We emphasize depth and breadth of learning in Theatre Arts, so we encourage our students to explore all the different areas of theatre including: Acting, Design, Creativity (this includes Playwrighting and Directing), and Theatre History.
Please Note: Most of these classes (with the exception of Fundamentals of Acting) are only offered once per year or every other year, in some cases. Reference Kalamazoo College’s course catalog to find out which classes are being offered this year.
Introduction to the principal topics and practices of technical support for theatre production: construction of stage scenery, scene painting, properties, rigging/focusing of lights, sound techniques, basic technical craft skills, and production communication practices. Fifteen-hour production lab required.
Activating Theatre Techniques for Community Dialogue
A workshop course based on the Activating Theatre techniques of Augusto Boal. A developmental skills course in creating forum theatre for community and social change, and for moderating effective group dialogue. Interdisciplinary links with psychology, sociology, women and gender studies, and education with a focus on both experiential education and interpersonal communications.
Fundamentals of Acting
Introduction to the skills necessary for performing on stage. This course is an exploration of the fundamental techniques necessary for beginning scene and monologue study in modern and contemporary realism. Through physical and vocal exercises, text and character analysis, scene and monologue studies, the student is introduced to the process of acting preparation and performance. Excellent course for nonmajors seeking an introduction to the art of acting.
Introduction to African-American Theatre
Survey/lecture course from an African-American perspective, examining the activities and developments of Black American life as evidenced through its theatre, with emphasis on history, philosophy, dramatic creations, criticism, and socio-psychological concerns. Includes lectures in theatrical contributions of Western and African civilizations.
Theatre Production Practicum
Each student involved in a significant role on regular theatre productions is a participant in the Festival Playhouse Company and shall thereby earn 1/4 unit of credit per production. Students may earn a maximum of two full units through THEA 200. Theatre Arts majors and minors must distribute each 1/4 unit in a different area of production (acting, stage management, costuming, lighting, scenery, sound, properties, publicity, etc.). Students must register themselves into Theatre 200 by then end of second week of the quarter in which they are participating. Instructor permission may be required.
Studies in the ideation and communication techniques of stage lighting; emphasis on play analysis, sculpting and painting with light, color theory, drafting, projection, and practical laboratories. Fifteen-hour production lab required.
An examination into the role of the dramaturg in modern theatrical practice that also considers the importance of dramatic structure as a means of achieving successful storytelling onstage.
Developing a Character
Advanced work in characterization with emphasis placed on building a character through various acting techniques, including Stanislavski, Suzuki, Viewpoints, and improvisational exercises. A continuation of THEA 120, this course is designed to deepen the student's understanding of their acting process combined with the discovery of voice and body in relation to character development. The course includes partner and monologue work, as well as written assignments.
Costuming and Stage Makeup
This course is split into two sections: stage makeup and costuming. The makeup section will introduce the student to the basic principles of makeup application and design for the stage. The costume section will introduce the student to the basic techniques, tools, and materials used in costume construction along with an introduction to costume shop organization. Fifteen-hour production lab required.
Practical application and study of scenic design, including play analysis and historical research, followed by sketches, decor, drafting, construction of models, and color renderings. Focus upon the principles of movement, scale, color, light, silhouette, environment, and composition. Fifteen-hour production lab required.
An introduction to playwriting, examining such topics as script analysis, dramatic structure, characterization, rhythm, and imagery. In addition to specific writing projects, students will also read and analyze representative plays.
This sophomore seminar will survey the "first theatres" of many different areas of the pre-modern world -- including the Abydos Passion Play of ancient Egypt, Yoruba ritual, ancient Greek & Rome, Japanese Noh Theatre, early Chinese music drama, Sanskrit theatre of India, and European Medieval theatre. Through research, discussion, and critical thinking exercises, students will be encouraged to view performance as an intercultural and continually developing phenomenon in both art and daily life. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.
Theatre of Illusionism: Western Theatre From the Renaissance to Early Film
Study of Western theatre history from the Italian Renaissance to the evolution of early film, emphasizing the trend of the theatre to simulate the details of everyday life and the growth of theatre as an entrepreneurial institution that informed developments in audience, playwriting, acting, and design.
The Theatre of Revolt: Modernism and Post Modernism
A study of the Theatre of Revolt, an overview of Western theatre history and dramatic literature over the last 150 years including Brecht, Artaud, and Beckett. Emphasis on comparing realism and various forms of nonrealism, such as expressionism and absurdism, through the plays and trends in acting, directing, and design, and an examination of what constitutes the modern theatre and our current age of post-modernism.
A survey of selected topics in classical Asian theatre and performance from among the Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku Theaters of Japan; Yuan Drama and Classical Opera of China; Sanskrit Drama and Kathakali Dance Theatre of India; and some other historical and current performance trends and styles. A study of theories of intercultural performance and Asian theatre influences on the West.
ST: Science & Theatre
This course examines the intersection of science and theatre. After examining ways in which theatre has constructively (or destructively) interacted with the scientific world, we will write our own science plays.
Voice and Diction
Study of techniques for actors to develop the vocal production necessary for stage performance. Training in Fitzmaurice Voicework,Standard American English for neutralized dialect,and phonetic ear training. Class exercises, monologues, vocal physiology, proper warm-up techniques, and care for the professional voice.
THEA-120 and sophomore standing or with instructor permission.
Directing I with Lab
Introduction to the art of stage direction including its history, development, functions, and components; study of script analysis, composition, working with actors, and the organization of a production. Weekly rehearsal lab required.
THEA-120 & Theatre Majors Only
Introduction to the skills necessary to act in plays from some major periods and styles of dramatic literature: Shakespeare and Restoration. Class exercises, monologues, scene study, workshop performances, written assignments, and analysis of dramatic literature will form the basis of the course work. Specific costume pieces, including shoes, which are not provided by the department, are required to be worn during the classes and in rehearsals.
Advanced forms of scenery, costume, or lighting study selected in consultation with the instructor. May involve portfolio development and design of main-stage productions.
THEA-210, THEA-235, or THEA-240
Advanced problems in directing for the upper-level student, with a focus on independent projects and directing a one-act play.
THEA-380; Instructor permission required
Preparation for the professional working world in theatre. Résumé preparation, various workshops and professional guest speakers. Discovery and articulation of artistic goals through group activities, written assignments, and readings. Class group agenda project. Preparation for required departmental SIP presentations. This course also include Theatre Arts Departmental Comprehensive Written and Oral Exams.
Theatre major with senior standing.
Senior Integrated Project
Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Integrated Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Integrated Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details.
Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.