Theatre and Dance Curriculum
Major: Theatre Arts
101: Introduction to Theatre OR 102: Dance and Culture
200: Fundamentals of Dance
205: Directing OR 204: Fundamentals of Choreography
210: Topics in Design and Technology for the Theatre (2 courses required)
One approved Course in Dramatic Literature, OR, 214:Topics in Dance and the Body
316: Dance History Seminar, OR, 313: Theatre History Seminar
For Acting and Directing (Choose 3):
300: Movement and Text
303: Advanced Acting
305: Advanced Directing
An Approved Course in Dramatic Literature
495: Senior Project
For Dance (Choose a combination of 3 full courses):
300: Movement and Text
304: Applied Choreography
Any studio dance instruction 200-level or higher
495: Senior Project
For Design and Technology:
ONE additional section of 210: Topics in Design and Technology
Select two additional courses:
495: Senior Project
500: Independent Study in Applied Design or Technology
550: Independent Research in Applied Design or Technology
560: Student/faculty collaborative research in Applied Design or Technology
ARTH 101 or 102: An Introduction to the History of Art
ARTH 122: Fundamentals of Composition and Drawing
ARTH 123: Fundamentals of Sculpture and Three-Dimensional Design
For Dramatic Literature:
Three additional approved courses in Dramatic Literature, one of which must have a pre-1800 focus. Examples include:
CLST 110: Introduction to Greek Civilization
ENGL 366: Studies in Drama
ENGL 387: Contemporary Drama
ENGL 392: Shakespeare
FREN 364: Topics in French and Francophone Literatures
(if substantially dramatic in focus)
GRMN 342: Sturm und Drang and German Classicism
GRMN 345: German Expressionism
GREK 234: Greek Tragedy
GREK 332: Greek Comedy
SPAN 320: Studies in Spanish Golden Age Texts
SPAN 360: Introduction to Translation Studies (when focus on Dramatic translation is possible)
495: Senior Project
Students may propose individualized clusters; however, these must be submitted for approval by the department of theatre and dance by the end of the student's 5th semester in residence. If a student does not propose a cluster by this point, they MUST complete one of the pre-approved clusters as listed.
Enrollment in 495: Senior Project requires departmental approval. Students may only be approved for PERFORMANCE BASED senior projects if they have had significant experience with a departmental co-curricular program. (Mermaid Players or Dance Theatre Group Mainstage Productions)
Theatre Arts: 101, 200 OR 300, 203, 210, 205, 313
Dance: 102, 204, 210, 316, one course in dance technique, one course selected from 220 or 304
The Mermaid Players
Student co-curricular organization in theatre which produces three major productions annually in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Dance. Membership and voting privileges are open to all students who meet established membership criteria. Auditions for productions are open to all students.
Dance Theatre Group
Student co-curricular organization in dance which produces fall and spring concerts of choreography created by students, faculty and guest artists in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Dance. Membership is open to all students who meet established criteria. Auditions for dance concerts are open to all students.
The First-Year Plays
A program of one-act plays presented each fall by student directors with first-year students in the casts.
A laboratory program sponsored by the Mermaid Players to encourage and provide for a series of experimental productions.
101 Introduction to Theatre
A course designed to encourage an understanding and appreciation of theatre as an art form. Aesthetic foundations of theatre are explored, as well as the role of various theatre practitioners in the creation of today's theatre. The course surveys the evolution of theatre through major time periods, exposing students in the process to various types of dramatic literature and theatrical practice.
102 Introduction to Global Dance Studies
This is an introductory course that explores dance forms from six different regions: Africa, India, North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Focus will be on how dance functions within various social structures and how these functions operate to re-inscribe, contest or legitimate race, class, and gender identity formations. Issues such as authenticity, hybridity, cultural tourism and globalization will be examined. Through an interactive classroom, guest artists and studio work, we will gain a deeper kinesthetic understanding of how dance can operate as a powerful cultural tool, glue or agent for social change.
This course fulfills the DIV I.c. and Comparative Civilizations requirements. Offered every two years.
