Theatre Design and Stagecraft Immersion

Overview for Theatre Design and Stagecraft Immersion

The theatre design and stagecraft immersion fosters an understanding and appreciation of the craft, theory, and art of design for theatre and dance. You will explore artistic, historical, and cultural aspects of design for diverse audiences.

Notes about this immersion:

  • Students are required to complete at least one course at the 300-level or above as part of the immersion.

The plan code for Theatre Design and Stagecraft Immersion is THTRDES-IM.

Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Theatre Design and Stagecraft Immersion

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Course
Required Course
PRFN-200
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).
Electives
Choose one of the following:
   PRFN-101
 Introduction to Accessibility and Inclusion in the Performing Arts
This course introduces students to the theory, history, and practice of accessibility and inclusion in theatre and dance. Course readings will explore relevant concepts from performance studies, deaf and disability studies, and universal design. Students will develop critical perspectives on issues of representation such as authenticity in casting. Students will also learn about theater and dance companies focused on accessibility and inclusion, examine various approaches to creating accessibility and inclusive performance, and consider artistic and aesthetic questions raised by such performance. Students will also explore accessibility and inclusion in performance through artistic practices such as movement exercises, creative captioning, and non-dominant sensory storytelling. (This course is open to all students in AAS, AS, BS, BFA or NTID pre-baccalaureate (PBENG-UND, PBSCI-UND, PBLIBL-UND, PBCOM-UND) programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   PRFN-201
 Appreciation of Media in Performance
This course fosters the understanding and appreciation of the integration of media to support and enhance storytelling in theatre, dance, and experimental performances. Focus will be placed on the study and appreciation of media in performance through an exploration of theory, historical perspectives, and creative expression. Examples of media from early integration to current practices will be explored, as well as the various types of technology and equipment used. Deaf Theatre and other cultural references will be used to discuss the need to support accessibility and create inclusive environments. Instances where media and technology were used to push the boundaries, as well as to develop and test new technology, will also be examined. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   PRFN-204
 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. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   PRFN-207
 Appreciation of Theatrical Costumes
This course is designed as an introduction to the theory and application of costume and accessory design for the stage. Students will explore the artistic, historical, and technical aspects of creating costumes and accessories, learning about key vocabulary, equipment, and materials used in costume technology. Influences on design theory will be examined through examples from Deaf Theatre and cultural, physical, and visual-based performances. Students will gain an appreciation for the relationship that costumes and accessories contribute to the overall meanings of dramatic performance. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
   PRFN-208
 Appreciation of Theatrical Scenery
This course introduces students to the study and appreciation of technical theatre through an exploration of theory, historical perspectives, and creative expression of theatrical scenery. Students will explore the principles, techniques, and tools used in creating scenery. Attention will also be placed on the evolution of theatrical scenery throughout time, theories and application of design elements, and the impact of the growth of technology over the last century. Influences on design theory will be examined through examples from Deaf Theatre and cultural, physical, and visual-based performances. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
   PRFN-209
 Appreciation of Theatrical Lighting
This course introduces students to the study and appreciation of technical theatre through an exploration of theory, historical perspectives, and the creative expression of theatrical lighting. Influences on design theory will be examined through examples from Deaf Theatre and cultural, physical, and visual-based performances. Students will explore conventional lighting equipment and techniques used in creating lighting effects for theatrical productions. The evolution of lighting uses throughout time and the impact of the exponential growth of lighting technology over the last century will also be covered. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Choose one of the following:
   PRFN-303
 Semiotics of the Visual in Performing Arts
