2014-2015

Theatre

The theatre program at Willamette University offers a Theatre major with the flexibility to craft an individual emphasis. A foundational theatre core allows students to build their own emphases and pursue coursework in their area of interest.

A faculty, staff and guest artists with extensive academic and professional experience teach a wide-ranging curriculum, providing the student with a rich variety of perspectives from which to learn. Theatre is a vital part of the liberal arts experience at the University through the public performances of three to four plays and a dance concert per year, as well as student-created projects and a wide array of classes available to majors and non-majors alike.

Students majoring in Theatre are provided with a range of experiences within all areas of the theatre: acting, directing, stagecraft, costume construction, design, dramaturgy, lighting, voice, movement, theatre history, and dramatic literature. It is the department's intent to train Theatre majors in all aspects of the discipline during their four years at Willamette, thereby creating a well-rounded theatre artist. Just as the liberal arts environment provides the student with insight into and an understanding of a variety of subjects, the Theatre department strives to create an environment conducive to the individual growth of the student within the context of the most collaborative of the arts disciplines.

The time spent in a university is valuable not only for the particular instruction a student receives; it also serves as a time of great personal growth and heightened self-awareness. The theatre department supports this growth in ways both tangible and intangible. The great amount of work done in the department in classes and with mainstage productions demands that the students budget and prioritize their time and energy. Truly, there is no class or subject irrelevant to the study of theatre, and the department's outlook reflects this respect for our place as an integral and vital part of the College of Liberal Arts. Students are expected to develop a high level of self-discipline in the theatre department. Pride of commitment to the work and the willingness to take on the responsibility that comes with being part of an ensemble are tangible rewards that students will carry with them long after graduation. Also, classes offered through the theatre department meet several General Education (Modes of Inquiry) requirements.

In addition to the permanent faculty, there is a guest artist program, providing students the opportunity to learn from and work closely with theatre artists currently working in the profession. Two or three guest artists each year, in the capacity of actors, directors, designers or choreographers, are invited to take up residency for the duration of a production. During that six week period, the guest artists are also involved in the teaching of classes and workshops. Members of the Theatre faculty approach their work with a high level of professionalism and the expectation that the type of student Willamette University attracts will embrace the demanding yet rewarding opportunities that lie ahead, and rise to meet and learn from those myriad challenges.

Mainstage productions are selected with care to provide the students with experience in a wide range of theatrical styles. From the Greeks to Shakespeare to the most recent works by contemporary playwrights, the emphasis is on producing exciting interpretations of well-written texts. The department reaches out to the school community through matinee performances offered specifically for high school audiences. The Theatre at Willamette is a vibrant, exciting, challenging department filled with faculty and students striving to continue the journey of discovery and interaction with our fellow humans that leads to greater understanding of ourselves, our neighbors and our world.

The Willamette Playhouse is the home of Willamette Theatre classes, workshops and productions. The building, newly renovated and re-opened in 2010, includes a movement studio, directing and lighting studio, acting studio, costume shop, prop storage, makeup room, scene shop, light and sound production facilities, dressing rooms, classrooms, and faculty offices. There are two performance areas: the mainstage black box theatre, which offers flexible seating of up to 250, and a small laboratory theatre, which features flexible seating of up to 50.

Requirements for the Theatre Major

Students majoring in Theatre are required to take the Core Courses (6.5 - 7 credits Core Courses plus 4 - 4.5 additional credits within the THTR designation).

Core courses

Acting Emphasis (5.5 additional credits; 12 or 12.5 credits total)

  • ENGL 135 (CA) Introduction to Creative Writing; Dramatic Form (1)
    OR Equivalent substitute approved by Acting Professor
  • ENGL 341 Shakespeare (1)
  • THTR 141 Acting II (1)
  • THTR 151 Voice and Speech (.5)
  • THTR 340 Acting Studio I (1)
  • THTR 341 Acting Studio II (1)

Design Emphasis (5 additional credits; 11.5 to 12 credits total)

  • THTR 233 (CA) Fundamentals of costume Design (1)
  • THTR 356 (CA) Fundamentals of Stage Lighting (1)

Two credits from the following or substitute approved by design faculty (2)

  • THTR 165 Stagecraft II (.5)
  • THTR 240 Stage Makeup (.5)
  • THTR 251 (CA) Introduction to Computer Aided Design/Drafting (1)
  • THTR 357 Design/Production Studio I (1)
  • THTR 358 Design/Production Studio II (1)

One credit in music or art history as approved by advisor (1)

Stage Manager Emphasis (6 additional credits; 12.5 - 13 credits total)

