Requirements: Dance, Drama and Film

Fine Arts Division

The performing arts of stage and screen, past and present, are the focus of the Department of Dance, Drama, and Film. The central objects of our study are plays, films and dance, and the ways they are brought to life before an audience. Students learn by doing the jobs of the artists who collaborate to make these works. Some courses concentrate on the arts as they were performed in their historical and cultural context; others explore in depth the craft of the artists: the playwright, screenwriter, choreographer, actor, dancer, director, designer and filmmaker. Almost all courses require, in conjunction with reading and critical writing, the performance of problems and exercises. Students are encouraged to pursue independent work either in historical and critical research or in creative activity. All courses in the department are open to every student in the College; certain courses have prerequisites noted in the course descriptions. Majors are given some preference for admission to upper-level courses.

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New Students

DANC 105 is the introductory course most appropriate for first-year students interested in dance.

DRAM 111 is the introductory course most appropriate for first-year students interested in drama, but it is also a required course for students majoring in film. 

FILM 111 is the introductory course most appropriate for first-year students interested in film.

As the foundation on which the other coursework in the department is built, these courses are recommended to students considering majors in the department. They are also recommended for other students wishing to diversify their course of study by fulfilling distribution requirements in the fine arts.

Requirements for the Major

Students in the department may major in dance, drama or film. The minimum requirements for each major are as follows:

Requirements for Dance — 14 courses:

Five core curriculum theory requirements

  • DANC 105 Introduction to the Dance
  • DANC 215 Contemporary Dance History
  • DANC 227 The Choreographer I
  • DANC 322 Dance Kinesiology
  • DANC 493 Individual Study — Senior Capstone in Dance

Minimum of six dance technique courses. Technique courses are repeatable for credit. 

  • Six technique courses 

Three optional courses from the list below. Course selections should be made in close consultation with the senior project advisor in order to ensure that selected courses support the proposed senior project.

  • DANC 220 Labanotation
  • DANC 228 The Choreographer II
  • DANC 240 Directed Teaching
  • DANC 391, 491 Special Topic
  • Elements of Theater Arts courses with the proper prerequisites for the courses and/or with permission of instructor

Transfer Credit

The department will accept up to two courses of credit from approved off-campus study courses to count toward the major. Credit for students transferring from another institution and credit earned in high school will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Requirements for Drama — 11 courses:

  • DRAM 111 Introduction to the Theater
  • DRAM 210 Foundations of Drama, Part I
  • DRAM 211 Foundations of Drama, Part II
  • Three courses drawn from Elements of Theater Art

These courses provide a close examination of several aspects of the theater arts: acting, writing, directing and design. Reading, discussion, problem solving and laboratory exercises will increase students' understanding of the artistic experience and develop their skill in the art of theater.

  • One course drawn from The Stage and Its Plays (DRAM 251–DRAM 257, SPAN 361 and relevant special topic courses)

These courses provide a study, in terms of the theater, of selected plays of a period of notable dramatic achievement or the work of an important playwright. Emphasis, by means of problems and exercises, is on the theatrical qualities of the plays and their staging.

  • Three courses drawn from other course offerings in the department — these may include courses in dance and/or film.
  • DRAM 493 Individual Study as the senior thesis 

Transfer Credit

The department will accept up to two courses of credit from approved off-campus study courses to count toward the major. Credit for students transferring from another institution and credit earned in high school will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Requirements for Film — 11 courses:

  • DRAM 111 Introduction to the Theater
  • FILM 111 Introduction to Film
  • Two courses from our selection of Film Genre courses (FILM 251–FILM 259). Film history courses taken outside the department (see below) will count toward the elective requirement but are not a substitute for these two genre courses within the department.
  • At least three courses from a selection of film production courses including at least one course in writing from screen. A selection of these courses are listed below:
    • FILM 230 Writing the Short Film
    • FILM 231 The Screenwriter
    • FILM 236 Film Development
    • FILM 243 Basic Cinematography
    • FILM 261 Directing for the Camera
    • FILM 267 The Documentary
    • FILM 295 Elements and Theory of Post Production
    • FILM 328 Advanced Acting on Screen
    • FILM 336 Writing the Television Pilot
    • FILM 361 Intermediate Film Directing
  • Students are also required to fulfill the requirements for their Senior Capstone with FILM 480 Senior Seminar in Film. This course may be taken either first or second semester or both.

Elective Courses

In addition, students pursuing a major in film must choose an additional three courses of elective study in consultation with their faculty advisor. Any additional film courses from our program will satisfy this requirement, but these electives may be drawn from other courses with the Department of Dance, Drama and Film, including "Special Topics" courses, or student may choose no more than two elective courses taken outside the department, including transfer credit courses. Some suggested courses from this department include:

  • DRAM 220 The Actor
  • DRAM 231Y-232Y Playwriting and Dramatic Theory
  • DRAM 242 The Costume Designer
  • DRAM 243 The Lighting Designer
  • DRAM 261 The Director

Senior Capstone

Students are also required to fulfill the requirements for the Senior Capstone with FILM 480 "Senior Seminar in Film." This course may be taken either first or second semester or both.

Other Courses

Students are encouraged (but not required) to include courses offered by other departments in their course of study. No more than two courses outside the Department of Dance, Drama, and Film can be credited toward the 11 courses required for the major. Courses students may choose from other departments to complete the required additional three courses of study include, but are not limited to:

  • ARTS 107 Digital Imaging I
  • ARTS 264 Still/Moving: Stop Motion Animation
  • ARTS 361 Alternative Narratives: The Role of Storytelling in Video Art
  • ARTS 362 Poetics of the Moving Image
  • ITAL 250 Topics in Italian Cinema
  • MLL 260 World Cinema
  • MUSC 312D/ANTH 312D Music, Film and Culture
  • PHIL 263 Mind, Perception, and Film
  • WGS 221 Gender and Film

Transfer Credit

Students should consult with a faculty member of the film program about credit for courses taken elsewhere, but generally these courses will be considered as electives for the film major.

Film courses offered throughout the College are always added and removed and therefore students are encouraged to consult with the film faculty to determine if a particular course may count toward the major requirements.

Requirements for the Minor

Requirements for Dance — six courses:

  • DANC 105 Introduction to the Dance
  • DANC 215 Contemporary Dance History
  • DANC 227 The Choreographer I
  • Dance technique courses (2 technique courses)
  • Two of the following four courses:
    • DANC 220 Dance Labanotation
    • DANC 228 The Choreographer II
    • DANC 240 Directed Teaching
    • DANC 322 Dance Kinesiology

Senior Capstone

The Senior Capstone has three parts: a project, an oral discussion of the project, and a written examination. Each senior major, with the advice and consent of the department's faculty, designs a senior project, a major piece of creative or scholarly work. The student will initiate the work and collaborate with others to see it through to completion, all with guidance from one or more faculty members. The faculty guidance will take the form of an Individual Study, in dance or drama, for which the student will receive course credit and a grade. Film majors work with a faculty member and in collaboration with each other in the senior seminar in film. When the work is finished, the student and department faculty members will discuss the preparation and choices that shaped the project. At the end of the year, every senior major will complete a six-hour written examination. The awarding of "distinction" is based on the student's performance on all three parts of the capstone.