Theatre

The Sarah Lawrence College theatre program is a community of generous and engaged artists who value diverse, intentional, and rigorous research, process, and creation. We hold each other and ourselves accountable to responsibly challenge ourselves and each other to foster our growth as individuals and collaborative artists. We support innovation, not only in the art that we produce but also in the systems that we make to learn, share, and create. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum that prioritizes equality, care, and experimentation, we aim to create an artistic environment steeped in joy in order to envision and build a better future. This is an open and inclusive community where everyone is welcome.

The theatre program is focused on deep collaboration, community building, and interdisciplinarity. We support performance and theatre artists through a curriculum crossing the boundaries of design, acting, directing, management, performing, writing, technology, producing, voice, movement, and much more. Classes are taught by working professionals, with the advantage of additional classes in the music and dance programs.

We encourage students to bring their own histories, experiences, and stories into the ecosystem of the program to share in the development of new questions, political urgencies, and social engagement. Together, we will research and practice theatre and performance to expand the possibilities of critical togetherness through body, story, and experience.

Curriculum

Students create an individualized Theatre Third with the guidance of their don and the theatre faculty. Components are chosen to extend skills and interests, to explore new areas of the art, and to develop performing and/or practical experience. Students are encouraged to find the links between their academic and arts courses, creating a holistic educational process.

Students have many opportunities to synthesize their learning by taking part in the Theatre Program Season. Student written and/or created work is a primary focus, while productions of published plays and classical texts are also encouraged. A proposal system for student-directed, -written, and -devised work within the Theatre Program Season’s production schedule emphasizes the development of student artists. There are also opportunities in the seasons and projects organized by DownStage (a theatre program component) and by independent, student-run companies. Auditions for faculty-, student-, and guest-directed productions are open to the entire SLC community.

Practicum

Classes provide a rigorous intellectual and practical framework, and students are continually engaged in the process of examining and creating theatre. The theatre program helps students build a solid technique based on established methodologies while also being encouraged to discover and develop their individual artistic selves. Students can earn credits from internships or fieldwork in many New York City theatres and theatre organizations. The Theatre and Civic Engagement program is a training program that uses writing, theatre techniques, music, and the visual arts to embody social and community issues. Civic Engagement courses have been a vibrant component in the curriculum for more than three decades, encouraging the development of original material created inclusively with local partner institutions, community, and neighbors. Several theatre components include an open class showing or performance in addition to the multiple performance, design, and production opportunities that are available to students throughout the academic year. The College’s performance venues include productions in the Suzanne Werner Wright Theatre and the Frances Ann Cannon Workshop Theatre, as well as work in the student-run DownStage Theatre. Workshops, readings, and productions are also mounted in the PAC OpenSpace Theatre, the Film Viewing Room, the Remy Theatre outdoor stage, and various other performance spaces throughout the campus.​

Theatre 2021-2022 Courses

First-Year Studies in Theatre: Directing in the Contemporary Theatre

Open, FYS—Year | 10 credits

This course will examine the job of the theatre director as both artist and artistic collaborator. Dramatic script analysis, rehearsal preparation and process, actor/director and writer/director relationships, and the director’s artistic expression will be covered in both class discussions and exercises. Students will be exposed to a variety of directing styles and techniques through trips to New York City theatrical productions and venues and through additional field trips. Some of the plays visited will be analyzed in detail as part of the classwork. A solid interest in the exploration of theatre directing is strongly recommended for students enrolling in this class. Students enrolled in FYS in Theatre may take an additional theatre component as part of their Theatre Third, if they choose. They are also required to attend scheduled Theatre Meetings and Colloquiums and complete a set amount of technical support hours for the department. This FYS in Theatre will occasionally interact with the other FYS in Theatre course, Stuart Spencer’s History and Histrionics. This will include, but not be limited to, attending theatre in New York City regularly (pandemic allowing), after which the two groups will meet together to discuss the play and the performance. IMPORTANT: First-year students are not required to take FYS in Theatre in order to take theatre classes. They may enroll in a Theatre Third that does not include first-year studies. FYS in Theatre is an intense exploration of one area of theatre, and students should have a strong interest in that area before signing up for the course.

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First-Year Studies: History and Histrionics: A Survey of Western Drama

Open, FYS—Year | 10 credits

This course explores 2,500 years of Western drama and how dramaturgical ideas can be traced from their origins in fifth-century Greece to 20th-century Nigeria, with many stops in between. We will try to understand how a play is constructed, rather than simply written, and how how each succeeding epoch has both embraced and rejected what has come before it in order to create its own unique dramatic identity. We will study the major genres of Western drama, including the classically structured play, Elizabethan drama, neoclassicism, realism, naturalism, expressionism, comedy, musical theatre, theatre of cruelty, and existentialism. We will look at the social, cultural, architectural, and biographical context for the plays in question to better understand how and why they were written as they were. Classroom discussion will focus on a new play each week, while conference work with be devoted mostly to the students’ writing about them. This FYS in Theatre will occasionally interact with the other FYS in Theatre course, Dave McRee’s Directing in the American Theatre. This will include, but not be limited to, attending theatre in New York City regularly (pandemic allowing), after which the two groups will then meet to discuss the play and the performance.

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Acting and Performance

Creating Your Own Comedy

Intermediate, Component—Year

This class will begin with an exploration of the classic structures of stand-up comedy. The concepts of set up and punch, acting out, and heightened wordplay will be employed, along with the techniques used to create and become comic characters using your past, the news, and the current social environment to craft a comic routine. Discovering what is recognizably funny to an audience is the labor of the comic artist. The athletics of the creative comedic mind and your own individual perspective on the world that surrounds you are the primary objectives of the first semester. We will also study theories of comedy through the writings of Henri Bergson (philosopher), John Wright (director), and Christopher Fry (playwright). The second semester will be designed for collaboration through improvisational techniques, long-form improvisational games (Harold), performance techniques for comic sketch writing and group work, and exercises to develop the artist’s freedom and confidence in a collaborative group setting. The ensemble will learn to trust the spontaneous response and their own comic madness as they write, perform, and create scenarios together. At the end of the second semester, there will be a formal presentation of the comedy devised during the year.

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Actors Workshop

Open, Component—Year

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. In the first semester, we will explore characters and monologues that motivate each actor’s imagination. After analysing the text, defining the imagery, and exploring the emotional choices of the actor, we will work on self-taping our work for auditions. The second semester will be devoted to scene work: the techniques used to develop a heightened connection with your scene partner, the importance of listening, and finding your impulses as you work on your feet in the rehearsal room. We will observe the work and read the theories of Declan Donnellan’s The Actor and the Target and Stephen Wangh’s An Acrobat of the Heart.

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Improvisation: Finding Spontaneity in Performance

Open, Component—Year

Improvisation strengthens the spontaneous imagination; it is the athletics of the creative mind. Schiller wrote of a “watcher at the gates of the mind” who examines ideas too closely. He believed that, in the creative mind, “the intellect has withdrawn its watcher from the gates, and the ideas rush in pell-mell—and only then does it review and inspect the multitude.” Experiencing this creative mind is the focus of the majority of the first-semester exercises. These improvisations will develop the freedom and confidence of the artist and student. Schiller also said that “uncreative people are simply ashamed of the momentary passing madness which is found in all real creators.” It is the goal of the first semester to open those creative minds and train the artist to trust the spontaneous response and this passing madness. In this class, we will be developing scenarios and situations that heighten your ability to invent, give you physical freedom, and improve the emotional truth in your work. We will be creating monologues and characters at the moment; exploring exercises for creating a strong community in a classroom, youth center, town hall, or work environment; and collaborating on ideas for pitching projects. For actors and directors, we will practice techniques for film improvisations, TV commercials, and theatre auditions to develop the artist’s range. For non-theatre students, we will be focusing on confidence and trust in their original ideas. Any performance—whether experimental, classical, or in a business environment—begins with the artist’s own personal experience. Whether you are collaborating with a start-up team, giving a speech to a community, or acting on stage, the spontaneous moment is often the most compelling.

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Breaking the Code

Open, Component—Year

A specific, text-driven approach to acting, Breaking The Code provides a context for the most vital performances based upon a way of dissecting a play and determining a character’s behavior. Students will act scenes from contemporary plays and adaptations. Open to both actors and directors.

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Acting Shakespeare

Open, Component—Year

Those actors rooted in the tradition of playing Shakespeare find themselves equipped with a skill set that enables them to successfully work on a wide range of texts and within an array of performance modalities. The objectives of this class are to learn to identify, personalize, and embody the structural elements of Shakespeare’s language as the primary means of bringing his characters to life. Students will study a representative arc of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as the sonnets.

