2014 Course Catalogs | Undergraduate Catalog 2014-15 | Colleges | The College of Arts and Sciences | Theatre 

Theatre

Faculty

Professor
LoMonaco

Associate Professor
Porter, Program Director

Lecturers 
Hofmann
Leavitt-Learson
Miller
Roth
Schneck


The Theatre Program at Fairfield offers students a liberal arts education balanced between the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. Students who complete a major or minor concentration in theatre know how to put on a show from conception through strike and have a broad, liberal education. They have had the benefit of instruction from theatre professionals in acting, dance, design, directing, playwrighting, production, and stagecraft, and have studied with professors specializing in history, literature, and criticism of the stage.

Goals for students taking theatre core courses are: to gain factual knowledge of all aspects of theatre in practice and theory; to develop the specific skills required for working theatre professionals; and to develop creative capacities as artists, thinkers, and problem solvers. In advanced courses, students' abilities are enhanced through rigorous engagement in analyzing, critically evaluating, and creating theatre art. All courses focus on the development of strong communication skills and help students become better writers, speakers, and collaborators.

Theatre Fairfield is the academic production wing of the program. Theatre Fairfield's season includes professionally directed and designed productions, as well as student-written, directed and designed work. In any given four-year period we produce plays from many historical periods and styles: musicals, comedies, serious dramas, period plays, contemporary works, original plays, and devised work. A group of four scholarship students works closely with faculty and staff in administering Theatre Fairfield's season.

Recent productions have included An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet directed by distinguished guest artist Barbra Berlovitz, Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov; Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show; We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! by Dario Fo; Cabaret, the Kander/Ebb musical; The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde; The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer; ’59 Pink Thunderbird by James McLure; Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile; Tim Robbins’s Dead Man Walking; Aristophanes’ The Birds; Shakespeare’s As You Like It; Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig; the rock-musical Hair; Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour; and The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman. Participation in Theatre Fairfield productions is open to all students at the University, regardless of major or minor.

In 2010, the Theatre Program hosted the first guest artist residency in the history of Fairfield University. Founder and Artistic Director of the TONY-award winning Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Barbra Berlovitz, directed a contemporary-styled production of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet that responded to global events and issues of our time. She was joined by costume designer Sonya Berlovitz, who has designed for major theatre companies throughout the world, in creating this revolutionary production. Theatre Fairfield's production was the culminating event of The R&J Project, a campus-wide, multidisciplinary exploration of Shakespeare's play as it relates to young love, family and political turmoil, and issues of race, gender, and religion. Please visit the website www.fairfield.edu/randj to see the totality of this extraordinary project.

In helping students become well-rounded theatre people, this program emphasizes the development of good communication skills, which are essential to work in the theatre, as well as to all aspects of life. Courses stress the development of written, verbal, and artistic abilities. The program also advocates double majors and/or minors with other academic disciplines such as English, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, communication, and modern languages, as well as double-majors with the School of Business.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this program, undergraduate education in theatre is excellent preparation for careers in all facets of the theatre industry as well as in public relations, communications, advertising, writing or publishing, marketing, education, public service, and law. The Theatre Program also advocates double majors and/or minors with other disciplines such as English, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, communication, and modern languages, as well as with all programs in the School of Business. Students interested in a major or minor concentration in theatre should consult with theatre faculty before beginning the program.

Students participating in Theatre Fairfield productions earn one credit per show for either performance (TA 94), or production (TA 95). Theatre majors must earn a total of three credits in TA 94 or TA 95 each academic year. Theatre minors must earn a total of two credits in TA 94 or TA 95 each academic year.


Credit for Theatre Fairfield Productions

It is impossible to understand the nature of theatre without engaging in the process of making theatre. Therefore, major and minor coursework is supplemented by required participation in Theatre Fairfield productions.

Students earn course credit for such participation. This acknowledges and embraces the educational nature of production work.

  1. TA 94, Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum is a 1 credit course that enrolls all students who perform in Theatre Fairfield shows. Credit in these classes is figured in the student GPA, but the class hours count over and above the 120 hours required for graduation.
  2. TA 95, Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum is a 1 credit course that enrolls all students who are on crews for Theatre Fairfield shows. Credit in these classes is figured in the student GPA, but the class hours count over and above the 120 hours required for graduation.

Tech Points

Tech point requirements will be reasonably adjusted, as necessary, for semesters when students are studying abroad.

