Plymouth State University Last updated April 15, 2008
Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance Theatre Student Handbook
Faculty and Staff:
- Elizabeth Cox, Associate Professor:, Director of Theatre, Acting Office: Silver 315 • 535-2499 • email@example.com
- Dr. Paul Mroczka, Professor:, Dramatic Writing, History, Stage Management, Office: Silver 313 • 535-2265 • firstname.lastname@example.org
- Matt Kizer, Associate Professor, Design and Technology Office: Silver 308 • 535-2385 • email@example.com
- Dr. Kathleen Arecchi, Professor, Voice Performance Studies Office: Silver 319 • 535-2494 • firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chuck Vicinus, Adjunct, Theatre History Office: Silver • email@example.com
- Danee Grillo, Lecturer, Costumer Costume Shop • 535-2582 • firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bob Bruemmer, Theatre Production Assistant Office: Silver 111E • Scene Shop • 535-2718 email@example.com
- Stuart Crowell, Manager-Theatre Operations Office: Silver 127A • 535-2384 • firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jason Hibbard, Second Theatre Production Assistant Office: Silver 111F • Scene Shop • 535-2931 email@example.com
Philosophy of the Theatre major
The Theatre major at Plymouth State University is designed to allow students an area or areas of concentration within the discipline of Theatre, while receiving a liberal arts education. Our program stresses classroom work first and foremost in all academic areas. Our belief is that in order to be a fine theatre artist or technician, one must be well versed in numerous disciplines, and have a basic understanding of various areas of study and inquiry. Theatre uses, to varying degrees, every area of academic study offered at Plymouth State. Production work is also an important part of the theatre training process, but does not take precedence over classes that meet regularly.
How one becomes a Theatre major
In order to become a Theatre major at PSU, one must audition and/or interview with the Theatre faculty. Auditions and interviews are held each spring on scheduled dates. Special auditions by appointment may be arranged on request. To arrange an audition, contact Dr. Jonathon Santore, Chair, Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at (603)535-2232, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are six options within the Theatre Major at PSU. Each has its own criteria for auditions or interviews.
- The Acting Option requires two contrasting monologues, followed by an interview.
- The Theatrical Design/Tech Option requires an interview, which includes a review of prior work.
- The Music Theatre Performance Option requires two contrasting musical numbers, a monologue, and a group movement audition, followed by an interview.
- The Dramatic Writing Option requires an interview and the review of a writing sample.
- The Theatre History and Literature Option requires an interview, and examination of a sample of writing or scholarship.
- The Contract Option is declared by students pursuing a discipline other than those included in the preceding options. These have included, but are not limited to, Arts Administration and Directing. It requires an interview. The specifics of the interview can vary depending on a student’s interest.
All Theatre majors in all options are required to complete the Major Degree Requirements, a core of twenty-six (26) credits, as well as the General Education requirements of Plymouth State University. Each option also has course requirements specific to itself. Specifics of each option are discussed below.
The Acting Option contains twenty-three (23) credits which focus on a student’s desire to prepare for a career in the field of Professional Theatre, or for further study at the graduate level. Students enrolled in this option must audition for department productions. They must take four credits of TH165 Practicum in Production and four credits of TH367 Advanced Practicum in Production. Two of these eight credits may be completed through performance or directing. At the end of each academic year, these students are required to participate in a juried audition (see juries, next section).
The Music Theatre Performance Option is the least flexible of our course offerings. It contains thirty-seven (37) credits, and provides a program of study wherein students prepare for professional careers, or further study at the graduate level. In addition to the course work outlined in the university catalog, all students enrolled in this program must pass a keyboard proficiency exam. In addition to juried auditions at the end of each academic year, students in this option must also pass a voice examination, also by jury (see juries, next section). They must also attend a specific number of recitals and performances. See The Music Student Handbook for this information. Students enrolled in the Music Theatre Performance Option must audition for department theatre productions. They are required to take two credits of TH165 Practicum in Production and two credits of TH367 Advanced Practicum in Production. None of these four practicum credits may be taken for performance. The other options listed here may sometimes be declared after a student’s first, or sometimes even their second, year of college. The Music Theatre Option, however, has such extensive requirements, that it should always be declared as early as possible.