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Music and Theatre Practice: Creating Community

Open, Component—Year

Acting and musical storytelling can transform our communities far beyond the room where it happened. From mainstream Broadway mega-hits to intimate avant-garde experiments, creative performance has the power to unite, inspire, and heal.​ How do we use our creativity to confront challenging issues in the world around us? Through acting techniques, musical theatre, case studies, and investigating our own ideas, we will discover new ways to create community on campus and beyond.​

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Actor’s Workshop

Open, Component—Year

In this theory and praxis class, students will learn the sociohistorical context of major acting methods—such as Brecht, Meyerhold, Stanislavski, Stella Adler, and Hagen—and then participate in workshops in each of those methods. Through a series of exercises and a variety of acting techniques, students will explore the essential elements of acting, creative expression, and collaboration in the theatre. These exercises will include vocal and physical warmups, relaxation, concentration, sensory awareness, listening, communication, teamwork, and spontaneity. Participants will learn a variety of ways to create a character and to express one’s emotion through the voice, body, and imagination. Skills will be developed to create as an ensemble and to work in relationship to people, objects, and places. Ultimately, through in-class scene presentations, acting students will work to convey vital stories, ideas, emotions, and provocative questions that reflect or challenge humanity. Some playwrights from whose work we may work include: Sara Ruhl, Theresa Rebeck, Maria Irene Fornes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jean-Paul Sartre, Eugene Ionesco, Young Jean Lee, Jocelyn Bioh, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Tori Sampson, Charlie Evon Simpson, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, Jean Genet, Lynn Nottage, Katori Hall, Athol Fugard, John Kani, Jocelyn Bioh, and Jackie Sibblies Drury.

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Singing Workshop

Open, Component—Year

We will explore the actor’s performance with songs in various styles of popular music, music for theatre, cabaret, and original work—emphasizing communication with the audience and material selection. Dynamics of vocal interpretation and style will also be examined. Students perform new or returning material each week in class and have outside class time scheduled with the musical director to arrange and rehearse their material. Students enrolled in this course also have priority placement for voice lessons with faculty in the music program and enrollment in Alexander Technique classes or other movement courses of their choosing.

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Acting the Kilroys

Open, Component—Year

This script-based approach to acting and performance springs from the works and goals of the Kilroys, “a gang of playwrights…who came together to stop talking about gender parity in theatre and start taking action.” Students in Acting the Kilroys will perform given scenes written in a variety of styles by female, queer, and trans writers. Students will also study the greater context of plays, watch films and documentaries, and read and discuss essays and plays that deal with theatre’s response to the events that shape our world. Kilroys is about a way of looking at theatre: “We make trouble. And plays.” Acting the Kilroys is open to actors of any and all identities.

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Introduction to Intimacy in Performance

Intermediate, Component—Fall

This class will provide students with an introduction to the language, processes, and best practices of intimacy training for stage and screen. The class will meet once per week, during which time students will engage in discussions of terms and theory, learn fundamentals of approaching scene work or material that is intimate in nature, and work collaboratively to simulate artistic settings where best practices can be enacted and assessed. Toward the end of the term, students will work with text, scenes, or breakdowns to practice their approach to solving challenges around intimacy choreography.

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Collaborative

Digital Devising: Creating Theatre in a Postdigital World

Open, Component—Year

This class explores the histories, methods, and futures of ensemble and co-authored performance creation with a focus on new skills and concepts of digital and post-internet. After an overview of historical devising companies, artists, concepts, and strategies, we will develop skill sets and frameworks for creating work in a lab setting using the formal aspects of digital and post-internet performance. Some of the frameworks included are digital time; avatars and the double event; embodied and representational strategies in the uncanny valley; staging digital tools, interfaces, and structures; aspects of connectivity, politics, and economics; post-internet materiality; and using code to generate and control performances and creation of texts.

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Contemporary New Works: An Exploration of the American Playwright

Open, Component—Year

This class will explore the works of contemporary playwrights. Students will choose two plays, and we will spend the first semester preparing those works for production. Each student may choose to act, direct, or design. The actors will define their character’s journey and develop the imagery, subtext, and history of the character. The directors and designers will develop their personal concept using visual art, video, sketches, and other written text. All students will research and dramaturge the script they have chosen. We will immerse ourselves in the world of these plays and experience how a theatre artist might fully prepare for a theatrical creation. Second semester will be devoted to performance and production. The directors and designers will choose sections of the plays that we will cast with the actors. We will rehearse and design a practicum production at the end of the year. The plays will be chosen from current American playwrights, such as Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Annie Baker, Lynn Nott age, David Admit, Anne Washburn, Sarah Ruhl, Samuel Hunter, Satori Hall. Adam Rap, and Robert Asking. These writers have all created “bold works that have set the scene for 21st-century actors, giving voice to the modern experience,” according to The New York Times. They are a vital part of the American theatre today and are influential in shaping and developing the work of the actor, director, and designer.

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Acting and Directing for the Camera

Intermediate, Component—Year

This comprehensive, step-by-step course focuses on developing the skills and tools that the young actor needs in order to work in the fast-paced world of film and television while also learning how to write, direct, edit, and produce his/her own work for the screen. The first semester will focus on screen acting and on-camera auditions (in person and taped). Through intense scene study and script analysis, we will expand each performer’s range of emotional, intellectual, physical, and vocal expressiveness for the camera. Focus will also be put on the technical skills needed for the actor to give the strongest performance “within the frame” while maintaining a high level of spontaneity and authenticity. Students will act in assigned and self-chosen scenes from film and television scripts. Toward the end of the semester, the focus will switch to on-camera auditions, where students will learn the do’s and don’ts of the in-person and the self-taped camera audition. During the second semester, students will learn the basics of filmmaking, allowing them to create their own work without the restraints of a large budget and crew. The basic fundamentals of screenwriting, cinematography, directing, and editing will be covered, along with weekly writing, reading, viewing, and filming assignments. Students will finish class with edited footage of their work and clear next steps. For this course, students must have their own—or access to—an iPhone, iPad, or other camera and a computer with editing software (e.g., iMovie, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere). 

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Puppet, Spectacle, and Parade

Intermediate, Component—Year

Drawing from various puppetry techniques alongside the practices of Jacques Lecoq, we will explore and experiment with puppetry and performance. Throughout the course, we will work in collaborative groups to create puppetry performance, including building the puppets and devising works that utilize puppets and objects. We will explore large-scale, processional-style puppets; puppets as objects and materials; puppeteering the performance space; and the role/relationship of the puppeteer/performer to puppet.

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Shosholoza: Working to Make Way for Each Other

Open, Component—Year

Shosholoza is a Southern African anthem of unity. Historically, migrant mineworkers in Johannesburg sang the song to keep their spirits up and to maintain a working rhythm to make progress in their work. Shosholoza as a cultural signifier points to the idea of a collaborative process. Shosholoza is sung in call and response and, any time it’s sung, involves and implicates whoever is in the room. This class is about learning to be caring collaborators who give and take space in creative processes. Students will be assigned tasks designed to foster generosity in the workspace while developing, performing, and designing projects in groups throughout the year.

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Songwriting for a New Musical Theatre

Open, Component—Year

This course grew out of the final months of last semester’s New Musical Theatre Lab during its transition to remote learning and has been designed to work as well in person as it has remotely. The course teaches a unique approach to musical theatre making, forged during the making of the Obie and Tony award-winning musical, Passing Strange. The method treats the song, not the story, as the seed for all that follows in a show. Students are taught to conjure stories that will emerge out of their songs rather than tacking songs onto a preexisting story. The significance of personal biography as source material vs. invented fictions is also emphasized, along with the incorporation of solo performance and the use of video. Emphasis on in-the-moment creating via a demystification of the songwriting process keeps students inspired and motivated, with more time spent creating than staring at a screen. Students are regularly given songwriting prompts and invited to take time away from the screen to compose anything from one verse to a full-blown song, along with solo-performance fragments or video. Students will work toward building, at semester’s end, a final show from all of the songs that they’ve written. Students will learn techniques that transform the “magic” of songwriting into a reflexive act of communication available to anyone, with or without songwriting experience. The fundamentals of songwriting are taught, along with an introduction to various music software apps, video editing, and DIY methods of turning bedrooms and basements into performance spaces.

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Design and Media

Costume Design I

Open, Component—Year

This course is an introduction to the basics of designing costumes and will cover various concepts and ideas: the language of clothes, script analysis, the elements of design, color theory, fashion history, and figure drawing. We will work on various theoretical design projects while exploring how to develop a design concept. This course also covers various design-room sewing techniques, as well as the basics of wardrobe technician duties. Students will become familiar with all of the various tools and equipment in the costume shop and wardrobe areas. Students will also have the opportunity to assist a Costume Design ll student on a departmental production to further their understanding of the design process when creating costumes. No previous experience is necessary; actors, directors, choreographers, dancers, and theatre makers of all kinds are welcome.

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Costume Design II

Intermediate, Component—Year

This course expands upon the ideas and concepts set forth in Costume Design l in order to hone in on and advance the student’s existing skill sets. Students will further develop their design and construction abilities as they research and realize design concepts for a variety of theoretical design projects, as well as develop their communication skills through class discussions and presentations. Students will also have the likely opportunity to design costumes for a departmental production, assisted by a Costume Design l student. This design opportunity allows for a unique learning experience, as the student collaborates with a director and creative team to produce a fully realized theatrical production.

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Advanced Costume Conference

Advanced, Component—Year

This course is designed for students who have completed Costume Design l and Costume Design ll and would like to further explore any aspect of designing costumes by researching and realizing a special costume design project of their own choosing.

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Intro to Media Design

Open, Component—Year

This course serves as an introduction to theatrical sound and video design that explores the theory of sound, basic design principles, editing and playback software, content creation, and basic system design. The course examines the function and execution of video and sound in theatre, dance, and interdisciplinary forms. Exercises in sampling, nonlinear editing, and designing sequences in performance software will provide students with the basic tools needed to execute sound and projection designs in performance.