  • THTR 233 (CA) Fundamentals of Costume Design (1)
  • THTR 251 (CA) Introduction to Computer Aided Design/Drafting (1)
  • THTR 318W Performance in the 20th Century (1)
  • THTR 356 (CA) Fundamentals of Stage Lighting (1)
  • THTR 479 Directing (1)
  • RHET 242 (EV) Leadership and Group Communications
    OR PSYC 341 Personal and Industrial Psychology (prerequisite PSYC 210 or consent)
    OR Equivalent (1)
  • MUSC 121 (CA) Creating Music Technology OR Equivalent (1)

Performance Studies Emphasis (6 additional credits: 12.5 - 13 credits total)

  • THTR 213 (IT) Intro to Dance or Approved aesthetics class (.5)
  • THTR 318W Performance in the 20th Century (1)
  • THTR 479 Directing (1)
  • ARTH 243 (TH) contemporary Art: 1970-Present (performance art is included in this class
    Or ENGL 135 (CA) Introduction to Creative Writing: Dramatic Form (1)
  • ENGL 202W (IT) Introduction to Literary Theory (prerequisite ENGL 201 Close Reading) (1)
    Or HIST 393 Oral History; Theory, Methods, Practice (1)
  • WGS 353W Feminist Theory
    Or ENGL 339 Special Topics in Creative Writing (approved instances)
    Or THTR 320W (CA) Playwriting (1)

Requirements for the Theatre Minor (5.5 Credits)

Indicators of Achievement

Student Learning Outcomes for the Theatre Major

  1. Theatre students will demonstrate skills in the in-depth analysis of dominant and secondary themes in dramatic literature through the reading and written/verbal analysis of the works of a variety of key playwrights from the 5th century BC to the beginning of the 21st century
  2. Theatre students will demonstrate knowledge of the major presentational performance & movement styles demonstrated in “period” productions from ancient times to the beginning of the 21st century through both class and public performance
  3. Theatre students will demonstrate knowledge of the major presentational performance styles and issues in 20th century and contemporary performance through both class and public performance
  4. Acting/directing students will demonstrate an understanding of individual character motivations & action choices through the public presentation of effectively interactive performance dynamics between characters
  5. Theatre students will demonstrate responsible and effective critical response skills through the presentation of both written and verbal critiques of the performance and design work of others as well as themselves
  6. Theatre students will exhibit a consistent respect for and commitment to the profession and to fellow artists by arriving on time and being appropriately prepared for rehearsal sessions, performances, design conferences and work calls
  7. Theatre students will actively display a commitment to ongoing development as an artist beyond graduation and the protected environment of the classroom studio by assembling a professional resume, a headshot, a portfolio of accomplished performance experiences, & the public performance of a minimum of four scenes representing a broad range of performances periods and styles plus a minimum of four appropriately memorized and staged audition selections which will be performed for an audience as a capstone presentation. Design students will prepare a professional resume and a portfolio of accomplished work, plus two (2) three dimensional renderings (set, costume, lighting: models, cloth renderings, sound tracks, lighting renderings) with supporting materials (plans, elevations, patterns, collages, cue sheets, cut sheets, source materials, etc) in main area of focus and two (2-3) additional production materials (3D renderings and support materials) in other areas of design interest

Faculty


Course Listings

THTR 010X (CA) Theatre Practicum (.25-1)

Any student who is making a significant contribution (either technical or performance) to a faculty-directed play or faculty supervised project which is being presented in the department's production season, may apply to receive credit for this activity. The application must be requested during the production schedule (not after) and will be evaluated by the faculty member involved who will determine the amount of credit to be granted. Creating in the Arts.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 011X (CA) Theatre Practicum - Atypical Performance (Variable credit .5 - 1)

Any student who is making a significant contribution (either technical or performance) to an independent, atypical performance or production not covered by the standing Theatre Practicum may apply to receive credit for this activity. The project can be faculty or student directed or coordinated but it must involve significant faculty supervision. This application must be submitted to the appropriate faculty member prior to the production schedule (not after) and will be evaluated by the faculty member involved who will determine the amount of credit to be granted.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 020X (CA) Dance Practicum (.25-1)

The major focus will be on learning specific dances. Additional attention is given to theatrical elements needed to support dance presentation or productions, including but not exclusive to participation in selected activities from the related areas of costume, light, sound and makeup design.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: Fall audition
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 110 (CA) The Theatre: A Contemporary Introduction (1)

An introduction to the broad spectrum of theatre's principles, goals, physical resources and working procedures. Sections are included on concepts of theatre, acting, production, audience and theatrical literature. Further direct involvement in performance and technical activity, critical writing and discussion, and attendance at outside theatre events. Additional responsibility in applied work on theatre productions.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 140 Acting I (1)

Course work in fundamental techniques of acting. The students will do intensive personal and social investigation through exercises in movement, voice training and improvisation as methods of making contact with themselves and others as they explore an actor's training and ensemble work.