The Theatrical Design/Tech Option is for students with an aptitude for design and/or technology in theatre. It provides them with a coherent program of study, which prepares them for a career, or for further study at the graduate level. Students in this option must complete a minimum of nine credits of TH330 Design For Theatre: Topics, and/or TH331 Theatre Technology: Topics. The specific topic or content of these courses varies and rotates from semester to semester. These include, but are not limited to, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Sound Design, Electrics, Props, Scenic Art, Projections, Costume Crafts, and Makeup. Both of these topics courses are repeatable for credit. Participation in department productions is required through enrollment in Practicum. This enrollment includes four credits of TH165 Practicum in Production and four credits of TH367 Advanced Practicum in Production. At the end of each academic year, students will interview before a jury (see juries, next section).
The Contract Option is probably the most flexible of the theatre options. It includes twenty-three (23) credits. It provides students with the opportunity to design a program of study different from the other three options. Examples of contracts include, but are not limited to, Directing and Theatre Administration. In consultation with their advisor, students choose twelve (12) credits of theatre courses to create the foundation of their program of study. Six of these credits must be of the 300 or 400 level. Students under the Contract Option must take four credits of TH165 Practicum in Production and four credits of TH367 Advanced Practicum in Production Two of these eight credits may be completed through performance, directing, or administrative work (a given contract may determine this). At the end of each academic year, these students are required to participate in a juried interview (see juries, next section).
The Contract Option may also be used by incoming or transfer students who wish to declare a theatre major, but who may not feel ready to present a performance or portfolio. These students must be able to demonstrate strong academic or professional aptitude.
monologues (one in
participation in a
one song; one
(song and dance
can be combined);
|Portfolio or available
design/tech work to
Completion of 2 cr
3 cr of TH330 or
adept at drafting;
evidence strength in
|Completion of 6 cr
of TH330 or 331;
proficiency in area
|Interview and writing
from 1st year
one-act or full length
script as appropriate
completion of new
work and revision of
|Interview and writing
from 1st year
|Sample of dramatic
or critical work
Theatre history I
Details on Participation in Theatre Productions
A majority of students involved with productions are doing so for practicum credit. Practicum students will typically receive
an assignment in one of the following areas: stitching, electrics, carpentry, props, paint, audio, running crew, or publicity.
Each area has some of its own criteria for performance and grading. Each area will have its own flexible rules depending on a
given semester and production. All areas mandating a log of a student’s hours require that a supervisor initial all entries as
they are recorded. Grading in all areas takes into account both quantity of time spent on the assignment as well as quality of
work performed, and is based on the following:
- 25% The student’s attendance as figured by how well they meet their schedule according to the criteria of their assigned area.
- 25% The student’s degree of assumed responsibility for the production and work ethic.
- 25% The overall number of hours committed to the production. The minimum number listed for each area is required for a student to pass..
- 25% The level of improvement in skill that the student exhibits over the course of the practicum.
Once all of this is evaluated, TH165 grades are converted into a simple Pass/Fail grade. A grade of 70 is the minimum necessary to receive a passing grade.
Actors have no time requirement. They will be at all rehearsals as they are called for by the Stage Manager. They will provide the Stage Manager with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address at auditions, and if not, as soon as they are cast. They will schedule a fitting time with the Costume Shop as called, and will schedule further fittings as needed. Fitting times will not be missed. Actors will be off book as designated by their director. They will inform their Stage Manager immediately when they become aware of any possible conflict with the rehearsal schedule. Attendance is mandatory for all rehearsals to which an actor is called, including all tech and dress rehearsals. Actors will never leave a rehearsal without being dismissed by the Stage Manager as well as the Director, Choreographer, or Music Director. All actors are required to be at strike for the production in which they are performing, and will bring appropriate clothing (no sandals, no heels), anticipating getting dirty. Actors who are not receiving practicum credit will abide by these criteria as well.
