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Theatre

Associate Professor Wayne E. Vettleson, M.F.A. , Co-Chair
Assistant Professor Matt Fotis, Ph.D., Co-Chair 
Associate Professors Julia Matthews, Ph.D. and Paula E. Trimpey, M.F.A.
Artist-in-Residence Jeffrey S. Lentz, M.M. '85


Theatre

The Theatre Department invites students to combine theory with practice, and to deepen their original creative work with an understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the stage. The department offers an array of courses that examine the wide-ranging history, literature and aesthetics of the art form, along with a number of more practical courses that provide students with the fundamental skills and crafts of theatre. 

The department offers the bachelor of arts degree to majors in theatre. Many students opt to combine theatre with another major, such as arts administration, education, communications, fashion, English, history or music. Courses in costume design and stage makeup are offered in cooperation with the Fashion Department. The new interdisciplinary major in Digital Video Arts prepares students to hone their theatrical creativity for careers in film and new media.

Theatre graduates have enjoyed successful careers in theatre, television, arts education, arts administration, arts therapy, and other fields that have made good use of their creative and collaborative problem-solving skills.

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Major in Theatre

Requirements

• THR 101 (required General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts)
• THR 150
• THR 201 (requires four semesters of participation in productions)
• THR 210
• THR 280
• THR 288
• THR 289
• One skills course from THR 211, 212, 213, 214, 220, 250, 252, 255 or 260
• One 300-level dramatic literature course from THR 388, 389 or ENG 354
• THR 401 or 482
• THR 491
• Three other theatre courses selected in consultation with adviser

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Combined Major in Theatre

Many students opt to combine theatre with another major, such as arts administration, education, communications, English, history or music.

Combined majors must complete THR 101 as their General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts requirement. The theatre combined major consists of another seven courses.

Requirements:

• THR 101 (required General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts)
• THR 150
• THR 201 (requires four semesters of participation in productions)
• THR 210
• THR 280
• Either THR 288 or 289
• One 300-level dramatic literature course from THR 388, 389 or ENG 354
• THR 491

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Minor in Theatre

The theatre minor consists of five courses that can supplement any Albright College major or combined major.

• THR 101 or THR 150
• One skills course from THR 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 220, 250, 252, 255, 260
• THR 280
• One 300-level dramatic literature course from THR 388, 389 or ENG 354
• One other theatre courses selected in consultation with adviser

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Interdisciplinary Major in English-Theatre

Requirements:

  • ENG 201 and 202
  • THR 201 (requires four semesters of participation in productions)
  • One from THR 150, 210, 211, 212, 213
  • THR 288 or 289
  • ENG 354
  • THR 388 and 389
  • One from ENG 352, 355, 356, 357, 366, 368, 372, 373, 374
  • One from ENG 380, 384, 385, 386
  • ENG 399 or 491
  • THR 491
  • Students are advised to take THR 101 as their General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts course

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Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Video Arts

Requirements:

  • ART 265 Computer Graphics (required General Studies Foundations Fine Arts)
  • THR 101 The Creative Process
  • THR 150 Acting Studio I
  • THR 213 Audio Technology
  • THR 280 Script Analysis
  • DIG 201 Digital Video I
  • DIG 265 Digital Literacy
  • DIG 300 Digital Media Production
  • DIG 301 Digital Video II
  • MUS 241 Electronic Music I
  • THR 252 Acting for the Camera
  • THR 361 Screenwriting
  • ARA 390 Project Management
  • THR/DIG 382 Internship
  • DIG 420 Senior Seminar

Other

In addition, many class projects and student-produced theatrical events take place each year. Albright’s improvisation and sketch comedy group, Less Than or Equal To, performs regularly.  Albright College Thespian Society has produced the annual presentation of “The Vagina Monologues” to raise awareness of violence against women.  Student writers and directors are encouraged to produce their own pieces; past projects have included children’s theatre, musicals, theatre for social change, and new play development.

Internships and off-campus studies allow students to tailor the basic curriculum to their interests. Theatre students are urged to work closely with faculty to determine their goals. Recent theatre students have studied at the National Theatre Institute and the London Dramatic Academy, and have interned at the Arden Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Florida Studio Theater, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, and other regional theatre companies.

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Courses

THR 101
The Creative Process

Creativity takes many forms and contributes to every field of study. Visual, narrative, spatial and performative expressions of ideas all contribute to the collaborative art of theatre. In this participatory class, students gain confidence in their individual intuitions and in the collaborative process as they explore different types of creative expression. Students build their own aesthetic framework as they practice critiquing works of art. Satisfies General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts requirement.

THR 150
Acting Studio I

This course introduces and explores the fundamental principles of acting for the stage. In a studio environment, students apply the requisite vocabulary for communicating within the performing arena through exercises and techniques that hone a thorough understanding of the process involved in creating a character—a process that utilizes body, mind and voice. Satisfies General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts requirement.

