Location: Bowdoin / Theater and Dance / Courses / Fall 2009

Theater and Dance

Fall 2009

Theater

010. Understanding Theater and Dance: Doing, Viewing, and Reviewing
June Vail T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
The goal is appreciation and understanding of contemporary performance. Investigates critical perspectives on dance, drama and other performance events. Develops viewing and writing skills: description, analysis, interpretation, evaluation. Attending live performances, on and off campus, watching films and videos, and participating in studio workshops with performers and writers provide a basis for four essays and other modes of critical response--written, oral, or visual.

101. Making Theater
Sonja Moser T 1:30 - 3:25, TH 1:30 - 3:25 Memorial-108
An active introductory exploration of the nature of theater: how to think about it, how to look at it, how to make it. Students examine a range of theatrical ideas and conventions, see and reflect on live performance, and experience different approaches to making work. Designers, directors, performers, and scholars visit the class to broaden perspective and instigate experiments. Students work collaboratively throughout the semester to develop and perform original work.

104. Stagecraft
Michael Schiff-Verre T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Memorial-309 Stowe Sem Room
Introduction to the language, theory, and practice of technical theater. Hands-on experience in lighting, scenic and property construction, costuming, and stage management. Considers the possibilities, demands, and limits inherent in different forms of performance and performance spaces, and explores the job roles integral to theater and dance production. Includes forty hours of laboratory work. Grading is Credit/D/Fail.

106. Introduction to Drama
Aaron Kitch M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Chase Barn Chamber
Traces the development of dramatic form, character, and style from classical Greece through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary America and Africa. Explores the evolution of plot design, with special attention to the politics of playing, the shifting strategies of representing human agency, and contemporary relationships between the theater and a variety of forms of mass media. Authors may include Sophocles, Aristophanes, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dryden, Ibsen, Wilde, Beckett, Mamet, and Churchill.

120. Acting I
Abigail Killeen M 1:30 - 3:25, W 1:30 - 3:25 Memorial-108
Introduces students to the physical, emotional, and intellectual challenge of the acting process. Voice and movement work, analysis of dramatic texts from an actor’s point of view, and improvisational exercises are used to provide students with a variety of methods for acting truthfully on stage.

130. Principles of Design
Judy Gailen M 9:30 - 11:25, W 9:30 - 11:25 Memorial-309 Stowe Sem Room
An introduction to theatrical design that stimulates students to consider the world of a play, dance, or performance piece from a designer’s perspective. Through projects, readings, discussion, and critiques, students explore the fundamental principles of visual design, as they apply to set, lighting, and costume design, as well as text analysis for the designer, and the process of collaboration. Strong emphasis on perceptual, analytical, and communication skills.

195. Production and Performance
Roger Bechtel
Engagement in the presentation of a full-length work for public performance with a faculty director or choreographer. Areas of concentration within the production may include design, including set, light, sound, or costume; rehearsal and performance of roles; service as assistant director or stage manager. In addition to fulfilling specific production responsibilities, students meet weekly to synthesize work. Students gain admission to Theater 195 either through audition (performers) or through advance consultation (designers, stage managers, and assistant directors). Students register for Theater 195 during the add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. Students are required to commit a minimum of six hours a week to rehearsal and production responsibilities over a period of seven to twelve weeks; specific time commitments depend upon the role the student is assuming in the production and the production schedule. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit. May be repeated a maximum of four times for credit, earning a maximum of two credits.

195. Production and Performance
Michael Schiff-Verre
Engagement in the presentation of a full-length work for public performance with a faculty director or choreographer. Areas of concentration within the production may include design, including set, light, sound, or costume; rehearsal and performance of roles; service as assistant director or stage manager. In addition to fulfilling specific production responsibilities, students meet weekly to synthesize work. Students gain admission to Theater 195 either through audition (performers) or through advance consultation (designers, stage managers, and assistant directors). Students register for Theater 195 during the add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. Students are required to commit a minimum of six hours a week to rehearsal and production responsibilities over a period of seven to twelve weeks; specific time commitments depend upon the role the student is assuming in the production and the production schedule. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit. May be repeated a maximum of four times for credit, earning a maximum of two credits.

201. Theater and Dance History: Moments, Movements, Theories
Roger Bechtel T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
Examines seminal historical moments in theater and dance through a focus on such conceptual categories as visuality, aurality, the body, space, spectatorship, political ideology, and so on. Historical eras covered include ancient Greece, medieval Japan, Renaissance Europe, and romantic, modernist, and postmodernist Europe and America. The focus, however, will be placed not on these individual moments per se, but on the effect of social and cultural pressures on the aesthetics of live performance across different times, cultures, and disciplines. Some time spent in the studio experimenting with historical forms.

210. Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances
William Watterson T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-117
Examines "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," "The Merchant of Venice," "Twelfth Night," "As You Like It," "The Winter’s Tale," and "The Tempest" in light of Renaissance genre theory.Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

220. Acting II: Voice and Text
Sonja Moser T 9:30 - 11:25, TH 9:30 - 11:25 3 Maine St Station-Dance Studio
An intermediate acting course focused on the link between language, thought, and feeling, with the goal of achieving full-mind-body engagement in the act of communication. Students work with poetry, plays, and other dramatic texts to encourage vocal, physical, and emotional freedom. Breathing exercises attune students to the physiological impulse to speak, while vocal exercises concentrate on developing increased range, strength, and color of expression. Interpretation is explored through close readings of texts. This course, along with Theater 225, Acting II: Physical Theater, is part of a two-semester course series. Theater 220 and 225 may be taken individually or in any order.