111, 112; 211, 212; 311, 312; 411, 412 Ballet: Classical Ballet
Classes taught by CPYB faculty under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary, founder and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet CPYB. Instruction will utilize the precise, disciplined and repetitive methods of ballet training developed by Ms. Weary. Careful consideration to alignment, placement and proper execution of steps will be covered in depth. Dickinson students at all levels of experience are welcome but will be required to take the official placement class usually held during the first week of the semester. All classes are taught at the CPYB Warehouse and Barn studio during studio hours on or after 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and at 9am Saturday with other possible classes until 4pm.
When taken for .5 academic credit, these courses do not fulfill a distribution requirement, but will carry 2 PE blocks. In order to qualify for 2 PE blocks, a student must take three hours of ballet weekly throughout the semester. Classes also count for those students enrolled in the CPYB Certificate program. When taken for 1 full academic credit, these courses satisfy the DIV I.c. distribution requirement and 2 PE blocks.
121, 122; 221, 222; 321, 322 Modern Dance I, II, and III
Studio courses in modern dance offered at three levels: I. the basic level, which assumes no previous dance experience; II. the intermediate level, open to students who demonstrate basic accomplishment in dance technique; III. the advanced level, open to students who demonstrate substantial technical skill. All courses will explore the principles of modern dance, emphasizing body awareness and the expressive use of weight, space, and time. Materials will be selected from a variety of contemporary dance and movement training practices such as Pilates, yoga, somatics and ballet to promote performance of a range of movement dynamics, as well as musicality, strength, flexibility, and improved body alignment. Each course may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor.
Each carries .5 academic credit and 2 PE blocks.
123, 124; 223, 224; 323, 324 Jazz Dance I, II, and III
Studio courses in jazz dance offered at three levels: I. the basic level, which assumes no previous dance experience; II. the intermediate level, open to students who demonstrate basic accomplishment in dance technique; III. the advanced level, open to students who demonstrate substantial technical skill. All courses will focus on the movement vocabulary and dynamics of jazz dance. Elements of rhythm, body isolations, and various styles of jazz technique will be emphasized. Each course may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor.
Each carries .5 academic credit and 1 PE block.
125 International Dance
This course will introduce the movement vocabulary and performance techniques of dance form(s) from different cultures. In this studio-based course, students will develop their skills as performers of specific styles/forms of dance from around the world. The historical and cultural significance of the dance form(s) will also be addressed.
Carries .5 academic credit and 1 PE block.
127,128; 227, 228; 327, 328; 427,428 Contemporary Ballet
Studio classes in contemporary ballet taught at the appropriate level (from introductory to advanced) by teachers from the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB). Instruction will combine core ballet basics with an open approach to mobility, momentum, and expression. Students will focus on maintaining proper alignment in the body while exploring a greater range of motion and momentum. All classes will be taught at the Dickinson dance studio 25 High Street. Each course meets twice a week. Each level may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Carries .5 academic credit and 2 PE blocks.
200 Introduction to Dance and the Western Tradition
A studio based survey course that introduces the student to the socio-political contexts that gave rise to predominant movement genres in Western theatrical dance: ballet, jazz, tap, musical theater, hip hop and modern dance. Themes such as the impact of the slave trade on dance forms, class divisions within popular and aesthetic dance, and the rise of individual expression in modern dance will be explored. Through interactive lectures, discussions, studio practice, viewings, and guest teachers, students will engage with the material on multiple levels with an emphasis on finding a historical approach to developing a creative voice.
An introduction to the principles and theories of acting combined with practical exercises and scene performance.
204 Fundamentals of Choreography and Dance Composition
A studio-based course designed to introduce the student to various tools to generate and create original dance compositions. Basic elements such as time, space, energy, dynamics, movement generation, and quality are explored in addition to multiple structuring devices. Using an interdisciplinary lens, this course offers a different approach to art making from related fields such as visual art, literature, and media in order to treat dance composition as a relevant response to the contemporary moment.
Prerequisite: 200, or permission of the instructor. One studio course in dance is recommended.
A study of the major techniques employed by stage directors. Visual theory, text analysis, collaborative techniques, and organizational strategies are examined and applied in class exercises including the direction of scenes.