THR 201
Production Experience

Students gain practical experience by participating in the Domino Players' theatrical productions as performers, technicians, designers or stage managers. No previous experience is required; however, individual production assignments are determined by the faculty based on auditions and student competencies. Students must complete a minimum of 45 hours on the production to be eligible for credit; some assignments require more hours than the minimum. Most assignments entail evening and weekend rehearsals and performances. Graded Q/NQ. Students will receive one course unit of credit upon the completion of four productions for which they have registered for THR 201.  Through these four productions, students must rotate through various theatrical job descriptions.
Prerequisite: Instructor permission

THR 210
Design Fundamentals

Where do those cool ideas come from? How do I connect with this play? How do I explain my ideas to myself, to others? This class will explore these and more.  Through projects, peer-review, and lots of reading, you will be given tools and techniques for approaching the design process for the theatre.  There will be no tests and little formal writing.  You will be expected to explore and explain your own ideas and question and comment on the ideas of your peers.  Active two-way feedback intended to move the creative and collaborative process forward is the theme around which your work shall evolve.

THR 211
Stagecraft

A survey of the various materials and construction techniques used to build stage settings. Wood working, metal working, rigging and other skills are explored. Basic construction of stock scenic units are applied to both projects and actual productions' scenery.

THR 212
Theatre Electrics

This course offers an in-depth exploration of the techniques and technologies used by professional master electricians and assistant lighting designers.  Basic physics of electricity, equipment repair, console operation, and CAD program literacy are the foundations of the coursework. Practical experience coupled with lecture and demonstration give the student the basic skill sets to begin work as a theatre electrician.

THR 213
Audio Technology

As a comprehensive consideration of audio equipment and sound reproduction techniques, this course provides an understanding of basic audio engineering, signal paths and sound system design.  How the sound wave is captured, processed, distributed, amplified and reproduced are the core ideas.  The course includes the basic ideas and aesthetic foundations of theatre sound design. 

THR 214
Stage Makeup

AIn this class the students will develop an understanding and skills necessary to design and execute two dimensional Stage Makeup within the educational and professional theatre worlds. Application techniques, makeup Morgue development and a student portfolio will be created.

THR/FAS 220
Costume Construction

This course will explore the techniques of costume and period clothing construction. The class will cover history of garment pattern development, sewing techniques and the creation of historic clothing using modern patterning and sewing techniques.  As a final project for this class, students will be expected to create a complete period costume from concept to wearable three dimensional garment. 

ARA 220
Introduction to Arts Administration

Arts administrators need to be able to bring the arts to their communities. They must be able to determine why the arts are important for a community and communicate that information to their audiences. The course will provide an introduction on how arts organizations, including theater, dance, music, and visual arts, engage artists and audiences and how they are governed. We’ll look at both the leadership of individual organizations, as well as the larger public policy and community issues surrounding the arts.  The course also includes overviews of historical contexts, economic conditions, organizational cultures and financial systems.  The course highlights similarities and differences between arts administration and non-creative-industry administration.

THR/ENG 235
Major Playwrights and Theatre Topics

These courses focus on major playwrights, dramatic forms or significant intellectual issues in world drama. Satisfies general studies literature requirement.

THR 250
Acting Studio II

Advancing on the experiences of Acting Studio I, this course focuses attention on the specific process of preparing a role from an existing text. Particular emphasis is given to psycho-physical energy, vocal stamina and textual analysis. Additional objectives relating to the demands of specialized performance techniques (such as period movement, verse speaking, performance art or physical comedy) are selected each semester.
Prerequisite: THR 150

THR 252
Acting for the Camera

This course explores the fundamental principles of acting for the camera. In a studio environment, students engage in weekly exercises and scenestudies aimed at assisting them make a nuanced transition from stage to screen. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a keen appreciation for the symbiotic relationship between actor and camera, the acquisition of a working knowledge of film and television terminologies/practices, and the expansion  of the performer’s range of emotional, intellectual, physical, and vocal expressivity within the arena of mediated performance.
Prerequisite: THR 150

THR 255
Improvisational Theatre
This studio workshop explores the vocabulary and techniques utilized by actors within the world of improvisational theatre. Intensive, performance-based studio sessions introduce then hone essential skill sets through a series of movement and language exercises. Daily production meetings lay the foundation for a culmination in a public performance. Finally there will be a critique of original work that intends to test the participant's application of the skills developed during the studio workshop.

THR 260
Playwriting

This course is designed as an introduction to basic playwriting structure and technique, as well as a survey of relevant dramatic literature. Students will complete writing exercises designed to enhance their dramatic writing skills and expand their theatrical horizons. Among other assignments and writings, students will write and revise a ten-minute and one-act play. Satisfies General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts requirement. 

THR 280
Script Analysis

This course is devoted to the textual analysis of playscripts from the perspective of the theatre practitioner.  Students will analyze a range of plays for their formal components, and will draw conclusions about genre and style.  Students will analyze scripts for their production requirements from the vantage points of performers, designers, directors and managers.