Production positions earn the following number of points:

10 Designer
10 Director, Festival/Independent Project
10 Technical Director
10 Stage Manager, full-length piece
6 Assistant Stage Manager, full-length piece
6 Stage Manager, one-act piece
6 Master Carpenter
6 Props Manager
6 Costume Manager
5 Props Crew
5 Costume Crew
5 Paint Charge
4 Assistant Stage Manager, one-act piece
4 Master Electrician
4 Paint Crew
3 Light Board Operator
3 Sound Board Operator
3 Running Crew
2 House Manager
2 Electrician
2 Carpenter
1 Assistant Box Office Manager

  • All tech points are awarded to students through TA 95, Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum.
  • Students do not earn tech points for directing in Director's Cut, which is a course requirement for TA 240, Technique and Art in Design.
  • If a student performs a production position not on this list, faculty will assign a tech point value.
  • Continual faculty oversight will ensure that students will gain experience in a variety of production positions.

Curriculum categories for Visual and Performing Arts - Theatre

History and Theory
TA 110 World Theatre, Beginnings to 1800
TA 111 World Theatre, 1800 to Tomorrow
TA 210 Theatre in Production
TA 300 Special Topics Seminar
TA 306 Arts Administration Principles and Practices
TA 310 Technique and Theory of Production - Capstone

Literature
TA 120/EN 125 American Drama
TA 122 Asian Theatre
TA 123/EN 120 American Women Playwrights
EN 141 Imagining Shakespeare
EN 213 Shakespeare I
EN 214 Shakespeare II

Playwrighting
EN/W 204 Creative Writing: Drama

Performance
TA 11 Introduction to Theatre
TA 30 Acting I
TA 93 Physical Performance Lab
TA 94 Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum
TA 135 Modern and Contemporary Dance
TA 136 Introduction to Jazz Dance
TA 137 Dance in Musical Theatre
TA 138 Folk and Social Dance
TA 210 Theatre in Production
TA 230 Acting II
TA 231/FM 133 Acting for the Camera
TA 240 Technique and Art in Directing
TA 300 Special Topics: Advanced Acting; Scene Study; Characterization Direction

Design and Technology
TA 50 Backstage Fundamentals
TA 95 Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum
TA 153 Makeup and Costume Construction
TA 155 Design I
TA 157 Rendering and Drafting
TA 158 Scene Painting
TA 250 Advanced Stagecraft
TA 255 Advanced Design
TA 300 Special Topics

Internships and Independent Studies
TA 395 Internship
TA 399 Independent Study


Requirements

The Theatre Major (33 Credits)

Theory: (6 credits total)

TA 11 Introduction to Theatre
TA 310 Capstone: Theory of Production

History and Dramatic Literature: (9 credits total)

TA 110 World Theatre: Beginnings to 1800
TA 111 World Theatre: 1800 to Tomorrow     

and one of the following:

TA 120 American Drama
TA 210 Theatre in Production

Performance: (6 credits total)

TA 30 Acting I
TA 230 Acting II

Tech: (3 credits total)

TA 150 Stagecraft (pending approval)

Design: (6 credits total)

TA 155 Design I                                             

and one of the following:

TA 253 Costume Design (pending approval)
TA 256 Stage Lighting (pending approval)
TA 288 Scene Design (pending approval)

Administration: (3 credits total)

TA 106 Theatre Administration & Management (pending approval)

Plus

Participation in the majority of the TF Productions, through TA 94 and TA 95, earning at least 5 tech points per academic year.

 

Theatre Minor (18 credits)

Theory: (6 credits total)

TA 11 Introduction to Theatre
TA 310 Capstone: Theory of Production

History and Dramatic Literature: (3 credits total)     

TA 111 World Theatre: 1800 to Tomorrow     

Performance: (3 credits total)

TA 30 Acting I

Tech: (3 credits total)                                                 

TA 150 Stagecraft (pending approval)

Design: (3 credits total)

TA 155 Design I

Plus

Participation in at least half of the annual TF Productions, through TA 94 and TA 95, earning at least 5 tech points per academic year



A=Applied H=History

TA 11 Introduction to Theatre (H)

This course challenges and expands upon previously conceived notions of theatre. Students will come to understand the unique contribution that theatre provides for human society, and ultimately become better audience members. Topics include: dramatic structure, genres, the actor/audience relationship, and the interpretation of the script by designers, actors, and directors. Emphasis is placed on improving analysis and writing skills. The course is strongly recommended for non-majors and students interested in fulfilling a visual and performing arts core requirement. Three credits.