Stitchers are required to set up a weekly schedule with the Costume Shop Manager as soon as they receive their assignment. They will supply the shop manager with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address. Stitchers will work a minimum of 40 hours in the shop over the course of the semester, and will keep a log of their time in the shop. Two hours is the minimum length of any work call for a student. All stitchers will anticipate working extra calls, possibly at odd times, in the week immediately before tech week and up until opening. The Costume Shop Manager may also assign some stitchers as wardrobe crew for the productions. Stitchers may be assigned to a single production or may be assigned to work multiple shows for the semester, depending on the scale of costumes for the season. Stitchers will be required to be at strike for all productions unless otherwise informed.
Electricians are required to contact the Bob Bruemmer as soon as they receive their assignment. They will supply Mr. Bruemmer with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address. They will know when electrics calls are scheduled and will establish a schedule with Mr. Bruemmer or the Master Electrician if they have any conflicts. Calls might be short or cancelled early in the process, but all electricians will be available when scheduled anyway. They will keep a log of their hours. They will also anticipate extra calls, possibly at odd times, and a greater commitment beginning three weeks prior to the show opening. Electricians will work a minimum of 40 hours. These hours tend to happen in much shorter time spans and sometimes at less convenient times. Absenteeism on electrics will require phenomenal justification. Electricians will typically be assigned for the semester rather than on a per-show basis. Electricians will be required to be at strike for all productions unless otherwise informed. Electricians will dress appropriately for all calls, meaning that they will wear sensible shows (no sandals or heels) and will anticipate climbing ladders (no skirts or dresses).
Carpenters are required to contact the Technical Director or Shop Foreman as soon as they receive their assignment. They will supply the shop with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address. They will establish a schedule for the semester as to when they will be in the shop. Two hours is the minimum length of any work call for a student. 40 hours is the minimum requirement over the course of the semester. Carpenters will keep a log of their hours in the scene shop. Carpenters will dress appropriately for all calls, anticipating getting dirty and working in an industrial environment (no sandals or heels). Carpenters are required to be at strike for all productions unless otherwise informed.
Prop technicians are required to contact the Props Manager and Set Designer as soon as they receive their assignment. They will supply these people with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address. They will establish a work strategy with the Props Manager wherein they fulfill at least 40 hours over the course of the semester. They will keep a log of the time that they work on their own and submit it at the end of the semester. Much of their time may be spent shopping, scavenging, borrowing, or on the phone. They may build props or furniture in the shop, perform reupholstering, crafts work, electrify props, or any other prop work as needed for the show. When working in the scene shop or onstage, they will dress appropriately (no sandals, no heels, anticipate getting dirty). They will provide rehearsal props immediately for blocking rehearsals as needed, will have all props for the production ready by the initial props viewing, and will make changes as needed by the final props viewing. Initial props viewing is typically three to four weeks prior to opening. Final props viewing is typically two weeks prior to opening. Prop technicians will then be in daily during tech week to assist in set dressing and to aid in adapting props as needed for the tech process. Prop technicians are required to be at strike for all productions unless otherwise informed.
Painters are required to contact the Master Painter and Set Designer as soon as they receive their assignment. They will supply these people with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address. They will establish a work strategy with the Master Painter wherein they fulfill at least 40 hours over the course of the semester. Painters will keep a log of their hours in the scene shop. Two hours is the minimum length of any work call for a student. Painters may work alone early in the process, being given a task to perform during regular scene shop hours when the Master Painter or Set Designer are not available. Larger paint calls will be scheduled often on short notice due to variability in the availability of the space. Paint calls are often scheduled in evenings and on weekends. All painters will anticipate getting dirty and will dress appropriately. Painters will always allow time at the end of their call to clean up after themselves and will take it upon themselves to be sure the paint area is clean and well organized. Painters are required to be at strike for all productions unless otherwise informed.
