Introduction to the Theater
This course examines how theater differs from other arts and how theatrical artists go about their jobs in bringing a play to life on stage. This examination is accomplished through a series of performance or creative assignments. The class is divided into four sections, two meeting in the morning and two in the afternoon. Plays, problems, and exercises are performed and discussed in the sectional meetings; about every other week, sections are combined for lectures and demonstrations. The course explores what a play is and how it is structured. Assignments consist of a series of playwriting problems and one acting problem, which students perform in class working in teams. In addition, students read at least five plays and a series of essays about the theory and practice of the theater, complete a series of brief written assignments, and take written examinations. As a culmination of the work, each student writes, directs, and presents to the class a final short play, working with fellow students. Any student with a general interest in the theater will find this a challenging course, regardless of previous experience. Because this course is an introduction to the arts of the theater, it has no prerequisite, but it is a prerequisite to many of the other courses in the department. This course will be offered every year.