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TA 30 Acting I (A)

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. Three credits.

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TA 50 Backstage Fundamentals (A)

This class covers the rudiments of the technical end of theatrical production. Topics include stage management, proper tool use, basic scenery construction, lighting, prop management, and basic costume construction. Students are required to participate in construction and rigging for Theatre Fairfield productions. Three credits.

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TA 93 Physical Performance Lab (A)

Excellent and sustainable acting requires physical training and this lab develops students' physical and breath support conditioning, core strength, physical alignment, overall kinesthetic and breath-center awareness, openness and responsiveness, and physical and vocal expressiveness. Each semester and session integrates conditioning with an overarching focus on addressing particular techniques or performance challenges (i.e. Viewpoints, speaking verse). The course is open to all Fairfield students; students may take the course more than once and are encouraged to do so. No prerequisite. One credit.

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TA 94 Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum (A)

Students gain first-hand training in the art of performance under the guidance of theatre professionals. Everyone cast in a Theatre Fairfield production is automatically enrolled in this one-credit practicum; students may not enroll on their own. This course may be repeated. One credit.

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TA 95 Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum (A)

Students gain first-hand training in the art of 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 in stage management, technical, or front-of-house duties. This course may be repeated. One credit.

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TA 110 World Theatre, Beginnings to 1800 (H)

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 (dance, pageantry, spectacle, and popular entertainments) 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 fifth-century B.C.E. and 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. Three credits.

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TA 111 World Theatre, 1800 to Tomorrow (H)

This course examines 19th- and 20th-century theatre and performance (ballet, modern and post-modern dance, "happenings," musical comedy) 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. Three credits.

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TA 120/EN 125 American Drama (H)

This course examines the development of American theatre from the 18th through the 21st centuries, including 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, and take at least one field trip to see a live performance. The course meets the U.S. diversity requirement and is cross-listed with the American Studies program. Three credits.

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TA 122 Asian Theatre (H)

Asian Theatre 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, and take at least one field trip to see a live performance. This course meets the world diversity requirement and is cross-listed with the Asian Studies program. Three credits.

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TA 123/EN 120 American Women Playwrights (H)

This course will focus on American Women Playwrights, 1775-2005. We will trace the evolution of drama by women from Mercy Otis Warren’s anti-British political satires of the Revolutionary War to plays reflecting the 21st-century concerns of African American, Asian, American, and Latina playwrights. Plays will be discussed in light of the social, political, and economic climates that produced them. Special emphasis will be 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 will be further informed by the work of feminist performance theorists. This course meets the U.S. diversity requirement and is cross-listed with Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Three credits.

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TA 135 Modern and Contemporary Dance (A)

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. Three credits.

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TA 136 Introduction to Jazz Dance (A)

This course combines dance technique and a historical survey of jazz dance. Students explore jazz dance origins from African and European traditions; their manifestation in the United States through slavery, minstrel shows, and vaudeville; and the development of style through the influences of tap, ballet, and modern dance. Students complete research, compositional assignments, and structured improvisations to support the classroom activity. Three credits.

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TA 137 Dance in Musical Theatre (A)

This course explores dance for the popular stage in America. Through investigation of well-known musicals such as West Side Story, Grease, Guys and Dolls, and Oklahoma! students understand how each musical requires its specific idiom of movement, and how styles, trends, and traditions affect theatre choreography. Students learn the components within an effective musical theatre number as well as gain strength, flexibility, and proficiency in technique. Students complete research, compositional assignments, and structured improvisations to support classroom activity. Three credits.

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TA 138 Folk and Social Dance (A)

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. Three credits.

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TA 153 Makeup and Costume Construction (A)

This workshop 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. Three credits.

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TA 155 Design I (A)

This practical course introduces the student to the skills of the theatre designer, and the elements of scenic, costume and lighting design. This course focuses on the underlying theories and principles that affect theatre design, as well as the history of how design has been used in theatrical production. Focus will be placed on developing the skills designers employ: observation, analysis, research, visualization, conceptualization, communication, collaboration and creative thinking. Three credits.

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TA 158 Scene Painting (A)

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

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TA 210 Theatre in Production (A or H depending on semester offered)

Open to students by instructor invitation, TA 210, Theatre in Production offers an expansive immersion as students engage in focused theatrical research in both classroom and theatre, resulting in a fully realized Theatre Fairfield production. The class-production format makes available particularly challenging scripts and/or artistic approaches that might not otherwise be approached. Though each course varies depending on instructor and production, the TA 210 class-production experience focuses on building significant bridges between theory and practice. Accordingly, TA 210 is a foundational class of the theatre major and one section is required, though multiple sections may be taken for credit. Three credits.

