THEA 105 Introduction to Modern Dance (4)
This class is an exploration of movement fundamentals for the purpose of developing and strengthening individual creativity and artistic expression in dance. Class work is designed to: 1) Give individuals a basic understanding of anatomical structure and kinesiological principles as a foundation for developing technical skills needed to create articulate and expressive movement; 2) Provide an embodied experience of time and energy principles as related to dance; 3) demystify dance as an art form and make it accessible and relevant to all.
THEA 113 Stagecraft (4)
Beginning theory and practice of scenography. Study of materials and techniques used in stage scenery. Also an introduction to the theories and equipment used in theater lighting and sound. Lab required. Fall.
THEA 117 Acting Foundations (4)
Introduction to acting. Designed to develop the actor's imagination, observation and concentration through sense awareness, relaxation, pantomime and theater games. Techniques will be introduced with the purpose of bringing the actor’s body, voice and mind together onstage to fully communicate choices through strong psychological and physical action. Also an introduction to building the foundation of a good voice. Training in breathing, physical structure and relaxation.
THEA 140 Fundamentals of Movement (2)
This course is an introduction to movement fundamentals and is designed for actors, athletes, musicians, visual artists, and anyone desiring to improve fine motor skills, flexibility, coordination, posture, or body image. The goal is for students to develop somatic awareness so that they can recognize their own habitual movement patterns and learn to explore new movement options, with an emphasis on decreasing effort and increasing sensitivity. The course uses somatic methodologies and modern dance techniques to enhance students' understanding of basic anatomical and kinesiological principles, expand their range and quality of movement, and improve individual performance skills. And the course also offers an experience of movement as a creative form without the perceived stereotypical definitions and limitations of dance.
THEA 200 Theater Audience (4)
A presentation of theater from the audience's rather than the performer's perspective. Designed to acquaint non theater students with live theater as a meaningful and enjoyable event. Approached from the student's present exposure level. Lecture, group discussions and field trips to live performances required. Students may not receive credit for both THEA 200 and THEA 204.
THEA 204 Theatrical Experience (2)
The class is designed to acquaint the general student with live theater as a meaningful and enjoyable event. The students will learn by lecture, group discussions and attendance at live theatrical performances. May not be repeated for credit, nor may students receive credit for both THEA 200 and THEA 204.
THEA 205 Dance Audience (4)
This course is an overview of dance designed to give students information about dance as an art form and tools for understanding, appreciating, and critiquing dance as audience members. The class combines lecture, discussion, studio work (actual movement participation), and attendance at live dance performances (approximately 8). The course will include a brief survey of dance history and various dance forms (e.g., ballet, modern, ethnic/folk) as well as an exploration of compositional elements, choreographic forms, and different artistic styles/techniques. There will be an emphasis on: 1)learning to look at movement without expectation of content or meaning; 2)being able to articulate, in class discussions and written papers, what was seen/what was presented on stage; 3)learning about the audience’s role and participation in a live performance.
THEA 209 Theatrical Dance Styles and Physical Theater (2)
This course builds on the basic physical preparation for the actor and explores different dance forms and styles which are commonly used in theatrical productions. A variety of dance techniques and somatic methodologies will be studied, including ballet, ballroom, jazz, yoga, martial arts.
THEA 210 Dance Studies: Technique, Improvisation, Choreography and Performance (2)
This course will offer students the opportunity to develop technical skills to improve flexibility, coordination, and strength and to use those skills to increase their range of abilities in creating and performing dance. Modern dance techniques will serve as the foundation for students to build a movement vocabulary, and students will be expected to develop their own movement material in improvisation and composition exercises. Choreographic elements, form, and styles will be explored to guide students in the creative process and performance will be an on-going focus within the class. The goal is for the students to be able to clarify and fulfill all movement so they can physically express their ideas and emotions in movement which is authentic and meaningful, i.e., dance. Prerequisite: THEA 105, or THEA 140, or permission of Instructor. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.
THEA 211 Playwriting (4)
The theory and practice of writing plays for theater performance. Writing exercises and reading assignments will culminate in a public reading of the student’s original one-act play.