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Media Design for Digital Performance

Intermediate, Component—Year | Remote

This course will prepare students to create digital performances using multimedia tools. We will look at the creative applications of media design as it relates to video capture and digital presentation. Exploring a variety of digital workflows, students will gain hands-on experience and be prepared to problem-solve, troubleshoot, and creatively design for digital performances. By participating in this course, students will create a cohort of media-minded theatre makers, who are committed to working on productions and supporting their peers. This course will serve to mentor, troubleshoot and critically analyze theatrical design through the lens of digital performance. Students will be expected to work on season designs for productions or their own solo work. Students will be required to attend additional technical meetings/rehearsals and design productions over the course of the year.

Lighting Design I

Open, Component—Year

Lighting Design I will introduce the student to the basic elements of stage lighting, including tools and equipment, color theory, reading scripts for design elements, operation of lighting consoles and construction of lighting cues, and basic elements of lighting drawings and schedules. Students will be offered hands-on experience in hanging and focusing lighting instruments and will be invited to attend technical rehearsals. They will have opportunities to design productions and to assist other designers as a way of developing a greater understanding of the design process.

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Lighting Design II

Intermediate, Component—Year

Lighting Design II will build on the basics introduced in Lighting Design I to help develop the students’ abilities in designing complex productions. The course will focus primarily on CAD and other computer programs related to lighting design, script analysis, advanced console operation, and communication with directors and other designers. Students will be expected to design actual productions and in-class projects for evaluation and discussion and will be offered the opportunity to increase their experience in design by assisting Mr. MacPherson and others, when possible.

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Puppet Theatre

Open, Component—Year

This course will explore a variety of puppetry techniques, including bunraku-style, marionette, shadow puppetry, and toy theatre. We will begin with a detailed look at those forms through individual and group research projects. Students will then have the opportunity to develop their puppet manipulation skills, as well as to gain an understanding of how to prepare the puppeteer’s body for performance. We will further our exploration with hands-on learning in various techniques of construction. The class will culminate with the creation and presentation of puppetry pieces of their own making.

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Scenography I

Open, Component—Year

This course is an introduction to theatrical scenic design. Students will learn how to look at the world with fresh eyes and use imagination to create a theatrical world on stage. The course covers the fundamental ideas of scenic design and basic design technique, such as research, drawing, and scale-model making. We will start from small exercise projects and complete a final design project at the end. Students will present most of their projects to the class, followed by questions and comments from fellow students. Presentation and critique skills are important in this course. Students with no experience who are interested in other aspects of theatre making, as well as visual arts or architecture, will be able to learn from the basics.

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Scenography II

Open, Component—Year

This course is advanced training in scenic design. Students apply knowledge and skills from Scenography I to complete design projects through extensive and detailed processes. Students will also learn the production process, using department productions as examples. Students are required to present most of their projects to the class, followed by questions and comments from fellow students.

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Directing

Directing Brechting

Open, Component—Year

Bertolt Brecht was a social activist. He used theatre to affect change. Brecht’s plays and techniques changed the way we look at theatre and view the world. His approach continues to shape the way directors dissect text, incorporate production elements, and create dynamic theatre productions. Directing Brechting is a hands-on directing class that offers directors a vital technique and way of working that springs from Brecht’s theories of dialectical theatre. Students will use Brecht’s plays and plays by contemporary theatre makers that he deeply influenced—like Anna Deavere Smith, Suzan Lori-Parks, Larry Kramer, and Moises Kaufman, among others—for a personalized directing technique built upon an expansive Brechtian model. Students will direct scenes from chosen plays and create and mount their own original work. Students will act in scenes directed by their classmates for in-class presentations. This course is open to serious directors, actors, designers, writers, poets, etc., who are interested in developing an approach to work rooted in point of view and desire for social change.

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Directing Workshop

Open, Component—Year

Directors will study the processes necessary to bring a written text to life, along with the methods and goals used in working with actors to focus and strengthen their performances. Scene work and short plays will be performed in class, and the student’s work will be analyzed and evaluated. Common directing problems will be addressed, and the directors will become familiar with the conceptual process that allows them to think creatively. In the second semester, students will direct a short play of their choice. The workshop is open to beginning directors and any interested student.

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Directing: The Expanded Field

Advanced, Component—Year | 1 credit

What does a director do? How do we expand our understanding of direction? Directing: The Expanded Field troubles these questions by exploring the responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities available to a theatre director. The fall semester will focus on skills for directing scripted plays, including text analysis, collaboration, concept development, and staging. The spring semester will expand the director’s role by considering various artistic methodologies, including socially engaged art, devised and ensemble-generated theatre, and lecture-performance. Throughout the year, students will learn through readings and media created by contemporary directors, artists, and thinkers from a variety of lived experiences and disciplines. Students will practice and experiment with directing methods through writing assignments, presentations, scene work, and iterative performance experiments. Students will perform in one another’s scenes and collaborate on multiple projects. Rooted in justice-based pedagogy and community-driven care, the course aims to challenge and expand the boundaries of directing performance.

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Directing in Context: Socially Engaged Practice

Advanced, Component—Year

This course will explore socially engaged art (SEA) from the lens of directing theatre. Throughout the first semester, students will develop an understanding of what SEA can look like. Readings will include Education For Socially Engaged Art by Pablo Helguera, Artificial Hells by Claire Bishop, Social Works by Shannon Jackson, and Tactical Performance: Serious Play and Social Movements by L. M. Bogad. We will explore contemporary, socially engaged artists and the context within which they are making their work. For example, when we study Simone Leigh’s Free People’s Medical Clinic, we will also study historical and theoretical texts about the Blank Panthers, mutual aid, healthcare in America, and performing care. Second semester will focus on student research and project development. Students will deep dive into research as a first step toward developing possible SEA projects. Students will build comprehensive reading lists (working with librarians and instructors) and begin to develop a research practice. There will be opportunities to present, facilitate conversations, and respond to each other’s ideas throughout the second semester. This class intentionally will not ask students to facilitate SEA projects, understanding that the work takes time, meaningful relationships, and care. Throughout the year, we will consistently consider how theatres, performers, and dramaturgy intersect with, and diverge from, examples of SEA.

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Directing: The Expanded Field

Advanced, Component—Year

What does a director do? How do we expand our understanding of direction? Directing: The Expanded Field troubles these questions by exploring the responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities available to a theatre director. The fall semester will focus on skills for directing scripted plays, including text analysis, collaboration, concept development, and staging. The spring semester will expand the director’s role by considering various artistic methodologies, including socially engaged art, devised and ensemble-generated theatre, and lecture-performance. Throughout the year, students will learn through readings and media created by contemporary directors, artists, and thinkers from a variety of lived experiences and disciplines. Students will practice and experiment with directing methods through writing assignments, presentations, scene work, and iterative performance experiments. Students will perform in one another’s scenes and collaborate on multiple projects. Rooted in justice-based pedagogy and community-driven care, the course aims to challenge and expand the boundaries of directing performance.

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Directing Conference

Open, Component—Fall

Directors who have previously completed the fall semester of Directing Workshop can continue their work and direct a short play of their choice for this class. This course has conferences attached; classwork and conferences will be used to support the rehearsals and production.

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Internship

Internship Conference

Intermediate, Component—Year

For students who wish to pursue a professional internship as part of their program, all areas of producing and administration are possible: production, marketing, advertising, casting, development, etc. Students must have at least one day each week to devote to the internship. Through individual meetings, we will best determine each student’s placement to meet individual academic and artistic goals.

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Movement and Voice

Voice and Speech I: Vocal Practice

Open, Component—Year

This course will focus on awakening the young artist to the expressive range of the human voice, as well as to the intricacies of developing greater clarity of speech and playing with sound. A thorough warmup will be developed to bring power, flexibility, and range to the actor’s voice and speech. Exercises and text work will be explored, with the goal of uniting body, breath, voice, and speech into an expressive whole when acting.

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Introduction to Stage Combat

Open, Component—Year

Students learn the basics of armed and unarmed stage fighting, with an emphasis on safety. Actors are taught to create effective stage violence, from hair pulling and choking to sword fighting, with a minimum of risk. Basic techniques are incorporated into short scenes to give students experience performing fights in classic and modern contexts. Each semester culminates in a skills proficiency test aimed at certification in one of eight weapon forms.

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Choreographic Strategies and Theatre

Open, Component—Year

This course will explore methods of creating original theatre through a choreographic lens as a way of assembling the various building blocks from which theatre is made (sound, image, movement, language, design, etc.), as well as through the influence and manipulation of time. The semester will begin with structured prompts and assignments largely completed in class, eventually moving into self-generated collaborative projects with some work to be completed outside of class. One of the main focuses of this course is the attempt to articulate, through open discussions, one’s creative process and choices therein. Through analysis of said exercises, students will more clearly come to know one another’s work and methods. Students will be asked to create movement sequences, collaborative projects, and other studies as a way of encountering the use of assembly, juxtaposition, unison, framing, interruption, deconstruction, and other time-based art practices. Readings will include manifestos and selections from an array of artists, essays, and excerpts of various theatre practices from around the world, as well as video examples. As students will be working within various levels of physicality, wearing loose, comfortable clothing is encouraged. No dance or movement experience is necessary; to find value in this course, one only needs curiosity and a willingness to jump in.

