Warren Wilson College Catalog 05-06

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Courses in Theatre (THR)

THR 100 Performance Fundamentals 4cr

Students investigate the meaning, function, and nature of performance through the experience of performing itself. The course is intended for students with various levels of performing experience, including those with no experience at all, and includes simple physical and vocal exercises. Through performing for each other and eventually the public, as well as through reading, discussing, and writing about various texts, students seek answers to such questions as: What exactly constitutes a performance? What is the function of the spectator? What is the difference between live and recorded performance? What does it mean to be present as a performer? Who is the performer when she or he is performing? What is a mask and what can it do? Is performing putting on a mask or taking off a mask? What is the relationship between a mask (persona) and personality? For whom are we performing? When are we not performing? The class culminates in the public presentation of a performance.
Triad: Artistic Expression

THR 101-102 Performance/Production Practicum I 1-2cr

Registering for this course allows a student to earn credit for participating in a theatre production or project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre faculty. The student's involvement might be as an actor, technician, publicist, front-of-house specialist (box office, etc.), or in another approved manner. The number of credits is determined by project, but usually each credit involves about thirty hours of work in the theatre. The student writes a final self-evaluation reflecting on the experience. Offered on a pass/fail basis.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisite: Permission of the Theatre Department.

THR 110 Technical Theatre I: Construction 2cr

An introduction to several aspects of backstage theatre work: set construction, theatre rigging, working from scale drawings, and props. The course is designed to concentrate on how to construct and use scenic and prop elements of a theatre production. (THR 110 and THR 111 may be taken together, making the equivalent of one sixteen-week, four-credit course.)
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 111 Technical Theatre II: Paint and Light 2cr

An introduction to scene painting and stage lighting. Students learn several basic scene painting techniques, basic stage lighting theory and practice, basic theatrical lighting equipment and uses, and basic electrical theory and safety. The course is designed to concentrate on how to achieve a particular visual image on stage through paint and light. (THR 110 and THR 111 may be taken together, making the equivalent of one sixteen-week, four-credit course.)
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 190 Modern Dance Technique I 2cr

This course teaches basic concepts in modern dance technique. Students will be introduced to basic theories of contact/release and fall/recovery. They will develop relaxation techniques, control of center, alignment, balance, and flexibility, and they will develop articulation of body parts with particular attention to the torso. Positions and sections of the body and transitions will be explored. Foundation standing techniques will be at the core of daily lessons. Dance elements (space, time, and energy or force) will be explored and developed in class. The concepts of focus and performance will be introduced.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 199 Independent Study 1-4cr

THR 201-202 Performance/Production Practicum II 1-2cr

Registering for this course allows a student to earn credit for participating in a theatre production or project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre faculty. The student's involvement might be as an actor, technician, publicist, front-of-house specialist (box office, etc.), or in another approved manner. The number of credits is determined by project, but usually each credit hour involves about thirty hours of work in the theatre. The student writes a final self-evaluation reflecting on the experience. Offered on a pass/fail basis.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisite: THR 101 or 102, Permission of the Theatre Department

THR 204 Acting I 4cr

This course familiarizes students with some basic techniques involved in acting and allows them to employ those techniques through work on exercises and scenes assigned by the instructor and of their own choosing. They also spend time working on those movement and vocal skills that are part of the actor's craft. Additional skills involve collaboration, improvisation, and script analysis. Students also have the opportunity to reflect on the nature and demands of acting through readings, discussions, and writing assignments.
Triad: Artistic Expression
Prerequisite: THR 100 Performance Fundamentals or THR 190 Modern Dance Technique I.

THR 205 Acting II 4cr *(2005-06)

Acting II is designed to allow the serious acting student an opportunity to build on the physical and vocal training and principles of acting technique introduced in THR 100 Performance Fundamentals and developed in THR 204 Acting I. At the same time, the student will focus on the acting challenges posed by classical texts and texts from modern experimental theatre and will explore some basic conceptual questions regarding the phenomenon of acting.
Triad: Artistic Expression
Prerequisite: THR 204 Acting I.