THEA 215 Sophomore Seminar (2)
This course is a practical seminar for those intending to major in theater. Content includes the integration of various aspects of theatrical production, an introduction to theater as a profession, portfolio and résumé development, and assistance in application to the major. Spring of sophomore year. Offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 218 Readings in Culture and Dramatic Literature (1)
In this course students will read and discuss classic, modern or contemporary plays from a specific culture or genre. The class may perform a minimum of one public reading. The topics will vary from semester to semester. For a detailed description on the course topic, please go to: https://www.csbsju.edu/theater/curriculum/new-course-descriptions. May be repeated up to six times for credit. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 219 Intermediate Acting (4)
Continuation of THEA 117 with more advanced levels of theory and performance. Includes intensive scene and monologue work, with emphasis on text analysis and rehearsal techniques designed to expose the emotional and relational content of the scenes and monologues. Further work on the voice including the development of tone, resonance, range, power, articulation and projection. Prerequisite: THEA 117. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 240 Production Laboratory (0-2)
A minimum of 50 hours' work in acting or stagecraft involving a crew responsibility. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. Topics: Acting, scenography, costume, stage management, dramaturgy, publicity/marketing, dance. Course offered for S/U grading only.
THEA 250 Make-Up (2)
Principles and application of various make-up techniques. Laboratory projects. Alternate years.
THEA 253 Introduction to the Costuming Process (4)
A basic comprehensive study of the process a stage costumer employs from character analysis to costume execution. Practical application and production-work are emphasized through laboratory experience. Spring.
THEA 260 Theater and Youth (2)
This participatory course focuses on using the art form of theater both as a teaching tool and as a performance art. Creative drama, and active theater are practiced as a form of pedagogy. The course will also include basic instruction in creating theatrical performances with child actors. Various forms of theater such as puppetry, pantomime, and improvisation will also be addressed. Prerequisites for elementary education majors: EDUC 107 and EDUC 200.
THEA 267 Alternative Fashion Trends of the late 20th century (4)
Alternative Fashion Trends of the late 20th century: How politics and music helped shape the alternative fashions of the last century. This class will examine how the hippy and psychedelic fashions of the 1960’s, punk fashions of the 1970’s/1980’s, grunge/Goth fashions of the 1980’s/1990’s and rap/hip-hop fashions of the 1990’s were influenced by the music and politics of their time. The course will also relate these fashions to the mainstream clothing of the time period they originated in and how these fashion trends continue today in fashions of the 21st century. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 271 Individual Learning Project (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.
THEA 280 Summer Courses (2)
Courses offered during summer term.
THEA 310 Dance Studies: Technique, Improvisation, Choreography and Performance (2)
Continuation of THEA 210 Dance Studies for more advanced students, taught concurrently with THEA 210. Prerequisite: THEA 210 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.
THEA 319 Actor's Work (2)
This course uses the theories, practices, and skills learned in THEA 219 for advance, intensive scene study of various dramatic genres. Because the work will focus on different genres each time the course is taught, this course is repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: THEA 219. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 321 Costume History (4)
From a costume design perspective, this course explores the evolution of clothing from Adam and Eve to Lady Gaga. The class will draw from film, art history, world history, sociology, living history and theatrical design. It will explore the changes over time in clothing caused by practical needs as well as the influence of fashion.
THEA 327 Drama Form (4)
Analysis, through representative dramatic texts and theories, of the development of literary and theatrical elements in the major dramatic forms and modes from the Greeks to the late 19th century. Content will also include early Asian theater forms. Open to sophomores. Fall.
THEA 328 Directing (4)
Laboratory course covering the basic responsibilities of the director. Concentration on developing the beginning director's rehearsal methods for working with actors. Script analysis, auditioning, rehearsal schedules and blocking will be addressed. Direction of class projects. Prerequisites: THEA 113, THEA 117, THEA 219 or permission of instructor. Alternate years.
THEA 332 Basic Costume Design (4)
Introduction to the art of costume design through study of contemporary designers, assigned readings and weekly critiques of sketch problems. Alternate years. Fall
THEA 333 Basic Principles and Design Elements of Lighting and Sound (4)
This course examines the principles, practices and technology of stage lighting and sound. Emphasis is on developing basic skills and a solid understanding of lighting and sound equipment and their use in theater production. Attendance at productions may be required. Prerequisite: THEA 113
THEA 334 Basic Scene Design (4)
Introduction to the art of scenic design through study of contemporary designers, assigned readings and weekly critiques of sketch problems. Alternate years. Spring
THEA 337 History of Theater to 18th Century (4)
Survey of theatrical activity in the West: acting styles, theater architecture, dramatic literature and theory, production techniques such as costuming, scenery and directing in the context of the historical social milieus. Content will include Western theater. Prerequisite: Junior/Senior status. Alternate years. Spring. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 338 Theater Through Time II (4)
A continuation of 337 from late 18th century to the 21st century. Prerequisite: Junior/Senior status. Alternate years. Spring
THEA 340 Technical Problems (1-4)
Independent projects by advanced theater majors in an area of special interest. Consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit. Topics: Acting, scenography, properties, costumes, stage management, dramaturgy, sound, lighting, setting.
