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Morris Bulletin / Division Structure and Course Descriptions

Theatre Arts (Th)

This discipline is in the Division of the Humanities. The discipline encompasses theatre as an artistic form and as a social and cultural institution. The study of theatre arts enables the individual to develop a creative imagination, an inquiring mind, a sense of social responsibility, professional discipline, a collaborative attitude, artistic standards and judgment, and a respect for the art form.

Objectives—The curriculum provides sound academic training in theatre arts for undergraduate liberal arts students, those wishing to pursue graduate studies in the field, or those preparing to teach. It is designed to help students develop an appreciation for and ability to produce quality theatre. The UMM theatre productions are correlated with classroom work to provide opportunities for student participation in all areas of the theatre arts.

Requirements for a Major include Th 15001, 1700, 1810, 3500, 3610, 3611 or 3612, 3800; 10 credits from 1850, 3150, 3501, 3520, 3611, 3612, 3790, 3801, 3802; 3900 (Senior Project); 4 credits in dramatic literature; six major production responsibilities2, at least four to be completed in the junior and senior years; plus at least one para-programmatic theatre experience that is arranged through a theatre arts faculty member and may take any number of forms, e.g., an internship with a theatre company, study abroad, or theatre tour to New York or London. Five credits of coursework with the grade of D are allowed to meet the major requirements if offset by an equivalent number of credits with grades of A or B.

Requirements for a Minor include Th 15001, 1700, 1810; at least 12 credits from 3500, 3501, 3610, 3611, 3612, 3790, 3800, 3801, 3802; plus three major production responsibilities2, at least two to be completed in the junior and senior years. Five credits of coursework with the grade of D are allowed to meet the minor requirements if offset by an equivalent number of credits with grades of A or B.

Requirements for Teacher Preparation—Theatre arts majors must complete Th 3750; Spch 1400; and required professional education courses including methods (SThE 3940) and student teaching in theatre arts.

Theatre art minors must complete Th 15001, 1700, 1810, 3500, 3610, 3611, 3750, 3800; Spch 1400; plus three major production responsibilities2, at least two to be completed in the junior and senior years; and required professional education courses including methods (SThE 3940) and student teaching in theatre arts.

Speech-theatre majors with an emphasis in theatre arts must complete Th 15001, 1700, 1810, 3610, 3611, 3750, 3800; Spch 1100 or 1101, 1400, 1790, 3110, 3300 or 3500; one course selected from Spch 3402, 3403, 3404; theatre activities; and required professional education courses including methods (SThE 3940) and student teaching in theatre arts and speech communication.

Required courses may not be taken S-N unless only offered S-N.


1 Prospective theatre majors who have completed an introductory theatre course in high school may be exempted from this requirement upon consultation with the course instructor.

2 Major production responsibilities are arranged through agreement between the student and a member of the theatre arts faculty.

Course Descriptions

Th 1500f. Introduction to the Theatre Arts. (E6; 5 cr; 5 hrs lect, 2 hrs practicum)

Theories of dramatic form and how it is made manifest in performance; elements of theatre and how they are combined to create the theatrical event; relationship of theatre to its society.

Th 1700s. Fundamentals of Acting. (E7; 5 cr; prereq 1500, declared theatre arts major or minor or #)

Creative approach to characterization with emphasis on development and use of imagination, sensitivity, and insight to communicate credible patterns of expression. Theory and practice in the use of makeup as an aid in the creation of characters from dramatic literature.

Th 1750. Acting for Non-Majors. (E7; 4 cr; prereq 1500 or #; no credit for theatre arts majors or minors; offered when feasible)

Practical introduction to the art and craft of the stage actor designed for the general liberal arts student. Acting theory, games, improvisations.

Th 1790f,w,s. Theatre Practicum. (1 cr; repeatable to 6 cr; prereq #; S-N only)

Participation in some aspect of theatre production other than acting (e.g., scenery, props, costumes, lighting).

Th 1791f,w,s. Theatre Performance. (E7; 1 cr; repeatable to 6 cr; prereq #; S-N only)

Participation in theatrical production as an actor.

Th 1810w. Stagecraft. (5 cr; 4 hrs lect, 4 hrs practicum)

Development of stagecraft from the Greeks to the present. Basic forms of stage scenery and their functions in the theatre. Tools, materials, and techniques employed in creating the visual environment of the stage.

Th 1850f. Fundamentals of Design. (E6; 5 cr; 3 hrs lect, 2 hrs studio)

Problem-solving approach to elements, principles, and functions of design; their place in the theatre and elsewhere.