Semiotics is the study of linguistic and nonlinguistic communication. In the performing arts, visual elements are essential to how the meaning of a performance is created.. These elements include sets, props, costume, projections, and multimedia design, as well as bodily movement, gesture, and visual languages. Each type of visual communication has its own principles and conventions that vary across historical periods, performance traditions, and cultures. Students will study a range of visual modalities, from the movement patterns of commedia dell’arte and the mudras of Indian classical dance, to physical theatre and sign language performance. Students will analyze visual choices in a variety of productions to understand how these elements contribute to the artistic and aesthetic meanings of the performance. This course is writing intensive. (Prerequisite: UWRT-150 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   PRFN-316
 Playwriting I
Playwriting I is an intensive exploration of writing for theatre. Areas of study include the major parts of the dramatic text such as plot structure, action, dialogue, and character development. Professional stage play format will also be covered. This is a workshop style class, in which students learn primarily through their own design projects and peer/instructor critique. Students will write scripts for multiple short scenes and 10-minute plays, revising frequently based on peer and instructor feedback. Students will also read, view, and discuss short plays by Deaf and hearing writers. This course is designated as Writing Intensive. (Prerequisite: UWRT-150 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   PRFN-403
 Performance Studies
This course introduces students to Performance Studies, an interdisciplinary field that integrates theatre studies, anthropology, sociology, art history, and cultural studies. Performance includes framed genres such as theatre, film/television, and dance, as well as unframed genres such as social media, social rituals, sports, and enactments of self-identity. Students will learn key concepts in the field and apply them to a broad range of performances in a variety of communication modalities, including signed language. Students will also consider the social significance of performance and how it structures our lives. This course is writing intensive. (Prerequisite: UWRT-150 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
   PRFL-321
 Traditions of Theatre in Europe
A survey of theatre and drama of selected European nations and periods, emphasizing plays and theatre productions in particular historical, artistic, and theoretical contexts (e.g. “Modernist European Theatre and Drama, 1890-1930” – “Romanticism and Realism on Continental Stages”; “France and Germany, 1789-1989”; “Theatre of the European Renaissance” ; “Major Dramatists of Scandinavia, Russia, and Central Europe”). Lecture 3 (Fall).
   PRFL-322
 Traditions of Theatre in the U.S
A historical survey of American theatre and drama, from the Colonial period to the early 21st century, focusing on a selection of significant plays and stylistic movements in the twentieth century. Plays studied include those by Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, and Tony Kushner, along with alternating selections by less well-known and/or marginalized American dramatists, 1925 to 2000. The varied types of drama, styles and modes of theatre production, and contributions of actors, directors, scenographers, theorists, and critics provide a continuous context for this study of America’s developing theatre arts. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   PRFL-323
 Traditions of Shakespearean Theatre
A course in Shakespeare’s drama that emphasizes the plays as potential theatre productions. Studying a selection of plays representative of the different acknowledged types of Shakespearean drama (comedy, tragedy, history, problem comedy, romance), students gain a broad understanding of the character and range of Shakespeare’s poetic-dramatic art. Experimenting with production activities such as oral interpretation, character presentation, and scene rendering, they acquire a practical appreciation of Shakespearean drama’s theatrical potency, of the original staging conventions, and of how each type of play makes particular generic demands on both performer and spectator. Augmenting the reading and expressive activities is a term research project focused on collaborative realization of a staging interpretation of selected scenes from the Shakespeare plays on the syllabus. Lecture 3 (Fall).
   PRFL-324
 African American Playwrights
A historical survey of African American playwrights and the significant moments, topics, and themes that informed their work from the late 1800’s to the early 21st century. Plays by American African Diaspora playwrights will be studied and will include works by Ira Aldridge, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Lynn Nottage, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe, Ed Bullins, Anna Deavere Smith, and Ntozake Shange. The varied types of drama, styles and modes of theatre production, and contributions of actors, directors, scenographers, theorists, musicians, and critics provide a continuous context for this study of America’s developing theatre arts. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   PRFL-327
 American Musical Theater
This course is a survey of the development of the American Musical Theater, highlighting representative works, composers, librettists and performers of both the cultivated and vernacular traditions. It is further designed as an appreciation course, fostering the development of a greater appreciation for all types of stage music and the ability to better evaluate the quality of a work, the performance, and the performers. Lecture 3 (Spring).