Theatre (TA)

TA 0011 Introduction to Theatre3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

When we can download any movie we want to our computer and watch it from the comfort of the residence hall, why do live theatre? Why see live theatre? Does live theatre have anything to offer that movies and TV cannot? Is it worth doing or seeing? Actually, the act of witnessing live theatre challenges us to think more deeply, more critically, and more thoughtfully about our society and ourselves. Theatre can change the world. This course is about understanding why we need theatre in our lives, and becoming more active, more engaged, more attentive audience members.

TA 0030 Acting I3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

This class is an intensive introduction to technique and training essential to acting. Manifesting the understanding of key concepts through demonstrating skills is the primary focus of the course. Physical openness and responsiveness are explored and developed in pursuit of performance that is dynamically immediate and wholly engages audience, ensemble, and performer. Students will learn and practice Viewpoints, an approach to performance that allows performers to develop stage presence, play as a member of an ensemble, and make exciting performance choices. The class also introduces vocal technique for stage, the key ingredient to theatrical storytelling.

TA 0094 Theatre Fairfield: Performance Practicum1 Credit

Students gain first-hand training in performance under the guidance of theatre professionals. Everyone cast in a Theatre Fairfield production is automatically enrolled in this one-credit practicum. Students may also earn credit by enrolling in weekly Performance Workshops, which focus each semester on introducing a particular performance skill. Some of the topics covered in previous Performance Workshops include: clowning, stage combat, physical performance, and puppetry. This course may be repeated but may not be included in the 120 credits required for graduation.

TA 0095 Theatre Fairfield: Production Practicum1 Credit

Students gain first-hand training in theatre production under the guidance of theatre professionals. Everyone working on a crew of a Theatre Fairfield production is automatically enrolled in this one-credit practicum. Students must consult with theatre faculty regarding placement as a crew head in stage management, technical, or front-of-house duties. This course may be repeated but may not be included in the 120 credits required for graduation.

TA 0106 Theatre Management3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

When considering a theatre event, we usually think of actors performing for an audience. Yet, there is a network of factors ensuring a successful actor/audience connection. On the management side, there is the stage manager, making sure that every moment of the performance runs smoothly. On the administration side, there are other issues: Where did the money come from? How did the audience learn about the production? What is the overriding purpose of the theatre company? This course introduces the numerous managerial and administrative matters that are necessary for theatre production.

TA 0110 World Theatre I3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

Theatre serves as a vehicle to consider the social, political, and economic forces that shaped societies and their entertainments. This course surveys theatre and performance as a mirror of the people and times that shaped them. It begins with a consideration of the human need for mimesis and entertainment, and swiftly moves into the golden age of Greek drama. Other topics include Roman theatre, medieval religious drama, Japanese theatre, Renaissance spectacle and pageantry, censorship, the advent of women on the stage, and popular theatre forms through the 18th century. The course includes theatre trips.

TA 0111 World Theatre II3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

This course examines 19th- and 20th-century theatre and performance in the context of the people and societies that shaped them. It begins by examining the impact of technology on the theatrical world and continues to the present day with a consideration of the avant-garde and contemporary forms such as performance art. The course includes theatre trips.

TA 0120 American Drama3 Credits

Attributes: ASGW American Studies: Gateway, ASVP American Studies: Visual and Performing Arts, E_AF English Literature After 1800, UDIV U.S. Diversity, VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

This course examines the development of American theatre from the 18th through the 21st centuries. It includes a study and analysis of the special problems affecting the development and changes in American society as seen through American playwriting and theatre production. Students read over twenty plays that grapple with issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and what it means to be an American. The course includes theatre trips.

TA 0122 Asian Theatre3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course, WDIV World Diversity

This is a survey of major classical and contemporary theatres of Japan, China, India, and Indonesia. Included are traditional plays as well as dance, puppetry, and opera. Students view productions on video and film, read and discuss plays, explore the historical and sociological context which shaped these entertainments. The course includes theatre trips.