Th 3100f,w,s. Continuing Seminar. (No cr; prereq #; S-N only)

Seminar for all majors and minors in theatre arts dealing with central concerns of the various areas of study. Open to freshmen and sophomores who are considering a theatre arts major as well as to juniors and seniors.

Th 3150. Selected Topics in Theatre Arts. (1-5 cr; repeatable when topic changes; prereq #; offered when feasible)

Varying topics relating to theatre that are not ordinarily included in other theatre arts courses.

Th 3500f. Theatre History I. (E2; 5 cr; not offered 1997-98)

Development of the theatrical arts from the beginnings to the 19th century (classical to premodern); plays, playwrights, and physical theatre.

Th 3501w. Theatre History II. (5 cr; not offered 1997-98)

Development of the theatrical arts from the 19th century to the present; plays, playwrights, and physical theatre.

Th 3520. Non-Western Theatre and Drama. (4 cr; offered when feasible)

Theatre and drama of non-Western cultures, particularly that of the Orient.

Th 3603s. Creative Drama With Children. (4 cr; prereq 1500 or elementary education major or #; offered when feasible)

Use of informal drama in the classroom. Demonstrations, observations, and presentations.

Th 3610s. Stage Directing and Acting I. (5 cr; prereq 1700, 1810; not open to freshmen)

Fundamental theories of stage direction; study and practice in stage direction and play selection; introduction to the work of the director as an artist, teacher, and executive; concepts for analyzing and motivating the character within the boundaries of the script; application of creative theory to a variety of roles. Emphasis on modern realistic plays for the proscenium stage.

Th 3611f. Stage Directing and Acting II. (5 cr; prereq 3610)

Methods of preparation, styles, and techniques for acting in and directing plays from representative periods in theatrical history: Greek and Roman, Elizabethan, neoclassical, 19th century.

Th 3612w. Stage Directing and Acting III. (5 cr; prereq 3610; not offered 1997-98)

Methods of preparation, styles, and techniques for acting in and directing nontraditional productions.

Th 3750w. Oral Interpretation. (E7; 4 cr; prereq Spch 1100 or 1101 or #)

Oral tradition of literature; directed practice in dramatistic analysis and the oralization of prose, poetry, and drama.

Th 3790. Readers' Theatre. (4 cr; prereq 3750 or #; offered when feasible)

Theory and concepts of presenting dramatic and nondramatic literature by a group using visual and oral suggestion. Preparation and production of choral readings, readers' theatre, and chamber theatre. Dramatistic approach to the oral interpretation of literature.

Th 3800s. Scenic Design. (5 cr; prereq 1810)

Designing scenery as an expressive environment for the theatre. Elements and functions of design and principles of composition. Problems in coordination and execution of design in the interpretation of dramatic literature using a variety of staging techniques. Study of various styles of historical and contemporary stage productions and theatre architecture through the writings and designs of such artists and theorists as Appia, Craig, Meyerhold, Jones, and Svoboda.

Th 3801w. Stage Lighting. (5 cr; prereq 1810; not offered 1997-98)

History and development of lighting for the stage. Theory and concepts of lighting as a visual art and its function in the theatre. Lighting design as a creative process and practical solution of lighting design problems. Lighting equipment and its use.

Th 3802w. Stage Costuming. (5 cr; prereq 1810; not offered 1998-99)

History and development of stage costume. Theory and concepts of stage costuming as a visual art and its function in the theatre. Costume design as a creative process. Practical demonstrations of knowledge of design, history, and functions of stage costume.

Th 3900f,w,s. Senior Project. (3-5 cr; prereq theatre major, #)

Culminating activity to demonstrate the student's competence in some area of theatre arts. Projects may be completed independently (e.g., a research paper, a solo acting performance) or as part of a group effort. Acting, scenery, lighting, costume design, playwriting, and theatre history are some areas in which the project may be undertaken.

Th 3910w. Backstage on Broadway. (1 cr; prereq #; S-N only)

Supervised field trip to New York City; attending selected professional theatre productions; backstage tours; discussions with theatre professionals.

Th 3950f, 3951w, 3952s. Directed Study. (1-5 cr per qtr; prereq #)

Th 3960Hf, 3961Hw, 3962Hs. Senior Honors Project. (1-5 cr per qtr; prereq participation in Honors Program, #)

A substantial scholarly or creative work (at the undergraduate level) within the discipline. Successful completion of the senior honors project is one of the requirements for graduating from UMM "with honors."

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