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
    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. Laboratory.
  • 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
    Prerequisite: 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
    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
    292
    .
    Playwriting
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: 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
    326
    .
    Meisner Activity Exercise
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: THD-125
    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
    Prerequisite: THD-125
    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
    Prerequisite: 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.