Running Crew includes the onstage running crew, followspot operators (FSO), light board operators (LBO), soundboard (SBO), and other areas as needed for the production. Running Crew has no time requirement and keeps no log. They will be at all technical rehearsals as they are called for by the Stage Manager. They will provide the Stage Manager with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address as soon as they receive their assignment. Attendance is absolutely mandatory. All running crew is required to be at strike for the production to which they are assigned, and will bring appropriate clothing (no sandals, no heels), anticipating getting dirty.
Publicity workers are required to contact the Publicity Manager and Producer as soon as they receive their assignment. They will supply these people with their phone number, HUB mailbox number, and email address. They will establish a work strategy wherein they fulfill at least 40 hours over the course of the semester. They will keep a log of the time that they work on their own and submit it at the end of the semester. They are responsible for whatever layout work, design work, telephoning, legwork, etc. is required of them by the Publicity Manager.
Important Theatre Policies
There are always questions regarding absences from rehearsal, missed costume fittings, etc. These policies apply to all cast and crew members of any production by Plymouth State Theatre. These policies are established to provide fairness to all involved, to foster a professional atmosphere, and to create a positive learning environment.
Students may only be excused from a rehearsal by whomever is in charge of that rehearsal, be that the Director, Music Director, or Choreographer, and then by the Stage Manager. The Stage Manager may not excuse anyone from rehearsal until they have first checked with the person in charge of that rehearsal.
Students must write down scheduling conflicts and submit them to the director. Students must also discuss those conflicts with the director Students may not assume that they have been excused unless they have confirmed this in advance.
Unexcused absences, chronic lateness, missed costume fittings, seriously unprofessional behavior, etc. will jeopardize a student’s status in a production. There is a basic “three strikes and you’re out” policy, which means any combination of three of the above infractions. Once three strikes are reached, a student will be replaced in the production, and will not be eligible as cast or crew in the following semester’s shows.
There are instances where missing specific rehearsals will automatically grant three strikes. These include, but are not limited to: missing technical or dress rehearsals, missing strike, leaving technical or dress rehearsals early, or missing any rehearsal which the Director, Music Director, or Choreographer has deemed as mandatory.
Other types of unprofessional behavior, which will lead to automatic dismissal from the production, include use or possession of controlled substances in accordance with the rules of the university.
The Plymouth State University Theatre Season usually consists of two to three straight plays, two to three musicals of varying scale, and every three years offers students a chance to participate in Springfest, a theatre festival which showcases student writers, directors, and performers.
When involved in productions, students at PSU are responsible for learning their lines, knowing who the production staff is, making themselves available for rehearsals, costume fittings, and extended rehearsal times during tech week and performance weeks. Students are expected to know the theatre hierarchy and who is responsible for each aspect of production (a chart is included in this handbook). Students are expected to understand that while productions may require phenomenal amounts of time and energy, their first priority MUST at all times be their assigned class-work. A production is NEVER an excuse for missing class or for academic disparity.
Theatre Producing Companies within Music , Theatre, and Dance
When producing shows, we refer to ourselves as Plymouth State Theatre. There is a course that many students take called The Music Theatre Company. In past years, this was treated as a separate producing entity within the department. Each year, these two producing entities have worked more and more closely together. At the time of this writing, there is very little distinction between the two, and we rarely refer to them as separate companies any more. In general, “Plymouth State Theatre” now includes all theatre produced by this department. The person acting as producer is usually Beth Cox, and for musicals may be Dr. Kathleen Arecchi.
The Call Board
On the top floor of the Silver Cultural Arts Center is the Student Lounge. This space sits in an alcove off of the hallway. Hanging in this lounge is a series of bulletin boards referred to as The Call Board. Any and all notices regarding casting, production, meetings, classes, and practicum are posted here. All students involved with theatre will check the call board twice a day. When information is posted here, it is assumed that everyone who needs to know does know.
