    *
    232
    .
    Directing
    4 credits
    THD 125
    Study of basic procedures for the director: script analysis, communication and working with actors, and technical use of the stage. Students direct one or two short scenes emphasizing script analysis and the director’s collaboration with actors.
  • THD
    240
    .
    Modern Dance II Intermediate
    1 credit
    THD 140 or Permission
    Continuation of Modern Dance I. Emphasis on movement patterns and development of body alignment. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    242
    .
    Tap Dance II Intermediate
    1 credit
    THD 142 or Permission
    Continued exploration into rhythms and steps basic to the art form of tap dancing. Study of terminology and technique. Intermediate tap routines with intermediate progressions. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    243
    .
    Yoga II - The Experience
    1 credit
    Yoga complements the dancer as well as the human being in many ways, particularly in the physical realm. Slow stretching and breathing increase flexibility and awareness, and restore tone and vitality. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    244
    .
    Ballet II Intermediate
    1 credit
    Permission
    Continuation of Ballet I. Development of ballet combinations and concentration on body alignment. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    245
    .
    Jazz Dance II Intermediate
    1 credit
    THD 145 or Permission
    Continuation of Jazz Dance I with emphasis on rhythmic patterns, intermediate steps and body isolations. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    *
    261
    .
    Great Ages of Theatre I
    4 credits
    Survey of the physical structure, production methods and styles of theatre and the cultures that produced them from their beginnings to the Elizabethan Period. Considers primitive rituals and Eastern Theatre as well as Western Theatre. Includes reading representative plays and their place in the theatrical development of the period.
  • THD
    *
    262
    .
    Great Ages of Theatre II
    4 credits
    Survey of the physical structure, production methods and styles of theatre and the cultures that produced them from Elizabethan England to the Modern Period. Considers Renaissance Spain and France, Restoration England, and Baroque and Romantic Europe through the Modern Theatre. Includes the reading of representative plays and their place in the theatrical development of the period.
  • THD
    263
    .
    Modern Drama
    4 credits
    Survey of major plays written and produced in last 100 years. From Isben, Shaw and Chekhov through Williams, Miller, Beckett and Albee. Consideration given to staging.
  • THD
    *
    271
    .
    Scene Design
    4 credits
    Exploration of scenery as a tool for expression in live performance. Exploration of visualization of the intellectual concept of a production, research for scenic design development, advanced presentation techniques. Culminates in assembly of a portfolio of scenic designs for plays chosen by the student from approved list.
  • THD
    *
    272
    .
    Lighting Design
    4 credits
    Exploration of lighting as an expressive tool in live performance. Intensive work in color theory, distribution, intensity, focus, and motion with light; advanced presentation techniques. Culminates in a student presentation of selected lighting moments for a play chosen by the student from approved list.
  • THD
    *
    273
    .
    Costume Design
    4 credits
    Exploration of costumes as an expressive tool in live performance. Intensive work in color theory, line, mass, texture; survey of historical fashion; advanced presentation techniques. Culminates in assembly of a portfolio of student renderings for plays chosen by the student from approved list.
  • THD
    *
    274
    .
    Sound Design
    4 credits
    Exploration of sound as an expressive tool in live performance. Gives students an understanding of the science, technology and historic usage of sound in theatre. Emphasis in script analysis and design and production process.
  • THD
    *
    275
    .
    Stage Management
    4 credits
    Study of the basic procedures for the stage manager: organization skills, communication skills, supervisory skills, scheduling, budgeting and theatre technology as they pertain to the stage manager.
  • THD
    *
    276
    .
    Scene Painting
    4 credits
    Learn basic scene painting techniques such as marble, stone work and wood grains and apply them to scene painting projects. Course culminates in a major project including multiple techniques.
  • THD
    280
    .
    Topics in Theatre and Dance
    4 credits
    Special topics and projects selected by instructor. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • THD
    *
    292
    .
    Playwriting
    4 credits
    Permission
    Students write several brief etudes in addition to writing and revising a more substantial script. The course uses staged readings and feedback from actors and audience members to help students learn the craft of writing for performance. Emphasizes revision and collaboration in the production process. May be repeated once for credit.
  • THD
    *
    299
    .
    Independent Study
    1-4 credits
    Permission
    Supervised reading, research or projects.
  • THD
    *
    325T
    .
    Theatre Studio: Acting
    2-4 credits
    THD 125 and Permission
    Advanced participation as an actor cast in a public performance of a theatre production under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The student must be cast in a major role, submit a written character analysis and journal of rehearsals and performances of that role. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    *
    326
    .
    Meisner Activity Exercise
    4 credits
    Continuation of THD 125 through in-depth work with the Meisner Activity Exercise. The interdependent steps of the activity exercise reinforces the process of really doing something with a purpose and deepens the actor’s sense of creating truthful behavior on stage.
  • THD
    *
    327
    .
    Meisner Action Exercise
    4 credits
    Continuation of THD 125 through exploration of the Meisner Nursery Rhyme Exercise to help deepen the concept of justifying words and playing actions.
  • THD
    *
    332
    .
    Intermediate Directing
    4 credits
    THD 232
    Continuation of THD 232. Principles and techniques of stage directing culminating in the analysis, casting and direction of a one-act play for public presentation.
  • THD
    *
    371T
    .
    Theatre Studio: Scenery
    2-4 credits
    THD 271 and Permission
    Advanced tutorial in scenic design. Students responsible for all research materials, production drawings, models, plots and schedules for a theatre or dance production working in close consultation with a faculty member. Culminates in the realization of a scenic environment for a public performance and a written analysis of the project. May be repeated for credit.
  • THD
    *
    385-*386
    .
    Practicum
    4 credits each
    Permission
    Study-work participation in community institutions, schools or professional organizations combined with faculty supervision. Practical experience in teaching, directing or performance of theatre and dance. Culminates in written report.
  • THD
    *
    399
    .
    Independent Study
    1-4 credits
    Permission
    Supervised reading, research or projects.
  • THD
    *
    432T
    .
    Theatre Studio: Directing
    2-4 credits
    THD 232 and Permission
    Advanced tutorial in the principles and techniques of stage directing culminating in the analysis, casting and directing of a full-length play.
  • THD
    *
    480
    .
    Topics in Theatre and Dance
    4 credits
    Special topics and projects selected by the instructor. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • THD
    *
    499
    .
    Independent Study
    1-4 credits
    Permission
    Supervised reading, research or projects.
  • THD
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    4 credits
    Permission
    Students with honors in Theatre and Dance must complete a Senior Thesis, approved and directed by the Department.