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Movement for Performance

Open, Component—Year

This class will explore the full instrument of the performer; namely, the human body. A daily warmup will open the body to larger movement ranges while introducing students to a better functioning alignment, efficient muscle and energy use, full breathing, clear weight transfer, and increased awareness while traveling through space. A combination of improvisation, contact improvisation, set phrases, and in-class assignments creating short, movement-based pieces will be used to explore a larger range of articulation that the body reveals regardless of the words spoken on stage. In all aspects, the goals of this class are to enable students to be courageous with their physical selves, more articulate with their bodies, and more personally expressive in performance. No movement background is required—just a healthy mix of curiosity and courage. In addition to occasional reading handouts, there will be opportunities to attend rehearsals and performances of professional theatre and dance in New York City. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing.

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Playwriting

Experiments in Theatrical Writing

Intermediate, Component—Year

In this course, we will explore, discuss, and write side-by-side with contemporary experimental theatrical texts. What pushes against theatrical traditions and orients outward toward the new and unfamiliar is what we will think of as experimental. Areas of experimentation that we’ll encounter on our yearlong journey will include: time, setting, structure, character, language, and genre. Experimentation finds purpose in the notion that departure from theatrical convention is a move toward altering how an audience responds and reflects upon a play, which in turn changes how an audience perceives and behaves in the world. We’ll explore the landscape of the plays that we read in terms of how each play looks, feels, and sounds. We’ll discuss the cultural, historical, and personal contexts of the plays. We’ll look for ways in which these contexts may inspire and inform our own writing. We’ll generate our own experimental work using the assigned texts as points of departure, with the intention of arriving at a different destination. We’ll write from different parts of the brain, from the deeply subconscious to the acutely analytical. We’ll consider how the unique structure of a play can derive organically from the story being told. And we’ll examine ways in which modern technology may assist, or hinder, our storytelling.

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Writing for Diversity

Open, Component—Year

Each week, students will be asked to research and write a 10-minute play given “diverse” characters and various other prompts. In class, we will read and discuss the work. What did we find? How were we challenged? Do the scenarios feel “real” and “authentic”? Is there offense? What scared you? We will also read and discuss great plays/articles/events that grapple with race/gender sexuality/culture. Students should have some experience in playwriting.

The Writer’s Gym

Open, Component—Year

This yearlong writing workshop is designed for writers of any genre and any level of experience, from beginner to advanced. So, whether you’ve never written anything before or are an experienced poet or a playwright looking to perfect your craft, The Writer’s Gym offers exercises dedicated to inspiration, process, and craft. You will discover story structure and plot and how to introduce character and conflict. In class, you will write, share work, learn how to give feedback, and bravely discuss your work. Our goal is to build muscle for honest and fearless writing based on first instincts and to write from sources, dreams, and personal experiences. We will read and discuss short stories, essays, poems, and plays. Assignments will challenge you to observe what’s around you and the settings in which you live, writing from prompts, images, and sensory experiences. “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” —Pablo Picasso

Creative Impulse: The Process of Writing for the Stage

Advanced, Component—Year

In this course, the vectors of pure creative impulse hold sway over the process of writing for the stage—and we write ourselves into unknown territory. Students are encouraged to set aside received and preconceived notions of what it means to write plays or to be a writer, along with ideas of what a play is “supposed to” or “should” look like, in order to locate their own authentic ways of seeing and making. In other words, disarm the rational, the judgmental thinking that is rooted in a concept of a final product, and empower the chaotic, spatial, associative processes that put us in immediate formal contact with our direct experience, impressions, and perceptions of reality. Emphasis on detail, texture, and contiguity will be favored over the more widely accepted, reliable, yet sometimes limiting Aristotelian virtues of structure and continuity in the making of meaningful live performance. Readings will be tailored to fit the thinking of the class. We will likely look at theoretical and creative writings of Gertrude Stein, George Steiner, Mac Wellman, Maria Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy, Mircea Eliade, Kristen Kosmas, Richard Maxwell, and Roland Barthes, as well as work that crosses into visual-art realms and radical scientific thought from physicists David Bohm and F. David Peat. The course will be conducted in workshop fashion, with strong emphasis on the tracking and documenting of process.  

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Playwright’s Workshop

Advanced, Component—Year

Who are you as a writer? What do you write about, and why? Are you writing the play that you want to write or the play that you need to write? Where is the nexus between the amorphous, subconscious wellspring of the material and the rigorous demands of a form that will play in real time before a live audience? This course is designed for playwriting students who have a solid knowledge of dramatic structure and an understanding of their own creative process—and who are ready to create a complete dramatic work of any length. (As Edward Albee observed, “All plays are full-length plays.”) Students will be free to work on themes, subjects, and styles of their choice. Work will be read aloud and discussed in class each week. The course requires that students enter, at minimum, with an idea of the play that they plan to work on; ideally, they will bring in a partial draft or even a completed draft that they wish to revise. We will read some existent texts, time allowing.

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Playwriting Techniques

Open, Component—Year

You will investigate the mystery of how to release your creative process while also discovering the fundamentals of dramatic structure that will help you tell the story of your play. Each week in the first term, you will write a short scene taken from The Playwright’s Guidebook, which we will use as a basic text. At the end of the first term, you will write a short but complete play based on one of these short assignments. In the second term, you’ll go on to adapt a short story of your choice and then write a play based on a historical character, event, or period. The focus in all instances is on the writer’s deepest connection to the material—where the drama lies. Work will be read aloud in class and discussed in class each week. Students will also read and discuss plays that mirror the challenges presented by their own assignments.

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Production

DownStage

Intermediate, Component—Year

DownStage is an intensive, hands-on conference in theatrical production. DownStage student producers administrate and run their own theatre company. They are responsible for all aspects of production, including determining the budget and marketing an entire season of events and productions. Student producers are expected to fill a variety of positions, both technical and artistic, and to sit as members of the board of directors of a functioning theatre organization. In addition to their obligations to class and designated productions, DownStage producers are expected to hold regular office hours. Prior producing experience is not required.

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Stage Management

Open, Component—Year

This course is a hands-on laboratory class in the skills, practices, and attitudes that help a stage manager organize an environment in which a theatrical team can work together productively and with minimum stress. Classroom exercises and discussion augment the mentored production work that is assigned to each student. Script analysis, blocking notation, prop management, and cue writing/calling are among the topics covered. Knowledge of, and practice in, stage management are essential tools for directors and useful supplements for actors and designers.

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Tools of the Trade

Open, Component—Year

This is a stagehand course that focuses on the nuts and bolts of light-board and sound-board operation and projection technology, as well as the use of basic stage carpentry. This is not a design class but, rather, a class about reading and drafting light plots, assembly and troubleshooting, and basic electrical repair. Students who take this course will be eligible for additional paid work as technical assistants in the theatre department.

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Theatre and Civic Engagement

Curriculum Lab

Open, Component—Year

This is a required weekly course for students who are sharing their theatre and creative skills in the Saturday Lunchbox Theatre Program. The Curriculum Lab will explore the creation and development of an interdisciplinary teaching curriculum for children ages six through 18. Through this weekly lab, directly connected to the Lunchbox Theatre, students will gain insight into child-development principles, lesson-planning skills, and classroom-management strategies. Through inquiry and reflection, students will expand their critical thinking processes while also utilizing practical teaching methods and techniques suitable for multiple learning types and levels.

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Methods of Civic Engagement

Open, Component—Year | Hybrid Remote/In-Person

Artists are the real architects of change, not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. —William Burroughs

This course explores creative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary structures that extend theatre to our community for students new to and interested in developing a civic engagement practice. The course is open to performers, writers, designers, movers, and stage managers. The practice will explore creating theatrical forms, the creative process, and the connections to learning and community building through making and doing and constructing an interdisciplinary, shared theatre vocabulary. Course work cultivates reflection, dialogue, participation, leadership, facilitation, and curriculum-building skills. Students will have a civic engagement placement at an area school, after-school program, or the SLC Lunchbox Theatre Program. Community placements are typically yearlong and usually culminate in a process-centered, informal presentation that reflects the individual participants’ interests, stories, and experiences. Class projects explore participatory, collaborative techniques that are valuable in community engagement projects.

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The Theatre and the Community

Intermediate, Component—Year

This course will explore, extend, and bring theatre-making skills to the community. An interest in exploring personally expressive material and in expanding and developing skills is required. The course focuses on successful, process-centered goals and proven community-building techniques and principles. We will examine the applications of contemporary sociopolitical and artistic issues of community work. Class readings and discussions will review theoretical and practical applications about theatre making and the political role of artists working in the community as agents for social change and social justice. The course is open to students who want to explore personal material through a sociopolitical lens, who are interested in responding to our time’s mad politics by making a difference—however they can, large or small—through theatre-sharing skills. The course is open to movers and shakers, playwrights, actors, designers, and visual artists. Students will hold one civic engagement placement: SLC Lunchbox Theatre, an area school, an after-school program, a senior center, or a youth community center. Class projects may include: performances in public spaces, a musical cabaret for seniors, creating site-specific videos, recording community oral histories, or community-wide forums. Educator John Paul Lederach asks the artist to connect with the “moral imagination”—the ability to “stay grounded in the here and now, with all its violence and injustice, while still imagining and working toward a more life-affirming world.”

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Teaching Artist Pedagogy Conference Course

Advanced, Component—Year

I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. —John Dewey

This weekly conference course, for graduate and undergraduate students with extensive community experience, explores the experiential perspectives of the practicing teaching artist, developing teaching skills and techniques through a weekly, yearlong community placement. The course explores making connections and crossovers between teaching theories and interdisciplinary theatre coursework that lead toward transformative practices. Course readings will explore the writings of Paulo Freire, M. C. Richards, bell hooks, and others. This course continues the successful process-centered goals and the proven community-building techniques and principles of the long-established SLC Theatre Outreach Program.