210 Topics in Design and Technology for the Theatre
A course of study in dramatic production examining the collaborative relationship between designers and technicians in the major design and technical fields supporting theatre and dance production. Students will learn the work and craft of the designer as a visual artist complemented by experience with the tools and technologies which bring the designers' concepts to the stage. Two topics will be selected each semester from the fields of costuming, lighting, sceneography, stage properties production, and sound production. Basic design skills in drawing, drafting, painting, rendering, and model making will be augmented with experience in the shops and with the tools, techniques, and equipment by which abstract design concepts are brought to dramatic life.
Three hours of classroom and a two-hour laboratory per week. Offered every semester with rotating topics to be announced.
220 Dance Repertory
A laboratory experience in the creation and performance of dance for the concert stage. Under the guidance of faculty or guest professional choreographers, students will explore the interpretive processes by which dances are created.
NOTE: This course carries .5 credit (graded credit/no credit) and 1 PE block. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor based on an open audition process. Co-requisite: 200, or a dance technique course and/or participation in weekly Dance Theatre Group company class.
302 Special Topics in Theatre and Dance
An examination of selected aspects of theatrical experiment, theory, and practice. Topics chosen at the discretion of the instructor and in consultation with students, e.g., advanced study in various aspects of production, design, performance, and staging as well as special topics in dramatic literature, history, and theory.
303 Advanced Acting
An in-depth examination of the process of acting. Technical, interpretive, and psychological aspects are explored through reading, exercises, and scene performances. Major theories of acting are presented and discussed in the context of developing a workable, individualized approach to acting.
304 Applied Choreography
This course will focus on the principles of choreography as they may be applied to the development of original dance works for inclusion in the fully produced, mainstage Dance Theatre Group Spring Concert. Through weekly workshop/discussion sessions, readings, and rehearsals, selected elements of dance composition as well as issues of aesthetic perception and articulation are explored. The processes involved in generating movement material, running constructive and creative rehearsals, and working with lighting and costume designers, are our primary concerns. The course work will include an audition showings, production of the dances, and the final performance.
Prerequisites: 200, 204, 220. 1 credit.
305 Advanced Directing
An inquiry into the process of translating a play from the printed text to the live stage. Detailed analytical techniques and major directorial theories are examined through readings, class discussion, and written assignments. Each student directs a one-act production under advisement of the instructor.
Prerequisite: 205 and 210.
313 Theatre History Seminar
An intensive investigation of theatre in its various historical contexts within a seminar structure. Selected eras of Western Theatre are examined in depth, as are various non-western theatrical traditions.
Prerequisites: 101 or permission of instructor. This course fulfills the WR graduation requirement.
314 Topics in Dance
Advanced study in dance history or dance ethnology.
Prerequisite: 102 and 104.
316 Dance History Seminar: Modernism and the Body
This course will focus on contemporary dance history using theoretical frameworks that interrogate how race, class and gender resist, assimilate, and converge to create the construction of American modern concert dance. We will explore how the politics of the dancing female body on the concert stage produced a radicalized agenda for contemporary dance. We will address key themes and questions throughout the semester, questions such as: What makes a body "modern?" How does the feminist agenda on the concert stage aid in the construction of a "modern" body? What was the role of appropriating from exotic cultures in the making of contemporary concert dance? What is the role of technology in the creation of modern dance? What are the effects of war and politics on the dancing body? Orientalism, the Africanist presence in Western concert dance, and the restaging of Native American dances by American choreographers will be addressed as part of the overall construction of American modern dance. Through response papers, in-class presentations, and an in-depth research paper, students will engage with significant issues contributing to the development of modern concert dance.
Prerequisite: 200. This course fulfills the U.S. Diversity and WR graduation requirements. This course is cross-listed as WGST 300.
317, 318, 417, 418 Advanced Classical Ballet
Ballet instruction at the higher levels of classes are taught by CPYB faculty under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary founder and artistic director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Instruction will utilize the precise, disciplined and repetitive methods of ballet training developed by Ms. Weary.
Prerequisites: 212 and placement at higher level by CPYB. This course satisfies the DIV I.c. distribution requirement.
495 Senior Project
A culminating experience for students completing the Theatre major with emphasis in Dramatic Literature, Acting/Directing, or Dance. The specific nature of projects will be determined on an individual basis, but all senior projects will consist of at least two of the following: a) scholarship, b) technical/production work, and c) performance.
Prerequisite: Senior major status.
The following course is offered in summer semester in England program: