Theater Requirements for Independent Study and Research

Contact your theater advisor for more information.

(Note: If you plan to produce a full-length production, please also refer to: Supplemental Requirements for Full-Length Production-Based Projects in Theater or Dance )

An independent study in theater may take several different forms. Students have written original plays: studied the theater of another culture: researched a specific playwright and directed one of his/her productions: researched and designed productions based on a specific theater genre: researched related areas such as drama therapy or theater and social change. Your proposal will have a better chance of being accepted if you are well prepared, i.e. you've taken Acting and Directing before proposing a show. Independent studies should only be undertaken if you are motivated, have taken the course work that prepares you, and are interested in doing advanced research or performance in a topic that isn't covered by an existing class. The topic and requirements for reading, writing, viewing, and performing are negotiated between the student and advisor according to individual circumstances. But regardless of how the project is framed, there are expectations that apply to all Independent Study projects.

  1. You should meet with your advisor in the first week of the semester to clarify the description that will appear on your registration card, talk about the process you envision, and begin thinking about a semester-long schedule for meetings and deadlines. At this time, set a second meeting to which you will bring your tentative schedule for the project. Anyone contemplating performance projects should notify the department of their intended plans early in the semester prior to the start of the independent study.
  2. At the second meeting (usually in week 2) agree on the schedule and discuss sources (readings, videos, performances, performers, faculty, etc.) and your access to them. The department can help in some ways. If your project includes a performance or involves special technical needs, these should be articulated now.
  3. Meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Some students' desire for structure is greater than others, and this can be tailored as needed. Formally discuss your progress as needed, and feedback can be translated into a letter grade if you prefer.
  4. Evaluation. Evaluation of your project will be based on the process, the product, and post-product reflection. You will be producing evidence of your work as the semester progresses: each student should negotiate with their advisor the amount of work expected at the start of the semester, and what the basis for their evaluation will be. Your grade will be based on the organization and originality of both process and product, as well as artistic growth from beginning to end.

Our primary goal is to help you go where you want to go. Projects are dialogues and require your initiative, motivation, and work as well as whatever guidance, structure, and response we can give. We look forward to working with you.