Performing Arts Certificate

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The performing arts certificate program offers deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students the opportunity to develop knowledge of standard theatrical operating procedures as well as principles and practices of theater accessibility for deaf people, allowing them to work in professional, regional, and community theater. It also provides a solid foundation for those who wish to pursue further education in film, video, theater, and related forms of performing arts.

The performing arts certificate is offered to students enrolled in degree programs at NTID and the other colleges of RIT as an enhancement to their portfolio of general academic, career, and technical skills. It is not a stand-alone certification. The certificate was primarily developed to broaden employment opportunities for graduates in design and imaging, communications and related business areas, industrial technologies, and other fields by expanding their repertoire of marketable skills. It is designed to provide students with knowledge of theater terminology, practices and protocols, issues in script analysis, ASL translation and accessibility; and experience in performance and technical theater. Students must take three 3-credit courses from NTID’s Performing Arts Program and a production practicum (at least one credit hour) to meet the certificate requirements. The three additional courses are in areas such as stagecraft, acting, scenic and lighting technology, and scenic painting and props, to name a few.


Curriculum for Performing Arts Certificate

Performing Arts, certificate, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Theatre Practicum
This course applies technical, performing, script analysis, stage management, and other skills to an actual theatrical production. Students contract with a department mentor for responsibilities and the appropriate credit expectations. In addition to production responsibilities, students are expected to complete reading and writing assignments connected to the production. This course is repeatable for credit. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Lec/Lab (Fall, Spring).
Choose three of the following:
   Introduction to Performing Arts
This course will examine the characteristics and elements of theatre and the performing arts, emphasizing the principles and conventions that guided theatre productions through history. The course examines the ways that theatre influences and is influenced by cultures and by individual life experience. Particular attention is paid to the development of scripts, visual theatre, theatre vocabulary, and the emergence of Deaf and multicultural theatre. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   Introduction to Stagecraft
This course introduces students to the technical and design processes of theatre, including scenery, costume, lighting, make-up, and prop craft. Students experience the range of skills needed to create successful productions, and identify their own areas of interest and strength for future theatre participation. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Acting I
This course introduces students to the actor's craft, process, and technique. Major performance methods are introduced in both physical approaches to acting (Grotowski, Delsarte, Alexander technique, multi-cultural methods from African Griot to Japanese Noh) and psychological approaches (Stanislavsky, Meisner, Hagan, Strasberg). Strategies for script analysis, translation, memorization, stage combat, mask, and mime prepare the student for Acting II. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Sign Mime, Creative Movement, and Visual Theatre
This course expands students’ understanding of the use of physical space through creative movement strategies. These are supplemented by images, gesture, and sign representation of story elements. Techniques developed from visual theatre practices are studied. Through active participation, students learn the language of movement, mime and visual theatre. Ensemble work based on performance standards, character creation, and theme development is emphasized. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Dance I: Jazz and Hip-Hop
This course provides students with a wide range of dance movement and dance vocabulary, which is created from jazz dance, hip-hop and other contemporary dance idioms. Students will experience a variety of dance form through physical movement including the styles of Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett and Frank Hatchett as well as elements of street dance, including the styles of Laurie Ann Gibson and Shane Sparks. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Independent Study: Performing Arts
The description will be specified on each Independent Study Contract. Ind Study (Fa/sp/su).
   Appreciation of Theatrical Design
This course fosters the understanding and appreciation of design as part of theatrical productions with specific reference to the fields of scenic, lighting, and costume design and the personnel involved. Students will explore the historical and cultural aspects of theatre while examining the relationship to their activities in everyday life. Students will learn how theatrical scripts and stage directions influence the design, aesthetics, and use of space in a theatrical production, and how to use the script to visualize the design process. Deaf Theatre and other cultural references will be used to discuss the ever growing need to address diversity and accessibility in theatrical productions. Emphasis will be placed on using literary analysis of themes and metaphors inherent in a script to develop an appreciation for the artistic and aesthetic aspects of technical theatre. No artistic or technical skills necessary. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Scenic and Lighting Technology
This course provides hands-on exploration of basic scenic and lighting techniques utilized in theatre productions. Students gain an understanding of scenic construction methods and technology and lighting practice, as well as the safe and proper use of tools and equipment. This course prepares students for Theatre Practicum and running crew responsibilities. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Scenic Painting and Props
This course is an introduction to the methods and materials of theatrical painting and props through a project-oriented class. Techniques, communication, and use of appropriate materials and tools are emphasized. Students apply the skills learned to individual and group projects. This course prepares students for more specialized work in Theatre Practicum. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Costume, Mask, and Stage Make-Up
This course explores basic stage makeup, mask and costume construction techniques. Students will gain an understanding of the visual ways to develop and present a character on stage. Student actors and technicians will create makeup designs, masks, and small costume pieces as a hands-on expression of the research and development of a character concept. This course prepares students for Theatre Practicum and running crew responsibilities. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Acting II
This course is a second-level course in the development of college student actors. This course covers advanced acting techniques and vocabulary, both for developing the actor's craft and for understanding the practical theatrical jargon used by professionals. Particular attention is paid to the physical, emotional, and mental actions an actor reveals to his/her audience. Development of script translation technique related to character development is also emphasized. Practical attention is given in preparing the student actor to enter the entertainment industry or community theatre with viable working skills. (Prerequisites: This class is restricted to NTID supported students that have completed PRFN-110 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Dance II: Modern Dance and Ballet
This course introduces the two important languages of dance: Ballet and Modern Dance. Through Ballet’s vocabulary (French, Sign Language, and English), discipline base, protocols, and specific movements, students perform floor, center, and barre work. This course also provides an introduction to dance that gives students access to the language as well as the fundamental movements of Modern Dance. The styles and technique of Martha Graham (contraction) and Jose Limon (fall and rebound) are explored. Ensemble work, performance standards and creation of character and theme are stressed. Each student is responsible for their own communication in the classroom. This course is open to all RIT students. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Seminar in Performing Arts
This course gives students the opportunity for focused, in-depth study of a selected advanced topic in theatre, using seminar and workshop approaches. Specific topics vary from semester to semester, and address such areas as methods of acting, playwriting, production design, systems of analysis, genres of dance, translation, and historical influences on theatre art. This course is repeatable for credit. (NTID Supported Students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Special Topics: Performing Arts
The description will be specified in each Special Topic Documentation Form. Lecture (Fall, Spring).
Total Semester Credit Hours

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the performing arts certificate must be students in good standing in an undergraduate program at RIT, or hold an undergraduate degree from RIT.

Candidates must complete or have already completed an undergraduate degree program from RIT to receive this certificate.

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