THR 283
Special Topics

Topics of interest that are not covered in other courses will occasionally be offered.


THR 288
Great Ages of Theatre I

This survey course introduces students to the history, critical theory and literature of the major eras of western theatre from 500 BC to the 18th century. The student also studies the theatre architecture and theatrical conventions of each era in order to understand how theatre arts reflect society and culture. Satisfies General Studies Connections requirement.

THR 289
Great Ages of Theatre II

The goal of this course is to track the development of the modern approach to theatrical production. In doing so, the student will trace the evolution of the modern designer and director. Beginning with the Romantic period, the course traces the path of dramatic literature and production through the 1960s. Satisfies General Studies Connections requirement.

THR 311
Scenography

An in-depth study of the process of creating an environment for a performance event. Text analysis, design fundamentals and interpretive skills are applied to a series of projects that will be peer reviewed. Prerequisite/Corequisite: THR210

THR 312
Designing with Light

This course studies light as a design medium. After obtaining a clear understanding of the nature of the medium, students will turn to its application to other art forms. Architecture, painting and theatre are some of the areas that make heavy use of light to alter and augment the presentation of their respective works. Students are encouraged to explore the application of lighting to their own area of artistic endeavor to gain more fruitful and complete expression of their ideas. Prerequisite/Corequisite: THR210

THR/FAS 320
Stage Costuming
This course is an introduction to the process of costume design and production. Topics covered include period costume research, play analysis, budgeting, and costume rendering.  Also, this course will introduce costume studio personnel and their responsibilities in the costume design/production process. Prerequisites: FAS 105, 112

THR 350
Directing Studio

This course examines the theoretical and practical aspects of directing for the stage. Topics include: the structural analysis of dramatic texts; the actor/director relationship; rehearsal techniques; articulation of a director's vision for a play; the director/designer relationship; visual and spatial dynamics; and the art of problem-solving. Participants direct scenes or short plays and are encouraged to create original works.
Prerequisite: THR 150

ENG 354
Shakespeare

This course examines the major Shakespearean plays. Primary emphasis is on a close reading of the plays, but the Elizabethan background and modern Shakespearean criticism are also studied.

THR 361
Screenwriting

This course explores the fundamentals of storytelling utilizing the tools and structure used by television and film. Students will learn basic screenwriting structure and technique. Students will complete writing exercises designed to enhance their dramatic writing skills and expand their creative horizons. Among other assignments and writings, students will write and revise three short  films. Prerequisite: THR 260 or permission of the instructor

THR 382
Internship

A practical, professional work experience at an off-campus site, under the supervision of a mentor at the worksite and a faculty member on campus.
Prerequisite: permission of the faculty

THR 388
Postmodern American Drama

This course explores the themes, theories and theatrical techniques of the contemporary American stage. Students study the works of several major American playwrights, their use of traditional and nontraditional methods of stage production and their exploration of the undercurrents inherent to contemporary American life. Also satisfies English major requirements.

THR 389
Postmodern British and European Drama

This course explores the themes, theories and theatrical techniques of the contemporary British and European stages. Students study the works of several major British/European playwrights, their use of traditional and nontraditional methods of stage production and their exploration of the diminishing role of nationalism inherent to the ever-changing face of contemporary Europe. Also satisfies English major requirements.

ARA 390
Project Management for Arts Administrators

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve a specific goal. By nature, projects usually have a well-defined beginning and end, and are constrained by time, funding, and the expected outcomes (deliverables). The temporary nature of project management as well as the personal and humanistic approach to creating artistic products often conflict with professional business operations. In practice, project management in the arts often requires the development of a distinct set of skills. This course will enhance and test students' knowledge of budgeting, marketing, human resources, planning/time-management, and project implementation and evaluation within the framework of the creative process. Half of the course will be based on readings and research (texts and online) discussed in class and in written assignments, and the other portion will be a project-based lab, with the first part containing an individual assignment and the later half focused on a group project that introduces concepts of leadership and team-building skills.  An additional lab of 1 to 1.5 hours per week will be arranged in consultation with the instructor.  (ARA 220 as pre-requisite or sophomore standing).

THR 401
Advanced Production Experience

Senior theatre concentrators will conduct a significant applied project as supervised and approved by the theatre faculty. Proposals must be submitted to the theatre faculty by April 15 of the junior year.  All students will submit preliminary research before the production, and documentation and reflection afterwards, according to written guidelines approved by the faculty adviser.
Prerequisite: Senior standing and faculty approval of a completed proposal

THR 482
Advanced Internship

A practical, professional work experience at an off-campus site, under the supervision of a mentor at the worksite and a faculty member on campus. Prerequisite: departmental approval

THR 491
Senior Seminar in Theatre

A capstone course in which students address the issues and professional opportunities of the contemporary theatre. Specific topics will vary from year to year, depending on the interests of senior students and faculty. Students will develop and present senior projects that synthesize their undergraduate experiences.
Prerequisite: Senior standing

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