TA 0123 American Women Playwrights3 Credits

Attributes: ASGW American Studies: Gateway, ASVP American Studies: Visual and Performing Arts, E_AF English Literature After 1800, UDIV U.S. Diversity, VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course, WSGF Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender Focused

This course traces the evolution of plays by women from the Revolutionary War to plays reflecting the 21st-century concerns of African American, Asian, American, and Latina playwrights. Plays are discussed in light of the social, political, and economic climates that produced them. Special emphasis is given to questions of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and class, as we explore how American women, despite considerable obstacles, have developed their own theatrical voices. Our study is further informed by the work of feminist performance theorists.

TA 0135 Modern and Contemporary Dance3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

This course explores the movement principles of the major dance figures in the 20th century, including Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Hanya Holm, Jose Limon, and Merce Cunningham. Students complete research, compositional assignments, and structured improvisations to support the classroom activity. Overall, students gain a historical perspective of modern dance as an art form and improve their own dance technique in terms of strength, alignment, and flexibility.

TA 0138 Folk and Social Dance3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

This course explores dance as social interaction and communal activity. Students discuss and participate in various kinds of folk dances originating from different ethnic cultures and explore their common roots in primitive rituals, religious worship, courtship, recreation, celebration, and therapeutic or healing experiences. The course also explores contemporary forms of ballroom, disco, and club dancing. Students complete research, compositional assignments, and structured improvisations to support classroom activity.

TA 0150 Stagecraft3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

This course is an introduction to the technical aspects of theatre production. Students learn basic techniques of set construction, rigging and stage lighting. Lectures serve as foundational information for a series of lab sessions held throughout the semester. In labs, students construct, rig and light a fully realized Theatre Fairfield production. Proper use of hand and power tools is emphasized. Lab schedules are created during the first weeks of class, in consultation between the instructor and students. To compensate students for the lab requirement, students earn one credit through enrollment in TA 0095.

TA 0153 Stage Makeup and Costume Construction3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

This course introduces the basic principles, skills, and techniques of applying theatrical makeup and building costumes. The makeup portion explores two- and three-dimensional makeup techniques including corrective makeup, age makeup, facial hair, and prosthetic makeup. The costume portion focuses on hand and machine sewing techniques, fabrics and fabric modification, and garment construction. Students are required to participate in costume construction for Theatre Fairfield productions. To compensate students for the lab requirement, students earn one credit through enrollment in TA 0095.

TA 0155 Design I3 Credits

Attributes: GDTA Graphic Design: Theatre, VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

Designing for the theatre involves a series of interrelated actions: play analysis, visual research, ideation, development, drawing/painting, and collaborating with others. In this class, students study and practice all of these areas of the creative process. In addition, students study the underlying theories and principles that affect scenery, costume and lighting design.

TA 0158 Scene Painting3 Credits

Attributes: GDTA Graphic Design: Theatre, VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

This workshop introduces the basic principles, skills, and techniques of the scenic artist. Through a series of painting projects, students explore common painting techniques. The course gives special attention to matching the paint project to the paint elevation, as well as developing creative thinking skills. Projects emphasize craftsmanship and the ability to work as part of a team in addition to dealing with the time factors of actual production. Students research various techniques, styles, and visual textures in addition to hands-on work in the class. Students serve as members of a paint crew for a Theatre Fairfield production.

TA 0210 Theatre in Production3 Credits

Students take this course in conjunction with a particular Theatre Fairfield production. This course offers an immersion experience, as students engage in focused theatrical research in the classroom and immediately apply the concepts in the production. The class/production format makes particularly challenging scripts and/or artistic approaches possible. Some of the topics covered in previous semesters include Restoration comedy, performing Shakespeare, and devised theatre.

TA 0215 American Musical Theatre: History and Practice3 Credits

Attributes: UDIV U.S. Diversity, VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

Prerequisite: One Music or Theatre course.

Musical theatre is a complex genre that has developed in tandem with the developing American nation. It is a serious art form that, in its finest iterations, represents total works of art unique in and of themselves. This course expands students' knowledge of the range and diversity of the genre as codified in the middle 20th century by Rodgers and Hammerstein and their imitators. Embedded in great musical theatre pieces is the essence of what it means to be an American living in the United States at a particular time in history.

TA 0230 Acting II3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

Prerequisite: TA 0030.