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TA 230 Acting II (A)

This is an intensive acting course that builds upon the basic acting principles taught in TA 30 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 in-class exercises and performances of rehearsed scenes and monologues. This course culminates in a public performance. 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. (Prerequisite: TA 30 or the permission of the instructor) Three credits.

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TA 231/FM 133 Acting for the Camera (A)

This course is an experiential introduction to the specialized techniques used in successful on-camera acting. On-camera exercises will emphasize the importance of listening, truthful moment-to-moment response, and effective communication skills. Students will practice their skills and apply their training to commercials, current television scripts, and screenplays. Initial classes examine the difference between acting for the stage and acting for the camera. Students will 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, and relaxation and confidence on-camera. (Prerequisite: TA 30) Three credits.

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TA 240 Technique and Art in Directing (A)

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. (Prerequisite: TA 30) Three credits.

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TA 241 Examining the Sixties: History, Art, and Legacy (H)

This course, offered by two historians who specialize in 20th-century American history, explores the 1960s from the dual perspectives of history and the arts. Political and artistic change happened concurrently in this era, and was often instigated by people who promoted societal change via the creation of art. The course approaches the period as "the long '60s," beginning in the early 1950s and ending in 1975 with the U.S. withdrawal of forces from Vietnam. Class sessions combine lecture, discussion, and experiential events as a means of understanding how art and activism worked hand-in-hand. Students may choose to take this course for either visual and performing art or history core credit. Also listed as HI 241. This course meets the U.S. diversity requirement. Three credits.

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TA 250 Advanced Stagecraft (A)

This introduction to the technical aspects of theatre production provides an overview of the physical stage, including the use of scenery and lighting. Students learn basic techniques of set construction and rigging, lighting, and electronics for today's theatre. Students are required to participate in construction and rigging for Theatre Fairfield productions. Three credits.

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TA 255 Advanced Design (A)

This practical course fosters the development of visual communication skills, play analysis skills, and sensitivity to the communicative properties of visual images. The course covers scenic design, costume design, and lighting design, and emphasizes concept development, visual research, and creative thinking. Readings include influential designers Robert Edmond Jones and Edward Gordon Craig. (Prerequisite: TA 155) Three credits.

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TA 300 Special Topics (H)(A)

Students undertake an in-depth study of a specific problem, period, or style of acting, dance, or other aspect of production conducted by a leading scholar/practitioner in the field. The course is open to invited students only. Three credits.

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TA 306 Arts Administration Principles and Practices

This course explores the fundamental principles associated with not-for-profit arts organizations.  This course is for all arts students, as the study of arts administration core principles sets a foundation of essential knowledge vital for employment within a non-profit arts organization.  Such training also is for practicing artists and those with for-profit intentions.  Students will come away with knowledge and skills, as well as a strong self-awareness of their leadership and management capacities.   (Prerequisite:  At least 2 VPA courses in Music or Theatre). Three Credits.

TA 310 Technique and Theory of Production (H)

This in-depth exploration of theatre aesthetics and production theory centers on study and analysis of the writings and work of such major figures as Antonin Artaud, Peter Brook, Harold Clurman, Edward Gordon Craig, Jerzy Grotowski, and Susan Sontag. Students consider what theatre is, can, and should be while studying varying perspectives on theatrical design, directing, and staging practices. The course also examines contemporary theatre management and administration. The class culminates in group projects that present details for a theatre company as well as a selected play, including a consideration of style, period, point of view, historical precedent, acting, directing, design, venue, and budget. This is the capstone class for theatre majors and minors but other interested students with sufficient background are welcome. Three credits.

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TA 395 Theatre Internship (A)

With faculty sponsorship and departmental approval, students develop internships as assistants to professional theatre designers and managers or with professional theatres, studios, and production companies in the regional/metropolitan area. Internships are also available in the organizational and management areas of Theatre Fairfield. Students interested in becoming interns must consult with theatre faculty well in advance of the desired internship semester. Three credits.

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TA 399 Independent Study (H)(A)

Usually open only to students earning a major or minor in theatre, this course allows students to intensively explore stage management, design, acting or directing under the guidance of a faculty member. Students must have the approval of the theatre faculty before registering for this course. Three credits.

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