All students, regardless of their option, are encouraged to audition for any show. Students in some options, and students receiving performance-based talent grants, are required to audition for all shows. Students are eligible for casting in shows as long as they achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.35 in the previous term. Other actions that can compromise a student’s eligibility are covered in the Important Theatre Policies section of this handbook.
Auditions for the upcoming shows will be held the semester before the production itself. When a student auditions for a show, they must understand that they are committing themselves for the duration of the show. This includes time spent in rehearsal, performance, and time spent preparing for the production outside of rehearsal. If a student refuses a role, they will not be eligible to be cast until the next academic year. Students are sometimes allowed to drop a role without penalty, under extenuating circumstances, with the permission of the Theatre faculty. These circumstances do not include disinterest in the role.
Employment at Plymouth State University
There are two types of on-campus jobs: work-study and student hourly jobs. Students qualify for work-study as a part of their financial aid packages. Students who are eligible for work-study have part of their pay come from their financial aid. Students who do not qualify for work-study can consider student hourly positions, which are open to anyone.
Theatre students often prefer to take advantage of employment within the Silver Cultural Arts Center. Positions in the Arts Center are offered by both the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance and by the Silver Cultural Arts Center (SCAC) itself. These are two separate entities. The Music , Theatre, and Dance office is located on the top floor of Silver Hall. The SCAC office is located on the ground floor.
Positions typically offered by Music , Theatre, and Dance include office workers for the department office and office assistants for specific faculty. These positions have frequent turnover as student schedules vary, so ask about any position in which you may be interested. Students seeking department office positions should see Janice Johnson. Students interested in assisting specific faculty at an hourly rate should speak directly to those faculty members.
The Silver Cultural Arts Center employs many students. Positions include ushers, carpenters, electricians, audio technicians, box office personnel, event running crew, and office workers. Students interested in working for the Arts Center should see Diane Jeffrey, Stuart Crowell, or Bob Bruemmer.
Positions available through the Department and through the Arts Center offer not only income, but good work experience and excellent resume material.
The Career Services Office at Plymouth State has other services for students seeking employment. Their website is at http://www.plymouth.edu/career/. Office hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm. Telephone: 535-2336. Email: email@example.com
Talent Grants and Scholarships
Talent Grants are awards for incoming new students, and are applied towards tuition. All talent grant students receive detailed letters explaining the terms of their talent grants.
Scholarships of varying amounts are awarded at the end of each year. These include named scholarships given in honor of friends of the theatre program, as well as unnamed or anonymous scholarships. All scholarships are based on merit, both practical and academic.
Theatre Course Descriptions
Introduction to Theatre (TH 1600 – 3 credits)
Appreciation of the many arts involved in play production from the audience point of view. Script, theatre structure, scenery, costume, lighting, makeup, acting and directing studied against the historical background of the theatre. Not a performance course.
Practicum in Production (TH 1650 – 1-3 credits)
Practical applications and an extension of theory and technique covered in theatre courses in production. Experiences include technical and/or design work, assistant stage management, publicity, performance, or any other aspect of production. PASS/FAIL only.
Technology for Theatre Professionals (TH 2100 – 3 credits)
Students will learn to use computers and the internet to facilitate their career development and functionality within the theatre industry. Spring Semester.
American Musical Theatre (TH 2230 – 3 credits)
Survey of development of American musical theatre from 19th century minstrel show to the present. Operetta, revue and musical comedy; important writers and composers. Analysis of collaborative elements: book, lyrics, score, dance, design.
Voice and Diction I (TH 2260 – 3 credits)
Beginning course in principles and practices of vocal production and speech. Techniques of breath support and control as well as on articulation. Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet. Students learn to analyze their own voice and speech patterns and to make necessary corrections. Fall semester.