This is an intensive acting course that builds upon the basic acting principles taught in Acting I. In this course, students apply what they have learned about the art, analysis, and interpretation of acting to a variety of dramatic styles. Students explore several period acting styles through exercises, scenes and monologues. Students gain a well-rounded and thoughtful understanding of acting as a practical and intellectual art that prepares them for further work in theatre and related performing arts.

TA 0231 Acting for the Camera3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

Prerequisite: TA 0030.

This course is an introduction to the specialized techniques used in successful on-camera acting. On-camera exercises emphasize the importance of listening, truthful moment-to-moment response, and effective communication skills. Initial classes examine the difference between acting for the stage and acting for the camera. Students practice a variety of on-camera styles including comedy, crime drama, and commercials. The course builds towards longer scene work from a screenplay. Topics include script analysis, nuance and depth of performance, relaxation and confidence on-camera.

TA 0240 Directing3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

Prerequisite: TA 0030.

This course for advanced students covers the theory, practice, and history of directing for the theatre. In a workshop format, students explore various ways of bringing a play script from conception to full production. The course includes sessions in text analysis, working with actors and designers, and the role and responsibility of the director to the overall production. Students direct several in-class scenes and a one-act play that is produced in Director's Cut, part of Theatre Fairfield's season.

TA 0253 Costume Design3 Credits

Attributes: GDTA Graphic Design: Theatre

Prerequisite: TA 0155.

Before a character even speaks, we have a strong sense of who that person is, based on our impression of the costume design. This class focuses on how costume designers engineer strong connections between the world of the play and the audience's experience. Play analysis, historical research, visual research, idea-generation, design development and rendering styles are addressed. Emphasis is placed on a sound creative process, as well as grounding our designs with historical accuracy.

TA 0256 Stage Lighting3 Credits

Prerequisite: TA 0150 or TA 0155.

With light on stage, we create a vast array of environmental moods. In order to accomplish these effects, students must grasp two separate fields of information. First, there are technical elements: the nature of light, electricity, reflection, refraction, lighting instruments and control systems. Then there is light in the context of the theatrical production. This involves play analysis, visual research, and manipulating light in the theatre space. Both the technical and aesthetic aspects are covered in this class. Safe use of electricity and lighting equipment is emphasized.

TA 0288 Scene Design3 Credits

Attributes: GDTA Graphic Design: Theatre

Prerequisite: TA 0155.

In a play, scenery provides the context, allowing the audience to connect to the characters and their dramatic journey. Not merely locale, scenery is a visual accompaniment to the action of the play. In this course, students develop their drafting, rendering and model-making skills, as these are the designer's principle communication tools. The course includes play reading, analysis and historical research. Emphasis is placed on a sound creative process, as well as grounding designs with historical accuracy.

TA 0300 Special Topics3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

In this class, students undertake an in-depth study of a specific problem. This might include period research, dramaturgy, a particular style of acting, a particular style of design, or other aspect of production. The course is conducted by a leading scholar/practitioner in the field. The course is open to invited students only.

TA 0310 Capstone: Theory of Production3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

This course is an in-depth exploration of theatre aesthetics and production theory. Students consider what theatre is, can, and should be, while studying varying perspectives on theatrical design, directing, and staging practices. Class sessions focus on analyzing the writings of such major figures as Antonin Artaud, Peter Brook, Edward Gordon Craig, Robert Edmond Jones, and Susan Sontag. This is the capstone class for theatre majors and minors but other interested students with sufficient background are welcome.

TA 0395 Internship3 Credits

Attributes: VPC2 Visual and Performing Arts Core: Applied Course

With faculty sponsorship, students work with professional theatre companies and theatre artists. Students develop their skills in real-world situations, while networking and gaining invaluable work experience. Internships are also available on-campus, within Theatre Fairfield. Students interested in becoming interns must consult with theatre faculty well in advance of the desired internship semester. Internships for summer work are encouraged.

TA 0399 Independent Study3 Credits

Attributes: VPCH Visual and Performing Arts Core: History Course

This course allows students to intensively explore a particular aspect of stage management, design, acting, directing or dramaturgy under the guidance of a faculty member. Students must have the approval of the theatre faculty before registering for this course.