THEA 350 Theater Practicum (8-12)
A specialized program for the theater major to work in a theater situation away from the Saint Benedict's/Saint John's campus theaters. An internship program arranged with another college or professional company or a touring theater company. Arranged with the department chair the previous semester.
THEA 353 Theater Materials and Techniques (4)
Advanced work in scenic materials which are useful to the theater practitioner. The course explores construction techniques using materials such as plastics, fiber glass, foams, metals, fabric and paint. Prerequisites: THEA 113. Alternate years. Fall
THEA 365 Topics in Theatrical Design or Technology (2-4)
Study of a major theater topic focused on design and technology. Prerequisite: Varies according to the particular offering. Upper-class standing. Offered irregularly. Attendance at theater productions may be required. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 365A Topic: Scenic Painting (2)
Innovative and traditional painting techniques designed for the stage and residential applications will be explored. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 366 Topics in Performance (2-4)
Study of a major theater topic focused on performance. Prerequisite: Varies according to the particular offering. Upper-class standing. Offered irregularly. Attendance at theater productions may be required. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 366A Maskmaking and Performance (2-4)
This course teaches papier-mâché maskmaking techniques as well as how performers use masks. Students will study the craft of character sculpture and the creation of professional quality theater performance masks through modeling in clay & painting. Students will also study performance techniques that work toward "bringing the mask to life" for spectators. The skills learned in making successful masked performance translate back to acting in any style of play or performance art. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 366D Improvisation (4)
The art of improvisation has its origins in the early mists of time; according to Aristotle, the art of comedy originated in improvisation. The most famous theater form of the renaissance, Commedia dell'Arte was a highly evolved form of improvisation complete with stereotyped characters and stock comic bits. In the twentieth century British theater practitioners began to use improvisation to develop specific human skills and from that point on improvisation began to be adapted to serve a myriad of functions. Today the form is used to train applicants for job interviews, to "try out" possible solutions to difficult interpersonal situations, to develop scripts for production, to create interactive theater pieces for social action and, to create the performance art of improvisation as live theater. This course is experientially based, although it will briefly cover the history, theory, creation and uses of improvisation. Students will learn basic methods of improvising conversations, scenes, comic sketches and interactive pieces geared towards solving interpersonal miscommunication. There will be a midterm and a final public sharing of pieces created through improvisation. In order to become more familiar with the relationship between performer and audience, students are required to attend live theater productions as part of this course; a fee is required to cover the cost of the tickets and the transportation to the Twin Cities. A-F grading only.
THEA 367 Topics in Theater History, Literature or Theory (2-4)
Study of a major theater topic focused on history, literature or theory. Prerequisite: Varies according to the particular offering. Upper-class standing. Offered irregularly. Attendance at theater productions may be required. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 368 Modern Drama Seminar (4)
Analysis and interpretation of English, Continental and American drama from Ibsen to the present. Prerequisite: Junior/Senior status.
THEA 371 Individual Learning Project (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.
THEA 380 Theater Capstone (2)
A synthesis of all aspects of theater, including dramaturgy (theory, literature, and history), design, directing, technical production, stage management, acting (includes voice work), and movement. Students will create a production concept and all paperwork usually required before a play moves from the world of ideas into the realized production phase. Attendance at specified theater productions is required. Required for theater majors. Prerequisites: THEA 113, THEA 117, THEA 215, THEA 253, 327 and THEA 368, or permission of department chair. Course offered for A-F grading only.
THEA 395 Senior Project in Theater (1-4)
Working with a faculty advisor, the student plans and implements a creative project, a research project, or a thesis. This project might be in any area of theater including acting, playwriting, design, technical production, theater history, dramatic theory and criticism. Prerequisite: senior theater major.
THEA 397 Internship (4-16)
A full semester or summer placement in a variety of professional theater settings doing supervised work. The individual projects are tailored to student needs/career. Subject to approval of faculty advisor and department chair.
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University
Chair, Theater Department