Stagecraft Fundamentals (TH 2500 – 3 credits)
An introduction to the construction of scenic elements for the stage. Emphasizes: backstage organization, interpretation of working drawings, use of standard scene construction tools and safety procedures for construction, installation and running of scenery.
Stage Makeup (TH 2520 – 1.5 credits)
Introductory course covers the theory, practice and styles of stage makeup. Students will receive practical experience with the application of theatrical makeup, ranging from corrective makeup to old age makeup.
Introduction to Theatre Design (TH 2540 – 3 credits)
Introductory design course which exposes students to the essentials of scenery, lighting, and costume design . Curriculum consists of an overview of the design process from initial interpretation of a script and discussions with the director through the execution of the final design. Utilizing various scripts, students learn how to research, to conceptualize, and to express those ideas through drawings and models. Fall semester.
Fundamentals of Theatre Costuming (TH 2700 – 1.5 credits)
An introduction to the fundamentals of costume design and construction. Topics covered will include costume shop organization and scheduling, costume budgeting, the tools and materials involved in theatre costuming, hand and machine sewing, cutting, draping and costume fitting and alteration. There will also be a practical application of the skills learned.
Acting I (TH 2720 – 3 credits)
In this first-level course, emphasis will be placed on acting for the theatre, including work in the areas of physical control, vocal production, sensory awareness, the development of the creative imagination, ensemble work, improvisation, script analysis, characterization and scene study. Designed to enhance personal development and creativity, as well as to train students in the basic skills of theatrical performance. Thus, Acting I is appropriate for general students, while it is necessary for students who wish to pursue further theatre study.
World Drama (TH 2960 – 3 credits)
Reading and discussion of significant plays in Western literature, from the Greeks to the present. The plays are viewed within their historical and social contexts, with an emphasis on the relationship between their literary and theatrical forms. May be taken as EN296. Fall of even years.
Musical Theater Singing Techniques (TH 3150 – 3 credits)
A survey of Musical Theatre song literature and a workshop in Musical Theatre singing techniques and styles. Students will be assigned repertory appropriate to their current level and prior experience. In-class performance will be an important element. Ability to read music not essential but helpful. May be taken as MU315. Spring of even years. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Stage Movement (TH 3160 – 2 credits)
Emphasis on relaxation, posture, balance and alignment, rhythm, strength and flexibility. Movement as an element of characterization. Some basic dance steps and patterns introduced.
Script Analysis (TH 3210 – 3 credits)
Fundamental analysis course to develop skills needed to interpret dramatic material for direction, performance and design. Investigation of thought process involved in discovering the structure of script and in breaking it down in terms of Action, Objective and Motivational Units. Preparatory to transforming it from page to production. This course is a prerequisite for all Directing courses. Fall semesters. Prerequisite: Theatre majors only or permission of the instructor.
Creative Dramatics in the Classroom (TH 3230 – 3 credits)
The usage of drama in the classroom as an aid in the personal, social, aesthetic and intellectual development of the student will be examined in a workshop/seminar format. Through engaging in certain drama processes, the student will come to understand the underlying concepts of drama in education. Further conceptual study will entail seminar presentations, class discussions and critical evaluations of workshop activities. Attention will be given to techniques for using social and personal conflicts, literature, music, or pictorial art as the stimulus for dramatic work. Spring 2006.
