Aug 18, 2022  
2013-2014 Course Catalog 
    
2013-2014 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Theatre, BA


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The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of contemporary Western theatre. Students will study theatrical processes from a variety of perspectives in order to gain an understanding of, and experience in, the work of the various disciplines involved in mounting theatrical productions. To that end, students will take courses in developing performance skills, theoretical and historical study, the art and craft of design and technical theatre, and the conceptual and organizational skills involved in directing for the theater. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom through hands-on engagement in the preparation and presentation of performances produced in the department. In the classroom, students work with a faculty of working professionals who bring their experience to the art, craft, and business of the theater. This pragmatic approach prepares students to face the challenging realities of making a life in the performing arts. Students graduate with knowledge of how to look for work, with the desire and ability to do the work, and with an understanding of the need to grow as an artist beyond graduation.

Students pursuing the BA in Theatre may opt to choose a concentration in one of the following: Acting, Comedy Writing and Performance, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, or Theatre Design. Students must maintain a C or better to move forward in any sequenced classes.

For students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree, a Second Bachelor of Arts in Theatre is offered in all concentration areas.

Students must maintain standards of performance.

Program Requirements  

Learn about the Department

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Concentrations


Acting


The Acting concentration teaches students advanced performance technique and acting practice to prepare them to fully inhabit roles they are cast in as well as to compete for work after graduation.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate competence in the performance techniques necessary to fully inhabit any role in which they are cast;
  • select, prepare, and present representative and varied scenes and monologues from a range of sources;
  • manifest an awareness of and the ability to effectively utilize the body and voice as the actor’s instruments of communication.
  • utilize and integrate theory and process in the creation of character;
  • exhibit the ability to analyze text as it relates to performance;
  • integrate the techniques and skills developed through participation in theatre exercises, games, and improvisations to the preparation of scripted scenes; and
  • assemble, rehearse, and perform a suitable personal audition package.

An integrated immersion course, Theatre Foundation, is required of all students entering the Theatre Department as freshmen. This class will develop students’ kinesthetic awareness, observational skills and ability to respond to their experience of the world in written, visual, vocal and physical form, and lay the groundwork for their continuing work in the program as creative practitioners. There are a myriad of opportunities to collaborate as performers with the Film and Television Departments as well as study abroad prospects with a large cohort of superb theatre programs including Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, the Dublin Institute of Technology and LISPA (London International School of Performing Arts). Acting students are required to perform in a minimum of one departmental production prior to graduation. The recommendation is that they will do much more. We also encourage students to take advantage of specialized classes we offer to enhance their artistry and marketability upon graduation, such as 31-3975LJ An Actor’s Guide to Hollywood , 31-3900 Professional Survival and How to Audition , and 31-3925 Audition Workshop , as well as a multitude of varied Internship opportunities. The Department also provides acting students in their senior year the opportunity to audition for Senior Showcase, a platform for entry into the professional theatre community. Students completing the concentration in Acting will be well prepared to audition for graduate schools, if they should choose. There is also a general BA degree offered in the Department for those students who are interested in, not specialization, but a broad-spectrum range of classes.

Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

Comedy Writing and Performance


The Comedy Writing and Performance concentration is a collaborative partnership between the departments of Theatre, Television, AEMM, and The Second City. It builds on the Theatre Department’s long and successful tradition of teaching Improvisation and Sketch Comedy as part of its Acting sequence, and its successful five-year partnership with The Second City in creating a semester-long immersion in the study and performance of comedy.

The skills required to pursue a career in comedy, while intersecting with those of the traditional theatre, also diverge from them in a number of important ways. The comedy marketplace today spans a wide spectrum of media from stage to television to film to internet-based content, within which the traditional roles of producer, director, writer, and performer are fluid. The B.A. in Theatre with a Concentration in Comedy Writing and Performance seeks to provide the “cross training” necessary for our graduates to successfully navigate this fluidity as they move forward in their careers. And while the program will seek to train professional comedians, the skills built during this training - collaboration, creative risk taking, understanding of personal voice and persona - are applicable to a multitude of careers and disciplines outside of the entertainment industry proper.

Upon completion of the B.A. in Theatre with a Concentration in Comedy Writing and Performance, students will be able to:

  • generate original comic material using a variety of methods, including ensemble improvisation, solo writing, and group collaboration;
  • develop a personal voice and point of view as a comic artist;
  • develop analytic skills and vocabulary needed to revise their original work based on feedback; and
  • develop competencies to translate their work into a variety of media, especially live performance and video.

 Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

Musical Theatre


The Musical Theatre Concentration provides students with a fundamental education in the skills and discipline of musical theatre.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • create a psychologically and physically credible character through research, text analysis, rehearsal and exploration, and synthesize characterization onstage as an actor, singer and dancer;
  • employ musicianship, basic vocal technique and finesse, basic dance technique and ability as additional means of characterization that further the dramatic life of the scene;
  • develop song interpretation skills;
  • learn and practice proper dance technique and terminology in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre styles;
  • have a basic knowledge of musical theatre repertory and history; and
  • develop rehearsal skills, discipline and professionalism.

Students take a sequence of courses in acting and theatre history, dance techniques and styles, and singing and musicianship, as well as courses that integrate the individual areas of study at an increasingly sophisticated level of achievement. Working closely with the Music Department, we emphasize the synthesis of acting, singing, and dancing. In addition, the program enables students to take elective courses in areas related to musical theatre, such as directing, composing, stage management and design, marketing and management, and journalism and criticism. Students are encouraged to put into practice what they learn in the classroom through hands-on engagement in the preparation and presentation of performances produced in the department.

Students are encouraged to audition for musical theatre productions and non-musical plays. In the classroom, students work with a faculty of professionals in the field, who bring their expertise to the art, craft, and business of theatre. This pragmatic approach prepares students to face the challenging realities of making a life in the performing arts.

Students must maintain standards of performance.

Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

Technical Theatre


The Technical Theatre concentration will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the practice of technical theatre and production and stage management.

Upon successful completion of this concentration, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to facilitate the work of designers in multiple design disciplines (costume, lighting or scenic design);
  • demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with all theatre artists within a theatrical production;
  • be able to articulate a working knowledge of theatre history and dramatic theory; and
  • have experienced a range of production responsibilities provided to the technical theatre students by the ample opportunities to work on Departmental productions.

We emphasize theatre as a collaborative process that requires close cooperation among all members of a production team. Students take classes that advance their technical knowledge of costumes, lighting, and scenic construction to prepare them to facilitate the work of designers. Students may focus their learning through classes in stage management, scenic or costume construction, and technical direction. Classes in theatre history, beginning acting, and theatre design provide breadth. There are ample opportunities for students to work on departmental productions as stage managers, technical directors, or production managers, from the bare-bones workshop level to fully budgeted main stage shows. In addition, freelance and internship opportunities are available for students to work on productions in the larger Chicago theater community. These opportunities often become available through the influence of our faculty and staff of working professionals. Upon graduation, students who earn a concentration in Technical Theatre have developed a strong résumé of practical experiences that can be used to seek admission to graduate school or to look for work in professional theatre.

Students must maintain standards of performance.

Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

Theatre Design


The Theatre Design concentration emphasizes design as a collaborative process that requires close cooperation among each designer, the director, the technical team, and the performers.

Upon successful completion of this concentration, students should:

  • demonstrate a working understanding that design is a collaborative process that requires close co-operation between the designers, the director, technical team and performers on a theatrical production;
  • demonstrate familiarity with multiple design disciplines (costume, lighting or scenic design) though students may focus their work in one area;
  • demonstrate a fluent knowledge of technical theatre and theatrical drawing, including rendering and drafting;
  • articulate knowledge of art and theatre history and dramatic theory; and
  • have experienced a range of production responsibilities provided to the theatrical design students by the ample opportunities to work on Departmental productions.

Students may focus their work in the area of costumes, lighting, or scenic design, but they must take classes in each area to gain familiarity with all three design disciplines. Classes are also required in the areas of makeup, technical theatre, rendering and drawing, art and theatre history, and beginning acting. There are ample opportunities for these students to work on departmental productions, from the-bare bones workshop level to fully budgeted main stage shows. In addition, assistant design and internship opportunities are available for students to work on productions in the larger Chicago theatre community. These opportunities often become available through the influence of our faculty of working professionals. Upon graduation, students with a concentration in Theatre Design have developed a strong portfolio of work that can be used to seek admission to graduate school or to look for work in professional theatre.

Students must maintain standards of performance.

Program Requirements  

Transfer Students: View a Transfer Planning Tool for this Concentration  

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