The theatre design and stagecraft minor develops your understanding of the craft, theory, and art of design for theatre and dance. Courses explore the artistic, historical, and cultural elements of theatre design. Theoretical knowledge is balanced with experiential learning, obtained through the completion of required practicum experiences that involve participation in department productions. The minor is open to all hearing and deaf/hard of hearing students.
Notes about this minor:
Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).
The plan code for Theatre Design and Stagecraft Minor is THTRDES-MN.
Curriculum for Theatre Design and Stagecraft Minor
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).
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. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Independent Study: Performing Arts‡
The description will be specified on each Independent Study Contract. Ind Study (Fa/sp/su).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Special Topics: Performing Arts‡
The description will be specified in each Special Topic Documentation Form. Lecture (Fall, Spring).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Fundamentals of Stage Management
This course investigates the history, theories, and techniques of the theatrical stage manager in order to give a historical and practical understanding of its roles and responsibilities. Emphasis will be placed on the stage manager’s role in the collaborative process. Using readings, lectures, discussions, and practical exercises, students will learn the history, responsibilities, and procedures of stage management from pre- to post-production. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Allows examination of a special problem or topic area in the theatre, dance, music, visual arts, and other performing and fine arts. Topics and specific content and methods vary from term to term. Each term’s offering, however, features an introduction to a historical period, movement, phenomenon, practitioner(s), or other subfield of study within performing arts and/or visual culture. In so doing, students develop theoretical and experiential knowledge of an artistic period, movement, phenomenon, practitioner(s) or other subfield of study within performing arts and/or visual culture. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
* Students must take a total of three (3) credits of PRFN-218.
† Two of the electives must be 300-level PRFL courses.
‡ This course may be used when the course topic or experience has a technical theatre or design focus.