Voice and Diction II (TH 3270 – 3 credits)
Continuation of Voice and Diction I. Particular attention paid to intonation patterns and coloration as well as to dialects. Intensive work to correct individual and regional speech patterns and to extend range, flexibility and vocal power. Spring 2006. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Design for the Theatre (Topics) (TH 3300 – 3 credits)
Students will examine various areas of theatrical design as it occurs in the design studio (not a construction course of any kind). Depending upon the specific topic covered by this course during any given semester, students will develop expertise in the appropriate techniques and graphic applications involved in establishing and communicating a given design for a theatrical production. Topics include scene design, lighting design, or costume design. May be repeated for no more than 12 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Theatre Technology: Topics (TH 3310 – 3 credits)
An introduction to areas of Theatre Technology and Production Crafts. Topics covered might include: scene painting, advanced costume crafts and production problems in electrics and audio. The purpose of this series is to enable a student to execute a specific product idea based on a theatrical design. (May be repeated up to 12 credits.) Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Writing for Performance (Topics)(TH 334 – 3 Credits)
Each topics course provides in-depth study and application of writing skills for specific venues. Topics covered include playwriting, screenwriting, writing adaptations, and libretto development. Spring starting 2003. Prerequisites: EN120, TH160, and Permission of Instructor.
Stage Management (TH 3400 – 3 credits)
An introductory course intended to familiarize students with the operation and organization of theatrical production. It examines the organizational, management, interpersonal and documentation skills necessary for planning, rehearsing, touring and performing a play. Spring semesters.
Advanced Practicum in Production (TH 3670 – 1-3 credits)
Practical applications and an extension of theory and technique covered in theatre courses in production. Experiences include technical and/or design work, Stage Management, Performance, or any other aspect of production which either involves an advanced level of training or skill or requires supervisory and delegation skills.
Acting II (TH 3900 – 3 credits)
Techniques of rehearsal, script analysis, role research and ensemble performance. Course consists of rehearsal and performance of short plays or cuttings from longer scripts. Acting II is a required course for students wishing to continue in the Acting Option. Open to the general PSU student population. (Students must audition and receive permission of the instructor.) Spring semesters.
American Drama (TH 3930 – 3 credits)
Reading and discussion of representative American plays from the 18th century to the present. The plays are viewed within their historical and social contexts, with an emphasis on the relationship between their literary and theatrical forms. Fall of even years.
Dramatic Literature and Criticism (Topics) (TH 3410 – 3 credits)
Topics not covered in other theatre literature courses, including areas such as Modern European Drama, women’s voices in the theatre, German docudrama, and gay and lesbian theatre, and an in-depth study of specific playwrights, such as Aristophanes, August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, and David Mamet. Spring semesters. Prerequisite: TH160.
Theatre History I (TH 4510 – 3 credits)
The study of the history of the theatre from its origins to the 18th century. Discussion of the significant elements of theatrical art, including production methods; acting styles; design components; influential dramatists, directors and theorists; and theatre architecture. Theatre is viewed from the broader historical perspective with an emphasis on its role in individual societies, the composition of its audiences and methods used to analyze and classify various movements and periods. Fall of odd years. Prerequisite: TH160.
Theatre History II (TH 4520 – 3 credits)
The study of the history of the theatre from the Romantic Period to the present day. Discussion of the significant elements of theatrical art including production methods; acting styles; design components; influential dramatists, directors and theorists; and theatre architecture. Theatre is viewed from the broader historical perspective with an emphasis on its role in individual societies, the composition of its audiences and methods used to analyze and classify various movements and periods. Spring of even years. Prerequisite: TH160.
Directing for the Stage (TH 4610 – 3 credits)
The theory and practice of stage directing will be examined. Significant attention will be given to the role of the director, to directorial technique and practices, to script analysis and to the director’s work with actors. Prerequisite: TH321. Spring semesters.
Acting III (TH 4810 – 3 credits)
Continuation of Acting I and II. Emphasis on scene-work. Beginning characterization and use of more complex linguistic material. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Fall of even years.
Independent Study (TH 4910 – 1-3 credits)
Advanced work in specialized area of interest, selected and pursued in consultation with a faculty advisor. Consent required of the instructor who will supervise the independent study, the Department Chair and an Academic Dean.
The Theatre Hierarchy
The Theatre Hierarchy can vary from theatre to theatre, or even production to production. What is presented here is a typical professional company structure, and is largely typical for PSU theatre productions. The major variant in this hierarchy is the producer, which varies depending on which producing body is financing the production..