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Theory, History, Survey

Historic Survey of Formal Aesthetics for Contemporary Performance Practice

Open, Component—Year

Once upon a time in a rehearsal, a playwright said, “I just think that this is the most Cubist moment of this play.” Everyone in the room fell silent and grew uncomfortable...because, what in the heck did she mean by that? And aren’t we already supposed to know? This interactive lecture course surveys the aesthetic movements throughout history and teaches you to track their impact on your work. Ideas behind each movement are examined in relation to the historical moment of their occurrence and in their formal manifestations across visual art, musical, architectural, and performance disciplines. Each student then places his/her own work within a wider context of formal aesthetic discourse—locating hidden influence and making conscious and purposeful the political resonance that is subsequently uncovered. Students are encouraged to find ways of acknowledging the responsibility that one carries for one’s work’s impact on the world and to start using terms like “Postmodernism” and “Futurist” with confidence.

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Home as a Metaphor for Survival: Theatre in the African Diaspora

Open, Component—Year | Hybrid Remote/In-Person

It is a sanctum of discovery, enabling the actor to explore non-Western movement: centering energy, concentration, the voice, and the“mythos” of a character to discover one’s own truth in relation to the text, both contemporary and the classics. Both traditional and alternative approaches to acting techniques are applied. Fall semester concentrates on roles: Hamlet, Leontes, Caliban, Othello, Lear, Macbeth, Richard III, Hecuba, Medea, Antigone, Lady Anne, Tamara, Portia, Lady Macbeth; spring semester, applied to scene study from works by Chekhov, Ibsen, Arrabal, Beckett, Ionesco, Sarah Kane, Amira Baraka, Edward Albee, and Jean Genet. Required reading: The Art of Acting by Stella Adler.

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Crisis Mode: Theatre in Response

Open, Component—Year

This seminar/workshop course examines the greater role of theatre in our culture, particularly as to how theatre responds to the events and movements that shape our lives—even as they occur. As we ricochet from one life-altering event to the next, theatre provides a distinct prism—a way of looking at the world that challenges perceptions and rejects established forms to create new paradigms. Crisis Mode addresses the relevance of theatre in the 21st century. Do plays matter? Has the form been exhausted? Or is there a need, now more than ever, for what theatre can distinctly provide? Scenes and portions of plays will be read aloud in class. Students will discuss documentaries and films and create solo or group performance pieces to be presented in class at the end of each semester. Discussion topics range from the influence and innovations of mid-20th century theatre artists like Brecht and Beckett to the legacies of political theatre companies like Teatro Campesino. We will look at the distinct value of agitprop and pop-up theatre and examine the works and form-bending techniques of contemporary theatre makers and artists like Anna Deavere Smith, Young Jean Lee, Aleshea Harris, Hilary Bettis, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Tony Kushner, Dominque Morriseau, and Quiara Alegria Hudes, along with queer, female, and trans theatre makers. Crisis Mode is open to actors, directors, designers, playwrights, and those interested in looking at theatre as both discourse and a means of social activism.

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Far Off, Off-Off, Off- and On Broadway: Experiencing the 2021-22 Theatre Season

Open, Component—Spring

Weekly class meetings in which productions are analyzed and discussed will be supplemented by regular visits to many of the theatrical productions of the current season. The class will travel within the tristate area, attending theatre in as many diverse venues, forms, and styles as possible. Published plays will be studied in advance of attending performances; new or unscripted works will be preceded by examinations of previous work by the author or company. Students will be given access to all available group discounts in purchasing tickets.

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First-Year Studies in Dance

Open, FYS—Year

Students will enroll in a selection of movement practice classes, as well as improvisation and an academic study of dance, that together will make up First-Year Studies in Dance. (Please refer to the course catalogue for the component class descriptions.) Students will be dancing in the studio every day. Throughout the fall semester, we’ll also meet weekly in the First-Year Studies in Dance Project to dig deeper into the work that we are doing in our dance classes. Some questions that we’ll examine include: What roles has dance played in various cultures and societies, both now and in the past? How has dance interacted with other art forms and other fields of study? What are the elements of dance? What can dance do, and what can we do with dance? We’ll examine these and other questions through reading and discussion, as well as through experiments in dancing and by making short dances. Students will also meet in individual conferences each week throughout the fall semester and in biweekly conferences in the spring semester to develop their own project based on their own particular interests and the material explored in class.

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Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: Movement as Language in Performance, Politics, and Everyday Life

Open, Seminar—Year

This course begins with a close reading of Alice Walker’s 2010 collection of poems, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, as an entry into the multiple layers of meaning and complexity that movement can convey and to the ways in which those layers of meaning serve to mobilize us as individuals and as collectives. Acknowledging the apparently limitless possibilities for defining dancing, dance, and movement, we will consider a range of specific references as archetypes: staged performances, public/political demonstrations, and quotidian choreographies that occur as a matter of course in natural and human-made settings. In additional to Alice Walker’s writing, texts from fields including dance, performance, literary criticism, feminism, science fiction, cultural studies, ethno-ecology, and activism, as well as examples of live and recorded performance events (formal and informal), will serve as inspiration for reading, seeing, thinking, conversing, and writing throughout the year. Histories and perspectives of all participants will be called upon to illuminate those materials and translate them into our own words. Class activities will include reading, writing, discussion, and accessible movement practices. Each student will pursue independent research arising from one or more class activities, which will include reading, writing, and presentation. For students taking the course as a regular seminar, conference work may build upon independent research for class or may be configured as a separate project. The aim of this course is to extend our recognition of movement and dancing as essential aspects of existence; to explore theoretical potentials inherent in that study; and to incorporate new insights into our reading, thinking, conversation, and writing practices.

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Movement Studio Practice

Component—Year

In these classes, emphasis will be on the steady development of movement skills, energy use, strength, and articulation relevant to the technical and aesthetic orientations of each teacher. At all levels, attention will be given to sharpening each student’s awareness of time and energy and to training rhythmically, precisely, and in accordance with sound anatomical principles. Degrees of complexity in movement patterns will vary within the leveled class structure. All students will investigate sensory experience and the various demands of performance.

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Dance Movement Fundamentals

Component—Year

Movement and dancing are definitive signs of life! In every environment and at every level of existence, from single-cell organisms to entire populations, dancing is innate to living beings. The objective here is to awaken/reawaken students’ connection to movement as an elemental mode of human experience and learning. Students are introduced to some basic principles of dancing, as well as to strategies for preparing for dancing. Building fundamental skills for a wide range of movement studies, the focus is centered on learning movement and refining individual, partnered, and group performance in a variety of patterns and styles. Basic anatomical information is used to facilitate an understanding of dynamic alignment and movement potentials. Challenges in coordination, rhythm, range, and dynamic quality are systematically engaged, allowing students to gain strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, musicality, and awareness in the dance setting. While the primary emphasis is placed on learning structured material, improvisation and composition are incorporated to support students’ growing engagement with dance as an art form.

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Ballet

Component—Year

Ballet students at all levels will be guided toward creative and expressive freedom in their dancing, enhancing the qualities of ease, grace, musicality, and symmetry that define this form. We will explore alignment, with an emphasis on anatomical principles; we will cultivate awareness of how to enlist the appropriate neuromuscular effort for efficient movement; and we will coordinate all aspects of body, mind, and spirit, integrating them harmoniously.

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West African Dance

Component—Spring

This yearlong course will use physical embodiment as a mode of learning about and understanding of African diasporic cultures. In addition to physical practice, master classes led by artists and teachers regarded as masters in the field of African diasporic dance and music, along with supplementary study materials, will be used to explore the breadth, diversity, history, and technique of dances derivative of the Africa diaspora. Afro Haitian, West African, Orisha dances (Lucumi, Afro Cuban), and social dance are some genres that will be explored. Participation in year-end showings will provide students with the opportunity to apply studies in a performative context.

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Hip-Hop

Component—Fall

An open-level course teaching and facilitating the practice of hip-hop/urban dance technique and performance, the class will examine the theory, technique, and vocabulary of hip-hop dance. The course will facilitate the student’s development and ability to execute and perform hip-hop/urban dance steps.

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Yoga

Component—Year

This yoga class is designed with the interests of dancers and theatre students in mind. Various categories of postures will be practiced, with attention to alignment, breath awareness, strength, and flexibility. The physical practice includes seated and standing poses, twists, forward bends and backbends, traditional yogic breathing practices, and short meditations. Emphasis is placed on mindfulness and presence. This approach allows the student to gain tools for reducing stress and addressing unsupportive habits to carry into other aspects of their lives. Attention will be given to the chakra system as a means and metaphor for postural, movement, and character choices. The instructor has a background in dance and object theatre, in addition to various somatically-based practices that she draws upon for designing the classes to meet the individual needs of the class members. Virtual attendance is a requirement.

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Tai Ji Quan and Qi Gong (Fundamentals)

Component—Fall

Students will be introduced to the traditional Chinese practices of Tai Ji Quan and Qi Gong. These practices engage with slow, deliberate movements, focusing on the breath, meditative practice, and posture to restore and balance energy—called chi or Qi. The postures flow together, creating graceful dances of continuous motion. Sometimes referred to as one of the soft or internal martial arts, Tai Ji Quan and Qi Gong are foundational practices within a lifelong, holistic self-cultivation in traditional Chinese culture. This class is open to dance, theatre, and any other students who are curious and interested in discovering alternative approaches to body and movement practices.