THR 212 Basic Design for the Theatre 2cr * (2005-06)

This course aims to awaken the student to the visual experience of design found in usual and unusual places, to make the student aware of the basic elements that produce good design, and to inspire the student to tap his/her own resources of creativity. The ability to "see" is basic to the art of doing; therefore students will be concerned with developing the eye as they try to understand some basic principles. These principles may be applied to all areas of visual art; however, students will be especially concerned with their application to the theatre. Line, form, value, color and composition will be explored.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 219 Modern Dance Technique II 2cr

This course extends the basic concepts learned in Modern Dance Technique I; theories of contact/release and fall/recovery/rebound/suspend will be reviewed and built upon. More advanced explorations of physical concepts like tension and relaxation, control of center, alignment, on and off balance, coordination, flexibility, isolation and articulation of body parts (particularly the torso) will further develop movement vocabulary. Positions and sections of the body (locomotion, rolling, turning), foundation standing exercises (plies, elevations, leg and foot work, prances) and improvisation will combine more complex movements. Through advanced exploration of the Dance Elements - shaping the space (level, direction, dimension, shape), timing (beat, rhythm, tempo, duration), energy or force (quality and dynamics of movement) - dancers will develop performance skills.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisite: Theatre 190 Modern Dance Technique I.

THR 244 Improvisation for the Actor 2cr * (2006-07)

This course seeks to release the student's innate abilities to create performances and performance material spontaneously, and in the process, build self-confidence as well as leadership and collaborative skills. Activities range from theatre games, movement exercises, and situational improvisations to working with masks to explore different types of characters and styles. The course culminates in improvisational performances in which audience suggestions are incorporated into various structured "scenes." Because the work can lead in a number of directions (such as explorations of personality, social status, role-playing, character, and the use of improvisation as a rehearsal tool), the specific content of the course changes from year to year.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 254 Modern Dance for the Actor 2cr * (2006-07)

This course is designed to give the inexperienced as well as the experienced student actor an opportunity to discover and develop the expressiveness and articulation of the body on stage, skills that are essential to those contemplating theatre or dance as an avocation or as a vocation. Those seeking simply to develop their physical coordination and versatility will also find the course valuable. Students will deal with basic elements of movement such as time, space, and movement quality. Some basic dance composition skills will also be introduced.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 256 Modern Dance Improvisation and Composition 2cr * (2006-07)

This introductory course teaches basic concepts of dance improvisation and composition. Students use the dance elements (space, time, and energy) and improvisation techniques to create choreographic compositions. Use of imagery, abstraction, motivation, communication, and theme through movement are explored. Various stimuli are investigated as a movement source.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

THR 275-278 Shakespeare in Performance 2cr

The aim of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of ways in which Shakespearean (and occasionally non-Shakespearean) texts are realized in production, enhancing the student's appreciation of plays not only as literature but also as performance events. The course is structured around (but not confined to) productions offered by the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, a professional repertory company based in High Point, North Carolina. Students read and analyze the plays, watch videotapes of productions (when possible), make their own proposals for production concepts involving set, lighting, costume, and other choices, and then attend live performances where they may have the opportunity to discuss the plays with the actors and directors. Finally, they critique production choices in class and offer their own suggestions for hypothetical productions. Students may also have the option of performing scenes from the plays they study and attend. There is a fee to cover the cost of theatre tickets. This course may be repeated for credit.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)

MUS/THR 280 Opera as Drama 4cr *

See description under Music listings.

THR 290-298 Special Topics in Theatre 2 4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the discipline of Theatre. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

THR 299 Independent Study 1-4cr

THR 301-302 Performance/Production Practicum III 1cr

Registering for this course allows a student to earn credit for participating in a theatre production or project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre faculty. The student's involvement might be as an actor, technician, publicist, front-of-house specialist (box office, etc.), or in another approved manner. The number of credits is determined by project, but usually each credit involves about thirty hours of work in the theatre. The student writes a final self-evaluation reflecting on the experience.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisite: THR 201-202 and Permission of the Theatre Department.

THR 314 Scene Design 2cr * (2006-07)

A study of the art, function, and process of scene design with an emphasis on both aesthetic and physical factors. Work includes research, drafting, rendering, and discussion of designs. Students are introduced to the reasoning behind scenic design choices while becoming familiar with the principles, techniques, and materials of pictorial and three-dimensional scenic design.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisites: THR 110 Technical Theatre I and THR 111 Technical Theatre II: Paint and Light.