246. Drama and Performance in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Marilyn Reizbaum M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Boody-Johnson House Seminar Room
Examines dramatic trends of the century, ranging from the social realism of Ibsen to the performance art of Laurie Anderson. Traverses national and literary traditions and demonstrates that work in translation like that of Ibsen or Brecht has a place in the body of dramatic literature in English. Discusses such topics as dramatic translation (Liz Lochhead’s translation of Molière’s "Tartuffe"); epic theater and its millennial counterpart (Bertold Brecht, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill); political drama (Frank McGuinness, Athool Fugard); the “nihilism” of absurdist drama (Samuel Beckett); the “low” form of the musical (as presented, for example, by Woody Allen); and the relationship of dance to theater (Henrik Ibsen, Ntozake Shange, "Stomp," Enda Walsh). Readings staged. Formerly English 262.

270. Directing
Davis Robinson M 9:30 - 11:25, W 9:30 - 11:25 Memorial-108
Introduces students to the major principles of play direction, including conceiving a production, script analysis, staging, casting, and rehearsing with actors. Students actively engage directing theories and techniques through collaborative class projects, and complete the course by conceiving, casting, rehearsing, and presenting short plays of their choosing. A final research and rehearsal portfolio is required.

320. Theater Styles
Davis Robinson M 1:30 - 3:25, W 1:30 - 3:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
An advanced acting class that explores issues of style. What is Tragedy? Farce? Melodrama? Commedia? Realism? The Absurd? Through research, analysis, and scene work in class, students become familiar with a range of theatrical idioms. Emphasis is placed on understanding the social/cultural needs that give rise to a particular style, and the way in which style is used in contemporary theater to support or subvert a text.

Dance

010. Understanding Theater and Dance: Doing, Viewing, and Reviewing
June Vail T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
The goal is appreciation and understanding of contemporary performance. Investigates critical perspectives on dance, drama and other performance events. Develops viewing and writing skills: description, analysis, interpretation, evaluation. Attending live performances, on and off campus, watching films and videos, and participating in studio workshops with performers and writers provide a basis for four essays and other modes of critical response--written, oral, or visual.

104. Stagecraft
Michael Schiff-Verre T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Memorial-309 Stowe Sem Room
Introduction to the language, theory, and practice of technical theater. Hands-on experience in lighting, scenic and property construction, costuming, and stage management. Considers the possibilities, demands, and limits inherent in different forms of performance and performance spaces, and explores the job roles integral to theater and dance production. Includes forty hours of laboratory work. Grading is Credit/D/Fail.

111. Introductory Dance Technique
Paul Sarvis T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 3 Maine St Station-Dance Studio
Classes in modern dance technique include basic exercises to develop dance skills such as balance and musicality. More challenging movement combinations and longer dance sequences build on these exercises. While focusing on the craft of dancing, students develop an appreciation of their own styles and an understanding of the role of craft in the creative process. During the semester, a historical overview of twentieth-century American dance on video is presented. Attendance at all classes is required. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

112. Introductory Repertory and Performance
Paul Sarvis T 4:00 - 5:25, TH 4:00 - 5:25 3 Maine St Station-Dance Studio
Repertory students are required to take Dance 111 concurrently. Repertory classes provide the chance to learn faculty-choreographed works or reconstructions of historical dances. Class meetings are conducted as rehearsals for performances at the end of the semester: the December Studio Show, the annual Spring Performance in Pickard Theater, or Museum Pieces at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in May. Additional rehearsals are scheduled before performances. Attendance at all classes and rehearsals is required. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

130. Principles of Design
Judy Gailen M 9:30 - 11:25, W 9:30 - 11:25 Memorial-309 Stowe Sem Room
An introduction to theatrical design that stimulates students to consider the world of a play, dance, or performance piece from a designer’s perspective. Through projects, readings, discussion, and critiques, students explore the fundamental principles of visual design, as they apply to set, lighting, and costume design, as well as text analysis for the designer, and the process of collaboration. Strong emphasis on perceptual, analytical, and communication skills.

201. Theater and Dance History: Moments, Movements, Theories
Roger Bechtel T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
Examines seminal historical moments in theater and dance through a focus on such conceptual categories as visuality, aurality, the body, space, spectatorship, political ideology, and so on. Historical eras covered include ancient Greece, medieval Japan, Renaissance Europe, and romantic, modernist, and postmodernist Europe and America. The focus, however, will be placed not on these individual moments per se, but on the effect of social and cultural pressures on the aesthetics of live performance across different times, cultures, and disciplines. Some time spent in the studio experimenting with historical forms.

211. Intermediate Dance Technique
Gwyneth Jones T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
A continuation of the processes introduced in Dance 111. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

212. Intermediate Repertory and Performance
Gwyneth Jones T 4:00 - 5:25, TH 4:00 - 5:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
Intermediate repertory students are required to take Dance 211 concurrently. A continuation of the principles and requirement introduced in Dance 112. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

270. Choreography for Dancers: Invention, Method, and Purpose
Paul Sarvis M 9:30 - 11:25, W 9:30 - 11:25 Memorial Hall-601 Dance Studio
Through a vigorous sequence of creative projects, fluent dancers excavate sources and explore methods for making dance. Detailed work on personal movement vocabulary, musicality, and the use of multidimensional space leads to a strong sense of choreographic architecture. Students explore the play between design and accident—communication and open-ended meaning—and irony and gravity. Studio work is supported by video viewing, and readings on dance, philosophy, and other arts.

311. Advanced/Intermediate Dance Technique
Gwyneth Jones M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 3 Maine St Station-Dance Studio
A continuation of the processes introduced in Dance 211. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

312. Advanced/Intermediate Repertory and Performance
Gwyneth Jones M 4:00 - 5:25, W 4:00 - 5:25 3 Maine St Station-Dance Studio
Intermediate/advanced repertory students are required to take Dance 311 concurrently. A continuation of the principles and requirement introduced in Dance 212. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.