  • Corequisite: THTR 150
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 141 Acting II (1)

Study of major realistic/naturalistic acting theory. In-depth exploration of play and character analysis, scene and monologue work.

  • Prerequisite: THTR 140
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 145 (CA) Introduction to Acting (1)

The objective of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the art of acting through firsthand experience. The course is meant to increase student awareness of his/her potential through exercises; introduce students to the acting method of psychological realism; and provide students with experience and confidence to perform in front of others.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 150 Voice for the Stage (.5)

This course is an introduction to the voice for the stage. Students will learn how their voice works, through a variety of exercises, both technically and imaginatively. Emphasis is on self-awareness exercises, relaxation techniques, physical/vocal stretches and the development of a personal warm-up.

  • Corequisite: THTR 140
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 151 Voice and Speech (.5)

A course aimed at (1) improving natural, clear, unaffected speech and (2) eliminating negative habits and regional accents: and an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet for the purposes of exploring stage dialect.


THTR 155 (CA) Stagecraft I (1)

An introduction to the physical aspects of theatre production. This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills used in backstage production support. Areas of study include construction, sound, and lighting. Required of all theatre majors, but also intended for the interested non-major who would like to explore the performing arts from a technical perspective.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Steck

THTR 157 (CA) Introduction to Design for the Stage (1)

A course designed to be an introduction for all students to the basic ideas and techniques of designing for the stage. Team-taught by members of the Theatre Design faculty, focusing particularly on the development of scenic designs, costume designs and lighting designs. Particular attention to be paid to the development of an appropriate theatrical image and understanding how each of the various design areas contribute and support each other in creating a seamless unified whole

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 165 Stagecraft II (.5)

Analysis and detailed application of the principles introduced in Stagecraft I. The course will provide the comprehensive knowledge that will prepare students to plan and direct the technical aspects of backstage production.

  • Prerequisite: THTR 155
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 175 (*CA) Introduction to Dance Technique (.5)

Students are introduced to the basic principles of dance technique through participation in beginning ballet, jazz and modern dance vocabulary.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts credit in dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 181, 182, and 284 OR a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement.)
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 181 (*CA) Fundamentals of Ballet (.5)

Class participation in basic techniques of ballet. Develops an understanding of the ballet aesthetic.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts credit in dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 181, 182, and 284 OR a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement.)
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Nelson

THTR 182 (*CA) Fundamentals of Modern Dance (.5)

Class participation in basic modern dance technique. Through developmental exercises and dance combinations, the students are introduced to modern dance as an expressive artistic medium.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts credit in dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 181, 182, and 284 OR a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement.)
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Nelson

THTR 212 (TH) Costumes History (1)

A survey of historic costume from the Ancient Middle East to contemporary Western dress. Issues of society, culture, gender, politics, economy, and technology will be explored as they relate to the history of Western clothing. Aesthetic aspects are discussed through study of extant artwork and artifacts.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Thinking Historically
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 213 (CA) Introduction to Dance (.5)

The aim of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to experience a wide variety of dance styles. It is designed for students who wish to develop a basic understanding of ballet, modern, jazz, and tap techniques.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Fouts

THTR 217W (TH) Theatre History I (1)

Study of evolution of religious ritual into structured performance practice and the origins of theatre in various parts of the world. Special attention to how dramatic text, cultural values, political structures, and performance spaces and styles interact to create performance phenomena from shamanistic times through the 18th century.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Thinking Historically
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 219 (IT) Theatre History II (1)

Study of dramatic texts and performance practice and theory from the late 18th century through the present day. Emphasis on the connections between theatre and culture.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 233 (CA) Fundamentals of Costume Design (1)

This course covers play script analysis for costume design, with projects involving the design process, costume rendering and presentation. Fabric dyeing and basic principles of costume construction are also covered. Open to all majors.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 234 (CA) Dance Composition (.5)

An introduction to principles of composition in dance. Students are introduced to methods of structuring movement in order to create original dances. Principles of choreography and composition are applied to practical tasks in dance making. Closed to freshmen.