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Butoh Through LEIMAY Ludus

Component—Spring

This course is an introduction to butoh through the lens of LEIMAY’s Ludus practice, which is the embodied research being taught today by LEIMAY Artistic Director Ximena Garnica. Butoh is a Japanese performing-art form that was created by Tatsumi Hijikata in the 1950s and 1960s. The course will start with an introduction to Hijikata’s butoh-fu, a choreographic method that physicalizes imagery through words. The course will then expand into LEIMAY’s Ludus practice, using multiple physical explorations to embody imagery and enlarge states of consciousness, enabling multiple realms of perception while challenging eurocentric notions of body, space, and time. Each dancer’s physical potential will be cultivated to develop a unique movement language that is rooted in butoh's ideas of transformation. Simultaneously, we will focus on the conditioning of a conductive body through the identification of the body’s own weight in relation to gravity, along with the cultivation of internal rhythm and fluidity. Together, we will decentralize self-centered approaches to movement and explore the possibilities of “being danced by” instead of “I dance,” “becoming space-body” rather than occupying space. We will challenge our body’s materiality and enliven our sensorium through listening to the rhythms and textures of the nonhuman. And we will use impossibility as a spark to enrich the ways in which we create and inhabit the world. This course is based on principles developed through nearly two decades of Ximena’s study of butoh. Historical and cultural context will be offered throughout the course.

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Improvisation in Dance as Real-Time Composition

Component—Year

Whenever we make something, we are improvising—making it up as we go. But imagination and creativity isn’t random. It is true that artists of all disciplines have eureka moments and epiphanies, but those “aha” moments are born of practices that engage experimentation, strategies, observation, and decision-making—supported by states of concentration. Similarly, the notions of “perfect forms” and “free improvisation” are both theoretical impossibilities. Nothing is ever totally fixed nor is it totally open. No matter what creative endeavor in which we are engaged, we are always in the real world, in a space in between these two extremes. In this course, we will make dances in real time with varying degrees and types of determinacy. We’ll be guided by a wide variety of concerns and ways of focusing our choices but will be consistently aware that we are composing dance in real time. That will require honing our perceptual skills, as well as our skills of articulation and communication, with our collaborators. Throughout the year, we’ll develop our abilities both to build coherent structures that will guide our choice-making and to notice and make use of the serendipity that chance brings. This component is open to students with prior experience in improvisation and dance-making, as well as to those new to the form.  

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Guest Artist Lab

Component—Year

This course is an experimental laboratory that aims to expose students to a diverse set of current voices and approaches to contemporary dance making. Each guest artist will lead a module of three-to-seven class sessions. These mini-workshops will introduce students to that artist and his/her creative process. Guests will present emergent, as well as established, voices and a wide-range of approaches to contemporary artistic practice.

Live Time-Based Art

Component—Year

In this class, graduates and upper-class undergraduates with a special interest and experience in the creation of time-based artworks that include live performance will design and direct individual projects. Students and faculty will meet weekly to view works-in-progress and discuss relevant artistic and practical problems, both in class on Tuesday evenings and in conferences taking place on Thursday afternoons. Attributes of the work across multiple disciplines of artistic endeavor will be discussed as integral and interdependent elements in the work. Participation in mentored, critical-response feedback sessions with your peers is a key aspect of the course. The engagement with the medium of time in live performance, the constraints of presentation of the works both in works-in-progress and in a shared program of events, and the need to respect the classroom and presentation space of the dance studio will be the constraints imposed on the students’ artistic proposals. Students working within any number of live performance traditions are as welcome in this course as those seeking to transgress orthodox conventions. While all of the works will engage in some way with embodied action, student proposals need not fall neatly into a traditional notion of what constitutes dance. The cultivation of open discourse across traditional disciplinary artistic boundaries, both in the process of developing the works and in the context of presentation to the public, is a central goal of the course. The faculty members leading this course have roots in dance practice but also have practiced expansive definitions of dance within their own creative work. This course will culminate in performances of the works toward the end of the semester in a shared program with all enrolled students and within the context of winter and spring time-based art events. Performances of the works will take place in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre or elsewhere on campus in the case of site-specific work.

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Performance Project

Component—Year

Performance Project is a component where a visiting artist or company is invited to create a work with students or to set an existing piece of choreography. The works are performed for the College community at the end of the semester. 

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Music for Dancers: The Logic of Interaction

Component—Spring

This component will provide students with the opportunity to play a full array of percussion instruments from around the globe: African djembes, Brazilian zurdos, Argentinian bombo, Peruvian cajon and quijada, Indian tabla, traditional traps, and more. Students will also be able to program and execute electronic drums, such as the Wavedrum and Handsonic. The focus will be prevalent toward enhancing a dancer’s full knowledge of music but will expand the vocabulary for choreographers, actors, and composers, as well. The purpose of the component is to grant students the tools needed to fully immerse themselves in the understanding of the relation of music, dance, and the performing arts. Students will expand their knowledge of terminology and execution and will be able to learn the basic rudiments of notation. We will analyze the interaction of music from both intellectual and cultural points of view. We will learn how to scan musical scores with various degrees of complexity and explore the diverse rhythmic styles that have developed through time and through different geographical and social conditions. Classes will consist of group playing. All instruments will be provided and made available for practice.

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Anatomy

Component—Year

How is it possible for us to move in the countless ways that we do? Learn to develop your X-ray vision of human beings in motion through functional anatomical study that combines movement practice, drawing, lecture, and problem-solving. In this course, movement is a powerful vehicle for experiencing, in detail, our profoundly adaptable musculoskeletal anatomy. We will learn Irene Dowd’s Spirals—a comprehensive warm-up/cool-down for dancing that coordinates all joints and muscles through their fullest range of motion, facilitating study of the entire musculoskeletal system. In addition to movement practice, drawings are made as part of each week’s lecture (drawing materials provided), and three short assignments will be submitted each semester. Insights and skills developed in this course can provide tremendous inspiration in the process of movement invention and composition.

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Anatomy Research Seminar

Component—Year

This is an opportunity for students who have completed a full year of anatomy study in the SLC dance program to pursue functional anatomy studies in greater depth. In open consultation with the instructor during class meetings, each student engages in independent research, developing one or more lines of inquiry that utilize functional anatomy perspectives and texts as an organizing framework. Research topics in recent years have included investigation of motor and experiential learning, development of a unique warm-up sequence to address specific individual technical issues, inquiry into kinetic experience and its linguistic expression, detailed study of knee-joint anatomy, and study of the kinematics and rehabilitation in knee injury. The class meets biweekly to discuss progress, questions, and methods for reporting, writing, and presenting research, alternating with weekly studio/practice sessions for individual and/or group research consultations.

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Lighting in Life and Art

Component—Year

Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that allows us to see. Light’s qualities and its interaction with space have profound effects on the affect of an experience. We all know that the feel of a midsummer afternoon is not the same as that of a cloudy, gray afternoon or a subway car or a sunset or a night with a full moon. What qualities of light generate these disparate feelings? The art and practice of crafting light is the subject of this component. We will examine the theoretical and practical aspects of light in multiple settings. This will begin with a practice of noticing what we might typically ignore. From there, we will approach learning how to craft the conditions of light primarily, though not exclusively, within a theatrical environment. Understanding the historical conventions of theatre—in particular, those of theatrical dance in the United States—will provide a point of departure to begin to think beyond those historical conventions. Emphasis will be on learning basic lighting skills, including those of stagecraft. Students will collaborate with, and create original lighting designs for, the Time-Based Art works when such needs are appropriate to the artistic proposal.

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Advanced Collective in Animation or Experimental Media

Intermediate/Advanced, Small seminar—Fall

This collective for advanced animation and experimental media is for students seeking to work on independent-study projects or to acquire credit for fieldwork in those disciplines. The group will first meet weekly to establish guidelines and schedules for projects; then, the class will serve as a gathering place to report on project development and/or the progress of an internship. Weekly meetings provide a framework for research, development, and collaborative assistance toward an advanced project that may take the shape of a short film or professional experience in an internship. Led by a team of filmmaking and moving-image arts faculty, students will be interviewed during registration to evaluate their proposed projects or research. The week-to-week structure of the collective will be tailored to meet the needs of individual projects/groups as the semester progresses. The collective is open to experienced animation and experimental media students; both individuals and group projects are invited to apply to the class. Interested students should come to the interview prepared to present a project proposal or an internship already secured.

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Writing the Short Film Adaptation

Intermediate/Advanced, Seminar—Spring

Adaptation skills are a major plus for any screenwriter. Some of the world’s most popular films and television shows have been adapted from preexisting material. Novels, short stories, comics, plays, articles, bios, historical events, poems, and even paintings have been adapted for the screen. In this workshop/seminar, we will focus on screenplay adaptation for the short film. Students will learn how to break down a story/source material into its essential components for a compelling screenplay. We will read, view, and discuss various screenplays, shorts, features, and television series that are based on preexisting material. Students will learn an effective nuts-and-bolts process for screenplay adaptations. The first few weeks will be a review of basic screenwriting fundamentals (e.g., story structure, dialogue, character development, formatting), along with weekly writing exercises and viewing/reading assignments. Students will then find material to adapt. Students will pitch, outline, and write one short film adaptation (up to 15 pages) for class and one longer project (30 pages) for their conference project. Scripts will be read and discussed in class, using a structured feedback paradigm.

