Theater

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Theater Overview

Students at every level of experience will find a place in our theater program. As an afternoon activity, you may audition for parts in our three annual stage productions, or get involved in the production aspects of the show. In the classroom, we offer courses in beginning and advanced acting, with the opportunity to study both comedy and drama at the advanced level. We also offer public speaking and independent tutorial options within the theater department.

Our acting curriculum includes improvisation, Michael Shurtleff’s “12 Guideposts” techniques, and a blend of classical methods. Students learn by doing; our beginner-acting course introduces students to the fundamentals of concentration, observation, imagination, sense recall, and improvisation. As the course advances, students will begin scene work and characterization, primarily through theater. Advanced drama students develop skills in truthful acting—developing believable characters and circumstances on stage—leading to an ensemble performance. Advanced comedy students will become adept at improvisation and comedy scene writing, and take an in-depth look at the techniques of scene study.

Theater Course Offerings

AT501: Acting

Term: Semester 1

This basic course introduces students to the fundamentals of concentration, observation, imagination, sense recall, and improvisation. Theater games lead to an introduction to scene work and characterization. Evaluation is based on daily exercises, homework, individual growth, and projects. Students interested in advanced work are urged to take this course. Open to all students.

AT502: Acting

Term: Semester 2

This basic course introduces students to the fundamentals of concentration, observation, imagination, sense recall, and improvisation. Theater games lead to an introduction to scene work and characterization. Evaluation is based on daily exercises, homework, individual growth, and projects. Students interested in advanced work are urged to take this course. Open to all students.

AT503: Public Speaking

Term: Semester 1

The student learns to design and deliver prepared speeches, including descriptive, informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and humorous speeches. In addition, the student practices impromptu speeches and learns to listen critically and to analyze the speeches of his or her peers and public figures. Ideal for both the comfortable speaker and the shy student interested in improving confidence and oral communication skills. Open to all students except Lower Middlers.

AT504: Public Speaking

Term: Semester 2

The student learns to design and deliver prepared speeches, including descriptive, informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and humorous speeches. In addition, the student practices impromptu speeches and learns to listen critically and to analyze the speeches of his or her peers and public figures. Ideal for both the comfortable speaker and the shy student interested in improving confidence and oral communication skills. Open to all students except Lower Middlers.

AT522: Intermediate/Advanced Acting: Drama

Term: Semester 2

In the first half of this course, students will use various types of exercises to explore the idea of truthful acting—creating believable characters and circumstances on stage. During the second half, students will focus on one play, either a comedy or a drama, and work toward an ensemble performance of the play at the end of the spring. Evaluation will be based on journals, daily class work, and individual investment and growth. Open by permission of the instructor to students who have completed AT508 or by audition to students who have completed AT501 or AT502. Limited to 10 students.

AT523: Intermediate/Advanced Acting: Comedy

Term: Semester 1

This course is designed for the students who have taken Acting and want to develop further comedic acting skills. Students will become adept improvisers and comedy scene writers. They will also take an in-depth look at the techniques of scene study. Students will work independently, with partners, and as a performing ensemble, but will be evaluated in terms of individual growth and investment. Open by audition to students who have completed AT501 or AT502. Limited to 10 students.

AT591: Independent Tutorial in Theater

Term: Semester 1

This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

AT592: Independent Tutorial in Theater

Term: Semester 2

This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.