Christine Farrell

Director, Program in Theatre

on leave spring semester

BA, Marquette University. MFA, Columbia University. One-Year Study Abroad, Oxford, England. Actress, playwright, director. Appeared for nine seasons as Pam Shrier, the ballistics detective on Law and Order. Acting credits on TV include Saturday Night Live and One Life to Live; films, Ice Storm, Fatal Attraction; stage: Comedy of Errors, Uncle Vanya, Catholic School Girls, Division Street, The Dining Room. Two published plays: Mama Drama and The Once Attractive Woman. Directed in colleges, as well as Off Broadway, and was the artistic director and co-founder of the New York Team for TheatreSports. Performed in comedy improvisation throughout the world. SLC, 1991–

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Theatre

The Art of Improvising: Athletics of the Creative Mind

Open , Component—Fall

This class will meet once a week.

We will explore techniques for spontaneous behavior, immediate creation, and developing your creativity and truth on stage. The goal of the class exercises will be to build community and collaboration, to deepen your communication skills, and to strengthen your natural sense of humor. We will study the works of Viola Spolin, Keith Johnstone, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Second City.

Faculty

The Actor’s Laboratory

Intermediate/Advanced , Component—Fall

This class will meet twice a week.

This class is a laboratory for the actor; it is designed for actors with some experience and who are ready to search for the steps to a fully involved performance. We will explore the theories and techniques of Stanislavski and Grotowski. We will read Stanislavski in Rehearsal, by Vasili Torporkov, and At Work with Grotowski on Physical Action, by Thomas Richards. Throughout the semester, each student will work on one 10-minute scene from a major playwright.

Faculty

Comedy Workshop

Intermediate , Component—Year

This class meets twice a week. Spring instructor TBA

An exploration of the classic structures of comedy and the unique comic mind, this course begins with it a strong focus on improvisation and ensemble work. The athletics of the creative comedic mind is the primary objective of the first-semester exercises. Status play, narrative storytelling, and the Harold exercise are used to develop the artist’s freedom and confidence. The ensemble learns to trust the spontaneous response and their own comic madness. Second semester educates the theatre artist in the theories of comedy and is designed to introduce students to commedia dell’arte, vaudeville, parody, satire, and standup comedy. At the end of the second semester, each student will write five minutes of standup material that will be performed one night at a comedy club in New York City and then on the College campus on Comedy Night.

Faculty

Graduate Courses

Theatre 2017-2018

An Actor’s Process

Intermediate/Advanced , Component—Year

This class will meet twice a week.

This class is a laboratory for the actor. It is designed for performers who are ready to search for the steps to a fully involved performance. What are the tools you currently use to become a character in a play or a film? What will expand your work, ground you in the moment of the situation, and strengthen your authentic voice? What are your habits, and what are your strengths? Over the course of the year, each student will work on four scenes chosen from four different styles and categories: comic, dramatic, heightened language, and character stretch (ex: accent role or opposing type). The class will focus on creating a classic actor’s score, working with physical improvisations within the scene text and situation and emotion memory. We will use a camera in class to explore your work in some rehearsals and presentations.

Faculty

Comedy Workshop

Intermediate , Component—Year

This class meets twice a week.

An exploration of the classic structures of comedy and the unique comic mind, this course begins with a strong focus on improvisation and ensemble work. The athletics of the creative comedic mind is the primary objective of the first-semester exercises. Status play, narrative storytelling, and the Harold exercise are used to develop the artist’s freedom and confidence. The ensemble learns to trust the spontaneous response and their own comic madness. Second semester educates the theatre artist in the theories of comedy. It is designed to introduce students to commedia dell’arte, vaudeville, parody, satire, and standup comedy. At the end of the final semester, each student will write five minutes of standup material that will be performed one night at a comedy club in New York City and then on the College campus on Comedy Night.

Faculty

Previous Courses

An Actors Laboratory

Intermediate , Component—Year

This class meets twice a week.

This class is an exploration of your process as an actor. It is designed for performers who are ready to search for the steps to a fully involved performance. What are the tools you currently use to become a character in a play? What are the methods of the great masters that will add to your own unique process? What will expand your work, ground you in the moment of the situation, strengthen your authentic voice, and develop a performance that is full bodied? How do you take the tools that you now have and incorporate the concepts of the master teachers into your work? First semester, we will work on a monologue to find your authentic voice and a scene to discover what exists in your current process. What are your habits, and what are your strengths? How do you work on a role? Second semester, you will learn the techniques of crafting comedy through a comic scene and practice shifting from stage to screen with a theatre scene that we will place on camera. We will read essays on comic theory and film acting written by great actors.

Faculty