THR 315 Historic Costume Design for the Theatre 4cr * (2006-07)

This course covers the theory and practical application of design. Through studies of color, form, balance, and accuracy of historical research, students discover the total visual experience of the stage presentation as well as individual character analysis and interpretation. Students also explore costumes through the ages for their aesthetic value and as reflections of and insights into the culture, history and values of their times.
Triad: Artistic Expression

THR 316 Lighting Design 2cr * (2005-06)

This course emphasizes current theatre lighting technology and design approaches with historical support from past stage lighting practices. Class time is divided between lecture, discussion, and hands-on demonstrations of lighting concepts. Students learn effective and appropriate lighting design concepts for specific plays, standard lighting drafting techniques, and equipment uses.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisites: THR 110 Technical Theatre I: Construction and THR 111 Technical Theatre II: Paint and Light.

THR 341 Acting Shakespeare 4cr * (2006-07)

This course combines classical acting theory and practice with close study of Shakespearean texts. There is special emphasis on vocal and text preparation methods. Main course projects include the presentation of a substantial Shakespearean performance, such as an ample selection of scenes, class-created "mini-dramas" based on Shakespeare's sonnets, or an oratorio or radio-play style presentation of a complete play. Each student will plan, prepare, and lead at least one set of voice and movement exercises for the class, drawing on assigned readings in classical technique. Students will write a number of short reflection pieces and reports on readings, and there will be one longer paper. When possible, our work in this course will be closely coordinated with the Current Shakespeare production being prepared by the Warren Wilson Theatre.
Triad: Artistic Expression
Prerequisite: THR 204 Acting I, ENG 341 Shakespeare, or permission of the instructor.

THR 381 Directing I 4cr *

This course combines study of the director's function and process with as much hands-on experience as possible. It covers script selection, analysis of structure, research, casting, collaboration with actors and designers, as well as a study of the director's function through history. The work of leading twentieth-century directors is researched and discussed. Students direct each other and other actors in projects focusing on discovery of dramatic action through coaching and composition. In the process, they learn a good deal about leadership skills and human interaction as well as theatre.
Triad: Artistic Expression
Prerequisite: THR 204 Acting I.

THR 382 Directing II 2cr * (2005-06)

Guided by the instructor, students undertake the direction of one-act plays. Auditions are open to the community, and each student director oversees the entire production of a one-act play on a bill of plays presented to the public.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisite: THR 381 Directing I or THR 481 Acting/Directing Studio.

THR 399 Independent Study 1-4cr

THR 401-402 Performance/Production Practicum IV 1-2cr

Registering for this course allows a student to earn credit for participating in a theatre production or project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre faculty. The student's involvement might be as an actor, technician, publicist, front-of-house specialist (box office, etc.), or in another approved manner. The number of credit hours is determined by project, but usually each credit hour involves about thirty hours of work in the theatre. The student writes a final self-evaluation reflecting on the experience.
Triad: Artistic Expression (Partial fulfillment)
Prerequisites: THR 301-302 and permission of the Theatre Department.

THR 481 Acting/Directing Studio 4cr * (2006-07)

In this course students learn some of the tools and techniques of the director, develop their acting skills, and explore the intricacies of the actor-director relationship. As they switch between these interrelated roles, students deepen the skills specific to each through exposure to the other. The director learns how to translate directing concerns such as visual composition, pace, intensity, and energy into effective acting terminology by working as an actor; the actor learns to become concerned with more than the exigencies of the role through working as a director. Each student learns how to most effectively communicate and collaborate in the production of performance pieces through work on scenes from a variety of classical, modern, and contemporary texts.
Triad: Artistic Expression
Prerequisite: THR 204 Acting I or permission of instructor.

THR 489 Senior Project 4cr **

An opportunity to undertake a major independent project in acting, directing, or design. Appropriate prerequisites in the discipline of the creative project must be completed.
Prerequisites: Outstanding work in appropriate theatre courses and permission of the department in writing.

THR 490-498 Special Topics in Theatre 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Theatre. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

THR 499 Independent Study 1-4cr