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Screenwriting: Tools of the Trade

Open, Seminar—Year

The screenplay is the starting point for nearly every film, television show, or web series. The majority of our favorite films and television shows begin with a writer and an idea. Aimed at the beginning screenwriter, this course will focus on the fundamentals of visual storytelling—story, structure, style, character development, dialogue, outlining, and formatting. During the fall semester, weekly writing prompts will be given. Assignments will then be read and discussed in class, using a structured feedback paradigm. In addition, students will be given weekly viewing and reading assignments as a way to strengthen their script-analysis skills. During the spring semester, students will pitch, outline, and then write one or two original shorts or begin writing a feature-length screenplay. Overall, the course is designed to help the beginning screenwriter build a screenwriter’s toolkit, as well as to assist the writer in finding his/her/their own artistic voice.

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Theatre and the City

Open, Lecture—Year

Athens, London, Paris, Berlin, New York...the history of Western theatre has always been associated with cities, their politics, their customs, their geography, their audiences. This course will track the story of theatre as it originates in the Athens of the fifth-century BCE and evolves into its different expressions and practices in cities of later periods, all of them seen as "capitals" of civilization. Does theatre civilize, or is it merely a reflection of any given civilization whose cultural assumptions inform its values and shape its styles? Given that ancient Greek democracy gave birth to tragedy and comedy in civic praise of the god Dionysos—from a special coupling of the worldly and the sacred—what happens when these genres recrudesce in the unsavory precincts of Elizabethan London, the polished court of Louis XIV, the beer halls of Weimar Berlin, and the neon “palaces” of Broadway? Sometimes the genres themselves are challenged by experiments in new forms or by performances deliberately situated in unaccustomed places. By tinkering with what audiences have come to expect or where they have come to assemble, do playwrights like Euripides, Brecht, and Sarah Kane destabilize civilized norms? Grounding our work in Greek theatre, we will address such questions in a series of chronological investigations of the theatre produced in each city: Athens and London in the first semester; Paris, Berlin, and New York in the second.

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Toward a Theatre of Identity: Ibsen, Chekhov, and Wilson

Sophomore and Above, Seminar—Year

Theatre emerges from social rituals; and as a communal exercise, theatre requires people to work together toward a common purpose in shared and demarcated physical space. Yet, the very notion of “character,” first expressed in the indelibly defining mask of the ancient Greek protagonist, points paradoxically toward the spirit, attraction, and trial of individuation. And so we have been given Medea, Hamlet, and Tartuffe, among the many dramatic characters whose unique faces we recognize and who speak to us not only of their own conflicts but also of something universal and timeless. In the 19th century, however, the Industrial Revolution, aggressive capitalism, imperialism, Darwinism, socialist revolution, feminism, the new science of psychology, and the decline of religious clarity about the nature of the human soul—all of these, among other social factors—force the question as to whether individual identity has point or meaning, even existence. Henrik Ibsen, a fiercely “objective” Norwegian self-exile, and Anton Chekhov, an agnostic Russian doctor, used theatre—that most social of arts—to challenge their time, examining assumptions about identity, its troubling reliance on social construction, and the mysteries of self-consciousness that elude resolution. The test will be to see how what we learn from them equips us—or fails to do so—in a study of August Wilson, an African-American autodidact of the 20th century, whose plays represent the impact, both outrageous and insidious, of American racism on “characters” denied identity by definition.

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Literature in Translation: 20th-Century Italian Literature and Culture

Open, Seminar—Fall

The course will explore 20th-century Italian literature, focusing on important intellectuals, works, and movements that helped shape it and their connection with the arts, cinema, and society at large. Italy had become a unified nation by 1860, and its literature addressed issues such as (national and personal) identity, tradition, innovation and modernity, the role of literature and of the writer, and the changing role of women in Italian society. We will explore the interrelation between Italian literature and crucial historical events—such as the Great War, the rise and fall of fascism, World War II, the Resistance, the birth of the Republic, the postwar economic boom, the students’ and women’s movements of the 1960s and ’70s, the terrorism of the “Anni di Piombo”—until the recent contribution of migration literature to the Italian literary canon. Among the authors and intellectuals, we will explore Sibilla Aleramo for her literary treatment of the issue of female emancipation at the beginning of the century; Luigi Pirandello and his work as a novelist and playwright; Gabriele D’Annunzio as a poet, playwright, and novelist but also a war hero and politician; F. T. Marinetti, whose futurist manifestos and literary works reflected his desire to renew Italian art, literature, and culture in general; B. Mussolini’s fascist regime, its dictates, and their influence on propaganda literature and cinema; Ignazio Silone’s novels on the fascist era; Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist cinema; Italo Calvino’s, Beppe Fenoglio’s, and Elio Vittorini’s literature of the Resistance; Primo Levi’s depiction of The Holocaust; and women writers such as Anna Banti, Natalia Ginzburg, Elsa Morante, and Dacia Maraini. Readings will be supplemented by secondary source material that will help outline the social, historical, and political context in which these authors lived and wrote, as well as provide a relevant critical framework for the study of their works. On occasion, we will watch films that are relevant to the topics and period in question. No previous knowledge of Italian is required. Students proficient in Italian may opt to read sources in the original language and write their conference projects in Italian. Conference topics may include the study of a particular author, literary text, or topic relevant to the course and that might be of interest to the student.

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Conscience of the Nations: Classics of African Literature

Open, Seminar—Fall

One way to think of literature is as the conscience of a people, reflecting on their origins, their values, their losses, and their possibilities. This course will study major representative texts in which sub-Saharan African writers have taken up the challenge of cultural formation and criticism. Part of what gives the best writing of modern Africa its aesthetic power is the political urgency of its task: The past still bears on the present, the future is yet to be written, and what writers have to say matters enough for their work to be considered dangerous. Political issues and aesthetic issues are, thus, inseparable in their work. Creative tensions in the writing between indigenous languages and European languages, between traditional forms of orature and storytelling and self-consciously “literary” forms, register all of the pressures and conflicts of late colonial and postcolonial history. To discern the traditionalist sources of modern African writing, we will first read examples from epic, folk tale, and other forms of orature. Major fiction will be selected from the work of Tutuola, Achebe, Beti, Sembene, Ba, Head, Ngugi, La Guma, Dangaremgba, and Sarowiwa; drama from the work of Soyinka and Aidoo; poetry from the work of Senghor, Rabearivelo, Okigbo, Okot p’Bitek, Brutus, Mapanje, and others. Conference work may include further, deeper work on the writings, writers, and genres that we study together in class; aspects of literary theory, particularly aspects of postcolonial and womanist theory relevant to readings of African literature; or readings of more recent writers out of Africa whose work draws on and develops the “classical” works that will be the foundation of our work together.

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Theories of the Creative Process

Intermediate, Seminar—Fall

The creative process is paradoxical. It involves freedom and spontaneity yet requires expertise and hard work. The creative process is self-expressive yet tends to unfold most easily when the creator forgets about self. The creative process brings joy yet is fraught with fear, frustration, and even terror.The creative process is its own reward yet depends on social support and encouragement. In this class, we look at how various thinkers conceptualize the creative process—chiefly in the arts but in other domains, as well. We see how various psychological theorists describe the process, its source, its motivation, its roots in a particular domain or skill, its cultural context, and its developmental history in the life of the individual. Among the thinkers that we will consider are Freud, Jung, Arnheim, Franklin, and Gardner. Different theorists emphasize different aspects of the process. In particular, we see how some thinkers emphasize persistent work and expert knowledge as essential features while others emphasize the need for the psychic freedom to “let it happen” and speculate on what emerges when the creative person “lets go.” Still others identify cultural context or biological factors as critical. To concretize theoretical approaches, we look at how various ideas can contribute to understanding specific creative people and their work. In particular, we will consider works written by or about Picasso, Woolf, Welty, Darwin, and some contemporary artists and writers. Though creativity is most frequently explored in individuals, we also consider group improvisation in music and theatre. Some past conference projects have involved interviewing people engaged in creative work. Others consisted of library studies centering on the life and work of a particular creative person. Some students chose to do fieldwork at the Early Childhood Center and focus on an aspect of creative activity in young children.

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Site/Situation

Open, Seminar—Spring

Like the body, a sculpture is always somewhere. Movable or fixed, permanent or ephemeral, sculptural work is indivisible from the space in which it is experienced—a space that we, too, inhabit. Over the semester, students in this course will engage in progressively complex interactions with object, space, and site. Our first site will be a sheet of paper for “conversational” works with a partner. The course will end with students engaging in independently conceived interactions with a specific site (thinking of “site,” broadly, as the place where the work “resides”). Throughout, we will look at diverse examples of “installation” from throughout art history and a range of texts that take on the relationship of artist and site. And we will make at least one trip to museums and galleries in New York City. We will also discuss the process and possibilities of documentation (through photography, video, writing, and even speaking) as a part of the life and experience of the work.