  • Prerequisite: THTR 181 or THTR 182 or consent of instructor
  • Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 240 Stage Makeup (.5)

This course will help students learn the basics of character makeup application and design. We will begin with the basic elements of design, learn how to manipulate those elements, and apply that knowledge through hands-on application and careful visual research; a basic understanding of professional makeup application will be achieved. Purchase of makeup kit is required for practical application of the techniques studied.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 251 (CA) Introduction to Computer Aided Design/Drafting (1)

This course is intended to introduce the student to Computer Aided Design (CAD). This course will teach basic and advanced 2-D drawing and editing, allowing the student to draw, dimension, and plot their work. We will be using AutoCAD for Windows or/and Vectorworks for our work environments. The fundamentals of CAD will be covered with a focus on their use in the theatrical world.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Reinagel

THTR 260 (CA) Stage Combat (1)

Stage Combat is a course designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of stage combat. Students will explore basic principles of movement, safety practices, and will learn the history and application of three Western stage combat forms: unarmed combat and two others drawn from the following list: rapier and dagger, single sword, broadsword, or quarterstaff.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: THTR 140, THTR 145 or Consent of instructor
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 282 (CA) Modern Dance II (1)

Course work utilizes principles and techniques learned in THTR 182 Fundamentals of Modern Dance. Emphasizes further refinement of skills and expressiveness.

  • Prerequisite: Previous modern dance training or consent of instructor
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Nelson

THTR 284 (*CA) Ballet I (.5)

This course builds on the ballet vocabulary introduced in Fundamentals of Ballet, and furthers the student's study of line, placement and musicality. Students should expect more speed and complex movements with continued development of technique and style.

  • Prerequisite: Previous ballet training or consent of instructor
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts credit in dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 181, 182, and 284 OR a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement.)
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Joslin

THTR 318W (CA) Theatre and Culture (1)

Study of major movements in the theatre as they embody significant new approaches to the writing and staging of plays and performance events, and express change in social values and intellectual discourse.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 320W (CA) Playwriting Workshop (1)

This course focuses on crafting short plays by learning about plot, theme, character, dialogue, and theatricality in a theatrical space.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: ENGL 135 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 340 Acting Studio I (1)

Advanced actor training designed to allow individual in-depth exploration of the realistic acting process, play and character analysis and ensemble work, through the study of the works of Shaw, Ibsen, Chekhov, Miller, Williams and contemporary playwrights. Intended for upper-division theatre majors. May be repeated once for credit.


THTR 341 Acting Studio II (1)

Advanced actor training designed to allow individual in-depth exploration of style through the study of the works of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan/Jacobean dramatists. Intended for upper-division theatre majors. May be repeated once for credit.


THTR 355 Fundamentals of Scene Design (1)

A course to promote an understanding of the process of creating scenic designs. Through project assignments, class work will focus upon the reading and analysis of texts, the discovery and selection of dramatic images and their translation into a three-dimensional scenic form.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 356 (CA) Fundamentals of Stage Lighting (1)

The study of lighting design theory and its application to performance and performance spaces. The course will cover electricity, uses of instruments and control equipment, the principles and theory of light and color, textual analysis, enhancement of dramatic atmosphere and image.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment:  Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate Fall
  • Instructor: Steck

THTR 357 Design/Production Studio I (1)

Advanced course allowing individual in-depth exploration of various aspects of the theatrical design process. Incorporates through both theoretical and practical projects: text and performance analysis, development of scenic, costume and/or lighting concepts, problems of technical execution.

  • Prerequisite: THTR 233, THTR 355, THTR 356, OR equivalent.
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Harris, Brewer-Wallin, Steck, Reinagel

THTR 358 Design/Production Studio II (1)

Advanced design projects incorporating the skills developed in Design Studio I, with special emphasis on production period and style. The class will include production design work and assignments geared toward portfolio presentation.

  • Prerequisite: THTR 233, THTR 355, THTR 356, OR Equivalent.
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Harris, Brewer-Wallin, Steck, Reinagel

THTR 430 Special Topics in Performance Studies (1)

This course provides the flexibility to offer topics of special interest in the various areas of theatre studies. Among the courses that will be offered are: Cultural Diversity in the American Theatre; The History, Function and Role of the Dramaturg; Metatheatre — Its Social, Political and Cultural Implications; Theatre Design in the 20th Century. May be repeated once for credit.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 444 Arts Management (1)

Study of the business and legal aspects of arts activity in America's establishment and nonestablishment art areas. Special attention to such subjects as general funding, touring, government grants and alternative careers.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 479 Directing I (1)

Fundamental historical, theoretical and practical aspects of play direction. Analysis of directorial approaches, scripts and conditions of presentation in various performance circumstances. Practical application of script analysis and rehearsal techniques.

  • Prerequisite: Theatre Core, THTR 217W, THTR 219, or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 491 (CA) Special Topics in Theatre (0.5 or 1)

Special Studies in Theatre is designed to allow advanced students an opportunity to undertake a study of specific topics in theatre which are not offered in the regular curriculum.

  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 499W Senior Thesis (.5 to 1)

Required for senior Theatre majors. Research, create and perform solo performance in addition to written thesis.

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