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Performance Art

Open, Seminar—Spring

Since the early 20th century, artists have explored performance art as a radical means of expression. In both form and function, performance art pushes the boundaries of contemporary art. Through this form of expression, artists have produced powerful works about the body and the politics of gender, sexuality, and race. This course surveys performance art as a porous, transdisciplinary medium open to students from all disciplines, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, video, filmmaking, theatre, dance, music, creative writing, and digital art. Students will learn about the history of performance art and explore some of the concepts and aesthetic strategies used to create works of performance. Drawing on historical and critical texts, artists’ writings, video screenings, and slide lectures, students will use a series of simple prompts to help shape their own performances. Artists and art movements surveyed in this class include Dada, Happenings, Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, Gutai Group, Act-Up, Joseph Beuys, Judson Church, Ana Mendieta, Gina Pane, Helio Oiticica, Jack Smith, Leigh Bowery, Rachel Rosenthal, Jo Spence, Chris Burden, Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Terry Adkins and the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Carolee Schneemann, Martha Wilson, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Lorraine O’Grady, Joan Jonas, Karen Finley, Janine Antoni, Patty Chang, Papo Colo, Paul McCarthy, Matthew Barney, Ron Athey, Orlan, Guillermo Gomez Pena, Narcissister, Annie Sprinkle, Vaginal Davis, Kris Grey, Carlos Martiel, Autumn Knight, Amanda Alfieri, Hennessey Youngman, Savannah Knoop, Shaun Leonardo, Francis Alys, Andrea Fraser, Tania Bruguera, Zhang Huan, Regina Jose Galindo, Aki Sasamoto, Pope.L, and many more.

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Senior Interdisciplinary Studio

Advanced, Seminar—Year

This course is intended for seniors interested in pursuing their own art-making practice more deeply, for a prolonged period of time, and culminating in a solo exhibition during the spring semester. Students making work in and across painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography, sound, new genres, performance, and more are supported. Students will maintain their own studio spaces and will be expected to work independently and creatively and to challenge themselves and their peers to explore new ways of thinking and making. Over the course of the year, students will focus exclusively on their own art-making practice and will be expected to develop a rigorous body of independent work to be presented in their spring semester exhibition, accompanied by a printed book that documents the exhibition. We will have regular critiques with visiting artists and faculty across our visual-arts program, along with readings, image discussions, and trips to galleries and artist’s studios. We will participate in the Visual Arts Lecture Series. Your art-making practice will be supplemented with other aspects of presenting your work—writing an artist statement, interviewing fellow artists, and documenting your art—along with a range of professional-practices workshops. This will be an immersive studio course meant for disciplined art students interested in making work in an interdisciplinary environment.

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First-Year Studies: Two Lenses on Writing

Open, FYS—Year

The first semester of this FYS course will be focused on words and pictures, with its central lens on stories: how to find them, tell them, and make your listener, viewer, or reader come along with you. The course includes adding a visual element, photography, drawing, paste-ups, collage, animations, anime. We will read and then make a few of the following: a collective graphic novel, some children's books, adult books with pictures, illuminated manuscripts, comics. Your conference work will be a finished version of a project of your choice. The second semester of the course will be a class in episodes: pieces of a continuing story that follow a thread but may have different leading characters in each episode; or a frame, with many peoples' stories inside; or movement from one time, place, and set of characters to another. We will bring in and discuss episodes that we love in books, TV, podcasts. We will do exercises until we come upon something that engages us and then start our conference work, which will involve six episodes, more or less. In both semesters, we will have an extra meeting every other week to discuss whatever comes up: paper writing, social issues, food, procrastination. These sessions may be led by the professor, outside speakers, or a rotating group of students.

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Stories and Gifts

Sophomore and Above, Seminar—Spring

In this class, we will tell, read, and listen to stories from everywhere—written, oral, for grownups or children. And we will collect them in many places, predominately at Wartburg eldercare but also in our families and elsewhere. Students will gather stories and be the scribe, editor, and anthologist. These story gifts may include tales of immigration, stories of Yonkers or Mount Vernon from long ago or from this moment, family stories, or moments of revelation. For conference work, we will make some stories into books or digital presentations to give back to the tellers and their families. The storytelling with children may involve practice in English literacy and a chance for them to hear their parents’ stories—and with elders, a tribute to the richness of the past and its gifts of meaning and perspective to both family and community. Community visits will be involved.

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The Unconscious, the Absurd, the Sublime, and the Impossibly Probable

Intermediate, Seminar—Spring

This one-semester workshop will venture into unexpected fictional territories: dream narratives, preposterous situations served up matter-of-factly, unscary ghost stories, speculative fiction, and virtuosic works that elude comprehension but deliver you to the profound and pleasurable edges of apprehension. To jar us from our more prosaic and safe forms of fiction, we will begin the semester with a series of exercises inspired by the stories of authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Borges, Nabokov, George Saunders, Carmen Maria Machado, and Octavia Butler, as well as essays by Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, and Charles Baxter. You will generate your conference work from the readings and exercises, develop it through close critique in our classes and conferences, present first drafts in preliminary workshops, and, finally, submit your best work in a series of formal workshops at the end of the semester.

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The Basics, Not Excluding the Virtuosic

Open, Seminar—Fall

In this one-semester, fiction-writing workshop, you will acquaint yourselves with basic elements of fiction such as point of view, character, plot and structure, dialogue and exposition, detail and scene. We will study these elements as put into practice by a wide range of virtuosic writers: Jamaica Kincaid, Donald Barthelme, ZZ Packer, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, and Gina Bierault, among others. We will also familiarize ourselves with concepts related to the craft and imaginative process of fiction, such as counterpoint characterization, defamiliarization, narrative urgency, etc. The core of the course is the students’ own development as fiction writers. We have a lot of fun trying numerous exercises and approaches to stories. We work closely in conference on your writing to develop your crafting of scenes, at first, and then meet in small groups to workshop your first drafts. You are responsible for writing critiques of each other’s stories, as well as participating thoughtfully and actively in the workshop discussion. By the end of the semester, each of you will present at least one final developed story for our workshop discussion.

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Fiction Writing Workshop

Open, Seminar—Year

Nabokov stated that there are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: as a storyteller, as a teacher, or as an enchanter. We will consider all three, but it is with the art of enchantment that this workshop is most dedicated. We will walk through the process of writing a story. Where does the story come from? How do we know when we are ready to begin? How do we avoid succumbing to safe and unoriginal decisions and learn to recognize and trust our more mysterious and promising impulses? How do our characters guide the work? How do we come to know an ending, and how do we earn that ending? And finally, how do we create the enchantment necessary to involve, persuade, and move the reader in the ways that fiction is most capable. Our course will investigate the craft of fiction through readings, discussion, and numerous exercises. In the second semester, we move on to explore dream narratives, the sublime, the absurd, and the fantastic. We study a democratically chosen novel and, possibly, graphic fiction and a film. Our objective is for you to write, revise, and workshop at least one fully developed story each semester.

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Poetry: On and Off the Page

Open, Seminar—Spring

We will read a book of poetry each week, a mix of work from the late 20th century as well as more recent texts. We will focus on poets with a strong sense of voice. We will spend half of each class discussing the weekly reading and the other half of class discussing student work. At the end of the semester, students will turn in a portfolio of poems, with at least two earlier drafts for each poem. In addition to the reading and writing for class, students will have two major conference projects. Before spring break, each student will theatrically present a poem by a dead poet. This is more than just memorizing and reciting a poem; rather, it is knowing a poem so well that you can speak it as if the words are springing from you. Later in the term, students will pick a location on campus and then theatrically present one of their own poems in that specific location. Both of these conference projects will require additional rehearsal time beyond class time. Think of the additional effort to be like group conferences, every other week.

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Explorations in the Poetic Voice

Open, Seminar—Fall

Contemporary poets face a dazzling range of stylistic options. This course is designed to give you a grounding in the practice of modern poetics and to encourage you to innovate. We’ll look at point of view, tone of voice, imagery, the poetic line, meter, and stanza form. We’ll examine the artistic thinking behind free verse, contemporary experimental idioms, the sonnet, the ghazal, and haiku. We’ll read widely—foundational masters like Elizabeth Bishop and Gwendolyn Brooks, contemporaries like Terrance Hayes and Yusuf Komunyakaa, and poets from radically different cultures. We’ll explore The Vintage Book of African American Poetry, The Penquin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry (Rita Dove), The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, prose poems, fables, proverbs, and song lyrics. We’ll discuss how to read poetry as practitioners—how to see and hear what’s on the page. The strong, consistent focus will be on students’ own poems. Class members will be encouraged to find their own paths; reading assignments will often be individual. The class will be part humanistic workshop, part writing community, part critical inquiry. Expect to write freely and read voraciously. This course is open to anyone with a commitment to poetry.

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To Hold the Unsayable: A Poetry Workshop

Open, Seminar—Spring

A true poem can’t be paraphrased. In bright and interesting language, a poem seems to hold the unsayable. That’s the miracle of it. How do we do that? In this course, we will immerse ourselves in the practice of the art of poetry, focusing on a specific aspect of the art each week: image, metaphor, diction, syntax, musicality, tone, etc. We will write a poem every week and read poems that will instruct and inspire us. (Poet Spencer Reece calls books of poems “Sacred Suitcases”—you can take them anywhere.) We will read each other’s poems. We will read essays written by poets. We will write observations in our journals. We will look at visual art, listen to music, watch films. If you have never taken a poetry class before, this class is for you. If you have taken poetry classes before, this workshop is for you. I ask for generosity of spirit, curiosity, respect, and commitment. We form a community of artists and, within that community, find support and strength. We will have a wonderful time.

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